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  • Writer's pictureKerry Keeble

Stitched On The Go!

This months Aurifil Artisan Challenge is all about stitching on the go, perfect for my love of English Paper Piecing - you don't get more portable than that! EPP was the very first type of patchwork I learnt to do, a chance encounter with a lovely lady on a train that completely changed my life. I'll forever be grateful to her for the kindness and patience she was willing to give an enthusiastic total stranger, although my bank balance doesn't agree.

I've always had a bit of a fascination with tessellating designs, particularly geometric titles, I just love the way they all fit together creating designs within designs and this is what inspired my current unnamed project. The little pieces remind me of shards of glass, with this in mind I emptied out my Alison Glass scrap box and started planning what to put where.

Usually when I'm doing EPP I use one neutral colour thread for everything, it's just the way I was originally taught, but as you can see if you look closely sometimes you can see the tiny stitches on the front and since part of my mission this year has been to push myself out of my comfort zone in terms of my work, I wanted to try and develop my skills and my process in terms of using thread in projects.

Thread weight is quite a personal thing, what you prefer to stitch in isn't necessarily what the person next to you would stitch in and that doesn't make your choice wrong, just different! Out of curiosity I recently ran a poll on my Instagram stories and a whopping 236 people cast their opinion on which thread weight was best for EPP - 1st place was 50wt and second place was 80wt.

I have, up until this point used 50wt for all my EPP, for this Artisan Challenge I wanted to try something new so have been using 80wt. I love how fine it is but I also need to practice being a 'softer stitcher' because I find that I am snapping the thread so easily so I need to be more gentle when pulling my needle through - I'm getting better with each block.

By switching to colour matching I've found my stitches have practically disappeared on the front, I know it sounds silly, but I'm actually amazed at the difference something as simple as changing a thread colour can make and will definitely be doing this in all my EPP projects from now on.

I was sent a gorgeous range of colours in the 80wt to use from Aurifil, as this is an on going project I haven't used them all yet but have planned out which colours will be used in each section. The colours I've used so far are:

  • 1147

  • 1148

  • 2810

  • 2479

  • 1243

  • 2026

  • 2520

I've enjoyed the challenge of using more than one thread colour in each block, as I said previously I usually stick to one neutral colour throughout, so changing thread colours to match fabric colours has been a lot of fun and I'm loving the results of these blocks so far.

The blocks at the moment look a bit strange, there doesn't appear to be a pattern to them, but I promise there is! I can actually see it starting to emerge which is really exciting and I can't wait to show you more of these blocks and for you to have the 'ah ha!' moment when you start to see the overall design appear as well.

If you've not tried 80wt thread before, I recommend you give it a go, you will love the delicate nature it gives your stitches and how they just disappear into your work. With 300 yards on each beautiful wooden spool and 88 colours to choose from there really is something for everyone.

Happy Quilting

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