SMITTEN QUILT UPDATE
20 Large Blocks are done!
This quilt has been a long and slow process. It's one of those projects that I pick up when I have time to do a little slow stitching. It's also perfect to take travelling. But 2020 is the year to get this finished....
I started with a pack of fat quarters which had been waiting for just the right project. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love hand piecing and EPP.
Pretty fabrics + EPP = Smitten Quilt
Fabric Choices and Supplies
I started with a pack of about 20 fat quarters in pastel gelato colours. But as I rummaged through my scrap basket, I kept finding small scraps that worked well. Some of these pieces will only be large enough to do a few small pieces of a small blocks but it all adds variety and shading.
Scappy quilts are definitely my favourite style, so I am happy to add those tiny bits and make it truly 'scrappy'.
Pattern and Templates
The pattern is by Lucy Carson Kingwell, an amazing Aussie quilt designer with a slight 'quirky' edge. Together with Jen Kingwell they produce an stunning range of patterns and templates.
Instead on paper templates, I have used the Mylar template pack made by Eppiflex.
These patented Australian products are laser cut from mylar, making them extremely accurate as well as heat proof.
My preference is to glue baste but these templates are perfect for glue or thread basting. The edges are firm so no more stitching through the papers. I find that they bend really easily when you need them to but remain flat as the project progresses. I've also noticed that they are much easier to remove than paper templates and put very little stress on the seams when removing - perhaps because their are no stitches through the template.
We have the full range of Eppiflex templates available to purchase. Choose from basic shapes like hexagons or diamonds or purchase a pack to begin your favourite Millefiore quilt.Shop for Eppiflex Templates
My preference is definitely glue basting. I like that the fabric is firm around the template. When I thread baste, I find that the fabric is less stable and moves more as I stitch.
But remember, this is just my preference. If you prefer to thread baste and are happy with the results, don't let anybody tell you that it is 'wrong'. It's your project and you are supposed to enjoy the process.
For those new to EPP, try both methods and see what works for you. You may even choose to do both!
Thread choice - another controversial topic! I love to use Bottom Line thread by Superior Threads. It is a 100-wt polyester thread so extremely fine and tends to blend in with the fabrics. We are lucky in Australia that we have a great range of products. Try a few threads and see which you prefer.
Again, for those new to EPP, I would recommend staying away from regular sewing thread such as Rasant or polyester machine thread. Although, these threads are great for your sewing machine and some people are happy with the results when hand sewing, I find that the thread tangles, shreds and knots.
Needle choices - I prefer to stitch with a very fine needle. This does pose a few problems though. The eye of the needle can be small and hard to thread, but I am using a very fine thread so it is not usually a problem. I like to stitch in good light as well, so that makes it easier to see the eye of the needle. I also have a very bad habit of bending my needle. Often, I will continue to use it when slightly bent but if it gets too bad, I just start with a nice fresh, sharp needle.
This post just outlines my preference for EPP. We are fortunate to have access to a great range of supplies and patterns in Australia. Try lots of techniques and work with those that suit you and your lifestyle. Patchwork and quilting should be enjoyed and not be a chore. There are no rules, just guidelines that can help you produce a better outcome.
Check out our workshops page and join me in developing your skills or learning a new technique.
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