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Week 3 of Bat EPP Along!
Whew. What a week. Let that one get past me, but here we are now, onto week 3 of the Bat EPP along!
Thanks for sticking with me!
This week we're talking all about stitching this bad boy together. It seems a bit intimidating but once you get the placement of where to hold your hands down it goes by pretty fast.
Starting up where we left off last week, with all of our pieces basted and ready to sew together.
With our thread of choice cut a strip about as long as your hand to elbow. Lots of quilters will cut more than that but I feel like any more and the thread starts getting in the way of itself. Especially with these pieces being thin and close together. Tie a knot at the end and thread your needle.
A few things before we start, it will feel like it starts off messy and not very tight but thats is because our pieces are small and thin but after a few stitches it will be easier to see where you are going. Flat back is my go to stitch and thats what I will be showing today. With most of these pieces you can also use the whip stitch but your stitches might show more on the front. If your seam allowance is in the way, instead of sewing through it move it out of the way for now. This will make removing your papers easier in those tight spots.
To start we're going to be working in groups of three. I know the picture below is a step beyond that but that is when I remembered to take the photo. I like to work from right to left with my needle, so with two pieces butt up next to each other put your needle through just a few threads on the right piece, sliding it through just a few threads on the left side and pull tight. But not so tight that your knotted side comes flying through and you have to do that first stitch again. Just saying from experience, haha.
I can hold my pieces like I am holding a deck of cards with my thumb covering both pieces. If this still feels wrong, using larger magnets to hold your pieces together can be very helpful. Keep working from right to left with about 18-20 stitches per inch. You can see in the picture below that I have moved the seam allowances out of the way to get those stitches in. They easily go back to their place with a quick good press from the iron.
The front side of the same section. Ive pressed my seams back into place and my stitches are blending in.
I've worked all of my wing pieces together in groups of three and since the bat is symmetrical I've worked those in separate sides and will join them together when I have the two halves sewn up.
And again, keep joining those sections together. Giving your bat pieces a good press in between each section will help relax the thread and get your pieces to lay flatter. I also like using a quilters clapper, like this amazing one from Jenna over on Instagram.
Alright we made it! Two halves, and one head! Join the two halves together and then that adorable little head and bam! You have yourself a complete bat! Congratulations! Give that baby a great press and take some amazing Instagram photos! You should be proud!
Thanks for joining me!
Next week we have a bit of a catch up week, and Ill check back in with another post!
Week 2 of Bat EPP along!
Week 2 is all about paper weight &basting those pieces, what thread and glue to use and does it all matter! I think you'll quickly find out everything here is up to personal preface!
I know last week I jumped the gun and talked a bit about paper weights, but let's get a bit deeper.
The heavier in weight the paper is the thicker it is going to be. Here I've glue basted A) Regular printer paper, B) 90 lb. paper and C) 120 lb paper to see if the regular paper was too thin or if the 120 wt paper was to thick. By feel alone the regular printer paper will work perfectly fine! I was impressed at how sturdy it felt! The 120 lb paper was stiff but still bendy. I did get my printer to print on the 120 lb paper but I am thinking that not all printers will be able to handle such thick paper.
For my bats I went with the 90 lb paper.
I love fussy cutting my fabric and always try to aim to get the cutest picture in the piece. To fussy cut your fabric, lightly wrap the fabric around the paper to see how the fabric would line line up. You can also use a light board or a brightly lit window.
I have tried almost all of the major thread brands and I tend to prefer Aurifil thread. It has less shedding and tends to break less. I know at times I can get a bit aggressive with my pulling and I like a thread that can hold up.
Other brands that I have tried are Mettler and Gutermann. It is really personal preface and if you can only find thread at the bottom of you sewing box I say go for it! The important part here is that the color of the thread matches or is closely matching the fabric you've pulled for you bats.
A lot of brands have "invisible" thread. It feels like thin fishing line. I find the use of it very impressive but for me it is too invisible.
Glue or thread basting your paper pieces.
I've done both over the years. When I first started I only thread basted and I am pretty sure that was all that was talked about on the internet back in the day. Both my glue and thread basting has held up for years (pictured above pieces are 6 years old), so again this is all up to personal preface.
