English Paper Piecing Challenge

Well, this is the last post of the year for the 2021 Island Batik season. It is also my last post for Island Batik Ambassadors. What a fun year this has been!!

English Paper Piecing is something I have been fascinated with ever since I saw the La Passacaglia Quilt in the Millefiori 1 book by Willyne Hammerstein. I was so entranced that I bought some of the “starter” kits by Paperpieces.com to see if it was for me. You see I had always sworn off the idea of hand stitching until I saw the La Pass quilt. Well, I bought it, tried it, did not think it was for me and gave away the whole kit I had made to a dear friend. Then, I waited…. About 3 months later I bought the whole thing again! 😂 I couldn’t stop thinking of it!

I have been gathering cute print cotton and slowly making rosettes ever since!

I blasted in with no good plan except to make these rosettes put them together and have the most beautiful quilt… except the work gets exponentially laborious the bigger they get! I did not have a good plan (like making all the stars one color to bring it all together). I also am not much of a print cotton girl preferring batiks, however, batiks are harder to stitch since they are so dense usually. My rosettes are years old. Eventually I’ll get it done!

I will say I carry around my kit all over.

I started an English paper pieced quilt back in 2013 when my mom came to live at the Chiniak Bay Eldercare House. A joke for my sister… a quilt full of Forget-Me-Nots that I worked on as I sat with my mom who was slowly slipping away to Alzheimer’s. I’ll eventually finish for her.

The forget-me-not quilt blocks for my sister.

When the challenge came up got Island Batik I got busy shopping for the perfect project… and finally realized I love the LaPass rosette and thought I’d do a pillow cover.

What I didn’t think about was my thread color. Preferring a neutral has always worked for me. Until now and after working on it for a while decided the grey was not a good choice and I opted to recut, restitch and fix.

Once restarted I made some faster work but decided in the holiday season to also to change my final project into a… stocking!

I left Kodiak on December 17th to do a quick doctor appointment and run some errands in “Town” (Anchorage) before heading to Sand Point. On the 20th I hopped on the 2 1/2 hour flight to see my sister. After nearly 2 hours of flying they turned us around, but I got a lot of sewing done! The next day we attempted another flight and made it!

Well, I worked all week and… eventually ran out of all the Island Batik fabric I brought with me… using every bit of what I had cut and sill ending up about 3 inches short!

*** A quick fact about the internet and rural Alaska… the internet is basically nonexistent: it’s slow, expensive and works intermittently. Working on this post was not possible unless I drove to the school and sat in the truck outside the building and jumped on their wireless and even then the above photos would not upload to WordPress. Schools are where many people in rural villages go to get access to internet that is somewhat reliable and, often, on a good night you can find many trucks or cars lined up around schools with people using the wireless.

I got back to Anchorage on the 30th, ran to more doctor appointments, ran some errands and flew back to Kodiak. Being back allowed me to finish this blog post in the comfort of my own home—including uploading pictures! ***

With me running out of another rainbow color run fabric I started with some black I found in my stash in my yurt… after sewing it together I decided it did not have enough joy. So, on the last day of the 2021 year I am tearing out the black to finish the stocking the way I want it to look. It will be my last finish of 2021. I’m going to post this now but I will update… Next year!

A HUGE thank you to Aurifil, Hobbs batting and Schmetz. I. had a really fun time being an Island Batik Ambassador this past year–between 2 knee operations and sleeping like 4 months the projects really helped me focus and be present.

Happy 2022. I wish you love, good mental health, time with those you love, and prosperity in all your crafty endeavors.

UPDATE! finished…

3 thoughts on “English Paper Piecing Challenge

  1. Jennifer – Wow! I am blown away at your EPP stocking! It’s fabulous. I actually love all the stockings of yours I’ve seen. They’re each so beautiful and unique. I’ll miss you in IBA this year, but I’ll be keeping up with you on IG. I love seeing your projects and learning about your life in Alaska. It’s so different from mine in North Carolina. Happy New Year!

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