Mum and I just love Paper Piecing and have been addicted to it for many years. Recently it has had a resurgence and in contrast to our busy lifestyles it seems that the art of "slow stitching" is back on trend. Hexagons are the staple of paper piecing, but lots of other shapes can also be made using the same technique. Trihex shapes are so inspiring to me as different combinations can make so many different blocks. This simple yet stunning block uses just one Trihex shape to make both the star block and the heart blocks (and I have a clever trick to make the centre hexagon out of the same paper as well). A pretty design that can be used in so many ways. Applique it onto fabric for a doll or mini quilt, turn it into a bag or a cushion or anything else you can dream up.
My 3 year old daughter and I love to lie on the trampoline and look up at the night sky, we have been known to grab my largest quilt in winter and brave the chill as the stars are at their brightest. Many a wish has been made to those stars (especially when I was faced with Melanoma earlier in the year, I am sure I will blog about that one day). We point out the brightest stars and little miss 3 knows her favourite already. This block is inspired by those stars in night sky and the wishes of love that we have made to them.
This comprehensive pattern is written in an easy to follow format (great for beginners) and comes with photographs for each step. We also have kits available in the pretty pink and aqua florals, the pink and mauve Liberty Tana Lawn combination as well as the specially curated Molly and Mama Liberty Tana Lawn colourway.
The kit includes absolutely everything to make the block including all the fabric for the top, back and binding as well as the papers and arcylic template, ric and rac, wadding and our pattern. This kit makes the perfect gift or is great to take on holidays for some slow stitching. Our kits can be purchased here.
I was so excited when the amazing Lauren from Molly and Mama agreed to make my block using some very pretty Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics. Lauren chose to make a mini quilt, it makes me so happy to see that it is hanging on her amazingly pretty wall. Follow Molly and Mama on Instagram and read her blog for amazing inspiration and the prettiest patterns.
If you have never tried paper piecing, I urge you to give it a try, I promise you will fall in love. Happy Sewing Eve
Years ago I fell in love with a pretty Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt and just had to make one for myself. My Mother gave me a lovely piece of green paisley from her visit to Liberty of London and I was hooked. It turned into a slow labor of love and was put aside while more pressing projects were done, but it was never forgotten. Last year I started collecting those special Liberty fabrics again. I’m absolutely in love with this fabric and I’m thrilled to say we are now selling Liberty fabrics so you too can fall in love with your own Liberty Hexie Flowers!
This is how we make our Hexie Flowers. If you’re new to English Paper Piecing, this is a quick and simple way to start. This method is suitable for joining Hexie Flowers together or for appliquéing them onto a background fabric. Choose either our 1’’ or 1 ½’’ plastic template (measurements refer to one edge of the hexi) and matching papers and two contrasting fabrics and have fun making your own garden full of Hexie Flowers. Our technique uses a quick basting method of stitching the hexi’s, we found this to give the neatest finish. Glue basting is also popular and lots of tutorials can be found to do it that way, but this is our favourite technique.
1. Using our plastic Hexagon template and a small rotary cutter, cut out one hexagon in your Flower Centre fabric. If you don’t have a rotary cutter just trace around the template using a sharp pencil and cut out with scissors.
2. Then cut six in Petal fabric. Our templates give you a 3/8’’ seam allowance around their matching papers.
3. Turn one side over the paper and hold in place with a paper clip. Turn the hexie to the right, tuck the fabric under at the corner, then fold over the next edge and hold in place with your thumb. With knotted thread, take a small stitch through both sides of the fold, through the fabric only and stitch again forming a backstitch in the same place. Pull the thread tight and it should stay firmly in place. Use a thread colour that doesn’t show through your fabric as the tacking will be staying in place to keep the seams tidy once the papers are removed.
4. Continue stitching and backstitching each corner around the paper template until you reach the first stitch, backstitch again and cut the thread.
5. Repeat this process with all six Petals. You can gently press these if you like.
6. To sew these Hexagons together, start with your centre Hexie and place a petal, right sides together, matching the shape. Sew across one straight edge. I try to sew between 18 -20 stitches per inch.
7. Take tiny stitches from each side and end each row with a knot but don’t cut the thread.
8. Continue with the next petal until all the petals are sewn to the centre.
9. You can now remove the paper from the centre hexagon without removing the tacking. You should be able to use this paper template quite a few times.
10. Now you can easily fold your flower in half to sew all your petals together. Gently press your finished Hexie Flower.
11. Leave the papers in the petal row if you are going to add another row of petals to your flower or join it to another Hexie Flower. Remove the papers as they become completely surrounded with other hexagons.
12. If you are going to appliqué your hexie Flower to a background fabric, gently press your hexi then take your papers out. We recommend using a little spray starch before pressing to hold it firm.