I am going to start with thread basting in 6 easy steps. I picked the most complicated piece on the bat to show this off, so the other pieces will have less steps and will be quicker.
When I glue my pieces I try to keep the glue all nice and neat and just on the fabric. But I am going to be honest here, there are plenty of times I am very heavy handed with the glue. If the piece is small enough, I am adding glue to the entire piece of fabric to keep that paper in there until I am all set. If you are heavy on the glue let it dry a bit before sewing your pieces together or it will be gummy and slide around from all the excess glue.
I find glue basting to be much quicker and easier on the hands.
And there you go, all set for next week.
I will be going live on Instagram Saturday, October 9th at 12pm PST if you have any questions or need any extra help! See you there!
Week 1 of Bat EPP Along
Week 1 of Bat EPP Along and it is all about fabrics and tools!
we're just gathering up our tools and getting prepared! Always preparing!
Grab pattern here!
First let's talk about that paper weight. I use a Canon Pixma Pro printer to print all of my patterns and I use 90-110 card stock weight. I like the thicker yet still pliable paper. You can use the lower weight papers those work just as well, those will be a bit more bendy and flexible. Cereal boxes and snack boxes also work for EPP, there are lots of options! It's just finding one that works for you and your project.
Tools to sew -
Needle- I like to use milliners needles size 10-11.
Thread- If you are worried about your stitches showing the important thing here is to use a thread color that matches the fabric. I use Auriful 40 or 50 wt thread.
Fabric- Go ahead, reach for that scrap bin! This project is perfect for it!
Thread wax or Balm
FABRIC AND COLORS
This pattern is perfect for scraps! Check that scrap bin before cutting into the bigger cuts of fabric!
If you're feeling stuck on which direction to head in, I like to check out Pinterest! Search for color combos or color inspiration and find a color combinations that inspire you! If you still feel stuck, use color combos you know are good and you enjoy! My go to colors are gold and pink!
Keep it simple and grab 4-5 different fabrics, keeping two of them in some contrasting colors, so it all doesn't blend together. Unless thats what you're going for. ;)
Because the paper pieces are smaller small prints work really well for this pattern!
Prints that show movement are always fun to use too, like those Rae Ritchie prints below. Fussy cutting a piece is always a fun idea, I've been known to add a strawberry print on a few of my epps!
Let me know how your fabric pull went this week! Tag your pull with #BatEPPAlong to share!
Bat EPP Along!
Hey y'all! I am super excited for this Bat &BOO! English paper pieced along!
Let's get some of the details out of the way!
5 week of EPP fun!
- Week 1 ( Sept 27th- Oct 3rd) is all about pulling fabric and talking colors!
- Week 2 ( Oct 4th - Oct 10th) we're going to talk about paper weight, basting our pieces. What thread and glue and does it all matter!
- Week 3 ( Oct 11th- 17th) we're gonna stitch these babies together! we'll find out which stitch works best and other helpful tricks. And keeping all of those tiny pieces straight!
- Week 4 (Oct 18th- 24th) is all about putting all the pieces together if you haven't. And any extra support thats needed. Those tiny pieces can be scary but they go quick!
- Week 5 (Oct 25th- Oct 31st) we will finish playing catch up and at the end of the week Ill announce the grand prize winner!
Each Monday I will send out a newsletter talking about what we're doing during the week and then Saturday's I will be doing Instagram Live where we can talk about any issues or problems we faced and how we can trouble shoot those issues.
There are no weekly prizes but the grand prize is pretty grand! Ive got prizes lined up from Sarah Ruth at Ruthlessly Handmade, Jamie at Getzmadeco and Jenna from 3k3ysd3signs!
Super excited to have y'all join me!
Grab your Bat pattern and BOO! patterns!
Cicada English Paper pieced Walkthrough
Ahh the sounds of summer in the midwest! That deafening buzzing sound, it can only be one thing.
I am so excited for BroodX even though this time I am no where near any cicadas! I grew up listening to the sounds of cicadas every summer, I am excited to share this pattern with y'all!
