English paper piecing | a tutorial

hexy diamond

My very first patchworking project was as a child at school and have made many projects using the epp method, from tiny hexagons to giant and lots of other shapes in between.  I have shared my love for quilting with friends and as a help thought I’d post a tutorial on how I epp.  There are lots of online tools for making hexagons, I use these by Love patchwork & quilting magazine.  Once you have the templates cut out, I punch a hole into them.  This makes popping the templates out later so much quicker.

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For my 1 inch hexagons I cut just a fraction over a 2.5inch square, this gives a good overlap.  To baste my template, thread a needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread.  Fold fabric edges over the card template, as below

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Whip stitch the fold of fabric a you go around the hexagon

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and then you have a basted your hexagon.

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To join the hexagons together, place to hexagons right side together.  With a threaded needle tie a small knot at the end of the thread and whip stitch along the one edge, being careful to catch only the fabric and not piercing the card template.  I guess I use around 10 per hexagon side – but this is only a guide.

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To join a 3rd template, place the the new hexagon template right sides together as below and whip stitch to the end of the one side.

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Open up the stitched templates and then fold gently ready to stitch the next seam.

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making sure to stitch from the centre out.

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and the reverse

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Here’s the back of my completed templates.

hexy diamond back

To pop out the templates, I use a knitting needle or chop stick, gently pop into the punched hole and the template will slip out quickly and neatly.  You can also leave all the basting stitches in, as they will never be seen.

hexy diamond

Just ready to baste and quilt now.  Have wondered about a youtube tutorial, as seeing things made makes so much more sense to me – its just  the way my brain works I guess. And if you were wondering the main fabrics used are from a collection caller Shimmer 2 by Jennifer Sampou, the pale grey is kona.


quilt binding

I’ve finished the commission and I’m going to get back to my little list of things I want to sew for me.  There is a little pile of fabric that I ordered while I stitched and can’t wait to start.  I did want to share the best quilt binding technique – well its works brilliantly for me.  Jenny’s video tutorials are great and I now always try work to her mantra when quilting – finished is better than perfect!

Orange Peel quilt

orange peel quilt topThe centre of my Orange Peel quilt is made, I’ve used 6.5 inch squares with the ‘peels’ appliqued on with the help of Bonderweb and a running stitch 1/4 inch seam allowance.  This quilt has been totally inspired by Button-Button’s orange peel quilt that she brought to show at the London Modern Quilt Guild, also She Can Sew orange peel quilt blocks on Craftsy.  My 6.5 inch squares have the 6 inch peel, with time and washing I hope the raw edges will ‘fluff’ and give an added texture to the quilt.

classic orange peel quilt blockBefore starting I did search on line for different methods, Popular Patchwork have another method and the Missouri Star Quilt Company have a brilliant you tube tutorial.  Now to finish it!

Pom Pom Kimono

pom pom kimonoMy Mother fell in love with a Kimono she saw when she was staying with me last week. It had lace trim, simple loose style and she thought pom poms would be more fun.  Ma picked the fabric, no idea who’s it is as I cut the selvedge off, from Rowan in JL sale.

pom pom kimonoIf you’d like to try making one, super quick and perfect for by the pool, summer hols or just mooching at home.

You will need 1.5m of fabric, thread and 3.25m of trimming.

pom pom kimono step 1Fold your fabric in half lenghtways and cut.

pom pom kimono step 2With B, fold in half width wise and cut.

pom pom kimono step 3I used the Janome narrow hem foot to hem the cut center seam, as this gives a lovely narrow rolled hem.  You could just turn cut edges, iron 1/4 inch, fold over again and stitch.

pom pom kimono narrow hemI’ve posted a youtube clip at the bottom of the post on how to use the narrow hem foot if you’ve never tried it.  So you now have the back and 2 front pieces ready.

pom pom kimono step 4I sewed the pieces together with a french seam.  To do this place the back (A) right side down and front pieces (B1 & B2) right side up and pin the top.   I used a 1/4 inch foot for this and trim the seam allowance.  Press and then flip right ride s together and stitch another 1/4 inch seam to enclose the raw edges.

pom pom kimono step 5With the kimono lighing flat and inside out, measure 11 inches down from the shoulder and pin the front and back together on both sides.  Stitch with a 1cm seam.  Press the seams open and turn back a 1cm seam on each arm hole and the hem.  Pin your trim to the turned up hem and arm holes.

pom pom kimono trimStitch the trimming and hem in one and then your finished.

pom pom kimono trimSlip on and wear!

pom pom kimono

Red and white quilt block swaps

red and white logcabin blockThe London Modern Quilt Guild are swapping with several internation guilds this year.  As internation postage is so expensive we decided it would be great to swap block that could be pieced together and make a quilt, red and white were the colours chosen and as we are a smallish guild are going to be making at least 2 per swap.  I’ve been trying to sort out my ideas for block on Pinterest and gradually getting there, wanting to challenge my self and have fun.  The top block is an off set logcabin in Kona Red and Kona White.

bow tie block

The second is a bow tie block,  I’m working slowly on a large bow tie quilt top and this trial red and white confirmed my decision.  Below are a few photo’s from my pinterest board – not too sure what I’ll make next.

Peppermint Pinwheels quiltIf you click on the image it will take you to all the block designs, its deciding which to choose.

red_and_whiteFree Stylingeverlasting tree quilt block