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Sunday, 31 March 2013

Craft a Month February - March : English Paper Piecing Quilting

Hello and welcome back!

The craft challenge for the months of February and March didn’t quite pan out as to be expected, with craft challenge 2 taking up half of February and all March.  Maybe the idea of a craft a month isn’t as easy to complete in reality, however I will still continue to give it a bash. So what have I been working on???

My nimble fingers have been frantically........or not so frantically working on English Paper Piecing. For those not in the know this is a quilting technique which uses paper templates and hand sewing. Quite simply you use a template such as a hexagon or square, tack the fabric onto the paper template and then join them together. The paper template helps acts as a support when sewing the shapes together which you remove along with the tacking thread once your project is complete.  A lightweight piece of card works well as a template but you can also use paper. When I first started my mum gave me a set of templates which she bought online, however you could just find templates of shapes online and print them out, with a little use of a photocopier you can also resize them to a size that suits you. Easy!

My mum has a fantastic talent when it comes to quilting but I find the science of being exact quite hard and need a helping hand. English paper piecing appealed to me as it is simply sewing fabric around a shape and then sewing them all together. There are two things  I value the most when it comes to crafting and that is relatively quick projects and projects I can do whilst being mobile, chatting or watching TV. Don’t get me wrong a project which I need to concentrate on and that takes longer to complete isn’t completely off my radar, but I like the satisfaction of a quick make, particularly as I take my time with things (cue my beautiful unwearable Fairisle jumper I was knitting for 2 years).

English paper piecing is a craft I have tried before, however in true Camilla fashion I launched straight into the project without actually knowing what I wanted to make as the end product. This approach didn't work as I got to the point where I looked at the hexagons I had sewn together and thought “now what?” This then spiraled into a cloud of uncertainty and the hexagons ended up where so many other projects do, in the "I'll finish it later" box. This time around I wanted to make sure my hexagons would be part of a finished product one day!

As you now know from my blog I enjoy making jewellery and I cannot help but think with everything I make “could I make this into some to wear?”  This didn’t stop with the paper piecing project and the idea of joining the hexagons together to form a sort of necklace was born.

Here is what i have been working on :

Sewing the hexagons together

The necklace takes form!
The hexagons are sewn onto felt to reinforce the necklace
Metal eyelets fitted ready for some ribbon

Finished necklace complete with ribbon

And here is project number 2! Slightly larger hexagons sewn together with the aim of making a cushion! I'll let you see the finished day! Until then happy paper piecing!

Project 2 - Bedroom cushion

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