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Monday, November 11, 2013

Patchwork Hexagons At Last!

It all began when visiting a couple of craft shops in Melbourne recently: away from home, looking with fresh eyes, triggering memories. In L'Uccello, a vintage haberdashery store I had read about in a craft magazine, I noticed packs of Moda squares - the tiny ones, just over 2 inches.

Now these are not that hard to come by. In fact, I now notice my local shop, Hetty's Patch, has them. The difference is, I had time, and I SAW them. I remembered that I had wanted to try English paper piecing with the 3/4 inch hexies that Monica wrote about ages ago, and that these could be made using 2" squares of fabric. I have plenty of fabric scraps saved over years, with a view to patchwork, but I don't make the time to cut it and get started. So I bought this packet, thinking it would give me the easy kick-start I needed to try out the method.

I was right.

When I got home, I  reread Monica's post and watched the two embedded videos. I then ordered some three-quarter inch paper hexagons - and got going.

The method of using 2" squares of fabric and the pre-cut paper hexagons is brilliant. Compared to my previous attempt at paper piecing using tissue paper shapes I cut myself, it is a dream. The pre-cut hexies are firm card. As Monica pointed out, they give a great sharp edge, and are reusable.

The tip, from the videos, of a simple tacking stitch in each corner of the fabric square folded over the paper hexagon, was also brilliant. The stitching can stay in place, the card can be removed and, even when the corner  (as in the top right hand corner of this one) has not been pulled accurately to the corner of the card, an inaccuracy can be corrected when joining the hexagons.

I pretty soon decided I wanted to create hexagon "flowers", surround them with black and probably make them into a large quilted bag for my swimming gear. Before I knew it, I was cutting up 2" squares from my stash of scraps from clothes I have made over the last 30 years - and from a larger piece of black cotton.

This is what is emerging. I'm so glad I have inspiring blogging friends and that I am able to remember an idea from more than a year ago!


Monica said...

I am so pleased to have been part of the chain of inspiration on this! Katherine at Rose Cottage was probably the primary influence to get me started on EPP. I am glad you found the videos useful.

You are off to a brilliant start, and, knowing you, I'm sure we'll see the finished bag soon!

Jillian said...

I am so glad I live in a time when I can be part of a global community of interest and share ideas and techniques. Thanks,Monica.

margaret said...

EPP is very popular here in the UK at the moment too, I find hexies, kites and the other shapes so relaxing to stitch but I cut my papers myself which is a bore, cut 60 church windows the other day and now must cut the fabrics

Jillian said...

It's easy to see why it's popular, Margaret. It is so relaxing and portable. The cutting IS the drawback!