Saturday, 20 February 2016

Finished


My yellow English paper piecing is finally finished and the pattern is written and will be ready to go out into the world after a final read-through next week after half term (UPDATED: The pattern is now available here). From both a technical and aesthetic point of view, for me this is definitely a favourite-EPP-thing-I've-ever-made. 

This was my first experience of sewing curves using English paper piecing. I started off using a few techniques to make piecing the curves feel more manageable (these are covered in the pattern!), but it gradually became almost as instinctive as piecing straight edges and I was eventually able to dispense with these crutches and do it entirely by sight and feel. I found the trickiest part of this design was actually wrapping and sewing the curved diamonds that tapered to such a fine point.


Above is the wrapping of the point and below is the sewing of it. I found these quite fiendish to begin with, but again, the repetition meant that it eventually fell into place for me and I've been able to put some tips into the pattern instructions that will hopefully make it a quicker learning curve for anyone else who sews them. 


In the past with wall hangings, I've always left the papers in place and framed the finished piece, but by the time I reached the end of this project, I had such a yearning to do some hand-quilting that I tore out the papers and set to work. It's odd when a longing to do something hits like that, isn't it - it always makes me think of Rapunzel's pregnant mother feeling compelled to encourage her husband to steal the witch's lettuces, as in this case it did feel self-indulgent not to just call it 'done' as there's no real function to the quilting with it being wall hung. I used Quilter's Dream 'request weight' batting to avoid puffiness (request weight is the batting with the least amount of 'loft' and height), some pale yellow King Tut thread for hand-quilting and several episodes of the recently aired BBC adaptation of War & Peace for entertainment.


I then bound the edges, but I think because I usually frame my wall-hangings I just couldn't get used to the way it looked (see the shot below) and after letting it sit on the wall to percolate, I realised that I'd just probably love it more if I framed it, so the binding came off and a frame was ordered and I do feel much happier with it now.



I've hung it over our bed and I really love the way its appearance changes throughout the day; in the morning sunshine it takes on a deliciously warm, golden glow. 


I'm now really tempted to start another one, possibly in pinks or blues, but I'm even more excited to see how it might look if others choose to make their own versions once the pattern is released.


This week has been half-term and I've been involved in a surprising amount of off-piste sewing. My fourteen-year-old wanted to make some pyjamas, so we looked at a few options and she fell in love with Tilly & the Buttons' Fifi pattern. We finished the camisole top in two sessions (I directed, she sewed) and we're now just waiting for a spare couple of hours to finish the shorts. 

I've also been sewing name tapes into all of my grandmother's clothes this week as she's moved into a care home just a few miles away. I've always felt a certain amount of nervous-but-hopeful-butterflies-in-the-stomach apprehension for the year ahead when sewing in my children's school name tapes, and it's odd to unexpectedly be reunited with these same maternal feelings, but on this occasion for my grandmother, as she ventures forth in putting down new roots, embracing different routines and making new friends. She is approaching it all with such enthusiasm that I can't help feeling in awe.

What are you sewing at the moment? 

Florence x

25 comments:

  1. This is absolutely beautiful . I haven't done paper piecing since school as I couldn't see where I would use it but I think I may have to revisit it . Hope your grandmother settles in well.

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  2. That is really beautiful! I love the colours. I've only made very small paper piecing projects but I've never thought of making a wall hanging.

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  3. Perfect with your pillows and the daffodils on your night stand...what a gorgeous room. All the best for your grandmother, is it the cute little lady standing in your cornflowers somewhere on the blog here? Jana

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  4. Beautiful, you have such skill and patience. I have done one EPP, although i thiroughly enjoyed it, it came all over the place with me and sparked many a conversation, i have yet to do another one. I love the look of yours so maybe thats my new challenge.
    I have been sewing Toad costume from Wind in the Willows, grat fun and mending jobs, less fun but satisfying.
    Good on your grandmother embracing her next venture xx

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  5. Gosh, so beautiful, how the colour changes sounds perfect.
    How lovely you get to enjoy seeing with your daughter.
    This weekend I will be finishing the Phoebe dress in a vintage fabric that I just love!

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  6. Must be so lovely to sew with your daughter, my monster never wanted to sew. I've started a single girl quilt and loving how it is looking so far.

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  7. This is just gorgeous. I love EPP but still haven't tried my hand at curves. I am very slowly making an EPP hexagon Liberty quilt. x

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  8. Goodness, this is by far the most beautiful quilt I have seen in a while. Since youve introduced this pattern on your blog, I was eagerly waiting to see the finish and am in awe of the endresult. It is so dreamy and reminds me of buttercup fields in summer. It also fits the colours and atmosphere of your bedroom so perfectly. Thank you so much for sharing this and taking us with you on this exciting path of idea-development-progress-end result. I hope your grandmother finds her way. Such new ventures can be very exciting. It is so nice that she will still be close by.

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  9. I love your wall hanging!Yellow is my favourite colour and you've inspired me to have a go at a yellow one that I had an idea for years ago. It's lovely that you sew with your daughter - I wish I had tried harder to get my two into sewing, although I'm pleased to say that one of them has at least now got a sewing machine (one I obtained for her and would gladly have added to my own collection!).

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  10. Very beautiful, how patient you must be too?
    I am far to slapdash to produce something as stunning as this...sending huge admiration vibes your way!
    best X

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  11. It's exquisite and is making me want to add some yellow into my house! I usually avoid EPP like the plague but this pattern may be the exception to that...

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  12. This is absolutely stunning. Really. I have no idea how EPP is done, but this makes me consider it! I'd probably want to make it exactly as you have, which isn't very imaginative, but yours is so beautiful!

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  13. It's absolutely gorgeous Florence! You should be proud!

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  14. Lovely colours! I think I'd have stuck with the binding for fear of things falling on my head while I sleep, but the frame does make it look very smart. How nice that your grandma's enthusiastic about her move - I hope she's settling in well. I've recently sewn a pair of Hudson joggers and have barely taken them off since finishing them - must make more! And now agonising over fabric choice for a dress to wear to a family wedding next month... x

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  15. As always - you're a genius! Love this so much!

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  16. Just stunning, and I think the quilting adds a personal, human touch to it that you can really see. Although I realise the whole thing is hand-sewn, you've done it so perfectly that ... oh I don't want to say anything negative because that's not what I mean... I just mean the quilting makes the love and care visible if that makes sense?

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  17. I rarely comment on blog posts and I'm usually not into wall hangings but this piece is absolutely stunning. Even the colour is perfect! I've never tried EPP with curves but you make it sounds like something feasible, so maybe one day...
    Thanks a lot for sharing your work and for your lovely articles.
    Melise
    Http://laboutiqueuse.canalblog.com

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  18. It's simply stunning, Florence, congratulations on your accomplishment!

    Good luck to your grandmother as she goes through this change. She's lucky to have you nearby.

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  19. This is BEAUTIFUL! Amazing work! Paper piecing scares me, but I also kinda wanna learn how to do it!

    Hope your grandmother's transition is smooth and easy. I'll be thinking of you guys over the next few weeks.

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  20. Your wall hanging is so lovely!

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  21. What a really stunning finish. I love the different facets to the design, with each photo I see something new. Your colour choice is wonderful. So very warm and sunny. Truly magnificent.

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  22. I am really excited for this pattern to come out! An intricate EPP project is on my list for this year and your beautifully framed finish is so inspiring! Do you think this pattern is too complicated for a EPP beginner?

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  23. This is beautiful - framing it was the perfect choice.

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  24. I've just printed this off to give to my Mum on Mother's Day, she will be thrilled!!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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