I’ve made (a tiny bit of) progress in my quest to teach myself English Paper Piecing. As you can see from the picture – I’ve created the beginnings of my first hexagon flower. I still need to stitch the pieces together but so far, I like how it’s looking to me.
There have been a couple of stumbling blocks along the way. Here’s what happened – and how I solved the problem.
I started out by assuming that each manufacturer of the acrylic templates and the paper shapes would have a consistent method for measuring so that the 1″ templates would match up with the 1″ paper shapes. What is it they say about “assuming” – yep – it’s a problem.
Turns out that while most manufacturers seem to have adopted a standard of measuring the size along one flat edge of the hexagon – not all of them have done so. So the Dritz / Simplicity Template I purchased – and has marking for a 1″ size hexagon – actually determines that measurement to be from one flat side across to the opposing flat side. Nope – those two things are not the same. Take a look at the pictures to see what I mean.
Clearly, that wasn’t going to work. I had already ordered and received the 1-inch papers (pictured above) and liked that size as a starting place. That meant I needed a new template. Here’s the set I went with – the nice part about it is that this set includes multiple sizes, in addition to the one size I need right now.
Now my template and paper shapes were both the correct size and I was ready to start fussy cutting my fabrics – using the clear template to position the image I want to appear in the center of the finished hexagon. So far so good.
Now – basting or glue stick – that was my next challenge. Turns out that my fingers aren’t quite as nimble as they used to be. The glue stick was the clear winner for me.
I also found it helpful to use a small stiletto (short pointy tool) to hold down the side I had just glued – while I worked on gluing the next side – working my way around the shape.
My plan – now that I have all that sorted out, is to make up enough hexagon shapes to make 6 or 8 flowers, and then I’ll start practicing my “whip stitching” to sew them together.
So many of you were kind enough to send me lots of pictures and ideas from your own paper piecing journey. If you are following along – you might be interested in joining me in the Quiltblox – English Paper Piecing Facebook Group. It’s a private group I set it up as a place to share ideas, progress, and maybe even some completed projects. Just click on the picture below to get to the group on Facebook.