Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Falling in love all over again.

It's no secret that I'm a scrappy girl at heart. I love creating something new out of little leftover bits of fabric.

Not too long ago, though, I discovered that I was avoiding my scraps. Where I used to head straight for my scrap bags when starting a project, I found myself thumbing through the larger cuts of fabric in the cupboard next door. 

I'm telling you, those scraps knew they were losing me to the shiny stacks next door. The guilt! All those bright colors and pretty prints were laying it on thick and for a time I was able to resist.

"It's not you, it's me," I'd say.

But they knew better. I'd fallen out of love with them and they just couldn't understand why.

Looking back, I think I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of prints and colors going on in those bags. And what was I to do with the ones that I still liked, but didn't love enough to make a focus in my projects?

Then it came to me: it was time to start a scrappy English paper pieced quilt. I'd been meaning to try English paper piecing since... well, forever. All of those gorgeous EPP quilts out there in the bloggy world have been tempting me to give it a try. Yes, it was definitely time.

A few clicks on Etsy and I'd ordered some 2" diamonds to get me started. From the very beginning I knew I wanted to take all of those crazy scraps and turn them into a beautiful vintage-inspired scrap quilt. Each star is pieced with scraps that seem to be friends with one another – not necessarily best friends, as they aren't all matchy-matchy – but friends. Then all of the stars are surrounded by Kona Snow diamonds, which when joined together make snowy hexies. 

I'm completely smitten with this project. English paper piecing lets me spend more time with my hubby at night while still keeping my hands busy. It allows me to sew while I watch the kids play outside. And it's made me fall in love with my scraps all over again.

But the best part is that this one is for my mom. I've been thinking about starting a quilt for her for what seems like forever, but could never come up with the right design. This one is just perfect: she loves everything vintage, so it will appeal to her sense of style, and she'll know that my love for her went into every single hand stitch.

It's a long-term project, for sure. So I'll try to post pictures of my progress here and there. After six months, I have nearly four rows finished!

10 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks amazing and complicated - and time-consuming! i can tell just by this picture that it is going to have a cottage charm feel to it once finished. Great stuff, look forward to seeing how you progress.

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    1. Believe it or not, it's actually not as complicated as you might think. That's exactly what kept me from EPP for such a long time... I thought it looked thar way too but the stars that I'm making are actually very simple to put together. You could definitely do it, I promise! :) You're very right about it being time-consuming. It's definitely a long-term project!

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  2. It looks so beautiful!! I look forward to seeing it when it is all finished. xx

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    1. Thanks, Amy! I'll try to remember to post more photos as I go. I can't wait to see it when it's finished too!

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  3. Fantastic! This is going to feel so genuinely vintage with such diverse scraps. She's going to love it!

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    1. It's that vintage feel that really makes me love this project. I love how women used to use whatever scraps from clothes, sheets, etc. that they had on hand when piecing quilts. Those quilts are always just so stunning in my mind, and I really want to achieve that same feeling with this one. I think she's going to love it too!

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  4. What a beautiful quilt you are making for your mom. Beautiful quilt. Lucky mom.
    From what you have said, I gather that you are hand piecing this one. One of the reasons that I love doing things like "boutis" is that I can work on it anywhere; I don't have to isolate myself to the "machine".
    I love your "scrappy!" fabrics; With the Kona Snow background and the contemporary scraps, this is going to be a very delightful, traditionally pieced modern quilt. Looking forward to the progress.

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    1. Yes, this one is going to be entirely hand pieced. I love it for the very same reasons you mentioned. Sometimes it's just so nice to be able to sew somewhere else. I actually ended up bringing it with me to school pick-up every day during the second half of the school year. It made for a wonderful break in my day.

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  5. I love that you have fallen in love with EPP! I was bitten by the same bug about two years ago and little by little I have finally finished a hexagon EPP quilt for my daughter. It has taken so long because of it not being my top priority but the mobility of it was definitely one of the reasons I fell in love. I am now working on a tessalation maddness pattern that is EPP from Nellies Niceties nelliesniceties.blogspot.co.uk/ which is fantastic. After this EPP I hope to take on the Diamond EPP like you :) I have lots of scraps to put into these lovely EPP quilts...maybe one day I will make one that isn't scrappy :)

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  6. I think you'll like working with the diamonds. They are so easy and versatile.

    I checked out your blog and I love your hexie quilt! It sounds like you plan to quilt it by hand... What style/pattern do you have planned for it?

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