Lucy Boston in Island Batiks

Needle, Paper, Scissors.jpg

October’s challenge for Island Batik Ambassadors was to complete a paper pieced project (Foundation or English).   Last month’s project was foundation or paper pieced, so English Paper Piecing was my choice.  The fabrics, batting and thread were provided to me from Island Batik.img_4750.jpg
I have been wanting to make Lucy Boston blocks for a while. Lucy Boston was a novelist and her daughter wrote about her, and her quilt – the Patchwork of the Crosses. You can find out more information here. These blocks can be colored in a variety of ways or expanded from the basic block. 

One of Rhea’s blocks from Alewives Fabrics

A former colleague from Cambridge Quilts, Rhea Daiute Butler has made this into an obsession for me. Every Sunday for a few years she has been publishing at least one fussy cut version of a block. Her work is found at her store, Alewives Fabrics in Nobleboro, Maine. I had resisted getting the templates for quite sometime, but finally did. I had been planing on doing fussy cutting and Lucy Boston, Patchwork of the cross blocks – one day.  Well, that’s not what they got used for – I used them for this!   I had stashed these for awhile – templates, papers and book*.  


I loved the colors in the Island Batik Paisley Dot Brights (cardinal, purple and cotton candy).  That purple with red was really calling my name.  Before we drove to Pennsylvania, I gathered up these supplies.  I love my little sandpaper/cutting mat board, my needle case/threader, scissors, thread & thread magic, washi tape and used tins from my Trader Joe espresso bean obsession – filled with my clover wonder clips.

Prior to this, I had begun some work on a La Passacagalia quilt and did a lot of research on EPP.  When I did the research, I tested a number of threads and stitches.  One of the best resources I found was on DIY addict. I decided to do the following:

  • Use templates
  • Use precut papers
  • Use glue
  • Use the flat back stitch (I didn’t like seeing stitches on the front)
  • Use clover clips and washi tape to hold pieces together
  • Use Aurifil thread – 50 wt.

Flat Back Stitch

I am kind of an appliqué snob.  I learned to do it the old fashioned way and rather stick to it often.  Because, I did not like stitches showing, I never did an EPP before as I hated when the whipstitch would show.  The flat back stitch was perfect.  Here’s the video that I used to learn it.  I found glueing the pieces to the paper to be much easier and faster so I gave in here a little.  (when it works I go for the fast method).  In the end, I did not make more than one.  Minis are working for me more often than not,  as the stack of wall hangings and larger quilts is plenty high.

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I had trouble deciding on the backgrounds.  The little slide show lets you see what some of the finalists were.  Some of my internet friends voted – Rose, Wendy, Joan and Nancy – and they were torn between the Blackberry and the Black.  The black just seemed to make it pop more.  All of these fabrics are Island Batiks – even the solids!

HINT:  Use your phone camera, upload to your computer and make a slideshow.  I always feel like I get to stand back a bit and watch until one speaks to me.

I really wanted the blocks to pop.  My next set of decisions were around attaching the piece to the background and quilting.  I decided to use a narrow zig zag in a monofilament thread to attach.  Above are pictures of an “old school” technique, cutting away the back so the batting moves into the appliqué.  To make this happen even more, Iadded a layer of Hobbs Thermore batting and stitched around the outline in black.  I cut away the outside and then added another layer of batting.  Matchstick quilting won and I was thrilled with the way it turned out.   I did a facing again, you can find out about them here.  It seemed like added color in border/binding was calling attention away from the center.  I may quilt in the ditch in the center, but I am not near the right thread right now, so I am letting that go for the time being.


So here it is, my mini Lucy Boston wall hanging – a finish for my Island Batik Ambassador project, my One Monthly Goal project and a 4thQuarterFAL!

Quilt Stats:
Chromatic Octagon
Lucy Boston, Patchwork of the Crosses
13″ x 13″ Island Batik Fabrics
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Hand Pieced, Machine Applique and Quilting.
Aurifil 50 wt, Grey and Black


There will be a little change to my blog in the next few days.  Here’s a hint.  Have a great weekend!

Linking up with:
Confessions of a Fabric Addict:  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?
Busy Hand Quilts:  Finished or Not Friday
Powered by Quilting:  Friday Foto Fun
TishnWonderland:   UFO Busting
Free Motion by the River:  Linky Tuesday
Pretty Piney:  What I Made Monday
Clever Chameleon: Chameleon Colour Party
Elm Street Quilts:  One Monthly Goal
She Can Quilt:  Q4FAL2018

Lucy Boston Items*

Sewline Glue Pen
Sewline Glue Pen
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Thread magic
Sewline Glue Pen
Sewline Glue Pen
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Thread magic
Sewline Glue Pen
Sewline Glue Pen
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Thread magic
Disclaimer: *Links with asterisk indicate an affiliate link and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Your price is not any different, but a small percentage of the sale will go to supporting my blog.


  1. October 20, 2018 / 2:10 PM

    Whenever Alewives posts the LB designs on their IG page, I drool. Each one is so amazing, and I want to find fabric and make one. I like how yours turned out. I made a facing for my quilt, but I used one without the triangle corners. I like how it turned out.