You can find the pattern here! On sale for a limited time!
First of all let's print and cut out our pattern and grab our fabrics. There are a few long pieces so larger cuts of fabric will be needed for those, but the rest of the pieces are smaller and great for those smaller scraps you otherwise would have thrown out! I used one print from Ruby Star Society and the others are solids from Kona Cotton.
The other tools I used is a matching thread from Aurifil, a size 10 milliners needle, glue stick for basting and some serious snips.
The next step is to decide where to start. I started with the body. The wings look fiddly but I promise they're not so bad! If you are dreading those maybe start with the body and take it slow. The larger pieces certainly are easier to work with.
This part came together quickly. I had no problems with those creepy eyes even though I thought it would be annoying to line up!
Basting those thin pieces was a bit tricky. I didn't bother clipping my curves because they are so small. It worked out for me, your milage may vary. Just like in my other patterns, I broke the wing down into manageable set and sewed it together that way. As you can see in the photo above I basically have two rows sewn together and the outer wing piece.
Repeat for the other side. Don't forget to add those tiny feet. I found it was easiest to sew the two feet pieces together and then attach them to the cicada. For both the wings and the legs I kinda moved the pieces up and down a bit til they slipped into place.
Be sure to post your progress on Instagram! Use #CicadaEPP to find other makes!
Luna Moth EPP walkthrough
Luna Moth English paper piecing pattern is now available and can be found here!
Today I'm going to walk us through the process of hand sewing the Luna Moth and hopefully offer some helpful hints along the way. Luna's wingspan comes in at about 14" and comes in at just under 60 pieces.
First up is our fabric pull & tools. I wanted to keep it simple and to showcase all of the details that are in the pattern. I used a mix of Kona Cotton and Ruby Star Society Speckled fabric. Most of the pieces are on the smaller side so large fabric scraps will work. Even those weird shaped fabric scraps come in handy! Keep those scraps for English paper piecing!
For the sewing tools I used Aurifil 50 wt thread. This thread has low fraying and I tend to abuse my thread at times and it holds up to that abuse! I use a glue stick for glue basting, I like this method. It is quick for me and I like the look. I also have super serious snips and a Milliners needle. I tend to buy a variety pack of needles so the sizes vary from 9- 11.
Lets print and carefully separate the pattern into more manageable pieces. Here I halved the pattern, so I am only working with one side at a time and I can use the other side as a sort of mirror. It helps me with knowing where my pieces go. And then I broke it down into even more manageable parts, each part being something I could make in a small time frame. I made it my goal to finish each of those sections a day, and it was only like an hour or so of my time each day.
I used a flat back stitch to bring all of my pieces together. I like this stitch because it is easy on the hands and is relatively hidden from the front side, especially if you use thread that color matches with the fabric.
If you feel like your pieces are getting a bit wavy or not sitting flat, a quick press with a hot iron will help ease and relax the thread. Helping the pattern lay flatter. I also sometimes use my Quilters clapper for some added weight in helping it become flat.
And repeat for the opposite side.
Join those two halves and you have a beautiful Luna Moth!
You can use the finished moth on bags or even as a decoration piece! I currently have mine hanging on the wall for extra inspiration!
Below are two of the tester versions! Both Mickie from @WanderstitchCompany and Hollie from @Thethornandthimble did an amazing job! This was both's first time doing curves in EPP!
You can grab Luna here!
Tag me on instagram with your makes! @Porcupinesews_threads
and use #LunaMothEPP to find other makes!
Bunny Hops Walkthrough
Grab your Bunny Hops pattern here! On sale for a limited time!
Let's start this off by selecting our fabrics. This project has many smaller pieces that are great for scraps, so start by checking the scrap bin first. I went with a modern selection of Ruby Star Society and one focal print from Rae Ritchie. While picking out fabrics assign that fabric to a corresponding letter on the bunny.
For all of my materials, I have my Aurifil 50wt thread. I like this thread because the shed/ fray is low and I can be a bit tougher with it without it breaking. I have my trusty disappearing purple glue stick for basting. My super serious snips and size 10 milliners needle.