Happy Hexie sewing
Debby & Eve x
Turn your hexi's into a doll quilt or mini wall hanging. Quilt, cushion and needle book by Eve, doll by Debby using a pattern by Koalaandmila.
We have the perfect starter pack for English Paper Piecing, which also makes a great gift. Included in this pretty pink spotty box is: 1" acrylic hexagon template, Packet of 50 x 1" hexagon papers, 4 x 5" strips of coordinating fabric, a paperclip and our printed instruction sheet, available just in time for Christmas <3.
You can view this set and our range of English Paper Piecing Templates and papers here.
These unassuming books contain a snapshot into a past when sewing was a highly crafted skill, taught with care and attention to detail, before domestic sewing machines were readily available and when life had a slower pace. I was so very lucky to be gifted these amazing books from my Mother in Law, these were from her Aunty, Phyllis Woodrow. Phyllis was an exceptional lady who lived in an era so different to ours, unfortunately her life was cut very short, however her legacy shall live on with the contents of these pages.
Phyllis and her siblings grew up in Lithgow, NSW during the early 1900's. Phyllis' older sister (my partners grandmother) will shortly celebrate her 100th birthday, we are lucky enough to be told the stories from a living member of this amazing family.
pictured Nana May, Phyllis' sister
A small drawing book covered in brittle brown paper contains the careful and thoughtful work of a very talented sewist, from over 80 years ago. The beautifully preserved pages hold a moment in time, when the world was very different. They are the personal work of Phyllis and show the progression she made while taking sewing classes in Lithgow. Starting with simple stitches, all done by hand designed to perfect her skill before moving on to complicated stitches some that have long since been replaced by modern sewing machines.
There are 17 pages each containing carefully stitched fabric samples, every one labelled. Starting with running stitch and finishing with an underwear placket. Her turned in French seams and Loop stitch are amazing, her shaped facing has the tiniest most perfect stitches I have ever seen. The gathers and French gathers still have rusty pins in them and are just beautiful. But the smocking, shirring and pintuck pages are breathtaking.
This book is a treasure that I feel so grateful to have in my home. A special part of Phyllis, her hopes, her dreams for her future career and her life are encased in every stitch in this book. Sometimes I carefully open the pages and look at her work to remind myself that life is so very short and what we leave behind is important. Being creative is so much a part of who we all are, be sure to leave something behind that you created with care and love. I truly hope that this book remains an inspiration for generations to come. Eve
Use these cute little decorations as Gift Tags. Tie them on the tree or use them on the Christmas table to tie around the cutlery, wine glass or napkins. We love them!
What you will need:
Assorted pieces of Pretty Fabric about 5’’ (12cm) square for each
Fusible stabiliser (Vlisofix )
Felt ½’’ larger than the pattern shapes
30cm of narrow ribbon for each shape
Pink and red Buttons for the Holly Berries
Download the pattern sheet here
Trace the shapes onto the paper side of the Vlisofix with a sharp pencil leaving ½’’ between shapes. I reversed one stocking for interest.
For the Stocking and the Tree join a strip of contrasting fabric to the main fabric and press away from the main fabric. Top stitch this seam on the Stocking.
Cut out the traced shapes ¼’’ outside the lines.
Fuse the shapes, PAPER SIDE UP, onto the wrong side of the chosen fabric pieces using an iron. Line up the join line on the pattern with the seam in the fabric for the Tree and Stocking.
Carefully cut out the shapes on the lines.
Peel the paper from the back and fuse the shapes to the Felt with an even amount of excess all around.
Carefully sew around the Fabric shape 1/8’’ in from the edge. Press the shapes again in case they have lifted a bit during sewing.
Cut the Felt around the shapes with scissors or Pinking shears leaving a small border of Felt showing.
Fold the ribbon in half and attach at the top on the back with a few stitches in matching thread. Add a Button to the Holly.
Happy Christmas sewing
I clearly remember ordering Tilda fabric for the first time, Mum and I had been Tilda fans for forever and when we heard that she was bringing her fabric range directly to Australia the excitement built. I saved stock money and went along eagerly to the trade show where it was being shown for the first time. This inital range was simply amazing and we were one of the only stores to purchase the full collection. I have a gorgeous quilt made using some of those original fabrics (lets make that another blog post soon). It didn't take long for the rest of the country to realise how exceptional Tonne Finnager was and her fabric, notions and papers soon became firm favourites. Her latest ranges Cabbage Rose and Memory Lane have been sell outs Australia wide. Thanks to the amazing effort by lots of talented handmaidens and the supplier here in Australia the launch of these ranges has been amazing, with a travelling show and blog tours. The fabric speaks for itself and we think it will be a timeless classic. Browse and buy the range. . .