Thursday, 19 May 2016

easyepp english paper piecing tutorial


Today I want to share with you how I English Paper Piece.(EPP)  I began experimenting with this technique early on in my Quilting life and fell in love with it! Here is how I do it and I hope this inspires you to give it a try as it is super easy and great fun.

I started with hexagons and still love them.  They are a great starting point for EPP and allow you to learn the basic technique.

You can buy ready made paper templates from the UK from the lovely Jesse, owner of Sew and Quilt or in the US from paperpieces.com.  Alternatively you can create your own, by creating your template and then printing it off onto copy paper and cutting out.  I tend to use this method far more because I can get the exact size and shape of template I need and it is free! Incomptech is a great site for creating hexagons and other geometric shapes.

 Cutting
  1. Using a template, cut out the fabric you need leaving at least a quarter inch seam allowance around the template.
  2. Basting - is when you attach the template to the fabric either by washable glue or using a large tacking stitch taking care NOT to go through the paper template and just catching the fabric.  I use both methods but when I have a large pile of templates to baste I always go for a prittstick of sewline glue pen.  
  3. Once all your templates are basted, it is time to join them.  Traditionally, the stitch used for this is called the "Whip stitch".  It is quick and easy and if you use a good quality thread, the stitches can hardly be seen on the right side.  I like to use Aurifil 50wt thread as it is strong, cotton and fine.  Experiment until you find the right thread for you! With this stitch you just want to be catching the edges of the fabric and NOT going through the papers as this will cause problems removing templates when finished.  I made a little (ropey) video to show you the basic stitch in action.
  4. You continue to use the whip stitch to join all the edges to your central hexagon and then return to join the remaining unsewn edges together.  DO NOT BE AFRAID to bend your templates here.  They will forgive you! and tend to bounce back into shape nicely!   Sometimes bending them is unavoidable.  
  5. A wonder clip is a great little extra hand when your hands are feeling tired with gripping so try that out too.
  6. And basically that is it!  Once your project is finished you can remove all your paper templates usually.  
  7. If not too distorted, these templates can be stored and re used if you wish.

 
Now wasn't that easy?  I hope I have encouraged someone to give it a go and if you have then please feel free to share on Instagram if you follow me using the #easyepp
Much love
Collette x

Friday, 13 May 2016

JFK, a sewing machine and hexagons

An odd combination I hear you say!  Well yes but they are all linked and I will explain how.

This past week has seen the most beautiful week of weather.  This has meant tidying the garden in between my usual schedule of sewing and classes.

I have managed to get some hand sewing on the go again.  I always like to have a little hand sewing project ready and waiting to pick up and lay down easily in between dealing with daily life and madness.

So on Monday evening I grabbed some free tiny hexagon paper templates I got with a magazine, and some of my favourite fabric, and just sat and cut, basted and sewed.  All very slow and all very soothing!


On Wednesday I was teaching in my local sewing shop.  The girls have been learning how to Quilt As you Go and the other group are delving deeper into foundation paper piecing to make their own sewing themed mini quilts.

This gorgeous machine was handed into the shop by an elderly gentleman.  It belonged to his late wife and he wondered if the shop could maybe sell it for him.
The machine is immaculate inside and out.  It is in full working order and stitches beautifully.  The original manual is with it too.  If anyone knows anymore about these machines then please get in touch.
We don't really know much about this machine other than that it was made in Australia and weighs a ton!  It had a date of purchase written on the back of the manual and it was the day after John F Kennedy was assassinated!  What a history eh?
So I think there may be a lady interested in this beautiful machine.  It deserves to go to a loving and caring home to continue the excellent maintenance it has had over the many years.

So there you are!  An interesting week in my little world and next week watch out for a little English Paper Piecing Tutorial from me.
Collette x


Monday, 2 May 2016

Making a statement in any language

A while back I watched a shocking television programme on Rape Culture and the prevalence of this all over the world.  A particularly unsavoury man called V Roosh was featured greatly in the programme.  He has written many books on how to " Get Laid" in European countries and has some extremely derogatory views towards women to say the least.  Google him if you want to find out more but be warned, he is an unpleasant asshole of a guy. 

For years I have been thinking of how to bring more of my artistic and political side into my quilts.  I have thought about how I wanted to add meaning to them. I mean quilts are full of stories and meaning anyway as we quilters all know.  However, I have been feeling an increasing urge to use them to get a message across more and more.

So out of the blue, a eureka moment as they tend to be, came The No Quilt.  A quilt made up of blocks that say NO in all the many languages all over the world.  Initially I put the word out for anyone to make a block in their native language.  I have had so many wonderful people come forward and make blocks for this quilt so far. 
Here is a photo of what I have so far! 

We have Greek, Hebrew, French, Flemish, Dutch, Indonesian, German, sign language and much more on the way.

