While I know people technically aim to have Christmas projects finished before the holiday (i.e., Christmas in July), I personally love to bring out older Christmas projects in December. (Ok it’s usually new Christmas projects because I have no self-control). Getting to work with all the wintery, magical fabric really puts this Jewish girl into the Christmas spirit.
So, I started plotting out my next project: Brimfield Meadows. This English Paper Piecing (EPP) pattern by Brimfield Awakening reminded me of wreaths and poinsettias and I couldn’t help myself from starting this quilt.
I’ve already torn apart the Holiday Classics Fat Quarter Bundle by Rifle Paper Co. for Cotton + Steel and I have started cutting and gluing to my heart’s content. The classic Rifle Paper flowers really accentuate the wreath ideas I had in my head—you could say I was like a kid on Christmas morning. This fat quarter bundle has been a treat to fussy cut, and I am giddy!
Fussy cutting is the practice of intentionally fabric to either highlight a motif or image, or to create a new design (think of it like a kaleidoscope). I’m a sucker for fussy cutting, and I cannot recommend the Brimfield Meadows acrylic cutting templates enough. The templates not only help to preview what a fabric would look like on a piece, but it also helps to make sure you have the right amount of fabric and seam allowance to fit your paper!
A highly debated topic amongst EPPers is whether to glue baste or thread baste. I personally love glue basting because I feel it saves time, but either method is perfectly acceptable! Fun fact: traditional "school" glue sticks don't work well with fabric because they are too "wet," which is why I highly recommend a fabric glue stick for paper piecing.
My most treasured notion is my Sewline fabric glue pens and refills [note how worn down it is in the photo. I truly use it for everything, ESPECIALLY when sewing curves, but more on that at a different time].
My second favorite EPP tool is my 28mm rotary cutter by Olfa! I use the 45mm rotary cutter when working on traditional piecing, but the 28mm is super helpful navigating small acrylic templates and those with curves!
My third, and arguably the most helpful, EPP notion that I use is blue painter’s tape! I don’t know if this is common amongst other paper piecers, but I use blue painter’s tape to help envision what a block would look like finished, before I spend a lot of time sewing it together.
Additionally, a fun aspect of Brimfield Meadows EPP pieces are the perforations. Brimfield Awakening explains that the perforations allow you to tear apart the pieces if you want to create a scrappier look or play with color. However, since they come in the package attached, you can keep the shapes larger, which means less cutting, less sewing, and less time. I use painter’s tape across perforated pieces to make sure they stay together throughout the basting and sewing process.
[Fun Tip: Brimfield Meadows uses a lot of shapes that are “mirrored,” and the painter’s tape is a signal to me which direction the block is going to go. There is nothing more devastating than realizing you have cut your beautiful fabric in the wrong direction. Painter’s tape ensures that I have enough blocks in both directions to avoid these unfortunate mistakes! P.S. I am not sponsored by Scotch or any other painter’s tape producers, I just really love it!]
So that is a little sneak peak of what I’ve been cutting and designing. While it’s very tempting to fussy cut every single piece in this pattern, but I attempt to practice restraint, so I don’t create an overwhelming quilt block.