Wisconsin Wall Hanging

WI finished

As a girl who loves her home state, I was super excited when a member of the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild brought in a paper-pieced Wisconsin block for another member who also happens to be from Wisconsin. I had no idea such a block existed.

So when I had a little down time last week, I found the pattern on Craftsy and dreamed of all the Wisconsin-themed gifts I’d be giving this Christmas. Then I made the pattern. It turned out to be the most difficult paper-piecing project I’ve attempted. So, FYI, those Christmas gifts aren’t going to happen.

I played it safe with my fabric selections, choosing one solid that looked the same on the front and the back. And I colored the pattern pieces so I could easily see which sections were to be state and which were to be background.

WI colored pattern

As is always the case when I’m paper-piecing, I tried to skimp on fabric, using my smallest bits for the small sections. And as is always the case, I regretted it when those small pieces didn’t quite fill the area needed and had to be taken out. Between that and just messing up the pattern, it was rough going. Especially for the southeastern part of the state.

WI take one

Nothing really matched up the way it should as I struggled with putting the large lettered sections together. And I accidentally used a different green for the large triangle in the middle. But I could see where I could do better, so I tried it again.

This time did go more smoothly. In addition to coloring the state sections of the patterns, I stitched the perimeter of each section after I pieced it. This made sewing those sections together so much easier because the edges of the fabric weren’t flopping over.

WI take two patterns

I still made a few of the same mistakes that I made the first time through, but overall it was much easier. And it turned out looking nicer, too. Although southeastern Wisconsin still has its struggles.

WI take two

After a bit of thought, I decided to turn the block into a wall hanging. I added a gray and white polka-dot border and then added a wider border of Amy Butler Violette fabric.

Before I started the quilting, I decided to locate Waupaca, my hometown, on my newly pieced map (and I had Greg verify it so that it would be reasonably close). I made a red French knot there (per Greg’s suggestion) and then sewed a free-motion spiral out from there. As with my mug rug from last time, my circles are nowhere near perfect, but I just wanted them to be fun.

WI quilting

I used a piece from the same Amy Butler collection for the backing. The finished piece is about 16 inches square.

WI back

WI finished

Despite its imperfections, I kind of love the way it turned out. I really like the colors. Now I just need to figure out where to hang it. Somewhere that’s in my line of vision during the day. To remind me of home.

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  1. I love this. Don’t have any special affinity to Wisconsin, but I love the colors and patterns that look very pleasing together, the quilting, the backing, the binding. It’s beautiful. What an awesome job you did forming the state and all its meandering outlines!

    • Thanks so much, Jenny! That’s the beauty and allure of paper-piecing—you can get some pretty intricate shapes. I just wish my brain liked it better!

  2. Craig McAndrews

     /  October 7, 2015

    “On Wisconsin, on Wisconsin, grand ol’ Badger state……”. 🙂 Seriously, great project.


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