Thursday, July 17, 2008

English Paper Piecing

Now those are three words I never thought I'd be motivated to write about. But, boy was I wrong.
The other day I was wondering where I would get more Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks once I used up the ones I inherited for Great Aunt Irma. I took a while before it dawned on me that I could probably figure out how to make these myself.


I could cut out the hexagon paper templates.


I could pin them on to the fabric and iron the seam allowances towards the center.


I could even sew them together.


And add embellishment.
What I didn't think I could or would do was enjoy the process.
If you noticed that the pictures seem to get brighter as I got further along in the making, that's because I was so stoked about making this flower that, having begun the night before, I got up at 5:00 am the following morning to continue working on it. What's more, despite the fact that I had plenty of other things I "should" have been doing, I kept working on it until it was done.
One little tip I discovered along the way: it's very helpful to prep the fabric by ironing it with spray starch. It gave the fabric a nice stiffness that made cutting out the hexagons and folding in the seam allowances easier.
Now go out there and sew your own garden. But, be warned, this is seriously addictive.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

ITS BEAUTIFUL, GOOD JOB ON THAT TOO! YOU WILL ENJOY THIS PLACE THEY HAVE FREE VIDEOS ON THE PAPER PIECING.http://www.brandysquiltpatterns.com/index.html
IMR. ren2008@comcast.net

Kristin L said...

Tell me about it! It's a perfect take anywhere project too -- which makes it all the more addictive.

Jenny said...

I remember doing this when I was in high school and really really enjoyed it-very theraputic! Yours is looking so lovely-thanks for the inspiration!

tara said...

So pretty! Did you use any tutorials?

Jen said...

Seriously? It was fun? It's beautiful, of course, but I had imagined that it would be the height of difficult and precise and just plain hard. Now I might have to give it a try...

Tine Hohl said...

Cool job! I like your fabrics they look very inspiring.
I'm really afraid to try this, because I'm sure this will infect me like a bad virus and then I couldn't do my things I should do...but I will try this, time will come.

Dana said...

Nice photography of the progression of your work! I've made 2 full size quilts in my life (both were labors of love)...one thing I found helpful was using templates made of lightweight sandpaper vs. plain paper. The sandpaper lends a little "grip" and was easier to work with than plain paper, I thought. Happy sewing!

Kineret WillowGreene said...

Wow! I can't wait to see where you go with this one!

Jessica said...

That block is so rad! I particularly love the tie dye and the way it's positioned, so unexpected in this traditional block.

Kathy said...

I surprised myself by having fun with paper piecing too. It is a great project to carry in a ziploc bag in your purse (piecing phase).

I just finished a project where I replicated my 6 year old son's artwork on his own Christmas stocking.

Yours looks really great. I love your site.

be*mused jan said...

I've been working on a GFG for a couple of years, off and on. Those pesky subscription cards inserted into magazines make perfect GFG templates!

dawnkristine said...

Okay youve convinced me, I love your color choices too!

Cheryl said...

Sorry about the late post to this, but I just wondered if you saw the projects using these paper pieces to make coasters in the last Better Homes and Gardens Quilts and More? Really a great take along project. I finished mine at the baseball field. I too just discovered hand sewing and love it. I have embroidered as long as I can remember but this too is great. Take care.