Thursday, January 21, 2016

English Paper Piecing

Just about a year ago, the Temecula Quilt Co started a sewalong on their blog for making fussy cut six pointed stars using English Paper Piecing. You can find their tutorial HERE. I jumped on the band wagon and have enjoyed every minute of it, although I'm much slower than they are. It's been fun to look at pieces of fabric in a different way to see if it will work for this technique. So far, I have made about 100 of these stars - my stack is pictured below.

After awhile, I started thinking about how I was going to sew these all together, and that's when my problems began. I tried the version below for twenty or so blocks and then began wondering if I really liked them this way - maybe too busy?

And so I've looked at a couple other versions. For this one I would applique the stars to a background square and then sew them all together with sashing between the blocks. I think this would make the largest quilt.

The one shown below would have the stars connected with large hexies. It would require purchasing a lot more of the pre-cut paper pieces and sheesh that's getting expensive! I'm not loving the background fabric - I think it needs to be a little lighter - ivory maybe?  Anyway, I wonder if you all could help me out by discussing which one you like better - or perhaps suggest another version that I haven't shared here.

Anyway, my Dad's wife has a birthday tomorrow. I started this project for her LAST year and it got derailed by something-or-another, but it's finished now and has already arrived at their house in California. I fussy cut the floral fabric in the center and added hexie borders around that. I had intended for it to be a table runner, but the more I thought about it I decided it could also be used over the back of her wing back chair, or under the TV, or on her dresser. It will be interesting to see where she likes it best.

And looky here Kyle - your good influence has rubbed off on me so I made a fun little label for the back!

Last week I met with the Salt Lake Rug Group and everyone had projects in the last phase of completion to show. Yvonne machine quilted the triangle blocks on this beautiful quilt, and was hand quilting diagonal lines in the border - such a great design with the wool applique.

Nancy was whipping the edge of her rug with yarn.

And Myra showed us her finished floral that just needed a good pressing and edge finish.


Amy McPheeters said...

I like the stars closer together to each other (as opposed to separated by the sashing. If you applique them on to a whole cloth, you could arrange them like the photo with their points touching (instead of joining with hexies) or it might be fun to explore how it would look if you scatter them around randomly. What a cool project! Keep us posted!

Yvonne said...

I like them the most in the first picture. Not to busy but colorful! Sweet gift you made for your Dad's wife.

slrquilts said...

I love them sewn together. I reuse my paper pieces. Try giving them a lightt misting of Best Press or fabric sizing and iron them.

Janet O. said...

I feel like the setting in the first photo has more of a vintage look to it. Would you like it better if you used a common light background instead of matching the diamonds to each block? Just wondering.
The sashing option doesn't appeal to me much.
The third setting option works, but I think a lighter fabric would look better.
I like the clever use of the center hexies on the runner (or whatever) for your Dad's wife.
So much talent in the rug group. Myra's floral really wowed me!

Samplings from Spring Creek said...

Beautiful hexes I'm with Janet the sashing option doesn't appeal to me much either. Your runner is beautiful and the label is such a nice touch, Those rug hookers are one talented group of women

Kathi said...

Try more options besides off white for # 3. Those alternate hexies are just as large as you're e's one, so try something a little more interesting. Maybe red?

Rugs and Pugs said...

I just don't understand what English paper piecing is. Do you leave the paper or remove it eventually. I followed your link but it really didn't say.
I kind of like the sashing, but with all the same color sash.
You do such beautiful work.
Hugs :)

Kyle said...

I think I like #1 the best. The stars blend into one another and will be an explosion of color and pattern. Yay, for the label. You're no longer the unknown quilter. The runner will make a lovely gift. The rug group never lets us down. Always a spectacular show and tell.

Julia said...

My 2 cents worth which isn't worth much now a day but I like the one with the sash in one unifying color as opposed with different colors.
I love that runner. I"m sure she will love it.
A lot of beautiful creations on this post.

annie said...

My opinion is probably useless, but that second one is not good, on the first one the sashing needs to be the same color, the background seems to just too beige, it must be the shade of it, and maybe turn the blocks on a point, instead of square. It seems like the squares are just too big somehow, but on point they would look like diamonds instead. Just a few ideas.
I love your friends work too.!
Hope to see the quilt as you progress.
I truly love her birthday gift, how pretty!
\O/ Yay! A label!!

Barb said...

Lots of fun things your English paper piecing. I tried it once..

Jennie in GA said...

I started those stars....don't have too many, though. I personally love the first choice. I think it is more original and I love the scrappiness of it.
Nice runner...sweet colors.

Three Sheep Studio said...

Okay, I must be a complicated, busy type of gal - I LOVE the first photo. Gorgeous, kaleidoscope of colors and shapes !!!
Rose ;)

Lori said...

Hi Gayle, I love the first photo and am going to send you a photo of my friend Jill's quilt that is similar and it may give you more of an idea.
Show and tell with your group is always inspiring to me. Have a great weekend.

woolwoman said...

I know several people who are into EPP and so I jumped in and ordered a small kit the other day off Etsy that included the paper pieces and a hexie template etc. I love your stars but agree that I don't like the first photo - it really doesn't showcase the stars. I was going to do the Star A Day from the Australian designer, if you read Minick and Simpson blog you will see them there. There suggestion was to set every star in a much lighter fabric to set them off. I think if you wanted to use #1 - maybe you could just finish them in lighter prints or lighter solids. I'm no quilter so my opinion is just that "my" opinion. I think applque onto a lighter background would be a great option too. Love the runner - it's lovely and always nice to see what your rug guild is doing. Hope you have a great weekend - Mel

Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson said...

Gayle, what ever you do; it's going to be an amazing quilt! I think the first one definitely has an old fashioned feel. I started a quilt a few years ago, 'Grandmother's flower garden'. The English paper piecing has had me stalling. I just need to get back to it and I think the more I did the more I would love it. Amazes me at al the fabulous work you gals do!

Sandi said...

I like your third version best, but not that colour, maybe something a bit more neutral perhaps lighter cream coloured?

You could jus applique them down using a hexagon paper as a guide to keep you on track. The important thing is pleasing your design esthetic.

Cathy said...

I love your first version. I don't think it looks too busy. I'm sure what ever layout you choose will be beautiful. Hugs

Karen said...

I like the version with the hexie blocks all mushed together. You could add in an unpieced block here and there with wool applique on them.

Nancy said...

You've had a lot of comments on your hexies, Gayle, but just the same, I'll add my thoughts. They are gorgeous, each one like a flower or snowflake that needs to be admired individually. I wonder how they would look on a medium or dark background -- grey or charcoal, or maybe even brown? I know whatever you do the quilt will be fabulous. I admire your patience in creating these little beauties. (I haven't "graduated" to paper piecing yet.)