Friday, 20 March 2015

Week Four of the EPP Medallion Patch-along


Nearly there folks! We will finish the paper piecing part of our medallion patch -along this week and the applique. I thought that you could cope with two things this week!

But before we get going, I have another ta-dah! moment! Two in a row - this time the cover of Pretty Patches magazine. This time it is the grey and brightly coloured quilt. It is called April Showers.


11, Sewing Circles

Okay , back to the business of the day...finally we can  make the medallion project into something practical. You will be pleased to know that I have decided what to do with it too. I thought that we could make a tuffet - you know, as in little Miss Muffet?  Stay with me and you will love it I promise.

There are no new pieces to learn, only using two that we already know quite well. This time, it is all about the hexie and the small diamond.

Here is what we have achieved up to this point...



The next bit is to add some more hexies to make a pink and white (in my case) border and then we will finish with six more diamonds.

Begin by covering your hexies. As I said, mine are pink and white but it will depend on your fabrics. The hexie border is quite a big feature so I would avoid green and go back to the star and look at that. Pink features and so does white so that is how I made my choice.

You will need 18 hexies like these...



You also need six diamond and these are exactly the same as last week....



We begin by adding the hexies. It doesn't matter which one you start with or where you put it. I have chosen a pink one and I am starting in the middle....



Next comes white (not easy to see and you have the paper showing through but don't worry about that).....



And so on until you have a ring of hexies alternating colours like this....



Now you will also start to be aware of the positions for the last diamonds.....



Sew those in too and that is it! Let's have a look at what we have now....



And that is the EPP bit finished! Obviously you can keep going and make it huge but we will stop there and get ready for the next bit....

I love the pretty fondant colours. Okay, very sweet but not much use to anyone in its present state. The next thing to do is to make it up. As I said, a tuffet is just the thing and that is going to begin right now! 
Carefully remove the papers from your medallion. Be very careful to preserve the shapes on the outside. It will look a bit sad and deflated for a bit but don't be disheartened. 

Choose yourself a piece of fabric which coordinates but does not clash with the medallion. I am going with a lovely blue and cream spotted upholstery weight fabric. Plain is good too because it will make the medallion jump out. Basically, the medallion is the big feature so 'audition' a few fabrics to make sure that you have the best supporting act for your star.

You will need to have 70cm x 70cm of thin wadding and enough of your fabric for TWO 61cm diameter circles. The reason that I am not giving an actual meterage is that you might want to mix and match the fabrics. You can have a different one on the top to the bottom. Maybe an oil cloth bottom so that it doesn't get damp outside.
Anyway, cut the chosen fabric into two 61cm diameter circles. Put one aside.
Do you know how to cut big circles? No? It is easy. Take a piece of fabric about 2-3cm larger than your circle so outs might be 63cm x 63cm. That gives a little bit of working room. Fold the fabric in quarters....



going from the centre, measure 30.5cm (half your end circle). Use a water soluble marker to mark this measurement all around the quarter like this....sorry that the dots are not easy to see, they will be more apparent in the next shot...



join the dots to make an arc....



Now cut it out and unfold it. Ta da! A large circle! Don't cut the wadding though. Place the fabric circle onto the untrimmed wadding. Find the centre of the circle and find the centre of your medallion. Pin your medallion to the centre and then pin it all around so that no movement is possible in any direction. This is what you will have now.....



We will begin the applique process by quilting (strangely enough!). The method behind this particular bit of madness is that if you quilt from the centre out, you smooth as you go and avoid puckering which is ugly. Fabric moves and you cannot easily stop it. Start quilting in the ditch (hand or machine) in the very centre like this....



You can see how the needle is in the dead centre of each seam? This will make the patches themselves rather than the quilting the main event. The quilting will be invisible. 

Sometimes I quilt by hand because I like it and I have more control. Not only that but it preserves the portable nature of the project. But machine is faster and if it is all invisible anyway.....

Keep going unto the whole medallion is secure and then make a neat overcast stitch around the outside to anchor it down. THAT is better done by hand I find. Now stabilise the edge with a running stitch and trim the wadding to match the circle and this is what you will have.....



I found a wonderful button just crying out to be used in the centre too.



Next time, we will finish the tuffet. Make sure that you have some 2-3mm piping cord (about 4m), some polyester stuffing and fabric for the sides (25 cm strip). Choose a fabric from one of the ones in your medallion to cover the piping cord too. I am going with the stripes from the star.
You already have the bottom circle put aside. The bottom fabric can be the same as the top or different, it is up to you. I have gone with the top, bottom and sides the the same and then striped (one of the medallion fabrics) for the piping.

Whew! That was a big one! Well thank you for bearing with me and I will see you all next week for the final stage.

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx