In between dizziness and watching the Olympics I have been working on a couple of English paper piecing projects whilst cheering on gymnasts, cyclists, rowers and the like. A huge thankyou to all the supportive emails I got about labyrinthitis. I am not as spinny as last week but still hopeless on transport so I think recovery will be a gradual progress, and an extra big thankyou to Fiona for her very helpful email. EPP is the perfect holiday project, easy to transport, compact and good to do sitting anywhere. Graph paper and custom shapes are available for free here but despite my often thrifty ways I would recommend Paper Pieces over that, great quality paper, reusable and mine arrived from USA in under a week. Check out the discount code at Katy's blog- still useable until the end of August.
Buying Brigitte Giblin's book changed the way I view EPP. I am working on a Medallion for my Brit Quilt partner and Tessellations II for me. I thought I would share some of my prep for cutting and sticking- I use glue rather than basting to get my shapes ready and the only glue I would recommend is Sewline- fantastic stuff! Brigitte captivated me with her fussy cuts. I love fussy cutting, even though it is wasteful is is waste worth having! To fussy cut the squares I used washi tape to create a viewing window on my quilt ruler.
For the triangles, diamonds and hexagons, I drew cutting templates on template plastic the size of the shapes plus 1/2" seam allowance. I know this is generous but Brigitte recommends increasing seam allowance as the side lengths increase. These shapes have 2 1/2" finished side length and a larger SA makes them easier to work with. I use a Sewline fabric pencil to draw round the template, it is softer with a lot less drag than a standard pencil and can be removed from the fabric too. Then I rotary or scissor cut the shapes. The clear grid templates allow for fussy cutting too.
For the gluing stage, I work my way anti clockwise around the shapes and stick to that on all the shapes which makes them fit together better as the dog ears snuggle up and behave. It doesn't matter if you go clockwise or anticlockwise but once you pick a direction, stay the same for all your shapes. I start with a mini cross in the centre of the paper just to hold it in place on the fabric.
Then, I run the glue pen along about 2/3rds of the way along one side,
The next stripe of glue goes right along an edge including over the fabric at one corner. Use the pin again to get a neat corner and fold.
And repeat until the shape is complete. The dog ears are flapping away and I find the other shapes interlock and sit on them so they act like little shelves and are rather helpful!
I bought a new cutting mat for this project as my previous one was shredded and blunting my rotary cutters. Following a recommendation on Instagram from Christina I plumped for an Omnigrid and was amazed at the difference in cutting- marks actually healed and my blades don't immediately loose their sharpness.
I am going for a change in colours with the Tessellation's Quilt away from my usual colour palettes.
You can find more English paper piecing help here with Katy in her Hexy MF quilt-a-long for Fat Quarterly, here with Lynne and here with Florence. All are well worth a visit for help, tips and inspiration.