Back in February, my friend Jodi (aka Tales of Cloth) announced a block of the month program she would be hosting for 2017, called the Ice Cream Soda Quilt. Jodi and her family run a business, laser cutting paper pieces for English paper piecing (EPP), so the Ice Cream Soda Quilt is a cleverly designed EPP project. Until last year, I never really enjoyed EPP all that much, but having started this project (and another EPP project I'll share soon) I can gladly say I'm a bit obsessed.
So each month, I receive a packet of paper pieces with all the shapes necessary to make these lovely little blocks. When I signed up, I initially thought I'd use my scrap baskets to make this quilt - but the lure of fussy cutting was just too strong, and I'm having a huge amount of fun choosing fabrics and fussy cutting as much as I can for these blocks. I'm sharing my first month's blocks today (eight blossoms), and as you can see there's a very strong animal theme happening.
I'm having lots of fun using some very long hoarded and special fabrics - Heather Ross, Lizzy House and Cotton and Steel are all making frequent appearances so far, along with Aneela Hoey, Laurie Wisbrun and a few others who design fabrics that are just perfect for fussy cutting.
The other thing I wanted to mention is a new love affair with a new thread - Aurifil 80wt. I bought a few spools (2021, 2600 and 1246 - white, dove and dark grey) and so far they have been perfect for all the colour combinations I've used. I seriously can't get over how invisible my stitches are. I've used 50wt a lot for EPP in the past, and it is lovely thread to use, but 80wt is a total game changer.
I'm planning on doing a monthly update of where I'm at with these blocks - so I'll share them in groups of 8 here on the blog. I'm also going to put together a few English Paper Piecing tutorials when I get a chance - I'd like to share my fussy cutting technique and some tips and tricks I use for getting perfect points. If there's any other aspects of EPP you'd like me to talk about, please let me know and I'll be sure to include it in my tutorials!