Monday, November 27, 2017

English Paper Piecing - My Way

I have enjoyed making the occasional block using Katja Marek's book of 52 blocks (The New Hexagon for English Paper Piecing) and her perpetual calendar of 366 blocks. Sometimes, the renegade that I am, I rotary cut and sew by machine the various blocks. Why? Because I can!

The New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar
Today is November 27 and I saw that the block could easily be upsized and rotary cut. I used a new collection by Jackie Robinson called Festive Season and I love how it turned out. Don't you?

The blocks in the calendar are measured as is typical in EPP - the length of the side. They are a uniform 6" (so they can all fit together when placed block to block). When rotary cutting, you measure the height of the finished patch and block. My block here will finish to 10".

November 27 block from The New Hexagon Perpetual Calendar
I decided to take the plunge and make this block with EPP. But I discovered I didn't have any patches the right size other than the 1-1/2" center hexagon. Or did I?

Correction alert! These patches are NOT cut from the 3" hexagon papers, but the 1-1/2"!

A light bulb came on when I realized that I had some 3"  1-1/2" hexagon papers which could be cut to size for the diamonds, half-hexagons and small triangles. You don't believe me? Ha! Let me prove it.

The templates for all the blocks are in the back of the calendar. My theory proved correct! The half-hexagons can be cut from the 3"  1-1/2"whole hexagon (see below). I cut two hexagons for the four needed half-hexies.

Two half hexagons cut from the 1-1/2" whole hexagon paper
 Six triangles the size I needed can be cut from the same 1-1/2" hexagon, but since I only needed two, I drew the lines as shown below: yield, two triangles and two (of the four) diamonds.

Two triangles and two diamonds cut from the 1-1/2" hexagon
 And my last 3 diamonds (I only need two) are cut from the hexagon as shown.

Easy to get 3 diamonds from a single hexagon
I already had a center hexagon pieced using a Paula Nadelstern motif. It used a - wait for it! a 1-1/2" hexagon - exactly what I needed!

And can you see all of the card stock patches I cut from those simple 1-1/2" hexagons above? This was my lucky day!

All the needed patches to create this November 27 block
Now, I'm not one to cut my own papers. But this was easy because I had the pack of 1-1/2" hexagons from Paper Pieces. I have been using their papers for almost 20 years and I buy NO OTHERS. They are accurate and affordable and I buy them by the thousands for my EPP students in my workshops.

Papers to make the center of this block
What I want you to see in the picture above is that there are NO y-seams. Here are the steps I took:


  1. Stitch all of the individual units (1 hexagon, two red triangles, two blue diamonds and 4 cream half hexagons). I loved using my glue stick to keep this going quick!
  2. Stitch the small red triangles to the top and bottom of my hexagon
  3. Add a cream half-hexagon to each side of the 3-patch unit from #1, at the bottom
  4. Join a blue diamond to a cream half-hexagon as shown, twice. These are added last, at the top, with a straight seam!
November 27 EPP block finished.
Hope you enjoyed my process. I have made several other blocks from Katja's book and calendar using this Paula Nadelstern collection. There are such awesome kaleidoscope motifs that are perfect for those center units.

Dawn, Block #23 (Twisted Hexagon)
 Another Dawn
Block #23: Dawn

Marena
Block #8: Marena

Block #1: Marie (one of my favorites)

Block #1: Marie
 Block #28: Mary Ellen
Mary Ellen
And, finally, some regular Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks. I love these and hope to make them into an awesome quilt sometime soon. I think these use 2" hexies. Doesn't matter - they all are the same size!

Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks using some Fabricadabra fabrics by Paula Nadelstern

So, you see I've been busy. Someday, I'll put them together into something. For now, they are happy to be hanging out with all the other blocks in my EPP drawers!

I'll be back another day this week with some more blocks and ideas.

6 comments:

  1. So great tutorial.Many tahnks.Could I share it on Facebook in a hexie group?

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  2. Fascinating. I need to get me some EPP papers and give this a try.

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  3. Hello Debby; Wowsers ( a word my daughter made up when she was little and the family has been using it since)! I love the fabrics you are using for your EPP Blocks! Whatever you do decide to do with them, it will be a spectacular project. I have not yet truly tried EPP, only played with it. I will however use your tutorials when I am ready to try EPP because you do magnificent tutorials! I have however taken the plunge into Hand Applique due to watching and seeing everything that you do and how you explain the process. I am sure there are many people who will say I am not truly doing hand applique because instead of using the normal stitch, boring, I am using fun embroidery stitches like the chain stitch to attach my pieces. Thank you for always sharing and reflecting your excitement with your projects! I love your blog!

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  4. Oh my....this is why I love reading you're blog Debby....you always show us a way to make a block the simple easy way. Now I am off to get some EPP papers to make some of these fussy cut blocks....Thanks again for sharing your talent.

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  5. Thanks Debby for always breaking it down into simple steps! Love your paper piecing hints!

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  6. The Christmas block is lovely, and the center motifs from P. Nadelstern fabrics are perfect for the EPP hexie project.

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Thanks for stopping by Debby Kratovil Quilts! If you had a question and don't get an answer from me, please feel free to email me at: kratovil@his.com