English Paper Piecing

Make Modern – When The Stars Go Blue Wall Hanging

So, this crazy thing happened last week, dudes. A new issue of the digital quilting magazine Make Modern came out … and MY PROJECT IS ON THE COVER. #holycrap!

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Make Modern is a really fun magazine, always full of lovely, bright, modern projects. In this project for Issue 10, I combined fairly simple EPP with a touch of basic embroidery to create a project that really wows. My wall hanging is called “When The Stars Go Blue” (after this beautiful Ryan Adams’ song) and is inspired by the moment when the sky is neither day nor night, and you can just see the stars emerging. That’s my favorite time of day, it makes me feel so deeply happy and sad at the same time.

I hope you’ll go check out the issue – and my project, if you’re interested in hand-stitching! Thanks so much to Make Modern for choosing my project for the cover – it’s ridiculously exciting to see it there!

#diamondhexquilt

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For years, I’ve been collecting Liberty fabric pieces – at Liberty’s seasonal sales, at Shaukat on special visits, on little eBay splurges, and especially at the Festival of Quilts. The truth is, I rarely use them, except for the occasional project using teensy pieces of my precious stash.

But I keep buying them. I’m sure some of it is just for the sake of it – I mean, they’re lovely just to look at, neverminding what the planned use is. In a sense, the stash kind of exists just to be a stash. Liberty fabric is special that way. BUT, in the back of my mind, I’ve always assumed it was really destined for a long-term, all-Liberty EPP project. I’ve mentally auditioned a few ideas in my head – clamshells, the current Sew & Quilt Lucy Boston EPP BOM, drunkard’s paths – but none really took hold.

When Heidi of My Paper Crane posted her Diamond Hex project on Instagram, I knew immediately it was The One. Modern and bold and fun to piece – and so perfect for a stash made of a zillion wee pieces of a zillion different prints, I could hardly believe it.

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I finished a couple of things off and made some good progress on others and after a couple of weeks of daydreaming, I finally allowed myself to begin. This project is supposed to be restricted to the weekends until I finish up something I have going in the background, but it will be hard to resist. And it’s possible I already added to the Liberty stash in excitement, despite the fact that I have enough of a stash to keep me stitching for many, many months already. Oops, don’t tell. :)

I am perfectly content that this is the ultimate slow craft – I’ve craved this kind of project for a long time now, one that I can add to from time to time and enjoy the stitching of for many, many years to come.

Hand-Pieced Mini Swap FO

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It just occurred to me, right now, that I never showed you the finished mini-quilt I made for the Hand-Pieced Mini Swap. That was, like, a millionty years ago, but I still really wanted to show you how it turned out!

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I’m so, so, so happy with this mini – it’s the first time I really played with layout and EPP, seeing what shapes matched well with others. What I ended up with wasn’t the most adventurous EPP design or anything, but it suited my partner (it was the first one she responded excitedly to when I was sharing doodles on Instagram), and I got to play with fabric placement to really pull out repeating shapes. Getting going was a struggle, but I loved this project once I got down to sewing.

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It really inspired me to play with EPP a little more, and I bought a big stack of shapes at the Festival of Quilts this summer. Now all I need is the time to sit down with them and plan myself a new project!

(Xmas) Apple-a-Day Blog Hop!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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.)

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!


Hand-Pieced Mini Swap Update

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I’m closing in on a finished mini-quilt top for the Hand-Pieced Mini Swap over on IG. The design for this one came to me quickly enough – a week of sketching and doodling that seemed endless at the time, but once I had the right plan, it started to come together very quickly.

But man, this project has been a pain in the bum ever since! I had two pairs of paper pieces for this one, in different sizes, but worried that the smaller sizes would take me forever to sew and I wouldn’t be able to finish in time – under the theory that you need many more smaller pieces to cover a space. So I went with the larger pieces, which (of course) I now think were too big — this mini is going to end up at about 23″ square, so within the size bounds in the swap rules, but not by much. My fingers are tightly crossed that my partner is dazzled by the pretty fabrics and doesn’t notice that I’ve sent her a tent!

I do really love how it’s coming out and I’m almost there – just a little to add to each side before I can quilt it and square it up. Photo of the full top soon enough!

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