Summer challenge: Take it with you!

Summer is often spent outdoors or away from your sewing machine: lounging on the deck, sitting at sporting events, camping, travelling in the car, and so on. So, we want you to come up with a project that you can take with you! This challenge is due at the September meeting, giving you four months instead of the usual three.

Olympic Ogees #1 and 2
Flaun's Ogees
The rules: this time, absolutely none! You can sew, knit, crochet, embroider, or do whatever hand work you want. Also, if you loathe hand work and want to do something on your machine, go for it! Make up your own rules to challenge yourself.

So, the most obvious choice if you want to make a quilt or quilty item is English Paper Piecing (EPP). To encourage everyone to at least try out EPP, we will be giving out a little EPP starter kit to every paid member, which will be ready at the May 22nd social. You can also pick it up at the June 1st bbq or the June meeting. If you can't make any of these, contact me and I will leave it at Sewtropolis for you.

I encourage you to use these supplies to make your own little EPP travelling kit, like the one below, so when you have the opportunity, you can just grab it and go.

Hexagon kit, by Ms Purrl on Flickr

Moda has generously donated some mini charm packs (thanks Lisa, for setting that up!). Also included in the kit is everything you need to try out a few different methods for EPP—paper and teflon hexies, some fancy thread and needles, clips, and glue.

Fiskars has just started making paper punches for 1/2, 3/4, and 1" hexagons—I got them at JoAnn's (Roseville) with a coupon. I used these to make the hexie templates in the kit. If you want more hexies, I will bring the punches to the next three events, all you need to bring is some cardstock (the kind I used is 110lb from Office Max). Just ask me if you want me to bring them to any future meeting after that.

There are many, many, different ways of doing EPP, so be sure to try out a few different ways before you settle on one! For example, many people save time by just rotary cutting and using squares of fabric instead of cutting out little hexagons with scissors. Some people glue baste, some sew behind the templates instead of through, and some don't use paper templates at all!

And, if you like pre-cuts, some Moda prints, Bella Solids, Kona Solids, and Tula Pink is available in pre-cut 2" hexagons. You can even buy entire quilt kits.

2010 Quilt Show entry - as at December 2005
2010 quilt show entry, by ButtonTree Lane, on Flickr.

Also, don't feel like you need to make a whole quilt. Make a pillow, bag, placemat, mug rug, wall hanging, or pincushion if you'd like.

Pincushion by craftapalooza, on Flickr

Rainbow Hexagon Pillow
Rainbow hexagon Pillow, by Cut To Pieces, on Flickr

If you would like to be inspired by EPP ideas, check out my EPP Pinterest page. I have links to both EPP instructions & tips, and a bunch of amazing projects.

Also, be sure to read Flaun's previous post about paper piecing: "When I can't be at my machine" that contains some great videos.

Lastly, if you don't like hexagons, there are many other options. Take a look at They sell papers in every shape and size imaginable.

Long Term Paper Piecing Project
Long Term paper piecing project, by Lori H Designs.
English Paper Piecing/ Travelin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop
English Paper Piecing, by Amanda Millar, on Flickr
Pentagon Papers in progress
Pentagon papers in progress, by domesticat, on Flickr

Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

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