English Paper Piecing

I have long been interested in trying English Paper Piecing (EPP).  The portability of it, the high cuteness factor of the finished product, the idea of sewing something entirely by hand, these are all factors in my fascination.  The thing that finally made me start was finding out that I’m having surgery in August and the realization that I will go crazy after 3 days in the hospital without something to do, and packing a sewing machine is not feasible.

So, ever in character for me, I started to do some research.  What size hexies did I want to start with? (Hexies are measured by the length of each side, not their width or height.)  How would I get/make the templates I would need?  I decided to go with 1″ hexies: not too big, and not too small.  I read about lots of different ways to make templates, and also places that you could buy templates, and in the end, I decided to buy a Fiskars easy-squeeze XL hexagon cutter.

Fiskars squeeze punch, XL size

This has worked perfectly for me. It cuts 1″ hexagons and saves me so much time with scissors. It is also more accurate than I could be with scissors, also a bonus. I got it at Michaels, with a coupon. I think Joanns in the States sells them as well.

I figured I should probably make just a few test hexies to make sure I actually enjoyed this project. Well, as some people have said, they are addicting, and ‘just a few’ has turned into 4 full flowers and many, many more extra hexies after just a few evenings of work.

Finished flowers

1" hexies

 

Are they not just so cute?  I’m using 2.5″ squares of fabric, which fit wonderfully around the templates.  They are so quick to make, and the hand-sewing is very relaxing.  Also, awesomely portable.  And Thing 1 wants to learn how to make them already.

Lucky

2.5 weeks ago, (already!) I was at a sew day.  We came not knowing what pattern we would be making or what fabric we were making it with.  I was very excited when I showed up and saw that we were using Bonnie and Camille’s fabric, Scrumptious, and making their pattern, Lucky.  I have only recently started to love Bonnie and Camille’s fabric, so the timing was fabulous.  My favourite prints in this line are the bias stripes and the ones that look like flowers made of dots.  The colours are soft and yet saturated enough at the same time; the perfect balance.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

At the end of the sew day, I had 6 blocks done. During the next week, I made the other blocks and then sashed them, and completed the quilt exactly a week after I had started it.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

Thing 1 helped me mark triangles with my new Frixion pen. I received it at the sew day. I had been looking for one locally for awhile, but Staples, my local office supply store, doesn’t carry them, and I hadn’t ordered any online, though I was tempted to. It worked wonderfully, and Thing 1 thought it was awesome how the marks disappeared with the iron.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

Both my girls wanted a picture of them beside the quilt, so I obliged them. It is one the more girly quilts I have made recently, so I can understand why they are drawn to it, since they both like feminine things.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

This is my favourite block out of all of them. It has that bias stripe that I love, and also the zing of the solid apple green. So pretty.

Lucky - Bonnie and Camille pattern

 

I wasn’t sure if this picture worked out, being mottled in the sunshine, but it was a cool effect.  I was hesitant to take a picture of this top in the ash tree, since it’s so white and it had rained recently.  I didn’t want to quilt a dirty top, and I didn’t want to wash it to quilt it either.  So, I’ll have to wait with the ash tree shot for this one.  But she’s Lucky, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

St. Louis 16-patch

This is officially the fastest quilt top that I have ever made.  I think, from start to finish, cutting to pressing the last long seam on the back, it was 5 hours! Now, I have been told before that I am a very fast sewer, but that’s just crazy. It’s 56″x70″, so not quite a twin size.

St. Louis 16 patch

I used a tutorial I found online, at Sew with Sass. It was very clear and well written. I had a FQ pack of Dear Betty, by Darlene Zimmerman, and it had 22 FQ in it, so I used 20 of them, made 20 blocks, and plan to use the last two for the binding. This is not a typical colour scheme for me, but it felt good to push out of my comfort zone a little bit.

St. Louis 16 patch

This is my favourite block of the bunch. I absolutely love that stripe with the dots.  When I paired the fabrics together I tried to match a busier print with a not quite so busy print.  That way, from a distance, you can see the actual 16-patches and not just a mash of colour.

I would share more pictures with you, but I think I accidentally deleted some of them, because I only had these and one more poorly cropped, bad lighting design wall shot.  So I hope these will suffice!