Portable quilting for fabric florists

Posted by on July 19, 2012, in quilting & sewing,

Quilts from Grandmother's GardenHave you tried EPP yet? That’s short for English paper piecing. It’s a technique that’s as old as the hills but has been making a HUGE comeback.

Hexagons are perhaps the best-known shape used in EPP, and author Jaynette Huff makes the most of hexagon quilts in the re-release of Quilts from Grandmother’s Garden. Originally published in 2005, we’ve had so many requests for this popular book that we’ve just reprinted it!

If you love traditional Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilts with gazillions of hexagons pieced together, you’ll find projects here just for you. But if all those hexies intimidate you, Jaynette has plenty of easier options. She uses hexagon flowers as appliqué units and combines them with regular appliqué to create beautiful floral arrangements on quilts.

hexagon quilt templatesEnglish paper-piecing quilt patterns are wonderfully portable. I love to pack a baggie full of precut papers, pre-trimmed fabric pieces, a needle, and thread. I can work on these almost anywhere: doctors’ waiting rooms, standing in line at the DMV, airports, or just at home in front of the TV. Trust me, it’s addictive once you start. I’ve personally been blamed for spreading this addiction to dozens of unsuspecting quilters who claimed to dislike hand piecing. The precut papers make hexagon quilting so very easy and relaxing. It’s just a few basic steps:

1. Baste fabric to a bunch of paper hexagons.
2. Whipstitch those hexagons together.
3. Press.
4. Remove the basting stitches and paper.
5. Appliqué the hexagons to your project. Voilà !

Quilts from Grandmother's GardenJaynette does a beautiful job combining various techniques to make gorgeous floral pieces. A bit of EPP, a touch of appliqué, and some finishing with embroidery make her motifs really stand out. All of the projects are small, which makes them perfect for gift giving and wall hangings. The cover project, the most ambitious in the book, is “Grandmother’s Flower Garden.” Believe it or not, the quilt measures just 19 3/4″ x 21 3/4″ and uses 725 hexagons!  But once you’ve mastered the basic steps, this isn’t a difficult project. If you’d like to start with fewer pieces, there are nine other projects that require a fraction of the work.  Take a look at them all in the slideshow below.


Have you tried English paper piecing? Have you ported it around town? What did you make, hex by hex? Share your story in the comments and you could win a copy of the Quilts from Grandmother’s Garden eBook! We’ll choose a winner one week from today and let you know by email if you’ve won. (You can also purchase the book here, and if you do, you can download the eBook for free right away.) Good luck!

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Thanks to all who entered the drawing! The randomly chosen winner is Jaisha, who said:

“I was super intimidated by EPP until my mom took a class on it at our Running With Scissors guild… and I am HOOKED! I do have a ziplock baggie in my purse that I have hexies in varying stages of done to pull out and work on – I have finished 24 ‘flowers’ for my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt. I even shared my portable pile with my mom while we were waiting for my sister’s graduation to start recently! In addition to being completely addicted now (and SO VERY excited to get the above book), I recently found buried in a trunk an almost completely finished, hand-pieced Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt top from the 1930′s… and I had it in a vice grip until I had it purchased. I am still giddy over that once in a lifetime find!! (not to finish it…) :)

Jaisha, we’ll email you a special coupon code for your free eBook. Congratulations!


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