Decorative Hoops September 15 2016
Have you ever wanted to try English paper piecing but didn't want to commit to making a large quilt? Or do you have some leftover rosettes that did not make the cut in your finished Millefiori quilt?
This tutorial shows you how to finish a small piece that can be used as home decor or even given as a handmade gift!
Feel free to use this pentagon design or substitute it with one of your own. Embellish it as much or as little as you would like.
Finished size: 12 inches in diameter
Materials you will need:
- (31) 1 inch pentagon paper pieces
- (20) 1 inch 6 point diamond (60 degree triangle) paper pieces
- 1/8 yard pink fabric
- 1/8 yard yellow fabric
- Fat Quarter or 14 inch square of background fabric
- 12-1/2 inch square of felt for back of hoop
- 12-1/2 inch square of cardboard
- Thread and needles for EPP
- Thread and needles for hand appliqué
- Embroidery floss or perle cotton and needles
- 12 inch embroidery hoop
- Fabric glue
- 1 inch pentagon acrylic cutting template
- 1 inch 6 point diamond acrylic cutting template
- Appliqué pins
- Temporary glue stick
Step 1: EPP block - Cutting and basting
Using paper pieces as a guide and adding 1/4 inch seam allowances all around, cut (30) pentagons from the pink fabric, (1) pentagon from the orange fabric and (20) diamonds from the yellow fabric. You can also use acrylic cutting templates to simplify the cutting process.
Baste all pentagons and diamonds with your preferred basting method. For this project, I chose to glue baste using Bohin's glue stick.
Step 2: EPP block - Stitching
First, stitch (5) sets of unit A and (5) sets of unit B. For unit B, I first stitched the pentagons together as shown and then added the diamond pieces.
After you stitch units A and B individually, then join one unit A with a B unit until you have sewn (5) A/B sets. Take one A/B set and add unit C (orange pentagon). Working clockwise, you can now add the remaining (4) sets of the A/B units to complete the block.
Step 3: Appliqué the block
Before appliquéing the block to the background, you must first remove the paper pieces. I like to first press the block with a light spray starch to help set the EPP shapes and flatten the block before removing the papers. I press the block once again after removing the papers.
You can leave the diamond tips, but I decided to trim the tips of the diamonds that extended out of the block. When trimming, you must leave 1/4 inch seam allowance to fold and press under so that you have a finished edge when appliquéing.
Hand appliqué the block into place taking care not to distort the block as you stitch.
Step 4: Embellishing the block
Temporarily put the completed appliqué block into the embroidery hoop. Add decorative stitches using embroidery floss or perle cotton, as desired.
I used a chain stitch to outline the EPP 'flower'. For each pink pentagon, I used a running stitch and for the orange pentagon, I outlined it with a stem stitch. Finally, in the center of the orange pentagon, I added a lazy daisy stitch.
For more ideas on decorative stitches, check out Sue Spargo's book Creative Stitching.
Step 5: Mounting the block
Take the finished piece out of the hoop and press. I decided to wash my piece before mounting as I wanted to give the petals of the 'flower' additional texture.
Once pressed, put the block back onto the hoop, creating as tight of a finish as you can. Make sure the hoop screw is at the top if you want to use it to hang your finished piece.
Turn the hoop over and trim the excess fabric to within 1 inch of the edge of the embroidery hoop (Fig a).
Using the inner edge of the hoop, trace a circle on the cardboard square. Cut out the circle and drop it into the back of the hoop (Fig b) to protect the back of the block.
Secure the excess fabric by finger pressing over the top edge of the inner section of the embroidery hoop onto the cardboard. Use a glue gun or Roxanne Glue Baste to hold in place (Fig c).
Finally, Using the outer edge of the hoop, trace a circle on the felt square. Cut out the circle and glue the felt in place over the secured fabric and cardboard to hide the raw edges of fabric.
You can use this method to finish and mount virtually anything from fabric to embroideries to decorate a room or a wall.