Tag Archives: Today’s Quilter

English Paper Piecing & Templates

I like small, portable handwork.  It’s something I can take with me or just a bit to get my hands busy while I’m watching TV or a movie.  I have a couple crewel pieces that I’ve actually finished and  few more in various sates of completeness, but even that was needing a bit too much attention.  In every issue of Today’s Quilter there was a few pages on English Paper Piecing (EPP).  I didn’t really know anything about it so kind of skimmed until a few months ago when it had a hexie pattern in it.  (Once I tried the other kind of paper piecing and really didn’t like it.  That’s a story for another day.)

I love the hexie shape.  There is just something about it that speaks to me.  So I actually read the article that time and a light bulb went on.  Oh!  I didn’t start on anything right away.  Still too much RL chaos, but I did order some hexie templates.  Those came in and went up on the peg board as I ruminated over what fabric I might like to use.  I have a set of bee and honeycomb themed fabric I was considering, but it never quite got there.

One day in late March I was rifling through my scrap fabric and came across the pieces left from my Candy Pop quilt.  Just the thought of the bright mostly geometric prints in small hexagon shapes gave me a thrill.  Fortunately for my, IT had to remote in and work on my computer.  So while I waited, I started experimenting with the templates and the fabric.  I would snip of piece of a scrap just large enough to turn under the 1/4″ seam allowance for a 1″ (length of one side) hexie and baste it into place.  Since then I’ve been randomly making these hexies.  I haven’t joined any of them yet as no one single idea has made itself The One but I am having fun.

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I probably have about 50 hexies done of the 100 templates.  In looking at my stack of scraps that I’ve also supplemented with a fat quarter here and there, I knew I didn’t have have enough.  The idea of cutting more by hand was beyond unappealing, and I had not yet stirred myself to ordering more.  Then I remembered the Cricut.  Pulling up the design space and reading through the how to sections as a refresher resulted in a sheet of 1″ hexies to cut.

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I pulled the machine out this morning and looked at what I had: a couple of blades and three different cutting mats.  All I needed was lightweight 12×12 cardstock.   A trip out to the store solved that.  Of course, it had been long enough since I last used the Cricut that I had to review the instructions on how to use it.  It took a little bit to get it all set up and connected (I had not previously used it with this computer) but we had success.  I have an additional 30 templates from the test run.

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The top center is one of the purchased templates.  The bottom left is one of the cut templates.

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I am well pleased with how it worked.  Next step is to redo the project so the nearly the whole sheet is used to see how many templates that nets me.

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2019??

Though I have been managing to write the date correctly since the year turned, it still seems surprising that it is already 2019, and tomorrow is the beginning of the 2nd quarter at that.  I’m old enough to remember when we were sure all tech was going to come to a grinding halt on January 1, 2000.  That’s twenty years in the past now.  Yup, I’m old.

Munchkin’s last hospital stay was in October.  That seems to have done the trick as his follow up visits are fewer and farther between.  He is still under long term observation to be on the safe side, but he’s back to being a happy spaz of kid.  He’s managed to catch up with his school work despite missing a month plus and is keeping up.  All good things since middle school is on the horizon.  His principal, teachers and case managers all assure me he will be fine.  He might be, but I won’t.  My baby (he hates when I call him that) is getting too big, too fast.

My day job has been keeping me busy.  A work colleague and dear friend is dying.  He and his wife have returned to her home state so that she will have her support system nearby when he passes.

The creative efforts have been minimal.  Part of that was due to a massive reorganization effort of the studio that is not quite there yet.  It is done enough to allow me to do some minor things.

A local thrift shop had a donation from someone who used to do a lot of fashion and costuming sewing.  Guess who scored a ton of amazing fabrics??  Silks, satins, brocades, velvets.  Yards and yards of them.  One was even one of those industrial size bolts of an embellished dark wine silk.  So many, ideas and thoughts and plans.

And a shout out to those magazines that give me even more ideas:

  • American Patchwork & Quilting (US Publication)
  • Threads (US Publication)
  • Today’s Quilter (UK Publication)

There’s more to share but it will wait for another time as we need to answer the call for sleep.  To tide you over, here are some random photos.

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