Challenging Cacti

One block
One block

So, back in July I was bored for a few minutes, and decided to make a wall hanging featured in a magazine.  The design is by Renee Petersen, and from the McCall’s Quilting magazine, November/December 2010.

The wall hanging is a challenge because it is all paper pieced.  This is a completely counter-intuitive method of making a block, because you have to work backwards.  I did it wrong about 25% of the time, ripping out stitches often. The design is printed on a piece of paper, and you layer fabrics, one by one, on to the back of the paper, sewing through fabric and paper at each step.

The good news is that the results are stunning – clean lines and sharper points than you could make other ways.  Each block in this case is meant to resemble a Christmas cactus.  Since my stash is large and full of batiks, there was no problem choosing colors.

cactus center
sixteen center blocks

Each block has 18 pieces, and 4 borders.  For 16 blocks, that is 352 pieces, plus 17 more for the sashing!  And I am not even half way finished.  Ah, well.  I wanted something that would take some time and effort.

Now, on to the borders….



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