Hi! I am really excited today, because this post is part of a blog hop for a new book by my friend Diane Gilleland from Craftypod. Diane’s book is called All Points Patchwork* and it’s all about English paper piecing (EPP). As you may have noticed, I love making EPP hexagons. So far I’ve not branched out to other shapes of EPP, but Diane’s book may just be the kick in the behind I need.
(*Amazon UK affiliate link.)
I’ll do a proper review in a later post, but I will say this: the book is awesome. If you’re interested in EPP, you need this book. It is a technique based book, not a book full of pretty projects. I am a big fan of this type of book. You don’t really need a book to find projects to make or pretty pictures to be inspired by – you can find them on blogs etc.
What we do need is more books like Diane’s. It is so thorough and with great photos throughout.
I have to tell you that the project/idea below isn’t my first for this blog hop. When Diane asked me to take part in the blog hop I jumped at this hexagons week. In my excitement I just missed that it was supposed to be fussy cut hexagons. D’oh! Facepalm. So the project I was preparing was no good. But the bright side is that there will be another hexagon post soon. ;-)
And I was feeling all smug about having the hexagon project ready in advance and not, you know, the day before. Then I realised my mistake on Thursday and had to come up with a new idea. And so, last night I was finishing the project for this post. Hubris. ;-)
Anyway. I was looking through my fabric stash to find something suitable for some fussy cutting. I wasn’t really finding anything that would be great as a fussy cut. I considered some stripes. And I looked at a vintage pillow case with bears in helicopters! But nothing spoke to me.
Then I came across my latest Spoonflower swatches of the Nonna’s Kitchen collection and I thought, ‘hmmmm, this could work.’ I have several versions of the same design so I decided to use three that have the same size circles although they are in different colours. I thought it’d be a fun effect to have the same shapes in different colours join up at the edges.
The joining up at the edges isn’t perfect but hey ho. I like the effect anyway. The yellow print on the hexagon in the middle is a tad larger than the other ones, so I decided to fussy cut this slightly differently.
I want to recommend that you get a copy of Diane’s book if you want proper tutorials and tips for doing fussy cut shapes because I’m no expert. But I will share a couple of tips from my limited experience with this.
Being able to see what you want centered in the hexagon (or whatever shape it is) is very helpful. You can get templates for this but it’s easy to make one yourself. First cut a shape, in this case a hexagon, then draw around it on a piece of card. Cut out this shape do you have a hexagon shaped window. Cut around the window so you have 1/4-1/2″ all around it. You don’t have to cut it to a hexagon, the frame can be a square.
And then you can get to work, putting your little window over sections you want to use. You may want to use a water soluble pen to draw the shape of the hexagon on the fabric to make the placement on the fabric easier.
Wonder clips that you use for quilting are great for holding the paper hexagons and the fabric together!
About joining the hexagons. The tutorial linked above shows how to join them in one way but when joining hexagons (or other shapes) that have to join up in a certain way, you may get a more precise result by joining them in pairs and then building up the overall piece.
When you have joined all the hexagons, give them a good press with an iron. Then remove the paper shapes from inside. Press the hexagon piece again.
To make my project, I cut a square piece of fabric. I placed the hexagon piece in one corner so part of it overlapped the edge. Then I appliqued the hexagon piece to the background fabric. And then made it into a little quilt. A micro quilt?
Before I finished the little quilt. I really love this combination of the hexagons and the quilted hexagons. :-)
This was a really fun challenge to take part in (twice! ha!) and as the week goes on you can visit the other blog hoppers and see what they’re up to. I have no doubt it will be awesome.
But wait, there’s more! To celebrate the release of Diane’s book, there’s a giveaway you can enter to win a set of Clover’s Black Gold hand sewing needles AND a needle threader. How cool is that? Enter via the Rafflecopter thingy below. International entries are welcome and the giveaway closes on June 7nd. So get your skates on! :-)