Thursday, May 19, 2016

English Paper Piecing Toolkit

English Paper Piecing is quite different from other types of piecing I do. Instead of being in my sewing room, hunched over the cutting table or concentrating on the sewing machine, I'm sitting on the couch, watching TV or the kids (or both). Instead of being a bit isolated from my family, I can chat with them while I'm working away.

I'm taking Helen Stubbins's Quick & Easy English Paper Piecing class on Craftsy, and she had 9 motifs arranged in a small sampler quilt. However ... I wasn't sure what to do with a sampler quilt that size, it's so small it cannot even function as a baby quilt. I decided instead to make those 9 motifs (albeit with some changes here and there) into a set of placemats. I added a 10th motif, a star I jotted down in church the other day made of equilateral triangles. (Hey, it was on the slide.) For each placemat, I'm going to use a combination of batiks and solids, on a black background.

I'm fairly decent with hexagons, having already done a few, but this would be my first time with shapes that involve angles less than 90 degrees, which is something new to me, as well as curves, which is always scary. I assembled my English Paper Piecing toolkit in a box, stashed it under the coffee table, so that I can pull it out and work on it whenever I get a spare moment.

Items in my toolkit:

  • Fabric - but of course.
  • Templates - whenever I cut new shapes, I put them inside a sandwich bag with a label, so they can be used again easily.
  • Fabric scissors - my good pair of scissors is in my sewing room ... but my spare pair, which I don't like nearly as much because it's a bit sticky ... works just fine for EPP.
  • Wonder clips - instead of glueing the template to fabric, or pinning it, I like to use wonder clips to hold them down before I baste.
  • Needles - my sewing needles are in my felt needle book.
  • Thread - I frequently have spools of thread that doesn't have enough thread to even fill another bobbin, but is absolutely perfect for EPP purposes.
  • Embroidery scissors - to cut threads.
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