MW: Here is one of the four corner blocks of my primary-colored wall hanging and the first of the nine 8′ x 8′ blocks. These five blocks took me two days this weekend to complete but I wanted each triangle in the spiral design to be precise.

I would tell you that the 8×8 block was a significant challenge both from the perspective of using so much black fabric and the tiny size of the elements. The tiniest triangles are only 1/2′ at the base and 1/8′ from the base to the tip – yes, 1/8′. What it tells me though is that even working on such a small scale is not an impossible task – so it’s on to the next square.

micki block 1 redo

Micki 2

RM: Micki, these are beautiful, and even at this small size the precision can be easily seen! I’m going to post a couple of things about sewing nesting and baravelle spirals that will save you some time — look for a new page on sewing. You’ll get these blocks down to a couple of hours, I promise!

MW: I hope you’re feeling great now and enjoying a wonderful holiday today. I wanted to send you photos of two more blocks I’ve completed for my wallhanging. These are interlocking spirals and shards, in case you want to use them as examples in the blog.

micki block 2

Micki block 3

RM: Thanks for sharing, Micki!

MW: Hi, RaNae, I thought you might like to see two more blocks that I finished. These are still taking 6-7 hours each depending on the number of rounds. One of these, (machete) has 27 rounds and even smaller triangles than I had been working with on other blocks so these kind take a lot of time to get the precision I want. At any rate here are two more – four to go for the wall hanging.

Micki Machete

Micki saw block

RM: Micki, 27 ROUNDS!!!!! Holy smoke, I didn’t realize they had THAT many! No wonder it’s taking a long time. My little spirals had 8 rounds, and that’s where I came up with the 2-3 hour figure. I guess proportionally, you’re working about as fast as I did. Your results are worth the effort, I must tell you — your precision and design look wonderful!

MW 7-12-07: Here are the last four blocks for my wall hanging. I should get to the sashings, sashing blocks and borders starting tomorrow evening. By the end of the weekend, the top will hopefully be assembled and ready for quilting.

Micki 6

Micki 7

Micki 8

Micki 9

MW 7-16-07: I completed the wallhanging top and backing and will be sending it off to Diane, my quilter in Texas, tomorrow. Here is a jpeg of how it looks with all the blocks in place.

Micki Enjoy the Journey

After it’s quilted, I’ll add triangular, bead embellishments like little “shards” shooting off into space. Now on to my second project.

RM: Wow! Micki, it looks GREAT! Great work!

MW 9-6-07:  Here are some photos of the quilting on my wall hanging that I thought you might enjoy seeing.

Micki Journey quilted

Micki Journey quarter detail

Micki Journey back

MW 9-10-07:  Hi, RaNae, I thought you might like to see Journey now that the beading is complete. The beads are crystal triangles in the same four primary colors used in the fabrics to depict shards flying off the shapes. I’ve included a photo of the permanent label for the quilt too.

Micki Journey Beaded

Micki Journey Label

RM: Micki, it just keeps getting more and more spectacular!  I hope there’s an award for this in your future — it certainly deserves it!

20 Responses to “Micki Wiersma 2”

  1. sqtdenise Says:

    Tremendous!!! Absolutely stunning!!

  2. Micki Says:

    Thanks so much, Denise. I appreciate your kind words as these are quite a challenge for me.

  3. sqtdenise Says:

    Well I’m one of the newbies to quilting, as far as time actually spent on the hobby. So I am in awe of many of you.

  4. marian15 Says:

    It looks like it will be beautiful. The black really sets off the other colors; I love the interlocking spirals. As they say here, “well done, you!”

  5. Micki Says:

    I’m fairly new myself, Denise, having started quilting about 2 1/2 years ago. The good news is that even us newbies can do this with a bit of practice. I might thing twice though about doing such small blocks (8″ x 8″) because some of the triangles are very teensy indeed, but they’re still doable.

  6. Micki Says:

    Thanks for your feedback. The blocks are lovely as they shape up. The “regular” ones with 20 rounds have 160 pieces each and take about 5 hours to do, and the more involved ones with 27 rounds have 216 pieces and take a little over 7 hours of stitching time. The smallest triangles in the 27-round blocks are just 1/4″ at the base and only 1/16″ high! I never would have thought I could work on such a small scale but the design permits it with patience and precision.

    I found some neat triangle-shaped beads and will use those as embellishments on the finished wall hanging to replicate “bits” being flung into space from the shapes.

  7. RaNae Says:

    Micki, thank you for your patience and hard work! And the bead sound delicious! 🙂

  8. yogib2 Says:

    Micki…every spiral is more stuning than the last! Thanks for the time line, too. I’ve not counted my bits and pieces, but will take into account what you have experienced for planning purposes as I finalize my draft this week. You are moving ahead at warp speed, keep up the great work and those updates coming…they are fascinating to see. I can’t wait to put thread to fabric soon.


  9. Micki Says:

    Will do, Rhonda. Each time I make a block it’s my favorite and then I move on to another and it becomes my favorite. 🙂 I wanted to get right to it, because I’ve committed to two projects for RaNae and this is just the first of the two. So I have lots more spiraling yet to come.

