I may have mentioned before that one of my resolutions for this year was to try my hand at English Paper Piecing. I want to improve my hand sewing skills, use up more fabric scraps, and also learn a new craft.
The fact that English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a portable craft and you can do it anywhere makes it extra appealing. To do some research, I headed on over to good old youTube. I know that Nikki from The Stitch Sisters loves a bit of patchwork, and I remembered that some time ago she released a video showing the basics of EPP. It’s really helpful, and it is this that helped me get started.
After sewing several hexagons together, I wanted to use them to make something. I wasn’t ready to sew something as large as a quilt at this stage (at any rate, I didn’t have that much fabric), so decided to have a look on the internet for a free zipper bag pattern. It needed to be lined to hide the wrong side of the patchwork. There are loads of patterns and tutorials as you can imagine, but I eventually decided on this Fully Lined Front Zippered Pouch tutorial which I found on the Projects By Jane blog. I liked how the zip was inserted part way down the front of the bag rather than along the top edge.
If you get a chance, I would definitely recommend that you head on over to the Projects By Jane blog linked above, she has all sorts to look through including bag patterns, tutorials and applique advice.
The tutorial was good and easy to follow with lots of pictures to help you along. I admit that using slightly bulky patchwork was probably not the best choice of fabrics, as it was hard to push out those corners into neat sharp points despite trimming my seam allowances and corners, but it’s pretty close and that’s good enough for me! This pattern does come with instructions to add a strap, but I didn’t want this.
My reason for sewing a bag is that I am saving up for a fancy sewing machine. There’s actually nothing wrong with my current Janome ( the Janome DC3050 ), but, you know, I can’t help lusting after all the lovely Janome Atelier machines that I keep seeing EVERYWHERE!! There is no way that I will ever be able to afford one of these machines if I don’t start saving, so here it is – my official saving fund for my fancy new Atelier.
Just for fun, and to use up more scraps, I have made a fun quilted luggage tag using this tutorial on youTube (of course) by The Crafty Gemini. I probably won’t leave this tag on the bag in the long run, but as I still had some scraps left over in this fabric I thought it would be fun to make something that matched. Once again if you’re in the market for some crafty inspiration then Vanessa from The Crafty Gemini has hundreds of youTube tutorials.
The only alteration that I made to the tag was the addition of an eyelet to run the ribbon through. The original tutorial shows you how to sew in an elastic loop to hang your tag with.
I have definitely become a little addicted to EPP, and my next project is this little quilt sampler which I thought might be a good way to try out EPP using some different shapes.
Eventually when I feel confident enough with the basics, I plan to make a big project like a quilt or picnic blanket using this Tales of Cloth heart pattern.
Take care, I’ll be back soon,