June 2, 2019

A love/hate relationship with EPP ... and a new pattern!

First of all - my new pattern.

One of my lovely craft friends asked me whether I had a pincushion pattern in the shape of an Iron. I didn't, and with her permission to pinch her idea, I tried my hand at designing one.

I made one with felt, which I didn't like at all, so it was back to the drawing board, and eventually I settled on this design. I have called it "Pressing On".

It's cute, whimsical, and fun to make. If you like it and want to make your own, you can purchase the pattern on my Pincushions and Needle Cases page here.

Many years ago, hubby and I were going on a long car journey so I wanted to take some stitching that I could do in the car. Everyone seemed to be doing EPP's (English Paper Piecing) making beautiful hexagons, so that was obviously something great to do on our trip.

I made a total of about ten hexagons on the journey and then did a few more when I arrived home. It was never really a love affair with EPP. I didn't really enjoy it and my grand intentions amounted to the photo above where you can see the sum total of my life's hexagons! I absolutely loved all the photos of everyone's beautiful Grandmother's Flower Garden quilts etc. but the process didn't turn me on at all.

A few years later and all the rage was the revival of the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses. It took a while for me to become enthused but ultimately I could not resist the charm of these gorgeous blocks.

I was determined to use only what I had from my stash and had fun finding some suitable fabrics. Fussy cutting the shapes even excited me. Then it was the boring bit, cutting all those paper shapes.

I scoured the internet for good advice on how to stitch the pieces as I had seen some put together with ugly stitches showing and I knew I wouldn't be happy with that. So, armed with good technique, good fabric, good thread and good intentions, I set out on my new EPP journey.

I was very happy when the first block came together and even was enthused to start on the second, but the thought of doing nine blocks was overwhelming. Gradually the drudgery of joining the pieces came to the fore and the project was abandoned in favour of 'real' stitching - projects with stitches like Palestrina stitch, Bullion stitch, Fly stitch and Cast-on Loops.

So here we are a couple of years later and with no magazines much to publish my designs, I have a lot more time to work on my own projects. Out came Lucy Boston again, and with a new determination to finish this project, I set out to complete all nine blocks. I had to have a break or two every week to do more exciting sewing, but the more blocks I made the more I wanted to complete what I had started. 

I was fascinated with how each block looked so different depending on where the light and dark fabric was placed. I loved the look of each block, even if the process of getting there wasn't particularly enjoyable. Eventually I completed all nine blocks! 

Then I looked at all those 1½ inch paper squares I had cut ready to fill in between the blocks, and said to myself "NO WAY!"  I had disciplined myself enough to finish the actual blocks and there was no way that I could bear to do any more EPP! So, what was I going to do with the blocks without all the joining squares?

The answer was Applique - applique the blocks onto white background fabric and make a quilt from there. So here you have the results. I have decided to put the quilt together using my favourite Quilt-as-you-go method. The blocks are quilted easily before they are joined together, and as quilting is not my thing either, I have quilted them very simply.

I have plans for some lovely sashing. It's quite a bit of cutting and sewing but I think it is going to look good and be worth the extra effort. It won't be authentic Lucy Boston, but it will be achievable for me and another PASS (Project At a Stand Still) will be done and dusted. Hopefully next blog post I will have a photo of the completed quilt - that will show my love relationship with EPP!

Happy Stitching


KaHolly said...

Very cute iron pincushion, Val. You, my dear, are a genius. I, too, have a little pile of Lucy Boston blocks that I revisit periodically, then tuck away again. You have inspired me to resurrect them once again (if I can find them). Now, let’s talk about your quilting. It’s perfect. ~wink~

Sheila said...

I love your colors for your blocks and look forward to seeing the completed quilt.
I'm just getting started on a Lucy Boston. Getting pieces cut now.

Createology said...

I love your honesty of what you find enjoyable and what does not call your creative spirit. Very cute iron pincushion you have created. Lovely blue blocks and congratulations on finishing them. Love your quilting and I only see perfection by your Work of HeArts. XO