Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hexagons and English Paper Piecing

I love handwork. Sewing and quilting by hand is how I learned. I had already made 2 quilts and a table runner before I ever bought a machine! So I love sewing by hand. Sitting on the couch with my boyfriend in the evening watching TV and sewing is the best!

I've been working on some hexagons for a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt similar to the one my great-grandmother made, which I am lucky enough to own. I researched EPP online a lot before I decided to give it a shot and tweaked the different processes until I found a way that worked for me. Everyone does it a little differently but this is the way that works best for me.

1) I use paper not plastic templates. Mostly because they are way cheaper and easier to find. And I punch a hole in the template, this makes it easier to take out later.

2) I use squares of fabric and just trim the corners a little to reduce bulk. I don't worry about cutting perfect hexagons because it really isn't going to matter one but. It's just another step. You don't even need to trim the corners, squares work just fine I just find it a little easier.

3) I use binder clips to hold the fabric and template together. Some people don't use anything and some use paper clips. I didn't like how paper clips sometimes caught my fabric or squeezed it and were hard to get off, so small binder clips are perfect for me.

4) I don't sew through the paper. I just sew through the fabric layers at the corners. I sew through the layers twice at each corner to hold it securely. Then just remove your clips and start whip stitching them together with right sides facing. Once I have all the petals on each aide I take the template out of the middle of each flower using a pencil or chop stitch in the hole I punched earlier and tada!

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