Eeeee! I'm so happy with how this turned out! I've been working away every night at this rose using the English Paper Piecing method. So much fun. While hand stitching takes a LONG TIME, it's a perfect project to do on those nights when you want to sew, but you don't feel like sitting at your machine. Because you've recently become obsessed with Friday Night Lights. Which is weird, because it's a show about high school football. So hand stitching becomes your friend, your football-watching friend.
I saw something similar to this over at Oh Frannson (who's quilts and color choices are amazing, check out her echino quilt) and thought I'd give it a try. I used some of that great Ruby Star Rising fabric for the middle and stuck to bright Kona solids for the rest. I am going to finish it with a few more pieces to square it off into a 22 by 22" block, and then get started on some more. Eventually I will have enough to make a quilt.
If you want to try something like this it is REALLY not hard. I'll tell you what I did. I wanted the shape of a rose cut into geometrical pieces. I started by using a ruler and a pencil and drawing out the outer lines first. I used a thick sheet of poster board, paper is WAY too flimsy. From there I started connecting corners with my ruler to create shapes within the rose. Once I was happy with the way it looked I numbered the pieces before cutting, going around clockwise from the middle.
Then I cut em, and then I pinned them to a thick piece of white cardboard so that I could work more easily with layout and color decisions.
Once I decided on the fabric I wanted for my middle piece and next piece I placed the two poster board pieces on their coordinating fabrics, right side down. Fabric glue. I cut leaving a seam allowance of about 1/4 inch, but whatever you want to do is fine, as long as you have enough extra fabric on all sides to fold over.
Folding over the joining edges of my two pieces I held them together, right sides facing each other and joined them with a running stitch.
Bingo, first pieces joined together. I did this for a few hours a night while watching American football dramas and before I knew it I had a paper pieced rose and a new-found love for high school jocks and cheerleaders. Go Panthers!!
Now, I know that some of you paper piecing sticklers are yelling at the computer right now saying "Baste your pieces - don't glue them!" And you're right, traditionally, little English grannies did not glue, maybe glue had not even been invented, but I found gluing faster and easier for me which are key words in a modern day sewing mother's language. Nevertheless, here is a great tutorial from Sunshine's Creations on English Paper Piecing, and another great paper piecing tutorial with PDF hexagon downloadables from Snippets and Blabbery. Hexie flowers are adorable and a great introduction to paper piecing!
Like I said, this block was SO much fun to make and I will be making more and more. To recap, for the rose I will urge you to definitely pin your cut pieces onto something so that they stay in order and you have an idea of what colors you want to use for your pieces. I found this essential. If you haven't done paper piecing before, give it a go! Start with a hexagon flower and you'll soon see the possibilities are endless!