All Points Patchwork

(Xmas) Apple-a-Day Blog Hop!

apple-a-day-blog-hop-button

Welcome to another EPP challenge – today I join the Apple-a-Day Blog Hop hosted by the magnificent Diane Gilleland (aka Craftypod), EPP-er extraordinaire and author of All Points Patchwork. I previously joined the Fussy-Cut Hexies Blog Hop for this book, so go check that out for my fussy-cut project and my thoughts about the book itself (spoiler: it’s awesome).

All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland

I joined two of Diane’s blog hop challenges because I couldn’t decide, and I love these assignments that force you to take the time to try something new. I’d never done any fussy-cutting before, and I’d never done any EPP curves before last week either – truth is, the whole idea of it scared (and confused) me just a little.

Apple-a-Day Blog Hop - All Points Patchwork

Because it’s Christmas in July here, in my little blog universe, of course I decided to make my apple cores Christmassy. I decided I liked the scrappy-apple-core look best, so I gathered the scraps from cutting my Merry Medallion fabric and got to work.

Apple-a-Day Blog Hop - All Points Patchwork

Now, I seriously could never understand how curved EPP works. It makes, like, no kind of sense if you try to think about it in the same way as EPP-ing hexagons. To learn how to do this, I relied entirely on All Points Patchwork and it seriously did not fail.

Apple-a-Day Blog Hop - All Points Patchwork

Here’s the thing that’s amazing about Diane’s book – she explains every tiny step in such clear detail, it’s, well, totally impossible to screw it up! I honestly can’t even share a fun anecdote about how I made a bunch of messy apple cores before I figured out some perfect trick, or tell you about how I threw one across the room in frustration — the truth is, I followed Diane’s instructions and the very first one was perfect!

Apple-a-Day Blog Hop - All Points Patchwork

Because I was intimidated by EPP-ing curves when I started this project, I used 4″ apple cores (for UK peeps, I bought them here, at the always-wonderful Sew and Quilt), but some crazed person who looks a lot like me had previously purchased some teeny 2″ apple cores. For about 14 minutes, I considered using those for the challenge before I came to my senses. But during those 14 minutes, I did try basting one and it wasn’t too shabby for something so small:

Apple-a-Day Blog Hop - All Points Patchwork

So yeah, of course now I want to play with those. Oooooh, and some clamshells! What other curves can we try?? I really enjoyed stitched these apple cores – I thought it would be hard but, honestly, it was just as relaxing and pleasing as stitching hexies!

Apple-a-Day Blog Hop - All Points Patchwork

And here’s your chance to try some for yourself! Diane has arranged another awesome giveaway this week – enter below to win a pack of Paper Pieces apple core templates and a pair of Clover Patchwork Scissors, woohoo! (Open to all, everywheres, entries end at midnight on Sunday, July 12th.)

applecore-giveaway

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Thanks so much to Diane for hosting these great challenges – visit her blog right now for an apple core tutorial and check out the other awesome projects made for this blog hop below. And seriously, get yourself a copy of All Points Patchwork. I promise you won’t be sorry!


Fussy-Cut Hexie Challenge Blog Hop: Tiny-Scale Fussy Cutting!

Fussy-cut Hexie Challenge Blog Hop

Today I am absurdly excited to be the first stop on The Fussy-Cut Hexie Challenge Blog Hop! This blog hop is to celebrate the fantabulous new book by my awesome friend Diane Gilleland (of Craftypod fame): All Points Patchwork.

All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland

I cannot tell you how much I love this book, but I’ll try: I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK. Seriously, dudes, it rules. I love English Paper Piecing, and hand-piecing in general, and you know I don’t often go for quick or easy projects. Quick and easy is for suckers. I absolutely love that Diane wrote a technique-oriented book, with a focus on learning a very specific technique very, very well – with full attention paid to every tiny aspect of EPP, from cutting fabric to the possibilities of each shape. There’s projects included, and they’re lovely, but the real prize here is all the other content – let me tell you, friends, if you have an even slight interest in English Paper Piecing or hand-stitching, you NEED this book. Go get it now now now.

So, for this blog hop, our challenge was simple: fussy-cut some hexagons. In case you’re not familiar with the term, fussy-cutting means that you choose the exact part of a print you use, rather than using all of a piece of fabric. I’ve never done any fussy-cutting before, so this seemed like the perfect challenge for me!

Tiny-scale fussy cutting!

Erm. Except that when I got down to it, I didn’t have anything terribly fussy-cut-friendly in my stash. Fussy-cutting is typically done with large-scale prints – florals or cute illustrations – and my stash is currently mostly small-scale geometrics and blenders. So how to combine my hostile stash with this technique??

Tiny-scale fussy cutting!

Why, cut up the teensy geometric elements, of course! I used 1/2″ hexies and went for fabrics that allowed the geometrics to be easily separated from the whole.

Tiny-scale fussy cutting!

Little stand-alone elements, such as the X’s in Cotton + Steel’s XOXO print work beautifully (Cotton + Steel in general has a lot of prints that work well for tiny fussy-cutting!), as well as stripes, zigzags, etc. There was a lot of trial-and-error, making hexies I didn’t use in the end, but even then, using tiny elements that repeat often on a print created much less wastage than fussy-cutting often does.

Tiny-scale fussy cutting!

My little wee quilt turned out to be 5″ x 19″ – just a sliver of a normal mini-quilt! And as I was sewing it together, the line ‘summer autumn winter spring’ (from one of my very favorite poems – “anyone lived in a pretty how town”, by ee cummings), popped into my head. It always charmed me the way that cummings lists the seasons in different orders in that poem, the years just going ’round and ’round, and that one gets stuck in my head sometimes. Looking at my tiny quilt, I realized these four hexie-flowers are a bit like the four seasons – and so my little quilt has a name.

Tiny-scale fussy cutting!

I’ve absolutely loved taking part in this challenge and finding a fun, new way to try this technique! Be sure to stop by the other fussy-cutting blog-hoppers throughout this week and see what amazingness they’ve created for this challenge!


But wait, don’t go yet! To celebrate the release of All Points Patchwork and this blog hop and everything good in the world, there’s a giveaway to enter: a set of Clover’s Black Gold hand-sewing needles and a Quilt Needle Threader!

Clover Giveaway!

NICE. International entries welcome, and entries will close at midnight on Sunday, June 7th, so hurry up and enter via Rafflecopter below!

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