Friday, October 19, 2018

English Paper Piecing Tutorial - Off the Wall Friday

My parents cabin sits on the bank of a creek
Hi Everyone!!  I want to thank you all for hanging in with me as I had to take a little break from blogging.  I've been up at my parents' cabin in upstate New York helping with the recovery of my father's open heart surgery.  Thank God, he's doing great and is now well on his way to his old self.  Its weird to take a break from your normal life, but I'm thinking, not a bad  thing either. 

Anyways......Here's my story.  So back in 2009, I started another one patch quilt using a trapezoid as my one patch.  The trapezoids were pieced together into tessellating pinwheels.  I thought it was a perfect "take along" project to do by hand using English Paper Piecing.  I worked on it little by little and got it half way done.  Then one day I set it aside and didn't pick it back up.

Wellllll...I would have picked it back up but I lost it!!  I mean when you live in a 14 room Victorian with a ton of storage sometimes things get lost but normally not for very long. This project did though!  Luckily, I recently found it squished way back on the top of my bookcase so I could take it with me to work on here at the cabin.  Its so nice to "find" it again and I've been having fun working on it in my free moments.

This was about as far as I got!  Or Maybe a little farther

So I thought I would do a quick tutorial on how I do English Paper Piecing.  Even though its a labor intensive process, I love the routine of it and its easy enough to do when you might get distracted by what's going on around you. 

Step 1:  Pick your pattern.  Pick your patches.  Figure out what kind/size templates you want to use.  For this quilt, I just drafted the template on my laptop, replicated it into a word document and then I had a master sheet with several of them on it.  The templates needed to be individually cut out.

Step 2:  Cut a patch of fabric (I used scraps for most of this quilt) that is about  1/4" around your template.  You can eye it in - it doesn't  have to be perfect.

Step 3:  Use contrasting thread to fold over that  1/4" seam and sew it to the template - yes - TO THE TEMPLATE.  Remember to fold the corners do they make a nice crisp point.  I do not knot the end when I finish .... I just leave a big long thread.

Step 4:  Take your several one patches to form a "block" or a section.  Figure out the configuration.

Step 5:  Use a running stitch or whip stitch in a matching thread to sew the pieces together.  You need to take tiny tight stitches that go through the fabric but NOT into the paper template.

Step 6:  You can remove the paper now or you can stitch all the blocks together and then remove the paper - which is what I do.
If you look close you can see some of stitches - That's why you use matching thread!!

Doing a whole quilt this way takes a long time, but I find it so satisfying plus its super accurate.  Its a great way to use scraps and when you're done people will say, "Wow!! You made that by hand?!"

Hopefully, I can finish this quilt before losing it again!!  To tell you the truth, I still think that I'm missing some blocks.  Maybe I'll  have to move that bookcase and look behind it!!!

So What Have You Been Up to Creatively?


Julierose said...

Oh this will be a lovely piece--i like EPP a lot. Happy to hear your Dad's sdoing ok...hugs, Julierose

Jenny K. Lyon said...

Glad to hear that your Dad is doing well. I'm intrigued by your EPP-keep saying I want to start one. Your project is beautiful!!

Norma Schlager said...

I've never done EPP and have never really been tempted until now. I love your piece and the shapes you are using. I will be in FL for three months this winter with no sewing machine and I want to bring some hand work. I was thinking embroidery, but hmmmmmm, maybe English paper piecing. Thanks for sharing.