Sunday 9 September 2012

UFO Sunday #3 - English Paper Piecing Project

As mentioned in the last post, the English Paper Piecing project has become a WIP. I must say as time consuming as this was (and this is only a little quilt top), this was most enjoyable and I could imagine doing something like this again.  There is just something really soothing about sitting somewhere and quietly stitching away, reflecting on your day and planning ahead...or just simply zoning out.

I decided against 'bagging' the quilt as I do not think it would look any good if it is then heavily quilted on the top. Can't see how that would work around the edges as the quilting would have to pull the edges in which would then make the seam line fairly visible. So, I am thinking of putting a simple border around it and possibly putting some FMQ design in there. I think I decided on my first design idea of simply following the seam lines to emphasize the shapes.

I was very nervous about taking all the paper out. I could not get over the feeling that this was going to be more fragile than a machine pieced quilt this is how I approached this:
  • Took all the paper out , leaving the paper around the edges in place temporarily in order to minimise the possibility of distortion. In order to remove the paper template, I just ran the eye of the needle on the inside of the seams on the wrong side to loosen the fabric ( the fabric was glued onto the paper template).  Ha, time should remember to be a bit more careful and not stitch into the paper. A bit of a hassle to then get the paper out in one piece. These shapes can be re-used if you are careful.

  • Then I spray-starched the piece before ironing all of the seams. Did notice that some of my stitching was somewhat sloppy in places, i.e you can see some stitches on the right side. Made mental note to keep the stitching more consistent next time.
  • The seam allowances of the edges needed to be carefully let out and ironed flat. I then cut off the overhanging shapes to square off the piece. Now this was a bit of a drama...had difficulties getting it straight (obviously some distortion did retrospect I think I should have spray starched the piece from the right side while the paper was still in there and then ironed it). Also noticed that I stitched into the seam allowance a number of times...which then caused little pleats when I was trying to let out the seam on the edges...well, live and learn. This was a bit of a painful process. Anyway, straight or not, it is finished.


Now for the border.  I auditioned a plain tone-on-tone red fabric... yes, I like that. I feel that it does need something plain around it.

Almost done.

Linking up to Leah Day's UFO Sunday to see what other people have been up to.


- if I just outline-quilt (in a curvy line) each of the hexagons on the inside, will this not become too dense? The shapes are only about 1.5" wide and about double in length;  I am intending to use some leftover cotton batting. As this will be a table runner I want it to lie nice and flat, but not be completely stiff from all the quilting.

Until next time



  1. I don't see any imperfections at all! It looks lovely. And yep, I like the red border. Patience is a virtue and you've got it, girl!

    1. Yep, I must say the fun went away a bit taking out all those papers. Could not imagine doing this on anything bigger

  2. Wow! Your quilt looks amazing. Awesome job!
    Definitely this simple FMQ for hexagons seems to way to go.

    A tone-on-tone fabric definitely sounds good for borders.
    Can't to see all quilted. Good luck!

    1. Thanks Malini...this should turn out alright, I think

  3. It's beautiful! I like the border too.

  4. Hi Karin - No, I don't think the quilting you described will make your quilt stiff. If you were planning to fill densely inside each square, then yeah, it would probably end up feeling pretty stiff. Remember a good bit of softness will return after washing when all the fibers have a chance to relax a bit.

    1. Yes, will give it a'll never really know unless you try it and I do think it needs that more formal look.

  5. I love the border and the plan for quilting. It's going to look and feel great!

  6. Thanks Karen...I do hope it will turn out as this has been a bit work intensive and fiddly. Mind you, I am so pleased that I actually tackled this.


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