This is how I learned English paper piecing many years ago when I lived in NY. This type of handwork is quite addictive and very relaxing, at least to me! It takes time and I believe in the “slow movement” not sure why we are all in such a rush.
“There is more to life than increasing its speed” Gandhi
On that note, here’s my first tutorial. Give the kids some Playdough to keep them busy (my three sons used to play with it for hours!) and put your feet up and see how I make paper pieced hexagons.
Supplies you’ll need: template plastic, x-acto knife, freezer paper, good quality cotton fabric (this project is great for scraps), needles (i like straw needles), thread wax, good 100% cotton thread, crappy thread (for basting), small scissors, pencil, iron.
Begin by tracing your hexagon template (there are lots of different size ones on the web) onto template plastic and cut out with x-acto knife. Trace around plastic template onto the rough side of freezer paper, do this for as many hexagons as you want for your project. I cut out a ton and have them on hand for when the mood strikes me.
Next iron the smooth side of the freezer paper hexagon to the wrong side of your fabric. Be sure to leave enough room around each hexagons for a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Cut out your fabric hexagons being sure to include a 1/4″ seam allowance on all sides.
Thread your needle with your crappy thread that you have run over your thread wax (cuts down on knots.) Knot one end. Fold over your seam allowance and using big basting stitches sew seam allowance over (wrong sides together) on all edges of hexagon. Make sure your knots are on the right side of the hexagon (for easy removal of basting thread when you are done).
To join your little hexagons line up two edges, right sides together and whip stitch this time using your good cotton thread that you have run over the thread wax. Keep doing this with your hexagons always with right sides together into any pattern you like. Check out my quilts Pinterest board for some ideas.
When you have sewn all of your blocks and then sewn them together simply pull out your basting stitches and pull off your freezer paper. If the freezer paper is giving you any trouble just use tweezers to pull off. Then you’re ready to make your quilt sandwich! Which is of course batting and backing. Have fun!