If I'm making a list of 25 craft tools and supplies and processes, you had better believe that English paper piecing is gonna be there. In a season that is so filled with busy (if only busy came just once a year!), I find hand sewing to be calming. In fact, when my life gets crazy, I reach for English paper piecing to give sanity.
Which makes me think of an old Marx Brothers line. While going over a contract, one of the brothers (in a thick accent) says, "You can't fool me! There ain't no Sanity Clause!" Haha...well, they were wrong. Because stitching a few diamonds into a star ornament is your Sanity Clause. Take a look:
Here's what you need:
Fabric scraps (I worked with three fabrics, but you could do more or less)
5-Point Star EPP Templates printed on card stock
Here's what you do:
Cut out the diamond shapes from the template (there are more included than you'll need), and make 5 EPP diamonds as you would with hexagons. See my post on this here for more thorough instructions.
Pin a diamond onto the back of the fabric and cut around the shape, leaving a little over 1/4" seam allowance.
Fold the edges in and take a few stitches at each of the angles to tack the seam allowance in place. I prefer to NOT stitch through the template, but you can if that's easier for you. Also, you may need to adjust the pin placement a little as you work, since these are fairly small pieces.
There's one diamond! The little flaps at the two acute angles can just flap around for now. We'll take care of that later. Make a total of five of these.
Stitch the five diamonds together to form a star. Hold two pieces with right sides together and sew the very edge. I'm using ladder stitch here, but whip stitch or running stitch also work. When you are putting these together, the flaps will lay nicely at the center all on their own.
Now you've got a nice little star to work with!
Remove the card stock pieces from the back of your star and pin the pieced star onto the felt.
Using the perle cotton and running stitch, sew the star down onto the felt. Take care so that the stitching looks nice from the back too.
When you come to each point of the star, fold the flap underneath so that they are hidden.
Oh! But before you sew all the way around the star, add a teeny bit of stuffing so that your star is a little puffy. Now you can finish sewing the star.
Trim around the felt, leaving just a bit of it showing.
Use perle cotton to stitch a hanger through the felt at one of the points. Tie a knot and trim the ends.
And just like that, you've got a pieced star ornament! I'm completely convinced that next to embroidery, English paper piecing is the best craft ever. In fact, see those diamonds in the very first photo in this post? They are part of an ENORMOUS project that I've started. It seams that a little crazy is needed for sanity...
And before I go, take a look at these English paper piecing ornaments that Paula made! She used my Advent Tinies patterns (reduced in size a bit) in the center of little quilty trees!