Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Hexden Flower Mug Rug

Have you tried English paper-piecing (EPP)?  It is a hand-stitching technique where you stitch around paper templates to create shapes. 

One of the best books I’ve read on how to English paper-piece is All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland.

This is my ‘go-to’ reference for all things EPP.  I would also recommend Craftypod’s YouTube videos ‘Basics of Basting’ for creating hexagons and ‘creating outward curves’.  Both tutorials teach you everything you need to know to make my Hexden Flower mug rug pattern.
Hexden Flower Mug Rug Pattern

This is my first English paper-piecing mug rug pattern and it includes all the templates you need to create a fun and functional mug rug for your work desk or coffee table.
Hand-stitched Hexden Flower Mug Rug

Although the Hexden Flower Mug Rug pattern doesn’t teach you the basics of English paper-piecing (Craftypod does it so much better than I ever could), it is suitable for both beginner and experienced English paper-piecers.

The pattern provides two options for creating the sidebar – you can create it using a patched piece of EPP:
Patched EPP Sidebar

....or you can applique three EPP hexagons onto a background rectangle.
Applique EPP Sidebar

Both methods are hand-stitched.  Whichever you choose, you are sure to get lots of use out of the Hexden Flower Mug Rug pattern (you could even applique the flower onto a 6” quilt block).  And, like all Patchsmith patterns, it costs just $1.99.

So are you ready for some hand-stitching?

p.s.  If you prefer to read a tutorial on English paper-piecing this one from Buttons and Butterflies is very good.  Or you could always take a Craftsy class - it's on sale at present:

Until next time ......

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Bloom Sew Along

Bloom Block Two Applique

The Bloom sew-along (a.k.a. Calico Days sew-along) is underway and we are two weeks and two blocks in.
Bloom Block One

There are many ways to undertake the applique for these blocks.  Lori Holt seems to favour the ‘sew-to-interfacing-turn-it-out-and-then-sew-to-background-square’ – a method I have used before as in my Valentine Box from last year:
Interfaced backed heart applique

However, I prefer the quick-fuse method for this sew-along as I find I can get sharper points on the shapes. Besides which it is much quicker.  (You can find lots of hints and tips on quick fuse applique here.)  But whichever way you applique the flowers you are sure to enjoy the Bloom blocks. 
Sharper points on Bloom Block One with quick fuse applique

I'm using my blocks to create a bed runner and a couple of bed pockets (stitched to a fitted valance to hold my book, glasses and tablet). 
Bloom Block Two

As with all sew-alongs, I shall be stitching my blocks together as I go along.  But I know already, this is going to be one pretty quilted runner.
Block Block Four (I jumped ahead)
If you fancy joining in – even for just a block or two – then pop over to Riley Blake (PDF) or Lori Holt for more details.  

Until next time ......

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Farmer’s Wife 1930s Quilt Blocks 35, 36, 40 and 42

Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 42 - Heather
The two Very Kerry Berry’s blocks this week went together fairly easily ...

Block 35 – Flora.  This was the very first block I made – as a tested to see if I would be able to manage the paper-piecing for this sew along.  I initially made it in rose-like colours but there was just too much white in that block for my quilt.  So I remade it.  It is an easy block to make although some think the block pattern is a little ‘odd’.
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 35 - Flora

Block 36 – Geneva.  I like blocks that are built around four quarters as it means I can production-line each quarter and the blocks tend to go together quite quickly.  My notes advise to “take papers off before joining the fours blocks so you can press and nest the seams”.  
GnomeAngel chose two blocks this week – the first which I have already blogged about.

Block 40 – Grandmother.  The paper-piecing templates for this block include an inset seam but there is no need for it.  Check this blog post for details of how to make small changes to the template to do away with the inset seam.   You will also find the template for an applique handle to fit this basket.
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 40 - Grandmother

Block 42 – Heather.  I made this block last month (see top of blog post) and I enjoyed it so much I made another in Christmas fabrics.  Simple to paper-piece this block is one I will return to again. 
Farmer's Wife 1930s block no. 42 - Christmas Heather

You can see all the blocks I have made so far over on my Farmer’s Wife Pinterest Board or on my Farmer’s Wife tab above.

Back to my Valentine Day sewing .......