Eye of the Carolina Tiger | Finished Quilt

I had a TON of fun with this challenge … well technically … these challenges.  I may or may not have quite a few things on my plate at any given time and I like to combine things whenever it’s feasible.  In this case I combined the Project QUILTING challenge – Carolina Lily with the Sun Prairie Heritage Quilt Show “Hexagon” challenge.  At first I had no idea how I was going to do this but it came together faster than I thought it would.

*Side Note* – I’m going to share the ENTIRE process of this quilt – lots of pictures, lots of info - enjoy!

The Carolina Lily challenge is pretty self explanatory – be inspired by the Carolina Lily.  The other challenge – the hexagon was a bit more specific.


We were given a blue floral-esque fabric and had to include a minimum of 3 hexagons made of the challenge fabric.  And the final piece HAS to measure 24-inch square.

pq 8 2 big hexagons

The challenge fabric inspired my choice of fabrics for the 3-inch English paper piecing hexagons I hand stitched together – a mix of blues, blue greens and even a deep blue-purple.

pq 8 2 pips dress

Before I knew it I had a piece big enough for a dress for Pip – well, half a dress … the back really didn’t cover her very well. 

pq 8 2 raw edge piecing

I love raw edge piecing.  In fact my first idea for the hexagon challenge was to just raw edge piece all the hexagons in strips of fabric … I may still do that sometime … but I think this was a cooler solution.  The colors for the background where inspired by the Carolina Lily – oranges, yellows, reds – and well some pinks too just because. 


The 3” blue hexagons fit nicely over the raw edge pieced background.  IMG_4983

Next I needed to create my very own irregular hexagon template.  I traced some of the paper piecing templates so I could scale the “petals” properly and created a six sided shape.  This idea was actually inspired by Trisha Frankland when we were chatting. 


I drew a reference line on the irregular hexagon template so I could properly trace the six hexagons onto the English Paper Pieced (EPP) blue hexagon flower with a Dritz Dual Purpose Marking Pen.

 IMG_4986I pinned everything in place.  IMG_4987And you can see the lines here. 

IMG_4989I used a 30 weight Superior Thread that I won in my big prize package in December to stitch RIGHT ON each of the lines I drew and then blanket stitch along the edge of the entire blue EPP Flower.


I have a video of how the rest was cut out HERE but my blog kept locking up when I embedded it so you’ll have to go and check it out!  Basically – the layers were all stitched together so I pulled the blue EPP away from the background and with a tiny sharp scissor I cut the blue away inside the stitching.  Slowly you could see each of the petals show up!  I then traced a hexagon in the center, stitched the lines, and cut out the center in the same method.  Which each cut I was loving it more and more!  But with the six petals and center out it wasn’t enough.


I found another smaller hexagon template and traced it six times.


You may have guessed that tracing onto the dark purple solid fabric was not working the best.  Instead, I used the paper template itself and stitch down right on the edge of the paper (not through the paper … directly next to it) which worked fabulously. IMG_4997It was long before I had all the sections cut out.  I then glued the hexagons in the challenge fabric down to the center and stitched those down too.  IMG_4998It was time for quilting!  I started out with my walking foot and did some echo quilting around each of the petals.  Once I felt that I had gone far enough with the echo’s I put on the free motion foot and started to play!  A few days ago I attempted my first “Plume Feather” from Angela Walter’s Book “Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters.”  I have to say by this time I felt like Olivia the pig in her first book when she learned how to make sand castles … “She got pretty good.”IMG_4999Before I knew it … the piece was quilted!  But even though it’s insane … it still needed more.

pq 8 2 close up

I decided to couch down some cording onto the quilt.  First, I did the standard zig zag couching … on the left.  While I was doing that I remembered Ricky Tims telling us about a special cording foot Bernina has – the #43.  You can basically free motion quilt the cording down.  I thought that after having that foot for at least 3 years … it was time to give it a go.  It worked beautifully!  I’m officially obsessed (photo on the right).


So … I added six blue cording and six yellow cording on.  Then I trimmed the quilt up.  I decided to face the binding.  I stepped back and knew it needed one more thing – mirrors!  I glued square mirrors into the six reverse appliqued hexagons. 

Now I’m done!

I attempted a photo shoot on my fence … in the icy fog.  The lighting wasn’t really the problem but the wind didn’t help! 


I finally got a decent photo by laying it right down on my driveway.

And that … is the story behind my piece “Eye of the Carolina Tiger.”

pq eye of the tiger

Oh!  The name!  This quilt is named “Eye of the Carolina Tiger” because when I reverse appliqued the petals one of them perfectly framed the eyes of one of Tula Pink’s tigers! When I showed my in-laws who where canning in our commercial kitchen my father-in-law asked if I was going to name it “Eye of the Tiger.”  I had to tweak it slightly but it really was a perfect name.

If you’re still with me – thanks for reading my story!  I’m going to be linking up to the non-voting Project QUILTING link up on Sunday and Finish it Up Friday!

Quilt Details:
“Eye of the Carolina Tiger”
Finished size: 24” x 24”
Pieced, quilted and embellished by Kim Lapacek, Poynette, WI


  1. Looks fun! Sooo good to challenge ourselves.

  2. Oh my, Wow. And you did it in a week.
    It is amazing!

  3. Oh my, Wow. And you did it in a week.
    It is amazing!

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and design process in the creation of the piece. It looks GREAT as Tony the Tiger used to say! A winner to be sure.

  5. Very interesting way to use hexagon and reverse applique. Colour combination is brilliant too!

  6. This is such a stunning finish! I just love all the thoughtful details you incorporated into your design! It is amazing!!

  7. Love, love, love this quilt and the process!


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