Last month I started a new project with my friend Kate Basti (IG @katebasti). She had already started and it looked like so much fun that I thought I might finally try English Paper Piecing (EPP). What can I say? I LOVE IT! I have always liked having a small sewing project to take on the go and for a long time cross stitch filled that need. But I have a new passion now and there’s no turning back. I got my starter kit from Alewives Fabric which included the Lucy Boston quilt book, acrylic honeycomb template, honeycomb pieces for basting, needles and glue. I prefer to baste mine with thread but I know I will use the glue for other projects.
Kate helped me so much by giving me a hands on tutorial. My mom had tried a few years ago, but I must have not been ready because I felt like I had 10 thumbs trying to baste the pieces. Plus I was trying to baste mini dresden plates. Not only were they small, but they had a curve. Not what I would suggest for a first time EPP project.
There are several parts of this project which help me enjoy it so much. First, there’s the picking fabrics. Kate is really good at this and also had to give me a little tutorial in fabric pairing. Even though I’ve matched fabrics for years for quilts, this was different for me. I now get really excited when I see a fabric I want to use and I go hunting for other fabrics that will work well.
Next, I like it because it is a project I can take on the go. And I’m always on the go. Work, and numerous activities for my kids like soccer, band, choir, church, etc. Even when I’m visiting with friends, I like to work on my EPP. So with all of the running around, it’s like I’m sneaking in a free quilt. I have large box that can hold many blocks worth of pieces cut up and ready to baste. The small box, which Kate gave me, can fit in my large purse or small backpack. It is ideal for toting all around with me.
Another reason I’m such a fan of this process is that I can fussy cut my pieces. I search for pieces to fussy cut. It is so much fun to play with the fabric and come up with “new” designs by realigning the fabric.
Here are fabrics in the pairing up process. I ended up choosing the set on the right, but after posting these pictures, I’m going to have to go back and revisit the others . I have many many blocks to make so it won’t be a problem 😉
I’m also naming the blocks as I go, which is fun. I have a lot of time to think since each block takes a few hours. I just returned from vacation on the North Carolina coast and I spent some time on Shackleford Banks, an island along the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The block I happened to be working on had horses designed by Sarah Watts and made by Cotton + Steel. The day we were there, we saw an 8 day old foal with it’s mother feeding along the shore in the marsh area. I will always remember this block in association with my trip this summer. So naming the blocks can be fun plus a bit of a timeline of sorts.
If you follow me on Instagram, you can see blocks as I complete them. I’m also naming the fabrics and fabric makers just in case anyone wants to know.
If you haven’t tried EPP, you should!
Happy Quilting and English Paper Piecing ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