Thursday, April 10, 2014

Patchwork of the Crosses

There are several ways to stitch the beautiful Patchwork of the Crosses quilt.  Lucy Boston stitched her quilt by hand using the English Paper Piecing method (using paper shapes), but you can also make the blocks with simple hand piecing (using a running stitch by hand).  I am using the English Paper Piecing method for my blocks, but hand piecing works equally well.
English Paper Piecing Method:
Following is a quick lesson on preparing honeycomb shapes using a glue pen. 

Honeycomb pieces can be made using the traditional method of basting the fabric to the template shapes, but I find using the glue pen is faster and more accurate.  This is especially true when shapes are being fussy cut – if the fabric on your finished shape doesn’t  look like it’s centered correctly, it’s a simple matter to lift up a glued edge and recenter the paper.

To begin with, I like to punch a hole in the center of all my paper pieces.  This will allow me to remove the papers with ease later on in the process.  One evening of “punching” in front of the television is all it takes to punch an entire bag of papers.  If you purchased the megabags of shapes, allow several evenings to avoid hand cramps!

Use the acrylic honeycomb template to cut your fabric.  Since the template is just like any of your other acrylic rulers, you can easily cut the shapes with a rotary cutter.  You may feel more comfortable using a small rotary cutter rather than a large 60 mm cutter for this since the acrylic templates are small.
Or, if you’re afraid the template will slide during cutting, simply trace around the template with a pencil. . .

 and cut on the line with an embroidery scissors. 

I use both methods of cutting. . . if the piece is not fussy cut and can be cut out of a strip of fabric, I use the rotary cutting method.  If the piece requires accurate placement of the template, as in fussy cutting, I feel more confident using the trace and scissor cut method.
 Once the fabric is cut, center the paper piece and finger press one of the long edges of the fabric over the paper.

Using the glue pen, start gluing from the fabric seam allowance edge, across the paper template, and continue across the other fabric seam allowance edge.

  ***Note!  Use a thin bead of glue!!!  Eventually you will be removing the papers from your shapes and too much glue will make this more difficult.  Use the minimum amount of glue to just hold the fabric edges down.

Glue the opposite long edge next.  Always glue opposite edges for the first two sides – it will help keep the paper from shifting.

After gluing the long sides, it’s an easy matter to glue down the short sides using the same technique.  Make sure the fabric folds snugly around the paper piece.

When you’re finished, you will have a neat looking shape with all edges glued around the paper shape.

 Sound easy?  It is!  You will be able to make many shapes quickly and easily using this method.

Hand Piecing Method using Inklingo:

With the hand-piecing method, you need to trace cutting lines and stitching lines.  You can make templates of the honeycomb and square shapes from the “Patchwork of the Crosses” book, trace the shape on your fabric, and cut ¼” from the line.  Or, you can use Inklingo.  Inklingo is a downloadable shape collection that allows you to print shapes on freezer paper backed fabric using an inkjet printer.  It precisely prints both the cutting lines and the stitching lines.    
If you'd like to try some free Inklingo shapes watch the blog for details of how you log in to the website using our access code.   Inklingo can also be used to print the honeycomb and square shapes on paper if you'd like to make your own template papers instead of buying them. 

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