Sunday 15 September 2013

adventures in english paper piecing

Well it's New Skill Sunday over at Shimelle's class Learn Something New Every Day and I thought I'd share a couple of fabric experiments.  While I've had a bash at patchwork before, I'm not particularly handy with a sewing machine.  I just haven't put in the necessary time to really develop any proficiency.  But I have really enjoyed paper piecing because the equipment you need is simple, it's very portable and it reminds me of scrapbooking, which is my comfort zone.  So with rotary cutters and cutting mats and giant ruler boards (none of which I possess) all cheerfully cast aside, I launched into my little project and decided to make a cushion cover.

I made up my own pattern, simple though it is, by cutting a 12x12 sheet of cardstock into right-angle triangles - two joined together make a 3'' square.  Then I cut out triangles of fabric round the templates leaving a generous seam allowance.  Choosing the fabric is awesome fun and a bit like shopping for patterned paper expect that it's waaaay more expensive and it doesn't come in 12x12 size. I ended up with quite an eclectic mix of prints combining squirrels, trees, anchors, polka dots and apples.  It's a design aesthetic I have decided to call "Woodland Nautical".  You wait.  It will catch on...

It might be worth mentioning now that despite knowing that proper patchworkers do things like washing material, pressing seams and measuring seams allowances - and they probably use proper fabric scissors too - as I dabbler in a new craft, I managed perfectly happily by ignoring all these things.  However, I do this on the understanding that my finished project will be not in the least bit professional :D

Anyway, I then simply sewed the fabric around each triangle, pleating the corners.  I believe those who have more than a passing acquaintance with fabric don't even need to sew through the paper - they can cunningly sew the edges of the fabric together.  But I like the structure and support that securely stitch paper gives, and as a beginner, I opted for that.

I'll share the rest of this adventure another day, but I will share this blog post from Flossie Teacakes (great name!) that I read before I started.  This meant that I had some idea what to do instead of no idea what to do...

Kisses xxx

P.S. Thanks for the comments yesterday - the weekend has indeed helped things pick up and I feel ready to take on next week!


  1. Looking forward to the finished item, even if I am not sure whether the card is stitched into the fabric or not - I feel as if there is something I ave not quite understood! Woods and sea, what's not to like? :)

  2. You are a busy blogger. I have decided to ask Santa for a new sewing machine for Christmas. I have an excess of material that needs using up and my machine is past its best (I've had it since I was 16).
    Glad you're feeling perkier - my improvement didn't last -you would think that two professionally qualified engineers would be able to organise a meeting without help, but no. Delegation is such hard work.
    P.S. i have you to thank for my first follower on Pinterest. I pinned your coconut LO and it was re-pinned.