English Paper Piecing--Done!

I started out the month of January with the goal of learning how to English Paper Piece (EPP) and to complete a hexie flower for my Instagram friend, Heidee.  Goal met!  But not without some detours along the way.

I read a bunch of tutorials and watched some videos before starting on this project.  After figuring I had the basics down, and wanting to start right away, I grabbed some scraps from my IG Mini Quilt and got to work.  Above is a work-in-progress photo of my practice flower.  As you can see, I decided to try mixing colors, since I was trying to use up some scraps in the process.

Then I got this idea of using up some black cardstock that I had leftover from a school project.  That meant tracing the hexagon shapes using a white colored pencil.  Worked well enough.
So I set about making a flower using some fabric I rediscovered from an earlier project.  (Side note: most of my stash, I will admit, is 10-15 years old or more.  I've been working on this "quilting thing" for almost 20 years.  But with a big break from it over the past 5 years or so.  Which means I don't have a lot of "modern" fabrics.  Sorry, folks, that's just the truth.  And in an effort to "sew my stash," expect lots of projects using what are nearly vintage fabrics at this point.)
While I really like this fabric, and finished it long before the month was over, I just wasn't crazy about the end-result.  Someone had suggested glue-basting, and I think I used too much glue, and didn't like the way it turned out on the back.  Plus the black cardstock kind of stuck to the fabric and I was afraid it might show through.  (Maybe not such a good idea to use the black cardstock after all.)  I'm also not crazy about my hand-printing abilities, which means I obsessed over writing my name and location on the center hexagon.  Like really obsessed over it, and probably made two dozen attempts before settling and just going with what I had.

I really wanted to give fussy-cutting a try, so I went back to my stash, and grabbed one of my earliest quilting fabric purchases.  I should have taken a photo of the whole fabric so you could see where I took my hexagons from.  Anyway, much happier with this one, and I honestly just finished stitching it up this afternoon.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute!
And a picture of the back.  Complete with black cardstock.  I punched holes in them to make them easier to remove.  And didn't use glue this time around.  I think I basted too close to the fold, but it should be okay.  I hope!
I hope Heidee likes it, and I will be shipping it off to the UK soon!


New Year, New Focus

I didn't do much crafting last year.  Life was just too busy, I guess.  I lost focus.  My Etsy store has had almost no sales for months and months.  The beaded bookmark market has dried up.  About mid-year, though, I decided to check out Instagram a little closer, and discovered a bunch of wonderful quilters posting beautiful photos every day.  I decided that was the focus I needed.  Quilting is probably my first love when it comes to crafting, and I have ignored it way too much over the past few years (too many years, that I try not to count or think about it).  Through Instagram, I joined the first #IGMiniSwap, my first quilt swap.  We were to make a mini quilt for a secret partner, and we would get one in exchange from a different secret partner.  Here's what I made:

Long story short, I realized how much I missed quilting and creating with fabric.  But I also realize that I needed an extra push now and then, so I've decided to join A Lovely Year of Finishes in hopes that I will get things accomplished this year, and make my life happier by doing so.

One of the people I "met" through Instagram was my swap mama for the mini quilt swap, Heidee.  Heidee has asked quilt friends to make her a hexie flower for a quilt she wants to create.  Each quilter is to send an English Paper Pieced flower.  I've never done English Paper Piecing, but I'm always up for a challenge!  I have chosen completing my hexie flower as my January project.  Starting out simple, I know.  But I've got to start somewhere.  Plus I have at least the next two months worth of projects already figured out.  Two of Heidee's flowers are below.