As I mentioned in my Friday Favorite Post last week, I’ve been working on some English Paper Piecing projects and finished them up this weekend!
When I decided that I was interested in learning how to English Paper Piecing, I do what most of us do these days – I turned to the internet of course! Craftsy had a course in English Paper Piecing (EPP) and I thought it would be good to listen to it and understand how you take cut out squares and end up with beautiful hexagons. I took the beginner course – Quick & Easy Paper Piecing with Helen Stubbins. I am so glad I took this course. Although I probably won’t be using EPP in all the ways that Helen does in the course, but it was a really great introduction to how to paper piece.
Some of the things that Helen shares in the course that I found helpful was how to hand sew the pieces together and then also how to use a sewing machine to sew the pieces together and appliqué the pieces to a background fabric. This was the most helpful for me. I hand sew all my pieces together, but I use the machine to appliqué them for the project.
So from watching the course, I acquired the essentials:
The only thing I didn’t love and strayed from the course was the type of cards used to make the crisp hexie shapes. Helen recommends using her iron on hexagons which then dissolve so you don’t need to remove the cards. I used those for my second project I talk about below and would recommend using the cards and removing them prior to appliqué rather than using the dissolvable iron on cards. I wasn’t able to get as crisp of a fold using the dissolvable version.
Once I started my hexie project I decided hexies + Sew Together Bag were a perfect fit! I have a lot of the Rifle Paper Co by Cotton and Steel fabric in my stash and though a Rifle Paper Co version would be really cute. The 1 inch size is a good size for me – not too big, not too small. I took a charm pack of Rifle Paper Co and turned the 5 in squares into many 2.5 in squares and I was ready to go! It took me about a week or so of post-work paper piecing to gather enough hexies to fill the body of the Sew Together bag. On Saturday I finally had enough!
Using the techniques described in Helen’s course, I appliquéd all the hexies onto the outside and began constructing my second Sew Together bag! By the end of the night, voila!
The hidden flamingo pocket linings are my favorite!
I am not a good hand sewist – I didn’t learn to sew when I was younger and it’s a brand new skill for me. The hand sewing is always the hardest part for me. I feel like I’m getting better and didn’t even consider machine sewing the binding (Kalle – if you’re reading this, you’re rubbing off on me!)
Once one project finishes that means you immediately, without thinking, have to start the next one, right? Even though you have Christmas gifts, UFOs and other projects to work on? That’s the law of sewing (and knitting too….).
I thought about making a small pouch with a row of hexies to match my new Sew Together Bag – the inside of my purse has to all match! This time, I used the dissolvable hexies mentioned above and for this purpose it was okay because it would have been hard to remove the cards without the hexies being surrounded on all sides. But I think I’m a paper card girl – it makes such a crisper hexie.
The zipper pouch turned out really well! I was nervous about where exactly to place the hexies but I think it turned out okay. Also somehow – by sewing magic – the hexies on the front and back match up. If you know my sewing style in real life (forge ahead – progress over perfection) I take that as a huge win!
Needless to say, there will be many EPP projects in my future!
Have you tried EPP? Any tips and tricks?