Tuesday, January 09, 2018


I've been watching the English Paper Piecing craze for the last few years.  I made my first project using this method more than 30 years ago, and there have been many, many others since then.  I do like it, but my hands hurt after a while, and I have to give up.  
However, I think I need to have a hand work project for all those times when I'm not near my machine, and so I'm going to have another go with a slightly different method.

I've always tacked through the papers when I cover them, and preferred to do it this way because it was so secure.  I was a bit sceptical of just tacking the material around the paper template because I thought it would shift too much without the stitches anchoring the paper and fabric together.
But what if the paper shapes were cut from freezer paper and ironed to the fabric?  They wouldn't shift then, so tacking would work.  And if I wanted to applique the hexagons to a background then the edges would stay turned down once I took the paper out, because the tacking stitches stay in.  And the seam allowances wouldn't kick up when I ironed the finished units.  This started to sound good.
I have a hexagon cutter, it's by Creative Memories I think, with two sizes of hexagons.  It says the larger one is a 1½" hexagon, but that's from point to point.  It's actually ¾" along the side, which is a bit small, but still comfortable.
I'm using the larger one, and cutting shapes out of my ancient roll of freezer paper.  That roll is nearly 20 years old, I bought it on my first trip to America in 1998, just shows how much I use it..
My first rosette is finished, and I enjoyed the process and it didn't take too long.  The freezer paper is softer and more flexible than other paper templates, and my hands don't hurt.  I even have a little box that's just the right size to make a sewing kit for this project.  I chose the madder stripe for no other reason than that it was close at hand, but I think I'll go through my wonderful madders for the next blocks too.  Madder, black, grey, cheddar;  I think that would be a lovely colour scheme for these little fussy cut hexies.

Another WIP to add to the list.....


Mad about Craft 9:23 AM  

I love this type of hand sewing but I also have trouble with painful hands, which is stopping me completing half started projects.

Jayne 9:46 AM  

I think I bought a couple of rolls of freezer paper at exactly the same time (and maybe nearly in the same place too 🙂 )

I bought mine for applique and I still have nearly all of it!

Chookyblue...... 11:31 AM  

woohoo...shes made a start.........

mckie2 11:56 AM  

Some of the people currently doing EPP are using a glue stick to baste the fabric to the papers, instead of stitching them. That would eliminate half of the hand stitching for the block so maybe you could stitch longer before your hands start to hurt. You could Google this method to learn if you might want to do it.

Lori 1:48 AM  

I used old xray film and made templates and used a hole punch to cut a nce hole in the center. You use two crossed stick pins pinned through the hole to anchor your fabric. Whip stitch a round the edges, remove the pins. Sew the hexies together, and then remove any plastic templates that aren't along the edge. I made about 70 hexies and used them to make a king size GFG. You can use them over and over.

Gypsy Quilter 3:42 PM  

That's a very pretty block. So glad you have something portable to match your busy schedule.

Jayne 12:44 AM  

Hi Keryn, Apologies, because I am a tardy correspondent.

Am going back through my Feedly" feed at all the posts I have missed recently, I know I've already commented on this but I had another idea - if you reversed the freezer paper so that the adhesive side was "up", could you iron the seam allowances to the paper and not have to tack at all??

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