Monday, February 1, 2010

English Paper Piecing - my quilt in the pantry


English paper piecing is one of my favourite quilt making techniques. I guess it's because I enjoy hand work so much. I've been playing around with some new fabrics I bought recently and decided to incorporate a hexagonal flower design into a new needle case pattern that I am working on.


The process reminded me of the half finished quilt that I have tucked away in my pantry, which I am sure you think is a strange place to hide my quilt. Luckily for me my pantry is very big and therefore also doubles for some of my sewing storage. I think it is a happy arrangement and works quite well, two of my favourites side by side...food and fabric!

Although I know hubby finds the arrangement a lot less amusing.

The hexagonal flowers were pieced together using a traditional English paper piecing technique. They were the perfect thing to keep my hands busy at Miss 9's dancing lessons one winter. I used a 5" charm pack which was ideal.
















The flowers came together very quickly and I decided to hand applique them onto cream background squares. Eager for more hand sewing I even hand pieced the squares together.Then all of a sudden all systems stopped.

I hesitated fearing I had made  a poor decision. Maybe it would have been better to keep on adding cream background hexagons for the background as shown in the quilt below.




















It's put together like this;


















And so it remains in the dark corners of my pantry wondering when it will ever see the light of day again.

But that's not the worst of it, the other night whilst itching to start a new project my hands picked up a jelly roll and some small hexagons. My scissors were poised to start cutting in when my Miss 9 questioned what I was doing. As I heard myself tell her, scissors in mid air, I stopped and felt sorry for the half finished quilt in the pantry. Guilt set in and I slowly put the scissors down. The jelly roll remained in tact.

Here is my half finished quilt.

I really must find the enthusiasm to keep going. I have rows of hexagons joined together which I think I will applique in place around the border. I'll keep you posted on my progress.












In the mean time if you would like to try your hand at English paper piecing you can find more information by clicking on the link.

Warmly Lenna

7 comments:

Jan Hatchett said...

I think that your quilt is lovely and that it wants to be finished. Take a deep breath and soldier on! It will be a masterpiece!!!

By Hoki Quilts said...

Keep on going Leena. Forty years ago I statred quilting using this method, and was able to produce about one quilt a year up until 15 years ago when I discovered rotary cutters and the quarter inch foot. Despite making many quilts by machine I still go back to the 'old' way every now and then. I think it's the calming nature of it that draws me back.
hugs
Miche'le

Mishka said...

Wow, that is gorgeous. You must finish it Lenna. At the same time, if it's not inspiring you at the moment, work on something that will. Eventually you'll be inspired to finish it.

The second or third quilt I ever made was the hardest I've done to date. It sat making me feel guilty and unwilling to start something new for years. I finally let the guilt go, worked on other projects, then eventually got back to it. It wasn't so hard after all to finish.

Dianne B. in England said...

I love the way you have appliqued your hexagons onto background fabric -- I have never thought of doing that before. It has that lovely antique look to it, like Dresden Plates or Grandmother's Fans. It's very beautiful. Take care, Dianne B. in England

Lynne said...

It looks lovely and already seems quite big. What a shame you have lost enthusiasm for it. Why don't you finish it off the size that it is and if not as big as you originally intended, use as a lap quilt or a throw, anything to get it finished so that you can then persue the other projects that have your fingers itching to go. I'm a fine one to talk! But really it does look too nice to sit in the pantry.
Happy stitching!

cindy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cindy said...

Lenna ... I am so glad you rediscovered EPP (English Paper Piecing). What a cute flowers! I am a long time EPPer and very addicted to it. Having so much fun, I set up an EPP workshop where we make EPP projects all year around. I would love to have you join us. 8o)

http://program.quiltcampus.net/004QC/

cindy aka MsDesigns
website: http://www.cddesigns.com
blog: http://blog.quiltcampus.net/msdesigns/
Teacher/Owner at http://www.quiltcampus.net
Owner at http://www.findaquiltpattern.com

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