Quilting on the go... English Paper Piecing BLOG TOUR (Last Stop)

Finally it's my turn for this blog tour! It has been quite some time since I am really excited about sharing something. I mean, I learnt a new handsewing technique over this summer vacation! Picking up this rather daunting new skill was what I had been avoiding for years. Well you know, I am very comfortable with normal handsewing. But sewing with papers... not really.

Until that day on IG when I happened to see Sharon's new book. Oh... the very beautiful book cover!

So I asked Sharon (quite nervously) where I could get her book and when she replied if I would love to join her blog tour, I hesitated. What is english paper piecing (EPP)? It's an area yet to be explored by me. There's a high chance I couldn't finish sewing anything to show. It was so tough to say yes. But Sharon was really nice to reassure she could help whenever I asked.

A month long of summer vacation was spent searching for paper pieces from local stores, glueing fabric to papers, handsewing tiny stitches. I have to admit it was a pretty stressful period. I could not find the paper pieces of the right sizes and had to just settle for what I found. And the book did not arrive before I flew off. My kids were asking to go out for some summer fun so I did not have much time to sew. Oh my, too much distraction. The only time to sew was night time when everyone was asleep. Sewing tiny stitches at night proved to be eye straining. As a newbie, it took me a rather long time to figure out EPP.

I was really afraid that I could not finish on time.

But very very fortunately, I did complete not one, but two EPP projects just yesterday! Yay!! I can't tell you how proud I am or how my smile beamed after the last stitch. The happiness and satisfaction was seriously overwhelming! It sounds really ridiculous but my heart was bursting with pride and admiration for myself to successfully finish these two projects that I personally love so much!

note: both projects are made based on my own measurements since my paper pieces are much smaller .

1: Patchwork Block Keeper

This is a project I love so much. I made it to keep all my patchwork blocks for my quilt along. It is my first ever EPP project so I took a lot of time to try and correct my mistakes. From the way of glueing to stitching with papers attached, it took me a while to get used to this kind of handsewing. I wasn't sure I like it initially. But it was clearly addictive.

The more I EPP, the more I was motivated to get all the pieces sewn together. So slowly after much thread unplucking, I finally finished the whole EPP for this project. That was when I started to think: hey, it's not so bad afterall. I actually started to like EPP.

The fun thing about EPP is that you can fussy cut to make an artwork. I'll try it next time if there's a chance.

I used normal quilting thread to piece together because I wanted to see my stitches. If I do them well enough.

My paper pieces are much smaller than the required size. And my stitches did not allow me to open the seams. So I decided to appliqué it directly on the background fabric after removing the papers.

Lace and motifs again my favourite thing to do.

Just perfect for my patchwork blocks!

2: Clamshell Dilly Bag

This bag has to be my favourite no doubt. I learnt so much just by sewing the clamshells! That you only need to glue the curved top and also to keep the side papers attached for easier connecting. These clamshells took a big bulk of my time to sew together. I was so grateful when it was finally done!

I added pleats for the round bottom (because my measurement for the round template was a little smaller). I like to play around with fabric combination so I used a checkered fabric for the bottom and not the beige background fabric.

No inner pockets. Just a basic drawstring pouch with a pretty checkered lining.

To save time making the casing, I used uncut fabric tags instead. That's what zakka sewing is about i think. Easy sewing with whatever you have to make pretty things to make yourself happy.

Valdani thread for hand quilting details. How charming the bag became!

This book is wonderfully written with beautiful pictures and easy to understand instructions/explanations.  There's a whole section for techniques that you can read and learn. The book is also printed in a larger format so reading is much easier. The projects are amazing and worth every try. As a EPP newbie, this is definitely the book to buy to learn and keep.

**I wish to give a huge thank you to my dear friend Kristyne for gifting her very pretty debut fabric collection "First Romance" with Moda Fabrics to me so I could use them for the above two projects! You are the best!**

Thank you Sharon for trusting that I could do it as a complete beginner with EPP. I think you believed in the right person. Congrats for writing such a fantastic book! And thank you Tuva Publishing for sending the book!

For so many sleepless nights, I can finally take a good break from EPP and sleep in peace from tonight. But give me any EPP projects now, I am still game for another try!xx

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