    If you didn’t see my other comment on the sewing spirals page, another thing I’ve found is that my needle dulls faster than normal due to the many layers of fabric – especially for the teensy pieces near the base the shape — so it’s good to change needles often because it surely does make the stitching easier with a sharp point.

  10. mcif Says:

    Micky, Thanks for the tip on the needles. Are you using sharps or microtex. Microtex seems to enter easier on difficult projects. Mary

  11. Micki Says:

    Mary, I’m using Schmetz Universal 75/11 but Microtex would work well also.

  12. evelynrn Says:

    That quilt is spectacular. So many possibilities – so little time.

  13. lindacooper Says:

    Just awesome! I love all the spirals and your irregular border makes it all dance!

  14. joaninga Says:

    WOW ! Wonderful Quilt top Micki. The black background really makes the spirals pop. Can’t wait to see it after your embellishments.

  15. Micki Says:

    Thanks so much for your kind words about my wallhanging. I’m glad to have this one behind me, except for the finishing, as I think it was the more challenging of the two projects I’m signed up for. Just having this one “under my belt” gives me the confidence that the next one won’t be so difficult. Once this is quilted and embellished, I’ll send a final photo to RaNae for posting and then will toast it’s “doneness.” Thanks again for your support and happing stitching to all of us!

  16. quilterk Says:

    Fantastic job! I love it! You are the inspiration for me to “get moving”!

  17. sdehaemer Says:

    Micki, your project is wonderful. I’m sure it’s even more stunning in person. Seeing your finished project gives me that “I’m really behind feeling–YIKES”. Can’t wait to see the rest of your projects.

  18. Micki Says:

    Thanks so much, Sharon. I’m feeling the pressure of time passing as well. I know each of us has other time pressures of work and family and it’s amazing how quickly these three months are passing.

    This first project used so few colors that it was easier to plan and do in some ways. I’ve just completed the first block of my second project and it had 24 different fabrics in that one block. One thing I found is that by writing a code letter for the fabric, in light pencil, in each of the triangles on the foundation paper first, helped me along the way, so that I didn’t get any in the wrong place and mess up the spiral. It was a double check against the master before I stitched each one.

    I’m doing the same with each of the blocks – this second one uses 10 different fabrics and has a complicated switch-direction spiral, so it’s helping here too.

    Happy spiraling!

  19. Micki Says:

    Wallhanging 36″ x 36″ named “Enjoy the Journey”

    Quilt pieced by: Micki Wiersma, Raleigh, NC
    Quilted by: Diane Anderson of CabinQuilter Custom Quilting, Tomball, TX

    The wallhanging was designed using EQ6 and includes nine 8″ x 8″ blocks with octagonal baravelle shapes, completed in four primary colors on a black background to give the effect of spiral and non-spiral designs. The blocks are surrounded by black sashing strips, separated by primary-colored cornerstones. The border is comprised of four corner blocks and four “stretched” blocks to convey a sense of motion in a modern-art setting.

    The wallhanging is being machine quilted by Diane and I’ll add details about that shortly. Once the machine quilting is finished, I will hand-stitch small triangular crystal bead embellishments onto the surface, in the same primary colors, to give the effect of “shards” shooting into the black space amongst the blocks.

    The backing is comprised of four quarter segments – one of each of the four primary colors – and the hanging pocket is made to blend into the top two colored fabrics.

    The background is Amish Black fabric – a true black.

  20. Micki Says:

    Additional machine-quilting comments from Diane Anderson for “Enjoy the Journey” wall hanging.

    Diane is an award-winning quilter, but readily admitted she had a difficult time with the quilting. The first challenge was determining what thread colors to use. No matter what color thread she used, it was great for some areas and not so good for others. She ended up using purple thread on everything except the yellow areas in the border and there she used a yellow variegated. The wall hanging arrived back to me this morning and it looks terrific. The purple thread is just different enough from black to readily show up on the vast black background expanse in the wall hanging.

    Diane used a buzz-saw motif over each of the blocks and, in the sashings, she did a free-hand, radiating swirly curl that centers in the cornerstone blocks. That will add to the motion of the design and will complement the bead embellishments. She has done straight-line quilting in the border strips and free-hand curly-swirley designs in each of the corner blocks.

    Another difficulty came from the stiffness of the pieced blocks. Diane said that normally as one quilts an area, the surrounding fabric is pulled tighter, as the quilting “eats up” the fabric. In this case, the blocks were so full of seams and thread that they didn’t budge at all. Some of the unquilted areas look a little puffy, as if she had used a poly batting, but it looks absolutely terrific. The blocks are very dense – particularly at the center of the design because of the tiny size of the triangles resulting in many layers of fabric and thread concentrated in a small area, so Diane had to quilt slowly and carefully. She actually broke three needles on her long-arm machine quilting these very dense blocks. This would not be a problem on “looser” blocks with larger triangular pieces.

    I’ll do the finishing (beads, binding and labels) and will be ready to ship to meet your deadline.

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