Thursday, March 8, 2018

You Down with EPP? Yeah you know me! - A Grandma's Flower Garden Quilt

I finished a quilt!! All of these little hexagons were sewn together by hand using English Paper Piecing (EPP). It is always such an exciting day when I get to share the end result of my vision. If you have seen me over the past two years, you might have seen me carrying around a bag of scraps, some hexagon papers, glue, scissors, a needle, and some thread. It went everywhere with me. It kept my hands busy while I watched the kids at gymnastics, while I went on trips in the car, and pretty much any other time that I knew I would have a space to wait. It kept my hands busy. I had wanted a project like this for some time, and my friend Lyssa, who works at my local quilt shop Stitched with Love, sat down with me one day and showed me just how to do English Paper Piecing (EPP). That day, I went home and started this quilt. 

English Paper Piecing (EPP) Quilt

Each quilt that I make has a story. This quilt is full of tiny scraps from other projects that I have worked on. Each little fabric has a memory. I also made a lot of these flowers when chatting it up with some of my sweetest friends. I didn't draw out a pattern for this quilt, but rather, just let it evolve until I felt done. Today, I want to talk about memories, triggers, experiences, and all the fun things that I believe art work inspires in us. Isn't it amazing how just from one sense, an entire memory and all of its accompanying English Paper Piecing (EPP) Quiltemotions can come flooding back into our head? I can be going about my day, happily going about what I have on my to do list. Then, I hear a song, and I am in another world. Or, a certain scent reminds me of an event, and my brain is just overtaken with memories. Some memories, however, can be a trigger from times of grief, loss, pain, or disappointment. Grief is just so not kind. It can come out of nowhere and sideline your entire day. How you deal with your memories and come out of times of grief can be a huge part of your success in life, your enjoyment, and the impact you make on those around you, especially if you are dealing with loss on a daily basis. I am definitely no expert, but I would like to give some ways that I get out of a funk when a "trigger" or memory brings up stuff that can suck the life out of my day if I let it.

Find joy. Somewhere around you there is something you can choose to do or to be happy about. You have breath in your lungs. I grab a baby or one of my kids and smell and hug them. I think about something funny they have said to me. Reach out and call someone you love. There is someone on this planet who would love to hear your voice. Grab a cup of tea with a friend. I love tea, and it makes me feel so happy. Sometimes I just need a massage to release tension or the physical touch from someone around me. Get a hobby. Unless you are living the dream and have a job that you feel is a hobby, you need something you consider as playtime. I think this is the secret of us quilters, seamstress, fabric curator, or whatever you call yourself. It is like therapy! It is a happy place we can escape to, feel productive in, and express ourselves. Music. Ah, rap music can make me dance for some reason. Don't listen to sad music. It just brings on all the waterworks and does nothing for pulling you out of that pit.

English Paper Piecing (EPP) Quilt
Don't overwhelm yourself with expectations of what you should be or should be doing. I always have this idea that I should be able to do a million things in one day. I notice, though, that having a super clean house with everything checked off my list means that at the end of the day, I am utterly exhausted. Also, when I am tired or hungry, I am not nice. I have this ongoing checklist in my head for my kids when they cry - are they tired, hungry, thirsty, need to potty, or hurt? It's amazing that as adults, we can forget basic needs or get busy, and then wonder why we feel off later.

What do you do to gather yourself out of a funk? When bad memories wash over you, how do you pull yourself out? 

To me this quilt glows! I hope its story allows you to glow just a bit brighter. The back of it was pieced with Tula Pink fabric. One of the fabrics was a gift from my sweet friend Aimee. So, now that my hands no longer have a small project to carry around, I need to find another EPP project. What is your favorite paper pieced quilt block? 

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope I have inspired you. You may follow me on Instagram or receive updates by liking my page on Facebook. If you want to take a look into the things that inspire me, you can follow me on Pinterest.

English Paper Piecing (EPP) Quilt

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