For the bunny I like to start up at the ears because they are quick and look super cute once done. Carefully separate the ears from the body and then separate the ear pieces. These are the fabrics I've assigned to the ears.
In the picture below I have my bunny pieces placed on the wrong side, but you can see two picture below the correct placement.
Baste those ear pieces. I use glue and often am heavy handed with the glue use but you want to aim for just the outside edge of your fabric.
Once all of the ear pieces are basted I like to find the easiest path to sew these pieces together before beginning. This means the path I can take while sewing without having to carry my thread over or the easiest way the pieces fit together.
For these ears I started at the top B piece, using the flat back stitch I attached it to the B piece below it. I then attached that piece to the C piece. Joining the C unit to D and then that unit to the A piece. Give that a good press and repeat for the other ear.
With the ears now done, I like to work one side at a time, using the other side as guide if I need to clarify which way the piece goes. For the bunny I sewed it up in smaller sections and then joined those two groups together. Giving everything a good press before moving on.
Repeat for the other side. Carefully join the two sides together. If the nose pieces (K &F) are not laying flat give it a good press. And finally attach the ear pieces. Once finished give everything a good press!
And there you have it. Easier and quicker than it looks!
If you're looking for a sharp Instagram picture keep those papers in! But once you're ready to move on carefully take out those paper pieces. If you were heavy handed on the glue use a warm iron to loosen the glue, making paper removal easier.
Tag your makes on Instagram with #BunnyHopsPatch
Moon Phases EPP Quilt Pattern
Moon Phases EPP Quilt is now available!
To celebrate ALL PDF"S are 15% off! Hop on over to the shop to grab your patterns before the sale ends!
About the pattern:: Moon Phases is a modern english paper pieced pattern that also includes traditional piecing. The pattern includes includes instructions for a baby quilt or for a table runner!
I've made my version into the quilt and added some hand quilting to bring it all together.
Let's jump into the pattern!
To start the fabric prep I used two coordinating Carolyn Friedlander fabrics for the moon and a speckled Ruby Star Society for the background.
It didn't take long for all of the moon pieces to come together. I used glue for basting and for thread I used Aurifil 50wt in cream. At this point I was pretty excited that the pattern was coming together so quickly!
After Epping all of my moon pieces I checked out several reference photos for my placement. After finding the correct version (ha!) I set to getting my moon pieces all in place. I used my ruler to get the moons even across but you could get it even more precise by folding your fabric in half and in thirds to find equal spacing from each other.
To attach my moons to background fabric I used a small zig zag stitch and Aurifil clear nylon thread. The thread is so clear that I have a hard time even telling its there! If you don't have clear thread on hand you can either do a needle turn appliqué or even use a thread that matches the fabric.
The quilt was just begging for some hand quilting with all of that open space! I used Aurifil Floss in color 4140, for that extra texture.
I did end up adding some stitches with my machine just to add some extra security. For that I used Aurifil 12 wt. The thread has an extra thickness and it really worked with this quilt! Throughout the whole quilt, I ended up using 4 different weights of thread for this quilt!
I can't wait to see your moons in the future!
Don't forget to tag your makes on Instagram with #MoonPhasesEPP
Grab your copy while its on sale!
Aurifil November Challenge, just a bit late
A while back I signed up for Aurifil's November challenge, hand quilting.
I quickly decided on doing some hand quilting on a recent finish, the Wallowa quilt from Alderwood studio. It has nice lines that are just calling for that hand quilting look.
I used Aurifil Floss for the hand quilting. It really pops and adds a ton of texture! Aurifil 12wt is also really popular for hand quilting. I happen to have a good supply of floss on hand and thats why I went with it. I'm really glad I did!
All of the quilting was off to a good start but then the quilt was claimed by a certain Ginger cat and the hand quilting quickly slowed down. Every time I took the quilt out to be worked on (I like to really lay it all out and work on the floor) in a matter of seconds the cat would show up! There was no safe spot.
And since it is 2020, I gave in to the cat and decided it would get done when it got done.
The cat will be very happy with this finish.