Monday, July 9, 2012

English paper piecing hits and misses - sewing

Following my hits and misses with English paper piecing cutting and basting, I ended up with a nice stack of hexagons. Now on to the piecing together of these sweet shapes.

My first error here was my thread. I normally piece all my quilts with all-purpose white sewing thread. Nothing fancy here, as I figure no will ever see it and it will be strong enough to hold my quilt pieces together well. So I moved forward with piecing my hexagons with the same type of thread.
On my first go-around I chose to follow a tip I read that suggested you create a whip stitch in one direction and then return to your start point with another line of whip stitches. As you can see the white thread is very obvious and my stitches are uneven. Not to mention that this was just too much work. I can see the benefit of strength, but it doesn't add much if it is this noticeable.

I then changed threads to 100% cotton hand-quilting thread by Gutermann in Medium Grey. The difference is clear: matching thread rocks.
I still was not pleased with my thread choice. I loved the strength of the Gutermann thread, but it was still too obvious to me. Then I switched to 100% polyester Poly Sheen thread by Mettler. It is a little thinner and not quite as wiry as the Gutermann option.
My two thread options. You can tell the difference in thickness.
But after sewing with both I found the thickness of the thread was not the culprit for my dislike. My problem was my stitches. I needed to pay more attention to my stitches. The thread thickness did not matter as much as paying attention to creating small, even stitches.

One of the best parts about paper piecing is it's portability. Throw some cut fabric, your templates, thread, needle and scissors into a bag and you're ready go. It was great having this project on a recent long car trip. I am also enjoying stepping away from the computer and the sewing machine to do some hand work.

1 comment:

  1. I've been longing to attempt a handmade quilt for awhile now- your post has inspired me to get googling for designs- and get stitching!
    Many thanks and the best of luck with this project :-)