week 1 and week 2.
When I was first thinking about doing a series of projects with denim, I wondered if it would be possible to do English Paper Piecing with denim. Would it be too hard to hand stitch through the denim long enough to actually make something? Denim is a lot thicker than quilting cotton, after all.
Turns out, you can do EPP with denim! Not only that, but the thickness of the denim really doesn't affect the effort it takes to stitch. Sometimes, at the corners, it was a little harder to get the needle through, but other than that I didn't find any difference.
The first denim EPP project I made was a ball.
|Blocks for scale...this is a nice size ball|
Before Christmas I made a pentagon ball following the tutorial by Rob Appell of Man Sewing. To be honest, I really wasn't happy with it. It was sewn on the machine and I didn't think the intersections between the pentagons turned out as neat as they could have. I also found that as I stuffed the ball the fabrics at the opening frayed and that made it hard to stitch the opening closed neatly. So, for my denim version, I used the EPP templates provided by Abby at While She Naps. Because it's EPP, the intersections are so much neater! Plus, the edges of the opening were already basted down, so they didn't fray while I stuffed the ball, and stitching it closed was much easier.
A bunch of kids were playing with the ball last night and one of them was amazed by how soft it was. There's nothing quite like well worn denim, is there?
I couldn't resist make some hexagon flowers out of denim too. The centers are regular quilting cotton.
Incompetech. Their site makes it quick and easy to make templates in any size.
I would recommend printing your templates on cardstock. That's what I did for the pentagon templates, but I forgot for the hexagons and printed them on regular printer paper. While I find regular paper fine for quilting cotton, I found it felt really flimsy with denim and I worried that I'd fold the edges of the paper when I folded the denim over to baste it. The cardstock felt much sturdier and didn't bend at all.
I used matching thread to machine applique the flowers to a white background.
In other news, I'm almost finished the test version of my Just the Basics mystery quilt and I love, love, love it! It's so hard not to share any progress pictures here or on Instagram :)
The quilt-a-long will run for 6 months, from March-August, and new posts will come out on the first Wednesday of each month. That means the first post will be out on March 2! I can't wait to start! If you're interested in quilting along, be sure to follow my blog - the links for Bloglovin, Feedly and to follow by email are all on my sidebar. If you'd like to grab a button for your blog, that's on my sidebar too :)
Linking up with TGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, Finish it up Friday