English Paper Piecing

English Paper Piecing, EPP to most. Hand sewing. Basically, everything that has scared and intimidated me since I began quilting. I used to think, “Oh, I could never! Who would have the patience for that kind of nonsense?” Well, as it turns out, I do.

I have always loved the look of hexies, and can remember a Smitten quilt hanging in one of my favorite shops in Calgary. I loved the details, the itsy bitsy stitches, and how beautifully it came together. It was the last thing on my list of “I should try…”. Until it wasn’t. I picked up the pattern and clear plastic templates shortly before leaving Calgary, because where the heck would I find those in the Maritimes? Good call, because I still haven’t found any here.

So, for over a year, they sit on a shelf in the sewing room, until an Instagram post of someone’s Smitten quilt catches my eye and a little voice in my head yells, “Go for it!”. So, I go for it. Hubby and I were taking the kids camping, so I wouldn’t be able to take a machine anyway. What perfect timing. He takes credit mercilessly. 🙂

It turns out, hand sewing, and EPP in particular, are incredibly relaxing and calming for the mind. Which, when you suffer from PPD and PTSD like I do, is a Godsend.

It’s perfectly blissful work, and I’m loving getting to cut up some of my favorites in my stash. I have every reason to believe that this will be an absolutely hideous quilt to the eye, as the mix of patterns, prints, and colours are going to be an assault on the senses. But I’m not letting that get to me. I started in May, and figure I’m about 85% of the way with my blocks. And since I’m putting so much time into this quilt, I may as well go big or go home and am planning to quilt it by hand as well. Yes, I know. Right? I swore I would never. Could never. But I’m going to. And I’m going to use the most obnoxious boldly coloured threads I can find.

Here are some pics of my progress so far. Your retinas have been warned. 🙂

Little Ruby, and Courtyard Tiles

My Instagram @charlamacphee

The name Ruby is one of my favorites. But, that isn’t surprising to me because one of my favorite people ever was named Ruby. My Grandmother. So, when Bonnie & Camille released the Little Ruby collection, naturally I was drawn to it. The colors and patterns go so well together.

I held on to this fat quarter bundle for a long time, for me anyways, waiting for just the right pattern. When I saw Courtyard Tiles, I knew it was the one. This pattern cuts quickly, pieces quickly, and looks very much like curved piecing, something I haven’t attempted since the Meadow quilt.  http://myquiltinfatuation.blogspot.ca/2014/10/courtyard-tiles-pattern-is-finished.html

I’m pleased with how well this one has come together so far, and how the pattern leaves very usable scraps. Lots of 2.5 inch strips remain, and I will probably use those for a scrappy border. I’ve even held onto a baggie of teeny tiny triangle scraps thinking I may attempt my first mini quilt. I guess I just can’t bear the thought of wasting any of Ruby. ❤

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Hello world!

Welcome! I’ve decided that since learning how to sew almost 2 years ago, I need a place other than my Facebook feed to share my work. There’s so many things I want to share about this new love, and I know not everyone appreciates, or even wants to see, my sewing adventures clogging up their newsfeeds – sew here I am. <<See what I did there? You can expect random updates of projects I’m working on, hiking we’ve done together as a family, and possibly some race pictures as I train towards some future running goals as well.

Who am I? I’m a mom of three beautiful girls. I live and work in Calgary Alberta, but I’m a born and raised Maritimer from the East Coast of Canada. Growing up, I always saw my mom doing her best for our family, and occasionally, she had a few moments for sewing. She made me some of my most favorite belongings, including a few quilts. Living a little over an hour away from Banff, we’re a hiking family and I like to think of myself as a bit of a runner too. What’s the t shirt say that I saw recently? I’m as slow as a herd of turtles running uphill through peanut butter, but I run.

For years, I swore I would never adopt THAT hobby. Heck no. Way too old fashioned for me. Well, the older I get, the more I find myself eating my own words. It seems like in this day and age, where so much time and energy is devoted to creating  things digitally (such as this blog) it’s becoming en vogue again to create something you can touch and feel and hold – and so was born my love of sewing. Twas only a matter of time given how talented and creative my mom is. Having three girls that I want to make cute things for helps as well.

So welcome. Sit  back, relax, and enjoy this rather slow moving show as I ignore the laundry in favour of making things.

Cheers 🙂 img_7744