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Thursday, April 17, 2008

oh great, a new obsessive craft.

last night i was fortunate enough to attend the english paper piecing class at the workroom (here in toronto). i highly recommend the experience, if you have the chance. english paper (or foundation) piecing is a method of hand-sewing quilt tops out of very precise geometrical shapes using paper templates. it's a fairly easy skill with great rewards and endless design possibilities. the instructor, johanna masko, is full of the kind of tips, attention and minutiae that i love to consume when beginning a new technique. i found the class deeply gratifying and left with my head all buzzing with shapes and patterns of things to come.

i was so excited, in fact, that as soon as i got home i put down the diamond shapes we had been working with in favour of the yellow and brown hexagons i have been dreaming of (and collecting scraps for) for months now. it's totally addictive. each new piece comes out differently and choosing each new addition is mesmerizing.

it kind of makes me embarrassed to admit it, but i am going to try to make an entire full sized quilt top out in this way. i found an old pattern that requires 2,277 hexagons to complete. sure, it may seem crazy as a first project, but even big quilts made in this way can be broken down into manageable modules. it will probably take me years to complete. but it doesn't feel like finished parts will take up too much room in the process.

i currently have 40 hexagons made and an old cookie tin in which to amass them...as if endlessly crocheting hyperbolic planes wasn't an adequately infinite project.

4 comments:

karyn @ the workroom said...

how awesome! the hexagons look so great and i think you'll amass them quite quickly. my paper piecing goal is slightly smaller - a skirt, to add to my skirt collection. (i also have ambitions of doing a skirt that uses typewriter buttons as closures.)

sweetie pie press said...

remind me not to leave you alone with our typewriters.

also, this is such an addictive undertaking. i do think this project will take years at the pace i will be able to go but it's good to have a picky project to wind down with after work.

you and johanna are some serious pushers.

karyn @ the workroom said...

many years ago, i found a typewriter by the side of the road (in brooklyn, actually) and it was in serious disrepair. i took it home and salvaged all the keys. i would NEVER take advantage of one that was workable. i think the typewriter is definitely one of my all-time favorite inventions.

sweetie pie press said...

you know, karyn, i have a very old adding machine that you may need to borrow for the shop. it could use some action. or daylight.