Thursday, August 25, 2016

Working in a Larger Scale Hexagon EPP

I'm loving the Hexagon Magic pattern (see prior posts) and enjoyed actually creating the blocks. They were not as difficult to work with as I had first expected. But, even so it will take a few blocks to get a large project completed; and my eyes/fingers are just not what they once were. So, I went back to the designs and have begun to enlarge them. 
Here is the first block pieced (photo above)...which I am "re-naming" the Millefiori collection of blocks so they can be addressed as a different pattern grouping. Each will be re-issued as an individual pattern. No elaborate instructions but the full size pattern pieces and a layout design are in each pattern, with simple instructions.
Here's how easy it is to create:
1) print the pattern pages on to card-stock paper (about the thickness of index cards) and cut each one out on the line (or inside the line).
2) Use your favorite method of basting fabric to these pattern pieces, having at least a 1/4 inch seam allowance around each. Now, I used 1/2 inch seam allowance and was not all that worried over the "amount" of fabric. These are scissor cut and not consistent in the seam allowance measurement...and that did not matter one bit when putting these together using the English Paper Piecing technique. I used a glue-stick to glue-baste each fabric piece to the cardboard shape. The glue was applied to the seam allowance only...and pressed against the pattern shape by folding each seam allowance over the shape.  As they were formed, I stacked them into groups of about six...and clipped the edges. Left them overnight to let the glue dry completely. 
3) Prepare each fabric/card-stock piece. Consider the design and work the smaller pieces into larger units of patches.
4) Sew the pieces together following the design. 
Use a small "slip stitch" that secures each pattern piece to the adjoining one in the design.
4) Remove paper as needed. When some elements are sewn in place, it is cumbersome to deal with the cardboard in the surrounding parts. I left the cardboard pieces in place as I worked on adjacent pieces...then removed them when I moved to other areas that were no longer adjacent. In the photo above, note that the hexagon shaped pattern piece on the left (arrow) is it does not have any other patches sew to the outer 2-sides yet. The right hexagon shaped pattern piece (arrow) has the cardboard removed. This made it easier to sew the diamond (blue) patches as the hexagon pieced needed to "fold over" to accommodate the angle of stitching.
The cardboard pieces were not hard to remove. The seam allowance was "lifted" from the cardboard just by pulling them up. Then, I just got my finger under one edge and pulled the cardboard out. The shape remained intact. I do recommend that you leave the outside edge cardboard pieces in place until the block is assembled to another it will just make that easier. This will require that you print some pages again...since you can't use these pattern shapes over. The other shapes can be re-used until you feel that their shape is becoming distorted by the amount of usage. Or just print the block pattern pieced the multiple times you need for the entire project.
Hope you give this larger sized project a is easy enough to create and would make a very portable project after the fabric/cardboard pieces have been created. I've done two so far this week, and working on the third one today. The patterns are available at my Etsy Shoppe, and the cover photos are of the blocks finished. If I have not yet sewn the block, then the cover photo is the  artwork diagram (which I will change as I finish that specific block). I'm having a lot of fun with these blocks, they are so much easier to work with than the smaller pieces.
Please share your photos if you give these a try!

1 comment:

Mary Ann Tate said...

I just started doing EPP for the first time a few weeks ago. It's very addictive:) I love your blocks.