I love Perfect English Paper Piecing and have recently become quite obsessed with the technique. I’ve designed a few projects for the Sewing Quarter. Dawn from the studio decided to make her own version of the Snowflake Quilt that I designed for them. She saw it as an excellent way to use up left over fabrics. I never waste any Liberty fabric – it’s far too beautiful to throw any away. EPP is such a versatile way of using it up.
I asked Dawn about her Perfect English Paper Piecing. “I’ve not done EPP before. I’ve made some granny’s flowers but it was really basic. I was helping Claire pack up the Snowflakes Quilt for the Sewing Quarter, saw all of the different patterns and fabrics. I have so much left over fabric at home that I thought it would be a great way to use some of it up. This quilt would step my EPP up to the next level. The pattern for the Snowflakes Quilt has 2″ sides on all of the finished pieces. I decided to reduce the size of each piece to 1.25″ sides to make best use of my stash and ordered the hexiform pieces to fit. You can also simply order the papers to fit whatever size you want to end up at.”
You can see from the picture below that Dawn has used a permanent basting with the hexiforms. As they are left in the final quilt they need to be basted in a way that will not show from the front. This stops them from becoming loose in the final quilt. The way that these are basted is by catching the back of the hexiform piece and sewing through the back of the piece of Liberty fabric. If you decide to use papers then you can baste in any of the methods. Dawns finished work is so neat and her points are really crisp.
“My plan is to keep making the snowflakes until I have enough to make my chosen size of quilt. One day I will appliqué these onto a plain cream fabric and use the ‘Quilt As You Go’ technique to fix the blocks together. The finished quilt will need to fit a large bed so it’s a long term project. I make blocks when I travel as it’s transportable for holidays. I really like hand sewing as well as the process of deciding which fabrics to put where. I’ve used hexiforms which are pieces of stiff fabric that you leave in the finished quilt. This gives the finished quilt more substance than the fabric alone but it isn’t necessary. You can simply put your pieces together using the more traditional papers. Hexiforms also give the quilt a quilted look before you start actually quilting.”
Here are a selection of the snowflakes Dawn has made so far. Just like a snowflake, each one is unique – either in the design or the choice of fabric. I can’t wait to see the finished quilt although I may have to wait for some time.
You can still buy the full Snowflake Quilt via the Sewing Quarter – it is available in individual blocks alongside a joining pack. Buy them here.
Come back soon as I will be blogging about some top EPP tips to make your projects run smoothly.