    • kathleenquilts
      October 20, 2018 / 2:12 PM

      I know they are just too delicious! Maybe it’s s good way to justify fat quarters.. I am liking the facing for things that don’t call for a binding.

  2. October 20, 2018 / 2:38 PM

    Sew nice, Kathleen!!! The black and the matchstick quilting make a great backdrop. Maybe SID with clear thread? That block is so much fun.

    • kathleenquilts
      October 20, 2018 / 2:39 PM

      That’s what I’m thinking. I think it’s in Maine and I’m not. Very silly. I’ll try to get them together next week

  3. October 20, 2018 / 3:08 PM

    Oh the black is the best, I agree! Gives it a bit of an Amish flavour! Isn’t that black just fabulous? I’m using it in a squirrel aka DrEAMi! project right now. Oooh, changes, will be watching!

    • kathleenquilts
      October 20, 2018 / 9:31 PM

      I was thinking it looked very Amish too! A new logo and new colors. FUN – I hope.

  4. October 20, 2018 / 11:35 PM

    Thanks for the recommendation of DIY addict. I used ladder stitch on my latest project because I don’t like the look of whipstitch, but I’d like to give the flat backstitch a go next time because the ladder stitch didn’t seem very secure. Love your little project and your auditioning process.

    • kathleenquilts
      October 21, 2018 / 12:15 PM

      You are too sweet! I somehow could not get the ladder stitch the way I wanted either so that is why I went with the flat back. The auditioning is really helpful and it is one of the ways I do it. It is funny how that thing about standing back and seeing it really works – although I did like that dark purple. I am doing a little experiment so maybe I’ll do it over with the dark purple.

  5. October 21, 2018 / 1:24 PM

    The black really does let the colors shine and the choice for a faced binding really lets the whole piece float on your wall. Lovely work!

    • kathleenquilts
      October 23, 2018 / 11:02 PM

      Thanks, Yvonne. I was pleased with the way it it looks between the bright colors, the black background and the facing.

  6. Quilting Tangent
    October 21, 2018 / 3:14 PM

    Pretty quilt looks great on black.

    • kathleenquilts
      October 21, 2018 / 5:03 PM

      Thanks so much!

  7. October 24, 2018 / 9:49 PM

    I really love this! Also so impressed with how fast everyone else seems to be with EPP. This would have taken me forever!

    • kathleenquilts
      October 24, 2018 / 11:36 PM

      Thank you so much! It was fun and really it does get quicker. Really it was less than most quilt pieces, and portable, which means you get it done at other times. I am going to do a little thing on a fast way…I hope one day soon.

  8. Patty
    October 28, 2018 / 8:37 AM

    Very nice! I like doing the flat backstitch too! Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish!

  9. January 22, 2019 / 5:17 AM

    A mini is such a great way to try things out. And a great tip to make a slide show to choose the right fabric! Thank you for participating in the FAL, on behalf of the 2018 FAL hosts!

My Favorite Tools

Pins with Numbers & Arrows
Annies Soft and Stable Foam Stabilizer
By Annie’s Clear Vinyl
Heat N Bond Iron On Vinyl
Omni Thread, Purplelicious
Aurifil 50 weight thread
Hobbs Tuscanny Wool Batting
Freezer Paper Sheets
Binding Sasher
Nexcare Clear Skin Tape
Cluck Cluck Sew Tape
Simple Folded Corners Ruler
Free Motion Quilting Workbook
Shape by Shape Collection 2
Shape by Shape
DayLight Wafer 1 Light Box
Freezer paper
Siteground Web Hosting
Dream Cotton Batting
Sidekick Ruler
Hex N More Ruler
4″ Circular Plastic Needlepoint
Awesome Ocean Pattern
Schmetz NonStick Needle
Sulky Totally Stable
Barn Quilt by Sherry Shish
Applique Pressing Sheet
Mary Ellen’s Best Press Starch
Clover Bias Tape Maker 12mm
Woven Diamonds Pattern
Hobbs Premium 80/20 Batting
Woven Star Pattern
Wefty Needle
Quilt Hanger
Fat Quarter Shop
Westalee Sampler Template Set
Mettler 60 wt. Cotton Embroidery Thread
Sandboard for Hand Sewing/Appliqué
Clover Needle Threader
Sewline Black and White Pencil
Sewline Grey Pencil
Backyard Birds
Wing Clipper
Quilt Pounce
Hobbs Thermore Batting
Clover Chaco Liner – silver
Turnabout Patchwork by Terese Mairal Barreau
Sewline Glue Pen
Fusible 1″ Hexagon Paper
Fusible Appliqué Paper
Electric Quilt 8
Quilter’s Dream Select Batting
Quilt in A Day Log Cabin
Judy Martin Log Cabin
Emiko Toda Loeb
3M Command Strip Clothespins
Paper Templates for Lucy Boston
Lucy Boston Templates,MPP
Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Cross
Clover Wonder Clips
Thread magic
Clearly Perfect Angles
Slotted Triangle Trimmer