Monday, September 3, 2012

my love affair with English paper piecing

I love EPP (English paper piecing), mostly because it is relaxing and doesn't require great cutting accuracy (the paper pieces offer the precision) -- very appealing all around. The problem with this romance is that it has (so far) been mostly about process and has produced few finished objects.

I was all hopped up on little hexagons about 18 months ago, when I bought a massive bag of 1200 precut hexies. Then I was into 60 degree diamonds, and pieced a lot of those too. And then last summer I joined Lynne and Gayle's "hexalong" and started working (very enthusiastically, I might add) with Loulouthi and a couple of Kona solids -- working both with precut paper pieces (from PaperPieces.com) and ones I had made myself.

Process-oriented posts from last year are here, here, here, here, here, and here.

That project stalled by Fall and was left in a basket all winter, but I did pick it up again just last month -- and now it is quite close to being done.  Today it looks like this:


Loulouthi hexies, started summer 2011, now almost done



I'm quite please with how this is shaping up...and the fact that it is going to be a finished object in the not-too-distant future.

In other EPP news: I am planning a winter 2013 workshop with my good friend Miriam, the new head of Art at a well-known private girls' school in Toronto.  We're both very excited about it, more details in a few months...but for now I am getting geared up to do some test "rose star" blocks and to that end I ordered some new supplies from PaperPieces.com.


newest additions to the paper pieces collection

I am particularly fond of the thick acrylic cutting templates, which are new to me -- and fabulously helpful when fussy-cutting.  I lovelovelove these things...with an ardour that must seem strange to a non-quilter, but which some of you might understand :) So let's take one more look at these, shall we?


cutting templates from PaperPieces.com


















Finally, I have been playing with my new toys to make some stars (rose stars without one set of outer pieces) for a winter quilt project I started last year (is there a theme here?).  This one is destined for Frida's full-sized bed, where she has a couple of very sweet quilts but none that is quite big enough to overhang the sides and keep out the chilly draughts.  I shaped the project around 6 yards of a gorgeous Anna Maria Horner flannel from a fabric.com sale, and while the back is lovely (long expanses of the Good Folks flannel combined with some pink and lilac solids), the front was  a bit too simple to keep my interest.

A few recent developments have re-ignited interest in this project: first and foremost, Frida is now obsessed with mermaids -- which is good news for my Mendocino stash (a set of FQs bought a couple of years ago).  And these look lovely with the Good Folks, as it turns out.  Yippee!  Here's what I'm up to now: mermaid stars to be appliqued to Frida's winter quilt.


mermaid stars in progress


EPP mermaid stars to be appliqued



























I am so happy with this project now, and it's great to know that even with the severe limits on my sewing time right now I can still have some fabric fun.

I do love English paper piecing!

I hope all my friends in the U.S. and here in Canada are enjoying the long weekend.  Best to all.

6 comments:

Tong said...

I'm glad you picked back up the AMH quilt, it's so pretty. And I really really love how Frida's mermaid quilt is looking thus far!

Archie the wonder dog said...

I love both projects but am particularly excited about the hexalong project - are we the last two still sewing a long?!!

LizA. said...

Your hex along project is wonderful. I'm afraid mine is buried in a basket, destined to be packed up shortly and not to see the light of day until sometime next summer. I love your mermaid rose star. Thanx for sharing the news that paperpieces.com carries the templates now too--you are a temptress.

Lesly said...

Gorgeous! I love both of these projects. Those mermaid stars are going to look fabulous appliqued onto the AMH quilt. I am a fellow addict - I just got my 60 degree diamond quilt back from the long-armer and it is wonderful - there is nothing that feels so satisfying as finishing one of these hand projects! I have 15 rose star blocks completed and soon I will have to spread them out and do some calculations as to how many I am aiming for. Right now I am just enjoying making them.

Catherine said...

I'm with you on the EPP: loving it. I am still quilting up my hexies from the hex-along, nearly finished!

Claudia said...

Both are lovely projects. I started some EPP a year ago or so but who knows where it is ... :)