Adventures in Hand Sewing – Tula Nova

So, here I am once again. That place I swore I’d never go, doing that thing I swore I’d never do, becoming one of those people I swore I’d never be. I’ll be the first to admit that I get it now. Hand sewing is awesome. English Paper Piecing is now my favorite way to calm my mind, and boy, does having mental illness make that necessary.

I now have my Smitten quilt top done and ready for *gasp* hand quilting. But, if any of you know me personally or via my Instagram, you know I’m a die hard Tula Pink fan. And if you yourself are a fan of hers, then you know that all the happenings with Free Spirit Fabrics causes us all a bit of stress. Especially anyone who had pre-ordered All Stars and De La Luna. What a relief to hear that it’s all been straightened out, and our favorite non-beige artist will continue to make her gorgeous, rich, vibrant, and whimsical fabric lines. Yeah. I just said whimsical. That’s what this stuff does to me.

Already knowing it’s well worth my while to order the Paper Pieces kit for the Nova quilt, I did so and ordered the templates as well. My sewing time is so precious I refuse to waste time and risk huge errors by not using them. Plus, they’re hot pink, so what’s not to love.

Now, not every print is my favorite, some I’m not even fond of, but they all work so well together. To figure out how the heck I was going to set this quilt up, color and print wise, I stalked the #tulanova and #tulanovaquilt hashtags on Instagram.

The templates and paper pieces kit work beautifully and it’s a pleasure to cut, baste, and piece this using the gorgeous fabrics.

Here’s where I’m at so far.

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Smitten Quilt – an Update

Find me on Instagram @charlamacphee

Back in May of 2017, I took my first steps into hand sewing. I had sworn I was a machine quilter only, but seeing posts on Instagram of all the gorgeous fussy cutting in various quilts; La Pas, Smitten, Ice Cream Soda etc.¬† Although, in my defence, I watched countless videos of how to actually machine sew paper piecing so as to avoid the actual hand sewing, but it always ended up seeming like just as much work. I couldn’t hold off any longer. After all, we were heading into camping season, and it was great to do while the kids ran wild (within eyeshot). Not to mention, there was still almost 6 weeks left of waiting in school pick up lines).

It’s been…a learning experience. That’s for sure. I started hoping to use paper pieces that I cut out myself, only as it turns out, printer paper is not the best for EPP (English paper piecing). So, hubby encouraged me to order the actual (sturdier) pieces from PaperPieces.com . They’re a lot better. Like, a lot.

So, in the car, watching movies with the kids, road trips, sitting on the pool deck during kids swimming lessons, and a lot of times, just to calm my mind, were spent working on the blocks.

Admittedly, this one is essentially an assault on the eyes. I was a little overexcited to jump in and use all of my favorite bits of fabric from scraps, new find, gifts etc. and well…it’s loud. Very loud. There is no rhyme or reason to it, but the kids have loved helping to pick¬† out prints to go in it, and arranging them endlessly around. It’s also proven to be quite an I-Spy quilt.

I’m finally at the stage of sewing the rows together, then I just have to do the large triangles on the edges, and it’s done. Well, pieced. I’m toying with the idea of hand quilting it (Mom, pull your chin up, I’m serious). Go big or go home, right?

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