Almost a year ago, I took part in a swap on Ravelry (as part of the UK Swaps group). As the parcel arrived just as we were packing up to move house, I didn't really get much of a chance to play with the contents of the parcel, or spend much time wondering what I was going to do with it. I took a quick snap to share with the group, then put everything away in the box that was carrying my stash to the new house.
The lovely handmade project bag is the perfect size for carrying around my Innocent smoothie hat knitting kit, which lives in the bottom of my work bag for quick knitting fixes in the office. The yarn, four wonderfully soft and squishy balls of Rowan Baby Alpaca DK in three different shades of pinky purples, has been sitting in my stash ever since, and is destined to play a part in the fourth Year of Projects.
However, the part I want to talk about today is that little bag of fabric hexagons, and the Homemade with love magazine. One of the stipulations of the swap was that the parcel had to contain "a new item to pamper/play with". As the lovely person who put my parcel together knew that I was open to trying new crafts, she thought I might want to have a go at English Paper Piecing. The magazine included a pattern/instructions for making a brooch using the technique.
A few days ago, I decided I would give it a go. I'd been doing some sewing at the weekend (nothing too hefty, just replacing buttons on a shirt!) and realised I don't actually own a proper pincushion. The more I thought about it, the more determined I became to make one. That's when I remembered the swap package I'd received, and thought that perhaps a pincushion would be a good small project to try out EPP for the first time.
I spent a good while trying to figure out how to measure the paper hexagons to ensure a neat fit, but in the end I abandoned maths (not my strong point!) and traced around one of the fabric hexies. I then trimmed 1/4 inch off each side, and used that paper hex as a template for all the others. It's might fiddly, attaching the fabric to the paper, but sewing them together afterwards is very quick indeed. I have just a few more seams to do on the second piece, then I'll be ready to join them together.
I have plenty of little fabric hexagons left, so if this is a success, there's scope to do another project before I find myself rushing off to buy a load of fat quarters!