I had to be patient before starting my English Paper Piecing as I wanted to receive the book I ordered first. Quilting on the Go by Jessica Alexandrakis was worth the wait. I was delighted when I opened up the pages and it was exactly the reference book I was looking for. The paper is lovely and the photos are excellent. It is a meaty and detailed explanation of EPP and covers everything one needs to know, as well as providing some wonderfully creative starter projects.
The chapter I was most anticipating is the first: Getting Ready. Because EPP is so enjoyed because of its portability, I knew I wanted to assemble a travel kit of supplies. Jessica explains all that is required and assembles a travel tool kit. Luckily, I had already gathered together what I thought I might need and I used her school supply pencil box as a check list against my notions and tools. I did run out and pick up a Clover thread cutter as a treat. It's worn as a pendant (I used some gold rattail binding cord) and should pose no problems with airline security. Right now I'm using a sturdy plastic zippered pouch from a sheet set to house everything with an inner bag for the smaller stuff but I would like to find a more sturdy pencil box. The great secondary use of this type of container is that it can double as a work table when opened up. I also have my basted hexies and cut fabric in a small tin to keep the pieces smooth and wrinkle free. I'll try this out and see how I like it or need to adapt.
I sat outside yesterday while hubby worked in the veggie garden and stitched my first few hexagons. I am using that charm pack of 1930s prints and just getting used to the process of basting and whip stitching, finding what methods work best for me. From the Craftsy classes and on-line videos to magazine articles and books, every EPP quilter has a different way of doing things. I will try them all and see what is the best fit for me. It has been 4 years since I did those Block of the Month hexies but I am pleased with the few I have joined this time around. The stitches appear almost invisible and the seams are strong. I wish I would have started with more of a plan but since I don't have much of this particular fabric I'm considering this sewing to be practice. I'll just keep joining the shapes until I have a panel to cut for a pillow or small project. It really doesn't take long to get a bunch stitched together and I'm perfecting my stitch as I go.
Once I'm ready for a quilt or larger item I will follow a pattern and choose my fabric placement more wisely. Perhaps a traditional Grandmother's Flower Garden to start before I move on to other shapes (diamonds, clamshells, triangles, etc.)...if I enjoy the work as much as I think I will. It certainly forces you to slow down and relax as you meditatively focus on the tiny motion of the needle and thread whipping through the fold of fabric. As much as I adore using my machines and listening to the sound of the motor and feed dogs, it is sometimes nice to still be able to create without a power cord and table set up.
Have you tried English Paper Piecing? What did you make?