Friday, 31 January 2014

English Paper Piecing Construction

Here is my method for constructing your units.
I used to tack the seam allowances over through the card. 
But now I have found the Sewline Glue stick and I love it. It sticks your seam 
allowance down onto the card so effectively, quickly and temporarily.


Once your have your seams stuck or tacked down you need to whip stitch them together.
I always use Polyester thread as it is stronger. I have found that silk and cotton tend to fray quite quickly as every time you take a stitch the thread runs across the edge of the card and this wears out the thread. 
There is no logical way to get all around a set of hexagons logically so I run back where I want to be within the seam allowance rather than cutting off and starting again all the time.
I add a knot at each intersection to give more strength to the stitching.
Back soon.

Just use a light swipe of your glue stick as it sticks well and it makes it easier to lift your card templates out later if you haven;'t overdone the glue.

Put right sides together and using tiny stitches catch a small part of each fabric
and pull your stitch tight.

Pulling your stitches really tight seems to make them disappear better. 
I use a neutral thread colour - grey, medium to dark taupe depending on your fabrics.

If you are making diamonds or other shapes with points  fold the tips of your points 
over first and then mitre your sides as they fold over. You can catch the two 
sides of the mitre on the back  together with a little stitch if needed as your whip 
stitch them together.

Once each piece of card is surrounded by other pieces your can remove and reuse 
the card. For example the white hexagon in the photo at the top of this post can come
out as it is surrounded.

Please ask questions about technique if any of this is not clear and I will answer with a comment too. You need to sign up to the Blog on the right hand side section if you want to comment.

Send your photos in and I will add them to the post with just your first name attached
unless you say otherwise.

Fussy Cut Friday Challenge

This is my first set of hexagons. I am using 1800s fabrics as I have a good collection 
and they work really well for this project as you can get stripes and interesting motifs. 

These are my first hexies - they are made from the same fabric but in two different colourways.
I am focussing on using stripes to start with as they are easiest to fussy cut.

It is good to use your clear template to cut out your fabric hexagons as you can 
see through it to where the actual finished hexagon will be. I like to isolate a 
section and then find corner points or central points or both on the fabric to help remember where the hexagon has been cut from. This important as you will need six
identical hexagons so they match up nicely when you stitch them together.

You can see that the side points are right on the edge of the blue line
and the top and bottom sides are parallel to the stripes on the fabric.

The difference between the top is only that I have turned them around 
when piecing them together.

Tip: don't make your centre hexagon dominate - you want the eye to go to 
your fussy cutting. So keep the centre fabric more blendy than contrasting.

Back soon with a post on construction.

Fussy Cutting Friday Challenge

Hi everyone - are you ready to join a Challenge?
If you get the weekly shop Newsflash you will know this is coming.
Some of my team at work already know about it - in fact one of them got 
me going on fussy cutting - thank you Cindy. I have been playing with hexies for 
years - in fact my first quilt was English Paper Pieced as was my last one 
and there have been many of them in between too.

Last night Tricia sorted her fabrics for the Challenge and at our Handmade group on 
Thursday asked for a demo. So excitement is already building - how cool is that.

So this is it - join me in making one (or more!) fussy cut English Paper Pieced unit 
each week for many months - I know vague but let's see how long we can go for!

It can be any shape, stars, diamonds, hexagons, lozenges, etc  but it does 
need to be fussy cut. Fussy cutting is looking carefully at the fabric and 
cutting repeat motifs from it. I will guide you through ideas for this.

I am going to start working with hexagons - 22mm ones, but may venture off into other 
shapes during the year. I see the possibility of a medallion quilt coming on at the
end of the year using a variety of shapes - maybe!!!

When measuring templates you do it by the length of the sides usually. 
We stock hexies from 12mm up to 26mm. I think the larger sizes allow for more 
experimenting with fabrics, but as I do more that may change as Cindy is 
doing tiny ones. We also have a range of other shapes available or coming.

Send a photo of your unit into Patchwork Passion's email address 
and I will add it to the Blog post each week and at the end of each month one 
photo randomly chosen will win it's owner some fabric suitable for fussy cutting. 
I will do my best to make it suitable for your look.

My next post will get your started and give you more info on how to go about it. 
So back again very soon..

Monday, 27 January 2014

1930s Star Quilt Top Finished

I have finally finished my 1930s Star Quilt Top - it seems to have taken ages. 
But then again it actually 100% hand pieced, so what did I really expect.
This quilt is 44' by 59" so generous cot quilt that will transfer nicely onto a single bed.
We will have kitsets available very soon at the shop - the fabrics will vary from 
mine but will be 1930s Reproductions.

I have really enjoyed working with these Reproduction fabrics.
It has been such a change from the murkier 1800s Reproductions of my favourite taupes.

I had a few decisions to make once I had made all the stars and put them together.
My top and bottom edges looked like this:

And the sides looked like this:

I solved the top and bottom edge problem by adding in triangles in the gaps like this.

And then had to deal with the sides - a bit more of a challenge. 
But I ended up adding in half star units like this:

I  thought that I would trim these edges straight once I had completed the quilting.
I am going to quilt using a yellow embroidery thread with slightly chunkier than 
usual stitches outlining each star. I did this on a previous '30s quilt and 
really like it and have had really good feedback about so let's do it again.

Now this top is finished and new taupe fabric arrives from Japan tomorrow 
I will be starting a new project - yeah. How great is that feeling. 

But having said that I will be aiming to quilt the 1930s Stars for 30 minutes each day!
It does after all have to be finished. I promise to show you some photos to 
prove that this is happening!!!!!!

I will be back on Friday with a new idea and a bit of a weekly challenge for you.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

1930s Selvedge Coasters

Now I have a set of 1930s'  Fabric Coasters too.

I will use these at our two 1930s' Groups - one daytime and one night group 
which meet monthly at the shop this year to work on their 1930s' projects.

It is good to see the dates and designers names on the selvedges as well as a 
touch of the fabric design.

I ran out of 1930s' selvedges to finish the last four so they are sitting beside the machine 
until I can collect some more and then I will gradually finish them too.

Back soon.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Selvedge Coasters

You have seen the Red Zinger Selvedge Cushion that I made last year using 
1800s fabric selvedges. It is the classroom at the shop and is being 
used on the chairs when people need a bit more height. If you Google Red 
Zinger you will be able to download the pattern fro Red Zinger Quilt.

Well over the holidays I saw a photo of a set of Coasters made in a similar way.
So I just couldn't resist making a set for the classroom tables.

These are a Japanese Floral Taupe set. 

You start by cutting a selection of strips off your chosen fabric ranges - cut a 1" strip as that gives some of the colour to add more interest to your coaster.

Start with a 4" square of Fast 2 Fuse which is a a stiff product that is fusible on both sides.

From the bottom add your first selvedge and keep on adding more strips each time 
covering the top raw edge of the piece below. Stitch across the bottom of the 
new selvedge piece. Keep going until your Fast 2 Fuse square is covered.

Then I made a set out of 1800s fabrics - yes another 12! It is great to see the dates 
on these selvedges and the names of my favourite designers.

With the first set I didn't topstitch around the edge but I did with the 1800s set. 
It will be interesting to see how they last with the raw edges.

Apart from this I have been busy adding 1930s stars to my English paper Pieced Quilt.
I will do a Blog post soon when I have dealt with edges.
I have two more rows of stars to stitch on - they are all prepared ready to go.
Then it will be a matter of filling in the edges to make the quilt have straight sides.

I am loving getting back to English paper Piecing - it is just so relaxing, so easy to make accurate and so very portable which is great for holiday time.

Back soon.