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Friday, March 31, 2017

Glue basting for EPP

So this glue basting thing may be just what I need for my Hex on the Beach quilt. Here is my latest progress on the quilt. For those who are unfamiliar with Hex on the Beach, it was a kit that came with laser (or die) cut hexagon pieces. Those pieces are precision cut with a quarter-inch seam allowance.

I usually cut my hexies with somewhere closer to a 3/8-inch seam allowance because some of that allowance gets taken up in the fold over the paper, and you end up with more like a scant-quarter inch seam. Sometimes it's even skinnier if you lose a thread or two from the edge when basting.

Here is my progress as of earlier this week when I brought it out of hibernation in my all-EPP-all-the-time obsession this week.

At this point, all of the hexies have been thread basted. But a friend asked me recently if I thought glue basting was a better way to go. Honestly, I hadn't given it much thought for my already-in-progress projects such as this, Over the Rainbow, and Grandmother's Flower Garden. But I've decided to give it a shot. And I really think it may work, especially for this quilt. The other quilts are so far along, that I'm not sure whether I'll change from thread basting on them, but here is a close-up of the glue basting (top) and thread basting (bottom). Not much of a difference in the appearance. But a major difference in the time and amount of work involved in wrangling those scant seam edges while basting!

Stay tuned for updates on how well this works. It's definitely working for my Tula's Bloomers quilt, which I'll be posting about again soon. Let's just say, I'm fixated on English paper piecing at the moment, and can't seem to find the inspiration to work on anything else but these projects right now.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

I met Tula Pink!

And she is wonderful, of course! She is a great teacher, and I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend workshop I took with her and several others this weekend at CraftSouth. I learned so much and had a ton of fun.

We started Thursday night with a trunk show, and I had a front row seat, so I got to see her beautiful quilts up close and personal. They are even more beautiful than the photos appear. And I got to have my picture taken with her. :)

Friday and Saturday was our workshop with Tula. She taught an English paper pieced quilt that she designed for this class. Even though I have some experience with EPP, I learned a lot more about fabric selection and fussy cutting. Plus, I learned the glue basting technique that she uses instead of basting with thread.

Friday we worked on choosing our fabrics, cutting them, and basting them to the papers. I thought I knew what fabrics I wanted to use with my Tabby Road kitties, but when I got several cut out, I changed my mind and had to go back and cut a little more. Here are the kitties basted.

And here are the 2-inch kitties with the pieces for the rest of the block. I knew I wanted to use the cat's eye print for the center. I started out originally thinking I would use the stripes as a full hexagon, but realized that was just too overpowering so I cut them into half hexies instead. Then I thought I would use the lighter green print as a 2-inch triangle, but I didn't like how stark that seemed. It needed something more. So, back to the cutting board. I cut those into half hexies as well, and added a small 1-inch triangle in the medium green print. That was it, a much better transition.

At the end of the day, we also had to choose the solid color that we're going to put together as 6-pointed stars around this block. I decided on a royal blue.

Saturday we learned how to put it all together. She had so many tips to share, and again I learned a ton. I managed to get the block pieced and then one 6-point blue star pieced as well.

I am very excited by the possibilities of this quilt. Here is Tula's full design, which she named "Tula's Bloomers" this weekend, soliciting suggestions from the workshop participants and of course our wonderful hostess, Anna Maria Horner (designer of many things including fabric, and owner of Craft South). I was so lucky to get to spend time with both of these wonderful women and the other "bloomers". It was my first time visiting Craft South, but it won't be my last.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Grandmother's Flower Garden update

It has been a little while since I updated where I was on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, so I thought I'd take a moment to share with you my most recent progress picture.

The quilt was getting heaving and pulling on the seams as I added more rows, so I decided to start a second "half" and once it is finished, I will piece the halves together.