While I’ve quilted, it was many years ago. While I’ve done a bit of English Paper Piecing, it was for hexagons and before I had a chance to read Diane’s book. When the schedule to sign up for this blog hop went around I purposely chose a week that I knew would challenge me. I love curves, but I’ve always avoided them.
I knew the type of project I wanted to make. I’m between big deadlines, but I really don’t have time to fall down the rabbit hole of a new project. So I decided to finally replace our old, thin, and disintegrating potholder. While there are quite a few beautiful projects at this pinterest board, I decided to see what evolved.
Why? I need a new pot holder! (I’ve needed a new one for over five years!) Yes, I could buy one, but I have a fabric stash despite rarely sewing. Why purchase something I could easily make?
If I spent too much time looking at projects, I would start to get very caught up in fabric choices and maybe fall into a perfectionism trap. So while I did allow myself to go to the store and pick up a few new fat quarters, I hoped to use some fabric that had marinated in my stash.
Diane kindly ordered and sent. some 3″ apple cores from Paper Pieces. and I set to work ironing potential fabric candidates.
I settled on this print and the solid green. If I’m making apple cores I might as well be predictable in my colour palette.
Why do I have an extensive fabric collection, even if I rarely sew? I am scared to cut fabric. Knitting and crochet can be frogged, undone, and reused. Once fabric is cut well, that’s the new constraint you have to work with and I find that scary.
First I reread Chapter 8, Working with Curved Shapes, and paid particular attention to the tips and considerations (though apparently I immediately forgot a few of the words). I decided to practice with the fabric I planned to use, I have much more of it that I need for this project. I cut the fabric to the rough shape and went to town basting. I only used one pin in the middle.
It came out ok, but it wasn’t smooth. The extra fabric was a pain to work with.
So I set about making my own cutting template. I put two pencils together with rubber bands and scribed around a template onto some card stock. I then pinned this cutting template to the fabric and cut it out. The new challenge was lining up the template and it took me until my final two patches to figure out that it’s easier to start in the middle of a concave edge instead of in the corner (note: it’s in both the photos and written instructions of the photo step by step tutorial on basting apple cores). Oh well.
Then the magic happened.
I ironed them and held the group together.
I had wanted to make a 4×4 grid and cut it square (to practice cutting fabric) but at this point time was against me so I settled on a smaller one that I’d then appliqué onto something to turn into my pot holder.
As Diane has shared in her blog hop post on Monday pay attention to orientation!
I joined mine together in stripes of three. The first time all three were the same orientation, easily fixed by application of my well worn seam ripper. When they were all joined I ironed again, pressing, and paying close attention to the edge. I wish I had some starch but a light spray with water and the iron did a good enough job.
I then removed my basting stitches and went looking for some fabric to finish my pot holder. I decided to reuse an old pair of E’s jeans … it was a close fit, but I’m really used to my small pot holder. I started to use my machine to sew it down but realized I still had my walking foot on the machine and I didn’t feel like disturbing a sleeping foster kitten to get the regular foot out of the box, so I used a running stitch to sew it down. It’s not perfect, but it’s good.
Then things got tricky. I added batting (100% natural fiber) and sewed it all together.
Then I added some bias tape. I have different colours and sizes and the colour I wanted to use … well, it’s a very narrow tape.
It became a challenge to sew it all down and this is where my rushing of finishing becomes apparent.
But that’s ok! I am thrilled with my project, the new skills I learned with the help of Diane’s book. Everything I needed to successfully complete this project was found in its pages. I need more practice and I see more EPP in my future.. I think I’ll start with some simpler piecing for now; while I want to make some adorable hexagons too, I’m also fascinated by tumblers.
I hope you enjoyed this Apple-a-Day stop on APP Blog Hop, thank you Diane for inviting me. Back in May, I shared a short written chat with Diane about All Points Patchwork, teaching, and creativity. Please enjoy the other stops on the tour through the links below and pick up your own copy of the book.
All Points Patchwork (book site)
by Diane Gilleland
Storey Publishing, May 2015
Fearless crafting is the best kind. Looks great, Penny! I’m inspired to try this also.
Thank you Carol! Diane’s book is really helpful to get you through the “how exactly do I do this step” newness …