Thursday, February 23, 2012

English Paper Piecing, or what I pack when I'm desperate to keep my hands busy

When I'm not thinking about work, I'm daydreaming about quilts, or daydreaming about the time I have at home to make quilts. It's actually all I've thought of for the last few weeks. To make matters worse (or better if you're me) I picked up a couple of Jennifer Chiaverini novels from the Elm Creek Quilts series at the library the other day.

What I'm reading

I first got into these novels when we were staying in Portland, Oregon 8 years ago on a holiday. We spent most days visiting Powell's Books, a massive bookstore which had just about everything. I remember staying up until 3 am and beyond reading these new-to-me books. I love the characters, and their stories. I love the idea of a big grey stone mansion being used as a summer quilt retreat. Love the history about the quilts. Just love them.

Line Art quilt - progress

When I'm not reading, the Line Art Quilts potters along. I've sewn the top ten strips together now, and a few of the green ones too.

I'm going away tomorrow for a long weekend and I realised a couple of days ago that I didn't have a single portable handwork project to take with me. My hexagon quilt is still missing it's 4 blocks (and that's a whole other story) and the wonky quilt that I'm hand quilting isn't exactly portable or easy to lug around a muddy folk festival. I'm not crocheting at the moment, so that wasn't a possibility. So tonight I spent an hour in the sewing rooom racking my brain for a project I could start. I asked the universe via twitter, and the answer came.

English Paper Piecing.

New hexagon project

I had a heap of two inch hexagons lying around from the twisted hexagon project. Perfect. I used a charm pack I had in the stash (Apron Strings by Chloe's Closet for Moda) but it was a little washed out for my liking so I added some stronger 1930s fabrics from the twisted hexagon leftovers to complement them.

New hexagon project

I thanked my lucky stars yet again that I'd bought a lazy susan cutting board several years ago. It's perfect for cutting small shapes and the fact it turns means I don't have to turn my fabric. It also came in handy when I was glue basting the fabric to the paper shapes. Yes, this time I'm gluing. I normally thread baste, but I bought a fabric glue basting stick the other day for another project, and thought I might try it out first.

New hexagon project

My poor little well-worn two inch papers, that I'd promised could retire once my twisted hexagons were finished, are back in use. Sorry, little guys.

New hexagon project

I have no idea what I am making. I'm just going to join these suckers together and see where it leads me.

I have my hexes, my togs, towel, book and festival ticket ready to pack for a fun weekend of friends, sun, surf, music and quilting. See you on the other side!


  1. Oh how neat all your edges look. I have been hexing for nearly a week now and after seeing this post I shall NEVER show anyone the back of my hexies. EVER.


  2. Hope you have a brilliant weekend away! I plan on spending the weekend working on my line art quilt, reading the new quilt centric books that I have found thanks to this post and generally not doing much at all. Whee!

    Travel safe!

  3. PS. I'm totally thinking about doing a hex quilt... might be a great way to practice my hand sewing...

  4. Sound like you have an awesome weekend coming up. Hoping the weather cooperates for you :-)

  5. A lazy susan cutting board - what a brilliant idea!!


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