We are in the depths of a muddy, wet winter here, but I have spent the week stitching by the fire and dreaming of Spring with this fresh and happy colours from Bonnie Christine's Forest Floor collection. And today is my stop on the Forest Floor Blog Tour! Welcome!
If you've been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you'll know that just a few weeks ago, my husband and I started selling English Paper Pieces in our sparkly, new online store! And I've been meaning to stop by here all that time and write more about it, but the wonderful chaos of many more orders than we anticipated has kept me packing and replying emails during the day, and happily stitching in the evening. I've been making an array of mini quilts to show how the different shapes we sell can be stitched together into a beautiful variety of designs that go way beyond the humble hexie flower. I'll be sharing my process here for each of them over the next several weeks. I hope you'll follow along!
And first up, Spout! Sprout is a sweet and fast mini quilt made up of 1.5" honeycombs. Honeycombs are the star of the show in the famous Patchwork of the Crosses, and Kansas Dugout quilt patterns, and also tile together in this fun vine, or flowing river, if you put it sideways! For a tutorial on how to English Paper Piece, click here.
To make this 23" x 29" quilt, you will need:
(132) 1.5" honeycomb paper pieces (we sell them in packets of 140 but you could easily buy 2 packets and make the quilt bigger. ;))
A fat quarter of the following Forest Floor prints and solids:
- Wild Posy in Flora, Capped in Dim, Flourish in Aglow, Timber in Nightfall, Nature Study in Bark, Laced in Sunset.
- Green, Mint, and light Peach solid. (I used Kona Wasabi, Ice Frappe, and something else that wasn't labeled - sorry!)
(3) 2.5" x Width of Fabric Strips for binding. I used Kona Ice Frappe but I wish I'd had enough Wasabi or Timber in Nightfall!
Cut (14) 2 3/4" x 4" rectangles from the green solid, mint solid and Nature Study in Bark.
Cut (15) 2 3/4" x 4" rectangles from the remain prints and solids.
Baste your shapes with your preferred method. I get asked about this often and soon I'll commit a whole blog post to it, but I use ordinary stick glue from Woolworths, the smallest size so that it doesn't get all messy, for about 50c each. I swipe once or twice along each edge of the paper, fold the fabric over carefully and hold for a second or two. It's quick and the fabric peels off easily afterwards.
I stitched my vines together in 6 rows as above. I followed the same order in each row but started each row with a different print. If you look carefully at the photo above, you'll see that I stitched in a zigzag along centre of the vine, and then after I completed each row, I stitched out between each 'leaf'.
Begin the first vine with Capped Dim Honeycomb pointing slightly up and left, and stitch a Laced Sunset Honeycomb to the upper right of the first shape. Next add a light peach solid to the left, Flourish Aglow to the right, Kona Ice Frappe to the left, Timber Nightfall to the right, Kona Wasabi to the left, Wild Posy Flora to the right, Nature Study Bark to the left, and then Capped Dim to the right, and continue through the order until you have 11 leaves on each side of the vine. (note: if you use your own fabric for this quilt, I recommend using at least 9 prints/solids, and making sure you have an odd number of fabrics so that they take turns on each side of the vine as you go through the pattern.)
Begin the second vine with Timber Nightfall.
Begin the third vine with the light peach solid.
Begin the fourth vine with Wild Posy in Flora.
Begin the fifth vine with Kona Ice Frappe.
Begin the sixth vine with Timber Nightfall. The sixth vine is a repeat of the first.
Stitch the six vines together into your mini quilt top. You can take the papers out as they become completely surrounded, or you can wait until the end.
Once stitching is complete, and the papers have been removed, press all the seams down flat on the reverse side, and then give the front a press also. As much as you can, open out the fabrics along the edges and press. It will be easier to trim and bind if these are folded back out rather than still in their honeycomb shape around the outside.
Baste and quilt. I used a free motion wavy quilting pattern to give the quilt more movement, like a breeze, or long grass. I used to have strong ideals about hand-quilting hand-stitched quilts. But I have too many EPP projects on the go now! So I decided to save time here.
Now, I wish I'd taken a photo for this bit! You need to trim the quilt around the edge, 1/4" away from the end of the seam between each leaf. There's a few points in there, so it can be a bit confusing. You can see the line in my finished quilt above. Prepare your strips for binding and bind according to your favourite method.
Well, if anything's going to make me happy to wait for Spring, it's these beautiful daffodils! Aren't they wonderful? A lovely lady a few tenants before me planted them, and I highly recommend it to any renters out there who want to make a future stranger's day! Especially someone like me who usually kills plants rather than grows them.
Thanks so much for stopping by today! To celebrate this pretty finish, I'm offering 20% off honeycombs till Friday! If you make it, tag me on Instagram to let me know, and use the hashtag #talesofclothEPP so we can build a big home of English Paper Piecing Inspiration together!