It's done! The English-paper-pieced (epp) quilt that I started April 28 is done! And in time for my local quilt show.
For those non-quilters who are reading this post, "EPP" is a hand-piecing technique used to make a quilt top using paper templates. That means that I sewed this entire quilt top by hand. For that, I'm giving myself a big old self-high-five.
I tried EPP for the first time at the Sewtopia retreat in Salt Lake City last April. I turned the block from the class project in to the pillow shown here, and then immediately started this quilt.
About a month in to this project, I decided that this was the quilt that I wanted to submit to my local guild's quilt show in August, so I put the pedal to the metal, and honestly I feel like I didn't do anything but sit on the couch and hand-stitch during any free moments that I had in July.
Since I was trying a new-to-me technique for this quilt, I decided to continue that trend and used wool batting , and cotton lawn for the backing. I wanted a light-weight, higher loft quilt that had silky soft backing. Honestly, quilting this quilt was not pleasant. The quilt-top shifted something terrible, and I had to re-baste part way through. That, my friends, is a soul-crushing thing to have to do. I love how the quilt turned out, and totally will send a quilt to a long-arm quilter to quilt with wool batting; but I myself hope to never quilt a quilt with wool batting again myself.
Having said that piece about the wool batting, I will say that I am very happy with my decision to quilt the quilt using wavy horizontal lines. I think that the lines help camouflage some of the wrinkles and puckering that were caused by the quilt sandwich shifting during quilting.
Finished Size: 65" x 73"
Method: English-paper-piecing using 2 1/2" hexagons. Papers were brought from Paper Pieces.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Wool, twin size. Purchased from the Fatquarter Shop.
Backing: Cotton + Steel Lawn solid in Magenta, also purchased from the Fatquarter Shop.
To see more pictures of this quilt in progress, check out #MyrthsBlueHexies, or see this blog post, or this one.
P.S. - We got a new (old) chair lift chair this week, and the kids and I had fun using it as a quilt photo-shoot prop today. :)
Hey, Look! It's only the 3rd of July and here I am blogging! (Patting myself on the back.)
Works in Progress (WIP):
July was a good month. I worked very diligently on the first (dark) memory Quilt (above), and got the top finished. I also laid out the background blocks for the light version of the memory quilts (below), AND - I ordered backing fabric for both. That's going to remain secret until I actually quilt the quilts tho. Let me just say that I feel like it's perfect for remembering my cousin. To see WIP pics of these quilts check out #quiltsfromBeau on Instagram.
I am really enjoying working on my blue hexie quilt (I'm still plugging along on my blue flowers), and this month I started to think about what my next big hexagon quilt would be. I didn't want to do another monochrome hexie quilt, so I decided to play with layouts that would utilize multicolored hexies. Then I began cutting all the bigger pieces in my scrap bins, along with a bunch of low-volume stash pieces.
After searching for a layout that I liked, I settled on the design on the right. You can ignore the colors shown in the design: it's very tedious to color a design using 20 colors, so I usually select 4 or 5 and just use those for the computer design. In my head I know that the quilt will have way more colors and variety. I sewed one block just to make sure that I liked how it was coming together (above left), made a mental note on what fabrics worked well (saturated ones) and then cut lots more fabric. However, now I am going back to focusing on my blue hexie quilt. For all the pictures of my blue hexie's, check out: #Myrthsbluehexies
The second new project that I started in June required me to cut apart my Kona fabric color card. I designed this star in Illustrator after a computer class at QuiltCon in February. I was very intrigued with using transparency to see how the colors interacted. I want to make the star for a challenge with my local sewing group, so I had to figure out the fabrics that would work for the overlapped parts. A friend reminded me of a FREE program designed by Anne Sullivan of Play Crafts that would help with that selection process. On her website you can upload a photo (or a jpeg of something you've designed in Illustrator), and the program tells you the Moda Bella or Kona Cotton solids that are closest to the colors in your image. How awesome is that? So I noted the fabric names, pulled them from my newly cut-apart card, checked that they looked good, and then ordered the fabrics. I really was dreading trying to match the colors on my own and was so happy to be able to use Anne's program: the "Palette Builder."
I finished my first ever hand-pieced item. Yes, I did quilt it by machine, but the whole front of the pillow (above) was pieced by hand. This pillow started as part of a class with Libs Elliott at a Sewtopia retreat in April. It was my first time trying "English paper piecing" (epp). I liked it much more than I thought I would, and the class is what spurred me to try the bigger hexies in an actual quilt (my blue hexie quilt). Can't wait to pull out this pillow next February.
Above is one of the purchases that I made at Stash Fabrics this month. I got to know Stash Fabrics when they were the pop-up shop at Sewtopia Atlanta. One of the best things about their shop is the fact that you can buy fabric in 1/4 yard cuts. Most fabric shops have a minimum cut of 1/2 yard. With my blue hexie quilts, I'm going for variety and don't want 1/2 yards of fabric - so I happily picked new fabrics from Stash and look forward to including them in my quilt (and not having a ton of blue fabric left over).
When my order arrived, it included the note below:
How cool is that?? I am a person who never ever ever wins anything. So I was very excited to receive the red and blue fat quarters of Kona. Did anyone see a pic of my purchase in the Stash newsletter?
Fabric Purchased: 25.75 yards
Fabric Used: 12.5 yards
Net for the Month: 13.25 yards UP
Net for the Year: 48 yards UP
This month I made basically 3 larger fabric purchases:
1. Christmas fabric to make pillowcases for my 3 children
2. Backing fabric for the two memory quilts
3. More blue fabric for my hexie quilt
I haven't yet used any of the Christmas or backing fabric, but I did do well immediately cutting almost all of the blue fabric. I expect big "usage" numbers when I quilt the memory quilts and make the pillowcases.
This month I noticed that making a quilt top (or almost 2) with all upcycled clothing fabric really skews (in my mind) the fabric usage and purchases. I'm not counting the converted clothes in my usages or purchases. So I made a quilt top and didn't get to say that I used any fabric, and on the same note, I didn't have to buy any fabric. I guess that it washes out in the end, but when I make a quilt top, I enjoy seeing how much fabric I used up making that top.
**Note - Since I worked on two sets of traveling bee blocks in May, I didn't have any that I worked on in June. Stay tuned for July's bee blocks!