Louisa Enright's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘English Paper Piecing

Turkey Tracks: “Bee Land” Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  January 9, 2017

“Bee Land” Quilt

I can’t quite believe that I have finished this quilt.

I started it in Charleston, SC, Thanksgiving 2015 as my “take along” project.  I used scraps from my 2 1/2 inch square bin.  It felt more than a little daunting to take on a project this size with so many tiny (1-inch) pieces to make by hand using English Paper Piecing.

I called it “Bee Land,” after finishing the binding a few days ago.

The design is from Edyta Sitar’s “Flower Garden,” which is on the cover of her book HANDFULS OF SCRAPS.

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I did NOT attempt to do Edyta’s amazing applique borders, as you can see.

As a side note, I met Edyta in Houston in October 2014 and saw this quilt in her booth.  It is so gorgeous “in person,” as is Edyta Sitar.  It was a pleasure to meet and talk with her.  I have many of her books and so love her tiny, tiny pieces and exquisite work.

The quilting went so well on this quilt.  Lucy the Longarm behaved beautifully.  And I like the warm old gold thread color I used.  The pantograph is a 12-inch version of “Simple Feathers” by Anne Bright.

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The doll faces look lacy from a distance.

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I had another fabric for the borders, a blue fabric with medallions, but discarded it in favor of the warmer red/orange.  AND, I had TWO other backings, one to go with the blue fabric and another modern fabric that was whimsical.  At the last minute I settled on a more traditional fabric that I had bought in last year’s April “Shop Hop” for 40% off.  It’s perfect for this quilt.

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It is a really good feeling to finish a quilt you have spent a year +++ making.  There were hours of sewing pleasure with this project  It is all done by hand except for the binding and the quilting on Lucy.

I would love to make this quilt again using low-volume fabrics that are very light and bright, whimsical fabrics.

Turkey Tracks: Lavender Sachets

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Turkey Tracks:  July 22, 2016

Lavender Sachets

It WORKED!

On faith, I ordered a pound of organic dried lavender flowers, glued up the 1-inch pentagons, and started sewing.

It didn’t take anytime to make the little sphere, no time to stuff it, and a bit more time to sew the final seams–but I assume that part will get faster as I make MORE of them.

I’d also like to make some green ones with dried balsam, which is the quintessential smell of Maine.

AND, it would be fun to find some dried Rose Geranium, but so far no luck on that.  I might have to fall back on rose petals stuffed into rose-colored spheres.

The pattern came from ALL POINTS PATCHWORK, see below.

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Written by louisaenright

July 22, 2016 at 10:48 am

Turkey Tracks: Megan Bruns’ English Paper Piecing Projects

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Turkey Tracks:  February 6, 2016

Megan Bruns’ English Paper Piecing Projects

Some of us at Coastal Quilters (Maine) have gone quite mad over EPP.

But the projects are so intricate and gorgeous–way more involved than my simple hexie project.

Megan Bruns is an EPP “star” in our quilting group.

And an inspiration!

Just off the top of her head, she started making hexie placemats out of modern fabrics.  As she has colorful fiesta ware, I asked her to take some pics for me for the blog.

A placemat:

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…in use:

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Megan is now trying to decide how to back these little gems.  Or whether to “float” them on a rectangle or larger hexie…

Time will tell…

BUT, Megan has also taken on the VERY challenging “Millefiori” quilts as shown in Willyne Hammerstein’s book Millefiori Quilts.

Here’s the start of her first “rosette”:

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Some progress:

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And the finished first rosette:

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WOW!

Note that the hanging “flags” on the outer ring disappear when those blocks are attached to others–they just go underneath the quilt.

These “rosettes” of various sizes attach to each other to make the “millefiore” look.

Note:  We are using fiber glue pens with refills to put the fabric onto the EPP templates BUT we keep the glue away from the crease edge–as that makes it hard to get your needle through the fabric and the glue.

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Another good source for millefiore projects is Katja Marek’s The New Hexagon Millefiore Quilt Along.

The English Paper Piecing Company carries card stock templates, acrylic templates, and can facilitate delivering monthly block projects–such as this year’s project being designed by Katja Marek.

Marek has a nice web site if you want to take a look at completed projects, etc.

Turkey Tracks: My Hexie Project

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Turkey Tracks:  November 16, 2015

My Hexie Project

The moment I saw Edyta Sitar’s book AND this amazing quilt last year in Houston, I knew I wanted to make the center of this quilt.  (I am completely intimidated by Edyta’s applique–but it is so beautiful, isn’t it?)

I so enjoyed talking to Edyta as well.  She is so pretty and so, so nice.  What a treat to meet her, and I have admired her quilting for some time now.

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I got as far this fall as buying a 1,200 pack of paper piecing templates.  (I’m using 1-inch hexies, not the 7/8-inch Edyta used.  My goodness they are…small.)

I could not decide whether to use the more traditional colorway Edyta uses or to go for brighter colors with more whites and the wonderful white printed neutrals out now.

