I’m excited to share a new book with you - Learn How to English Paper Piece by Carolina Moore. It’s available exclusively through Nancy’s Notions, and they kindly provided me with a copy to review. Whether you are brand new to paper piecing, or an old hand, this book has something for everyone.
I’ve enjoyed paper piecing for a long time, but this book is really something special. Carolina walks you through the process step-by-step and shares some excellent tips along the way. I certainly learned some new things!
While I love the slow stitching of EPP (English Paper Piecing), sometimes it’s just that: S-L-O-W. I’ve been plodding along with my latest hexie project for a couple of years, and I’m still nowhere near a finish. But Carolina’s book has 10 projects that can each be completed in a day or two! I’ve already finished one, and I’m excited to start another (more on that in a bit).
The 10 projects are:
Mason Jar Drawstring Pouch
Grandmother’s Flower Patch Quilt
Handmade Hexagon Tech Pouch
My Diamond Coaster
I’ve done a fair amount of EPP in the past, but only with hexies. When I received Carolina’s book, I decided this was the perfect time to try my hand at diamonds. I went for the adorable little diamond coaster. The tips in the book made it go together like a dream.
I tried out a few new tools this time, in addition to using my old standbys. The diamond templates came from Paper Pieces. I was thrilled with their service and the exceptional variety of papers they have available.
It was also my first time using the Sewline fabric glue pen. It was amazing! It’s filled with a long tube of washable glue. The small tip made it exceptionally easy to use on these tiny pieces. It even came with a refill, though I didn’t go through much glue at all on this project.
My old standbys include Thread Magic. You run your thread through it, and it keeps it from getting tangled and knotted as you sew. My favorite hand-stitching thread is 50wt Aurifil. I used the green 2890 to sew the pieces together, and the grey 5004 to attach the star to the felt. Not pictured are my favorite needles for hand sewing - number 9 sharps.
I love that this acrylic template includes a line for the seam allowance, so you could easily use it to line up fussy cut pieces. Since I chose not to fussy cut my fabric, I simply cut a 1 3/8” strip, and used the template to cut it into perfectly sized diamonds.
I had never tried glue basting before, but it didn’t take long to get into the swing of things. I think I might actually like it better than thread basting. The fine tip on the Sewline Fabric Glue Pen kept it from becoming a sticky mess, and the cap fit right on the end to keep it from rolling away.
Here’s a look at the back of my star with all of the papers still in place. Carolina’s book made sure I knew how to get all those seams in the middle to spin just right. There’s no bulk at all where the center comes together.
And the glue didn’t make the papers too hard to remove! I did press my block first, which I think made it harder, but I’m glad I did. Pressing made the block more willing to resume the appropriate shape after tugging to get the papers out. Next time I would remove all the inside papers first, press, then remove the outside papers. I think that would be the best of both worlds.
Here’s the front of my star! I’m really happy with how the center came together.
Once the star was sewn and the papers removed, I just had to attach it to the felt. It took no time at all to zip it on by machine, and now I have an adorable little coaster. It’s particularly satisfying to finish a hand-pieced project so quickly.
I had so much fun making my coaster, that I started flipping through the book looking for what I could do next. There are two projects in particular that I really love.
First, these hexie place mats. I don’t really want any place mats for my table, but I just love the stripe of hexies on one side.
Second was this little pouch. I’ve wanted to try my hand at zippers for a while, and the instructions for this pouch are fabulous. I think I’m going to combine the ideas to make a pouch just this size with a stripe of hexies down one side like the place mats. I already bought a zipper, so I’m committed now!
The Complete Blog Hop
Carolina has lined up a full two weeks of fabulous bloggers that are sharing about her book. Some are just talking about their inspiration and favorite projects, while others are diving in and trying the projects. Here’s the full line-up:
Friday, January 25th: Carolina from Always Expect Moore
What About You?
What do you think of English paper piecing? Is it something you’re curious about, something you love, or not your favorite? Do you have any favorite EPP projects? There are so many amazing designs available now! ! I would love to hear your experiences.