While I was living with my mom, I knew there was never a chance that I could set up my hand quilting frame for the length of time it would take me to hand quilt something. My mom would never go for the living room being in “disarray” for that length of time. As a result, when I was looking for something to do by hand, I decided to get started on a Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt top that I’d been collecting fabrics for. Actually, I decided first to try my hand with a smaller project to see if I enjoyed it enough to hold my interest long enough to *complete* the GFG quilt top. I went to Walmart and purchased some inexpensive fabric for a smaller starter project. I’m making a table topper that’s basically a GFG flower of GFG flowers. (Make sense?)
I’m glad I started on the practice piece first as I’ve discovered a couple of things that will be helpful when for when I’m working on the GFG quilt top. Originally, I printed out templates on yellow cardstock and cut them out. Basically, I played around in MSWord with the hexagon shape until it was the size that I wanted — 3/4 inch. Then duplicated it as many times as I could on the page before I printed it out. You can cut them out while you’re sitting in front of the TV. Here’s what they look like.
I have all of the fabric hexagons I need for the table topper basted to the cardstock and one flower started.
Sorry about the graininess. ( I don’t know why that happens when I resize some photos of fabric & not others. I’m no photographer. If you click on the photos, you can view a larger version that’s not so grainy.)
Here is the backside. You can remove the templates once your hexagon is completely surrounded. The three hexagons in the center have the templates removed.
Here’s a picture with the fabric I’m using for the next go-around.
Okay, so I’ve learned that the problem with basting *through* the paper or cardstock templates is that you have to *remove* all your basting stitches in order to remove the templates. Not fun. I found Sunshine Creations Tutorial on English Paper Piecing on the web and discovered there is a way to baste that doesn’t require you to remove the basting in order to remove the template because you don’t sew through the template.
One thing that I do differently is I don’t precut the fabric into a hexagon shape with the rotary cutter. Too much fussing for me. I think it’s easier to cut your fabric into a square and then just snip the fabric with scissors about 1/4″ away from the template once you have it pinned to your fabric. Feel free to do what works for you. *smile* Also some people go all the way around the hexagon back to the starting point with their basting which is what I will probably do when I start basting for the quilt top.
One last thing. . . many of the die cut cardboard and plastic hexagon templates that you buy have a hole punched in the center for easier removal of the template. I’ve now hole-punched all of my yellow cardstock templates. I’ve also purchased some plastic templates but I’ll tell you more about them in a later post.