Recently, I have been reading blogs, articles and web pages about English paper piecing. I love the idea of having a portable quilting project, and fortunately for me , found the perfect book at my local quilt shop and was smitten.
Our quilt shop had some pre-packaged fabric selected for making some of Lucy’s blocks- so need I say more…. I bought a package of fabrics.
The colors are warm and subtle- not the brights that I have been working with recently. I like the options with the patterned fabric – the right position of the template can change the look of the finished block. This is nice for creating a kaleidoscope effect when the pieces are joined to make a block.
English paper piecing does require paper templates, and I found a package of many, many honeycomb templates for the blocks in the book. They also have the traditional hexagon templates as well.
The process starts with cutting strips, then smaller pieces which are sewn on to a paper template. Be sure the fabric piece is large enough to leave a 1/4 inch fold on to the back of the template. When stitching this small patch to the paper, it is important to use a sharp needle. I also felt that a strong thread would be a good choice, so I purchased some silk thread for this project. The covered paper pieces are then pieced together to form a pattern. This particular square is a replication of one of Lucy Boston’s crosses.
The individual honey comb shapes are sewn together from the center of the quilt square out to the edge. Each honey comb piece snugs next to another, and is stitched along the one inch edge. The stitches are small and invisible when the square is completed.
As you can see from the picture, the paper backing stays on until the quilt top is finished. This adds a level of stability to the project.
I just need to add these last pieces to my block to finish the first of what will be MANY needed for a quilt top. Not sure yet how big this finished project will be, but until it is done, it will fit nicely into a little box just the right size for holding all of my supplies.
I keep this on the side table next to the couch in our living room. It holds the paper templates, silk thread, sharp quilting needles, fabric strips, small scissors and of course the completed honeycomb pieces.