Are you a hand stitcher?
I never though I could be but here I am…stitching a little everyday.My love affair of EPP is only 19 months old, but with the first needle and the first hexagon I stitched, I knew I was in for the long haul on this amazing craft.
He re are a few early pictures of my first project, which by the way, I am still working on. It is my version of the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern. I love this pattern.
This picture shows the beginning progression of my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt for my eldest granddaughter.
I use a one inch Hexagon punch, 2 1/2″ squares of material. When I first began this journey, I was sewing each hexagon. Then I found glue sticks. I love the glue process. I use Elmer’s Washable School Glue, the purple kind. For me, it really speeds up my hexie-making. In this quilt, each diamond has a white center, surrounded by eight colored hexies and 14 white hexies around those.
When my husband and I travel, which is about every three months we seem to hit the road for a long road trip, I am able to take my “hexie kit” with me and work on my sewing while he does all the driving.
Now just 3,335 hand-sewn, one inch hexies later:
English Paper Piecing and Paper Piecing, also known as Foundation Piecing, for quilters is not the same.
English Paper Piecing by definition from Wikipedia: “In patchwork, foundation piecing was originally a method used to stabilize pieces of fabric that were stitched together. … It is sometimes referred to as English paper piecing because of its popularity in Britain. Originally pieces of scrap fabric or muslin were used as the foundation.”
Yet, I see paper piecing and English Paper Piecing as two different, though similar, types of crafts. In Paper Piecing or Foundation Piecing, for quilting, a template is used to sew material onto a pattern. This template and material pieces are torn away from each other. This is a beautiful way of making an intricate pattern with tiny pieces of material hand sewn which could be much harder using a sewing machine.
English Paper Piecing is done using shapes of cut-out papers. A piece of material is stitched around the chosen shape and joined together to make quilts, table runners and more. The most popular by far, and my favorite, is the hexagon shape. Intensely intricate designs are completed while using 1/2, 3/4, or 1″ hexagons. When added with shapes of diamonds, chrysanthemums, Dresdens, scallops, and many, many more varieties, the patterns are unlimited.
Where to find patterns and websites:
Many Pinterest sites are dedicated to different patterns of English Paper Piecing. Go to Pinterest and see my board at: www.pinterest.com/margaret_heaton/english-paper-piecing/ Search “Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses” or “Millifiore” or my favorite “Grandmother’s Flower Garden.”
This website has just about everything you could want for starting and completing any pattern you would like to attempt. This website has paper pieces, books, patterns, downloads, mail order and more. www.paperpieces.com.
Flossie Teacake is an exceptional blog dedicated to stitching and design. Florence, the writer of the blog, is inspirational in her designs and writing. I encourage you to check out her blog at www.flossieteacakes.blogspot.com.
Blocks of the Months, tips and techniques and books, are available in this blog along with another, where you are able to buy patterns, fabric and kits, books, etc. Contact www.suedaleydesigns.com and/or www.busyfingerspatchwork.com.
Fun with English Paper Piecing and Hexies.
I love to sit and enjoy my handwork with needles and stitching. Pieces of material, often just scraps left from other projects make beautiful quilts and table runners. It even leaves me open to a little story telling. Here is one I shared in a Facebook group.
“There once was a little girl who came running home from school crying to her mom. “Mom, they said I have Thunder Thighs.” “There, there. You’re fine.” With a quick hug and a pat on the head life was okay for awhile.
This girl with her thunder thighs entered high school. While always being the girl on the base of the cheerleader pyramid, it was okay. The thunder thighs were strong.
Next came motherhood and grandmother hood. The once strong thunder thighs became…well…just… thunder thighs once again.
What good were these thunder thighs now? The Grandkids like to jiggle them now and then. They ask when they’ll have legs like grandma. Never hopefully. Besides entertainment for the Grandkids, what else could thunder thighs be used for?
Why, EPP of course!
This grandma loves EPP. She glue bastes hexies, 3/4″, 1 inch, 1 1/2 inches. All glue basted. Dozens and dozens at a time. How to speed the process? Glue then put under the thigh, glue another and another and another putting each under the weight of the thunder thighs. Glue dries and these thighs iron the hexies all at the same time.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
I hope you are interested and encouraged to try this relaxing, addictive hobby.
For more inspiration, check out Amazon for English Paper Pattern books. A few of my favorites: