Just when I had thought I was getting a hang of the things, Vinny started to display a not-so-sweet personality. He is not quite colicky in the “inconsolably screamy” sort of way, but rather a “need to be constantly soothed (rocked, held, nursed, bounced, repeat, repeat, repeat…) and unable to sleep any amount of time on his own” way.
This is his favorite way of being held by me. Note how it is not even the slightest bit sweet or cuddly, and how there isn’t a baby carrier that can mimic this position. sigh.
With all sitting to hold and nurse the baby I have been doing, I decided to try my hands at learning how to “English Paper Piece” a baby quilt for the grumpy little man.
What is “English Paper Piecing”?
It is a method of quilt piecing that involves wrapping the fabric around paper templates. Then, hand sewing the shaped fabrics together. Once the fabric is sewn, the paper is removed. The appeal of hand piecing is portability, nostalgia, or display of sewing finesse.
How do I do it?
I think the best overview of the process can be found at Fat Quartly for their “Hexy MF” Quilt-along. [I happen to be using a different method for “basting” the hexagons, like the one found at The Enchanted Bobbin.]
What do you need to start?
- Fabric – I have had my eye on Crafterhour’s “I Spy” Spoonflower bundle for a while. Susan pulled together 2 sets of 56 unique fabric prints and one set of 28 from the independent designers on Spoonflower and sells them in sets of 5 inch squares, just right for a 2 1/4 inch hexagon. I am totally impressed by how good a job she did choosing a wide variety of print subjects while keeping the colors all within the same family. I’m so glad she spent her time putting this together so I didn’t have to. [Disclosure: After I placed my fabric order, Susan sent me an extra fabric bundle for review. Thank you, Susan!]
- Hexagon Paper Pieces – Now, you can cut out your own paper pieces, but if you don’t have a lot of time on your hands (I didn’t), head over to PaperPieces.com (or other shops on Etsy) to purchase yours.
- Thread – Good quality strong thread. You don’t want your quilt to fall apart after all the love you put into it.
- Needles – “Hand Applique” needles are a slim needles the slid through the fabric easily. (Learn more about choosing needles on PaperPieces.)
- Pins/Glue/Clips – These are used to hold the paper in place while it is being basted to the fabric. Try a couple different methods, and find what works for you. I happen to like using clips while I thread baste.
All of these bits are stored in this handy stackable storage box (affiliate link), away from curious little fingers and always close to my bored ones.
Doesn’t it just make you happy to see it so neatly put together? I love me some storage, and organized sewing storage is the bestest.
Makes for a pretty good view from my nursing chair, doesn’t it?
Have you tried English Paper piecing yet? What have you made, or what would you like to make?
[Also, a special “Thank You!” to the Nerdy Sewist, who is held my hand while starting this project.]