Today I'm quite happy to feature a guest post from Jessica at Life Under Quilts. I have learned a lot from her and enjoy reading her blog so much. It was the photos of her working on English paper piecing everywhere that got me thinking that I too could construct a quilt this way. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, inspiration, and lovely photos Jessica!
Christina knows I’m an EPP addict so she asked me to share my secrets on how I fit this type of hand piecing into my busy life. Let me start by saying that anyone can do English paper piecing! If you’ve never tried it, I highly encourage you to start. It’s a great gateway into playing with shapes and color in ways you may not have tried before. Plus, sewing up tons of small patches equals a great way to display your stash and use up some scraps.
So here are my tips for how to love EPP:
Step 1: Be organized. Have a sewing kit ready with your templates, thread, and cut fabric. Add in anything else you need to sew comfortably (Chapstick? Beeswax? Paper clips?) When you’re prepared you won’t find yourself wasting precious sewing time searching for your thimble. Christina gave a great tutorial for constructing a sewing kit in this post.
I use a plastic box that I can toss in my purse or leave in the car, just in case. I also like to save a picture of my plan/pattern on my phone so I can reference it on the go!
Step 2: Break up the steps. Don’t baste (or even cut) all your fabric at the beginning. Find a balance with the different steps (cutting, basting, piecing, joining sections) so you don’t lose motivation. You never know, as your project grows, you may want to add in or substitute out a fabric that you hadn’t originally planned on.
Step 3: Don’t leave home without it! You can piece anywhere! All that time you currently spend playing on your phone while you’re waiting at soccer practice, swimming lessons, or the doctor’s office could be spent making beautiful quilts. And quilting in public gives you a chance to meet people and strike up conversations you may never have had. Most of my latest EPP quilt was pieced while my son was napping.
If you haven’t already, I suggest choosing your fabrics for Christina’s Sprocket QAL. I’m going to head up to the sewing room and see what fabrics want to be in mine.
Thank you again Jessica, you are a true inspiration! And let me refer anyone getting interested in English Paper Piecing to Jessica's own EPP quilt along. I'll be back tomorrow with a post on basting paper pieces.