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.]
Cheerful Homemaker says
All of your pictures make me want to make a hex quilt for my baby. I have less than 19 weeks until she arrives!
Cute fabrics! I keep meaning to make a hexagon quilt this way. But for the moment, I’ll start with a few hexagons to go on the flap of a messenger bag I plan to make out of an old pair of jeans (if I ever get to spend more than 2 minutes in my sewing room again).
Beadboy1 went through a period where he was only happy if I held him, but only if I did so while standing up. I hope this phase passed quickly for you!
One of my daughters went through that stage several times… unfortunately I never figured out what to do, so good luck! She finally started sleeping through the night at just over a year old.
That hexagon project looks like it will be a lot of fun… I’ve never paper-pieced anything, but I would love to try it someday.
Susan M Jensen says
Baby you are adorable, so squeezable & kissable looking. Love the Hex Blanket may make 2 of them I have time. Enjoy you sweet little man
perhaps you could work a moby carrier to habe baby face forward? I know they are pretty versitle on how to ‘wear your baby’ and easy to make your own, you can just google how to make them. you are brave to be quilting holding the little one!
I have a moby. I think his hips are not ready for forward facing?
hmm yeah you are probably right I don’t know how soon they can face forward… hope he settles down for you and gets settled into a routine…
I have quite the hexagon fascination myself lately. Very portable. When I get sick of doing my crochet carry-along projects, I switch it up to hexagons instead.
My youngest daughter had that exact same personality as a baby. Ugh. Turns out her tummy was extra sensitive to just about everything you can think of: milk, soy, chocolate, beans, peanut butter, etc etc etc. So I had to be extra careful about what I ate since it all ends up in the breast milk. And now, at age 7, she’s fine and not food sensitive to anything anymore and a happy happy girl. 🙂
Linda gerig says
I have just started to do hexagons but I have been doing mine with inklingo by printing them out and then hand piecing them. It is pretty easy after you learn how.
Lots of babies like to be held in that position… one of my three did. It’s called the “football hold.”. I think some babies prefer it because it makes their tummies feel better. He’s so cute!
Mike Pearson (The Amateur Quilter) says
Quite nice! I’ve only made hexy quilts… I love EPP! I do it on the train to work!
I know this is one of your older posts but I’m definitely going to try the basting method you linked to above!