Technique Tuesday with First Frost by Amanda Murphy

Yes, I know: it's English Paper Piecing Week. And I have a little teaser block I made with these lovely fabrics that I'm going to share so I can stay true to the week's theme. First Amanda's fabrics:

First Frost by Amanda Murphy for Benartex. Her Cotton Shots are the solids shown here, too
Here is my teaser block made from a few of these fabrics. The traditional name is Star Bouquet. I used a 1" hexagon center, six 1" jewels and finished off with 2" diamonds. This is one of my very favorite EPP blocks to make. Tomorrow I'm going to show the steps. And, yes, those little hearts are made from 2 jewels.

Here's my Little Buddy in the garden helping me show my EPP blocks:
In the garden with First Frost blocks
And here they are on some splendid Grass Green Cotton Shot of Amanda's.
Star Bouquet and 3 Little Hearts
NOW for what I made using First Frost. I immediately thought of 60 degree diamonds (because that's one of my favorite shapes). So, I cut a bunch of 4-1/2" diamonds from a 4-1/2" x wof strip.

Using 60 degree line on my ruler, sliced off end and then recut every 4-1/2"
 I cut a LOT of diamonds (I know: these look like triangles). Aren't these fabrics gorgeous?! I was able to get 7 triangles from each of the 6 strips.

Lotsa Diamonds
Then I cut 4-1/2" triangles from two of the Cotton Shots (the light blue and light green). I stitched them with the diamonds. First I arranged the 20 diamonds as I wanted them in the quilt. I didn't have enough of any one color of Cotton Shots, so I made this work! Notice: two triangles on one end of EACH diamond. They are flip-flopped. Then the horizontal rows are sewn diagonally. No funky y-seams. I used 30 degree triangles on the ends for "squaring" up.

Arranging the rows just like the alternate assembly in My Diamonds Have the Blues
Here is another shot on my design wall. Not very good lighting. This is the bonus pattern for My Diamonds Have the Blues! Same 4-1/2" diamonds and triangles, two assembly choices!

Patches aligned, ready for stitching
Here are two of the fabrics I chose for the borders. Have you ever wondered what those dots are on the end of the selvedge? They represent every color used in that particular piece of fabric. Makes matching with other fabrics so much easier.
Inner and outer border
And here's the final quilt, again with my Little Buddy helping me out:
First Frost Facets Quilt (see the larger size in My Diamonds Have the Blues)
Then because I had those leftover diamonds (and more light colored shot cottons), I made my Seven Sisters Variation blocks.

These use the same diamonds and triangles, now in a different arrangement
The variation means I added a 2-1/2" strip to the bottom of each of the above units. I didn't realize how big these were going to be!

Strips added to flat side.
I only had enough of the lightest Cotton Shots to make 4 blocks. Here is the first one. You can see the steps for this in a post from last Fall using another Benartex line. Check out my Seven Sisters pattern on Etsy. There are a LOT of photos!

20" high Seven Sisters Variation block
Got the other 3 blocks put together yesterday. These are WHOPPING blocks! The first arrangement is lovely, but I'm not interested in doing y-seams.

Four Seven Sisters Variation blocks, arrangement #1
This is easy to do with corner triangles with NO y-seams.
Four Seven Sisters Variation block, arrangement #2
Just need to think about setting fabric. I'll need a 10-1/2" x wof strip of fabric. More on this later.

One last thing I made with this collection was two of my paper pieced Coffee Cup Mug Rugs.
Paper Pieced Coffee Cup Mug Rugs (7" finished)
I made these with a previous collection called Winter Games by Amanda. Do you remember?

Coffee Cups Mug Rugs
OK. This was Day Two. Tomorrow is Day 3 and I'm going to show you some more EPP blocks and shapes. Please come back!


  1. Love how you did that quilt with no y-seams!
    Kathleen - kakingsbury at verizon dot net


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