HOW TO ENGLISH PAPER PIECE – PART 5
“Sewing sequence” is one of the fun things about hand piecing whether it is English Paper Piecing or hand piecing with a running stitch.
THE RULE For any hand piecing, sewing sequence can be random or any order you like.
(In other words, there is no rule.)
That can be confusing to quilters because machine piecing often requires us to sew in a sensible, predetermined sequence to avoid inset seams. We expect there to be a rule.
When we hand piece, inset seams are an advantage (yes!) and we can sew the shapes together in any order we like.
(There is no wrong way. Isn’t that nice?)
On the other hand, we have some suggestions that could make the sewing sequence more fun for you.
The examples in this tute use Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC), but the same method applies no matter what shapes you are sewing—hexagons, diamonds, triangles, and shapes with curves . (Inklingo Index of Shapes)
Fern in Singapore has posted photos of 50 of her POTC blocks on Inklingo Yahoo. They are all stunning. She uses Inklingo with a running stitch by hand instead of English Paper Piecing because it is faster, portable, relaxing—and it gives her spectacular results.
INSET SEAMS FOR CONTINUOUS STITCHING
We can sew the shapes together in any order, but Monkey and I like to plan our route to have lots of inset seams because they are an opportunity for “continuous stitching.”
Continuous stitching: At the end of every seam, before you cut the thread, look to see if the next seam can be sewn just by turning a corner.
I start with the 4 hexagons in the center.
With one thread, I join the first three hexagons (2 seams) as shown by the red arrows.
Two more seams and the center cross is finished. Voilà!
This is the same whether I am sewing with a running stitch or EPP.
With English Paper Piecing, leave the papers in until all of the sides are sewn.
If you are sewing with a running stitch, there are no papers to remove (nice!) and you can “circle the intersection” to be sure it is perfect with no hole (video).
One of my favorite sewing sequences is to assemble the next 12 hexagons for POTC into a ring like this because it maximizes the continuous stitching in the next step.
I sew the seams for the ring by machine—sewing crosshair to crosshair (video)—but you can do this with English Paper Piecing too.
The red arrows show how I can sew continuously to add the ring of 12 hexagons to the center cross.
Continuous stitching is relaxing and therapeutic—the zen of stitching.
Next I sew these pairs for the corners, so . . .
. . . there is more continuous stitching!
TIP Whether you use a running stitch or EPP, when you turn a corner, you will have to fold other shapes out of the way. You can see how this works in a video for sewing Grandmother’s Flower Garden.
If you are using EPP, sometimes you need to fold the template to line up the next seam. You don’t want your template to be too stiff to fold for whip-stitching.
If you are sewing with a running stitch (instead of EPP), it is easy to isolate the seams you are sewing.
If you are English Paper Piecing, you can remove the paper on the 8 shapes in the center (outlined in red) because all sides are sewn. That makes it a little more portable and you can re-use the papers in the next block.
EPP is the slowest and most difficult method in the POTC book, but it is included because it is the method that Lucy Boston used to make all of her quilts, as described in The Patchworks of Lucy Boston by Diana Boston.
Whether you use English Paper Piecing OR sew with a running stitch OR sew some seams by hand and some seams by machine (“hybrid”), you can use the No Waste Fussy Cutting method to get pretty results without wasting fabric or wasting time.
The variations are endless!
INKLINGO AND ENGLISH PAPER PIECING
In Wednesday Tute 16, we showed you how you can print the Inklingo layouts with seam allowances on fabric to use the fabric more efficiently and to make the shapes faster and easier to cut than with acrylic templates.
In Wednesday Tute 17, we showed you a few different basting methods, so you have a choice depending on the template material you have printed.
In Wednesday Tute 18, we showed you how to deal with seam allowances on sharp points and the advantages of pressing seams to the side instead.
The more you know about EPP and Inklingo, the easier it is to choose the method that is best for you.
- No Waste Fussy Cutting
- Design Ideas like 300 Pieced Hexagons
- Sewing instructions and worksheets in the Inklingo Design Books
- English Paper Piecing Rescue
Isn’t this fun?
OTHER WEDNESDAY TUTES
You can catch up on our other Wednesday Tutes now too:
- EIGHT Wednesday Tutes for Pieced Hexagons
- FIVE Wednesday Tutes for Double Wedding Ring
- ONE Wednesday Tute for Kaleidoscope Stars
- FOUR Wednesday Tutes for English Paper Piecing
I hope you enjoy sewing these as much as I do.
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Several Inklingo quilters are posting photos on the Facebook page for Inklingo Quilts and Projects and I have been adding Kaleidoscope Stars too. There is lots to see on the Inklingo Projects Blog and in the Inklingo Yahoo Group too.
Thanks for visiting.
Linda & Monkey
New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.
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