This month, I was invited to moonlight with the do. Good Stitches Love bee. Rachel, at Stitched in Color, had posted about her EPP star blocks during her stop on the Travelin' Pic Stitch Blog Hop and I commented that I thought these would be so much fun to make. Soon a plan was hatched and I decided to jump in and make a couple stars to send along.
Rachel had also put together a palette to work from when selecting prints and color. Her inspiration board included lots of beautiful fall images that also helped to convey the mood of the color story. This is a great way to begin selecting fabric for any larger project, even just for yourself. By choosing a few photos that capture the feeling of what you would like to create, you can then sample colors from each to create a cohesive palette like the one below. I like that I was able to just pick and choose pairs of colors using the preselected options. It helped me to know that the prints and colors I was using would mesh well with the other blocks in the bee (and really in the quilt).
Since these were constructed using EPP (English Paper Piecing) techniques I also thought I might take a moment to talk a little about some of that process for those of you who might be interested in knowing more about it. Each diamond unit, after being thread basted, was combined together to create the star shape below. When working with diamonds, you end up with little tags of fabric that hang off the ends. These little tags aren't usually an issue, but making sure that they all nest together neatly when sewing your units together is important. You can see below how messy that center junction could become if the tags weren't carefully smoothed and pressed flat to form a little rosette.
Flipping the block over to the front, you can also see how nesting those tags results in a flat and even center. Another thing I really love about EPP is that it's incredibly easy to achieve really sharp, centered points every time, especially if you use starch and press throughout the process of making your units and blocks. If you don't mind hand sewing and taking things a little more slowly, then I would highly recommend giving EPP a try (if you haven't already). : ) I made up a quick tutorial a few months ago for hexies if you would like to see more about how to get started.