This quilt is being made to bring attention to several things - the worldwide ( topically India) problem of sexual violence and issues of consent, making a huge statement no to mean different things - no means no in any language( especially relevant to that Roosh guy who has wrote horrific guide books to sex in different countries), no to rape culture in the west (which I will be exploring in future quilts) and no to the horrors of this type of violence all over the world and especially during times of civil wars etc. 
I am also working on a series of mini quilts to draw attention to the issues above along with others and am hoping to show them in conjunction with the No Quilt once it is ready to be revealed. 
Keep tuned in for further updates folks! If you want to be involved drop me an e-mail to poppypoochie@gmail.com
Much love 
Collette x

Where have I been?

I wonder if anyone still checks in on my blog?  Hello? Is there any life out there?  I must apologise for my lack of blogging since January.  Those that know me will remember my mum passed away last November.  So to be fair on myself I have been dealing with that and my lonely dad.

I have been busy plotting and sewing though! The bills won't go away after all!  You may have come across a few of my latest projects in your issue of Quilt Now.

A super cute pouch with thread spool blocks on the front and lovely mini table runner for your kitchen or coffee table when having friends over for coffee or tea! 

My Dear Doe quilt, which now lives on Jacob's bed and is loved dearly!  Such a great boy's quilt.
My Origami Table Runner also now lives with the kid's!  Emma loves the blue fabric in it!

As well as my magazine work, I have still been teaching during a Wednesday daytime.  Later in the week I want to share some of the many projects the ladies have completed and you will see how far they have come.

I have also been busy decorating the kids' room as it was literally falling to bits.  It took forever, was a hard slog but was well worth the effort.  I even managed to make some storage pods for them,using the great pattern by Love From Beth which can be found over here.


I am planning on spending more time returning to blogging as I find it helps me clarify my thoughts on sewing and quilting and why we do what we do!
So watch out for some more posts over the next week.  Topics featured will be more of my classes work, a political Art Quilt I am collating and maybe a little free tutorial along the way too x
Collette x

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Best mail ever!

Hello!  Well as promised here is the wonderful package I received through the mail last week.

Those of you who know me will probably realise I am in a quilting bee called Bee A Brit Stingy.  The 5 other ladies are wonderful and have been so kind and forgiving to me during my time in the bee.  I am so very grateful to each and everyone of them. Shout out time - Di , Nicky ,Sheila, Catherine and the lovely Lucy - much love to you all! xxxxx

Last year we each made our own row for a quilt and then posted it off to the next person to add a row, who then posted it on to the next and so on.

My theme was sewing/quilting related and these are the beautiful, thoughtful, amazing rows I received back from each lovely lady.

I plan to do an individual spotlight on each wondrous row but this quick photo will have to do you all for now!
My row is  the 3rd from the top.

I felt very emotional when I opened it all up but I am a bit like that at the moment.  I love every single row of it and am so very thankful for the work put in.  All the other ladies received their rows back too and are equally delighted with what they received. 

Collette x

Monday, 18 January 2016

I am back!

Hello lovely readers!  I am so sorry about my lengthy absence.  Sadly my lovely mum passed away late November just past and everything has been an uphill struggle since.
I won't go into details but suffice to say the grieving process continues but I continue to heal.
Art and sewing are helping me with that process and keeping me strong for my dad.  When my mum had not long passed I threw myself into drawing.  Most of my sewing was packed away for Christmas so drawing was more easily accessible.

Here are some of my efforts.



And of course sewing and quilting continued post New Year.



Thanks to everyone for bearing with me.  I have a rather special quilt top to reveal later in the week. Watch out for that!
Collette xxxx

Monday, 12 October 2015

wow!

Wow!  How quickly is this old year going?  I can't believe we are into October and Autumn and nights drawing in already.

I have been so busy with life that I have been really living up to my badge at the side of this blog - Slow Blogger!  I do however, post a photo and a snippet almost daily on Instagram so feel free to follow me over there if you want a more regular update.  My username is poppypoochie.

My days have been taken up with sewing, learning new skills, teaching my patchwork classes and looking after two strong willed children.  It seems the older they get the harder they become to manage, much as I love them.

A few of my sewing projects have been for the wonderful Quilt Now magazine. 

 The little pouch in the corner is by me!
 That Applique mini quilt is mine too!
 I have been working on some art postcards( professionally printed) and am selling these in sets of 7 for £8.  If you would like to purchase then feel free to e-mail me poppypoochie@gmail.com and we can arrange. 





And last but by no means least I finished my imperfect version of Green Tea and Sweet Beans.  I have chosen to tie this quilt as I think too much quilting would distract from all the pretty blocks.  This one is all for me and my bedroom!  It measures around 54 " square and I have used a backing sheet from my late Gran to remind me of her.


Collette x