Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Karen Howes English Paper Piecing Workshop

So, I have to apologize in advance for the quality of the pictures, and also the fact that there are so few of them. I’ve been trying to adjust the settings on the guild’s camera to reduce the amount of yellow in the pictures taken in the evening under the fluorescent lights during the meetings. Apparently that new setting doesn’t like to be used during daylight hours. Note to self.....  change the settings back for daylight pictures or use a different camera. As far as the number of pictures, I was so involved in doing the workshop, that I forgot about documenting it. And that is just proof of how good the workshop was!
The workshop was all about English Paper Piecing, also known as EPP. It isn’t just your average Grandmother’s Flower Garden any more. Karen started off showing us the basics of EPP.... the types of paper to use, how to fold our fabrics over the paper and basting them in place. She provided all the papers, gave us pre-basted pieces to show the different methods and then gave us three more pieces of paper and fabrics so that we could practice our basting and  practice the whip stitch for sewing them together. She took us through the process of fussy cutting motifs from various fabrics to achieve secondary designs and kaleidoscopic effects. Again, she provided the essentials for doing this particular technique, window templates for isolating the different parts of our fabrics, clear templates to draw around and the papers needed for making the hexagon rosettes. I think it was at this point that we broke for lunch. It was also at this point that I got so involved in playing with fabric and paper that the picture taking got eclipsed by the hexagon process.
After lunch she took us through the process for making six pieced hexagon variations. We had done homework before the workshop, so we had our fabric strips and pieces all ready for making our variations, which can be seen in Karen’s sample pieces. Karen was a great teacher, full of enthusiasm for her subject. The preparation she put into the workshop, and the materials that she provided to the participants left us in no doubt how to proceed and also were excellent for taking home for further work. Thank you Karen!
I also want to give a large shout out to Karen’s friend Debra. She was helpful during the workshop, kept Karen company when she wasn’t with us, and also did all the driving for Karen, both to get her here and home again, and also around the city while they were here. Thanks Debra!

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