When I realized I could use my 2 1/2-inch squares to make the hexies, that cinched the decision.  That box is full and needs to be emptied.  And it is filled with more traditional colors.

Here’s a close-up of that cover:

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I have one of the diamonds completed.  And I’ve cut and counted out the 532 neutral squares I will need and will take them with me to Charleston, SC, this week as a hand project while I am traveling and am away.

I had started sew/basting the neutral hexies.

BUT, guess what!!!!  You can glue them instead.

I like the Sew Line glue stick–and I got lots of refills…just in case.  (I tried another brand of glue stick and hated it–the glue was gummy and thick.)

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And purchased some new straw needles, as I like the long, thin, flexible needle for hexies and bindings:

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Best of all, while getting the glue stick at Alewives Quilting in Damariscotta Mills, Maine, I saw this GORGEOUS book.

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Turns out there are quite a few tricks to English Paper Piecing.  I quickly discovered better ways to cover difficult shapes–like the diamonds with which I am also working.  (You leave the little flag/flaps in place and sew around them!)

Also, take a look at Leah Day’s video on sewing hexies together.  I really like her method as it does not EVER show the tiny stitches between the hexies.  That link is on this blog–search for Leah Day and hexies on the right side bar search button.  But, you could also just search her web site.

I’d like to say that this will be a winter project, but…hexies are slow for me…so who knows???

Turkey Tracks: Honeycomb Hand-Sewing Project

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Turkey Tracks:  May 21, 2014

Honeycomb Hand-Sewing Project

 

Well, isn’t this fun?

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This piece will be finished when I complete the circle of white English Paper Piecing templates–which I bought from Alewives Quilting in Damariscotta, Maine.

Lucy Boston pioneered this “honeycomb” quilting.  A “honeycomb” is a hexagon, but with an elongated top and bottom side.

Here’s the “how to” and inspirational book by Linda Franz.

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And here’s some ideas of how the honeycombs can be combined.  Lucy Boston used combinations of 24 honeycombs ringed by 24 white honeycombs.  I started with the top left version.

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I’m probably only going to do four of these in shades of red and green and link them into a four-patch.  Or, as a banner.

The “blocks” are joined by a series of squared.  And if one wanted to make something bigger that gets squared off, one needs a series of templates that will “square off” the blocks.  You can order those or make them yourself as the patterns are in the book.

I am joining the pieces with the method Leah Day demonstrated on a utube video.  I posted that link on this blog earlier, but you can google Leah Day and “English Paper Piecing” for the series of three videos.  I like this method because it does not show the whip-stitch stitches on the front.

Turkey Tracks: Coastal Quilters’ 2011 Challenge Quilt

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Turkey Tracks:  May 23, 2011

Coastal Quilters’ 2011 Challenge Quilt

This year’s Coastal Quilters’ Challenge asked quilters to create a quilt that evoked a packaged product in the grocery store.  Called “The Grocery Store Challenge,” we had to use the colors in a label–all of them if less than four and at least four if more than four.  We could add black or white if we wanted.  And, we had to use some motif from the label in the quilt in some way.  The size was to be bigger as well:  20 1/2 ” square.

I do not buy many packaged products, if at all, so it took me some time to settle on using one of our local honeys as my product.  We buy it by the case.  I posted a picture of Green Hive Honey Farm earlier on the blog, but I printed my first ever fabric label from that picture for the quilt back.  Here it is on the back of the quilt:

Here’s the jar–which continues to entrance me–close up.  See the hexagon shapes embedded in the glass andn on the lid?

And, here’s the front of  “A Thousand Flowers”:

I wanted the flowers to literally be exploding from the honey jar.  The hexagon block is, of course, taken from the same motif on the jar, the label, and from a honey comb.  The green at the top of the quilt (see the tiny bees in the print) symbolizes the top of the “green” hive–and a green hive literally sits in the yard of the Green Hive Honey Farm folks.  The darker blocks at the bottom symbolize thousands of flowers being turned into honey, contained by a jar shape.  I stamped the bees at the top, the flowers in the pink borders, and some of the words.  I sewed in some of the words on the quilt, like “unheated” and “raw.”  I machine quilted long lines in the honey jar and curving lines around the jar.   Like the label, the binding is a darker pink.

The hexagons are made with the English Paper Piecing method.  One buys or makes paper templates, wraps the fabric around each one and bastes it down, then whip stitiches the blocks together.  Here’s what that process looks like:

Here’s a detail of the stamping (with acrylic paint), of the loose blocks appliqued to the quilt, and of some of the bee buttons, large and small, sewn to the quilt:

I had forgotten how the whip stitching of the blocks pulls, so that one sees those threads.  On the dark honey blocks, the lighter threads were disconcerting, so I painted them with fabric paints that came in pens.  It looks much better now.

I love this quilt.  This little thing took me FOREVER to make.  Many, many hours.  So, now it is done and will hang, with the other CQ Grocery Store Challenge Quilts in the Pine Tree Quilting Guild show in Augusta, Maine, in late July.  After it comes home, it will hang on the wall outside my quilt room.