English Paper Piecing or EPP is quite an undertaking! Lots of hand stitching….slow and steady wins the race, eh? There are so many steps to this form of quilting. When first starting such an effort, it is hard to find the groove. Plain and simply it makes a mess!
How does one stay organized with EPP? I posed this question on social media and so far the replies I have received are not ones that will work for me. I had the suggestion of purchasing a small woolen mat to place next to my machine so I don’t have to make a partial mess in the kitchen. And that will not work for me. All of my outlets are taken and there is not room. Plus the idea of doing this at the sewing machine is silly since this is sewn by hand LOL.
What I have figured out is the following:
- During fabric pull, pull and press a gob at once. I find if I prestarch all my fabrics they are crispy and easily keep their shape.
- After starching and pressing, pair up those that I want in the common block.
- If pieces are not in a strip, strip cut the scraps and then using the template subcut.
- Pair fabrics for one block and cinch with a clip or pin.
- At this point if you have not cut out oodles of papers now is the time to print and cut those out.
- Glue your fabric to the papers (some like to baste stitch and I find this does not stay as flat during storage)
- using a baggie or clip, clip all the glued fabric/papers together for one block. I then toss these into a shoebox tote where I am choosing to store everything together. Choose your tin or device large enough if you desire to store your completed blocks within.
- Keep your bin of thread handy. Each block may require different color thread. I tried using a neutral thread on my La Passcagalia and those stitches show. Nothing I was doing wrong in the stitch, just used the wrong color.
- And in a few moments of stillness, you will find the time to stitch your pieces together.
Because of my set up, and a little manic in trying to get one done to see if I like it, was quite the whirlwind of a mess.
I was at the desk with the printer, printing the templates.
I was in the bedroom pulling fabric (everything desired always is at the bottom of the drawer/pile/tote).
I was at the ironing board in the kitchen, starching and ironing the fabrics
I was at the kitchen table or sewing table gluing my fabrics to the papers.
I was on the couch stitching them out.
Because of the steps are a lot and because they happen in many corners in the house, a mess ensues.
Of all the steps, the fabric pull is probably the biggest one as I am in the bedroom pulling fabrics and then move to the kitchen to iron. You may wonder why do I not just move the ironing board into the bedroom? Logical. But the wiring in the house has failed in that room so none of the electrical outlets work. This hinders me at my sewing corner too, because my outlet is dedicated for my lamp and my sewing machine. No other outlets are available. (I am aiming to buy another house and these woes will soon be a thing to reminisce about).
Lots of ideas wanting me to buy this or purchase that to make my hobby easier. I am one who likes the idea of throwing good money at my hobby, but some things are not practical. I already had a plastic shoebox, so there was really no need to go out and get anything else.
Lots of people do all the EPP prep work at home and then use their “kits” for stitching while traveling. Not traveling in the near future, so this does not apply to me.
I have seen many pinterest pins of those who make a nice little satchel or book to keep their papers, blocks, thread, clips, needles, and thread. Perhaps that will happen over time. My mind is now focused on the stitching of blocks and dreaming of what this may turn into. I have a few ideas, whirling about. We will see….
From this, to this…
I have one La Passacaglia block and several pyramids. I am liking the pyramids and probably will continue with this idea. This has become a great stash buster and scrap tamer. I have so many strips and these pieces are small.
Out of curiosity I have looked up how to remove the papers once they are glued in. That part of the process does not look fun or pretty. I am anxious to get to that point, but dread the unknown. For those of you who do EPP, is the glued in papers hard to remove? Is there a “technique” to this?
I would love to hear about your organization ideas in the comment section. If you have any pointers or tips, share them with the world. 🙂
And thank you for reading my blog!