In the mood for a little snow right about now?
While we wait for the anticipated Christmas snow, we release this adorable project created using paper piecing.
If paper piecing intimidates you, watch our video with Nancy Devine demonstrating this technique every step of the way. It’s easier than you think.
Once you’re done with the paper piecing part, it’s all fun and craft! Enjoy!
English paper piecing is a great quilting technique to master.
It uses up scraps and it’s a very portable hand sewing project for taking on long car trips, to waiting rooms, or any other place you could spend some time in the pursuit of the gentle arts.
The current resurgence of hexagon quilting projects, and their 3-D cousins, pentagons, has inspired this little winter friend.
You will need:
- scraps of white fabric (I used the same fabric for a uniform finish)
- the templates provided printed on regular computer paper
- card stock poster board scraps work very well
- a glue stick
- flexible thimble
- basting thread
- Gutermann thread to match the fabric
- good quality toy stuffing
- doll or mattress needle
- heavy duty thread
- glue gun
- wooden plaque
- white paint
- black paint
- orange paint
- snow texture paint
- bamboo skewer
- 22 gauge floral wire
- brown floral tape
- scrap of fleece
- one sock — the one that was left behind in the dryer…
- decorative buttons
Download and print out the templates. They are actual size.
Trace each one 12 times and glue onto the poster board. Cut out each template carefully. With wrong sides together, trim the fabric to the templates, ensuring there is a 1/4″ seam allowance around the cardboard.
Fold each side of the fabric tightly against the cardboard, and baste at each corner. Do this around all the templates.
When they are basted, use a blind slip stitch to join the pentagons together in a flower arrangement. In other words, a pentagon in the middle with a pentagon attached to each edge.
The cardboard stays in the fabric. Go slowly, there should be no large gaps in these seams.
Join the sides of the first group of six, and then the second group of six. You’ll now have two small cups.
Right sides together, join both cups together, using a very small blind slip stitch.
Leave a 1 1/2 inch space to turn the ball. Clip the basting stitches, and remove the paper templates.
Turn right side out, and stuff the ball very firmly. Blind slip stitch the ball closed. Repeat for all sizes.
Watch the video below to see Nancy paper piece Percy.
Paper Piecing Percy the Snowman
When the small, medium, and large balls are together, thread the mattress needle with heavy duty thread.
Thread balls large, medium and small (as centrally as possible) onto the needle. Pull the thread somewhat tightly to bring the balls together.
At this point, the snow person will be kind of floppy. Use the glue gun to secure each section of the snow person together. It helps to press down on the top of the snow person until the glue has set. Set aside.
When it’s dried, glue the snow person to the plaque. Paint the skewer orange. Allow to dry.
Cut 20 inches of wire. Cut this in half. Now, you have two 10-inch pieces. Fold each piece in half, twist halves together, leaving a small loop in the center, to suggest hands.
Wrap wire tightly in floral tape.
Use a seam ripper to poke holes for the arms in the space between the small and medium pentagon balls. Put a dab of hot glue on the end of the arm and push into the holes. Allow the glue to set.
Turn the sock inside out. Cut off the foot so that only the cuff remains. Gather the cut top tightly to form a toque.
Turn right side out. Place on the snow person. It might be necessary alter the hat to make sure it fits properly.
Use black paint to create eyes.
Use the seam ripper to poke a hole for the carrot nose. Place a dab of glue on the end of the painted skewer, and push into the hole.
Cut a 2 x 8 inch long piece of fabric for the scarf. When the eyes have dried, use a dry paint brush to create some cheek blush on the snow person.
Glue decorative buttons down the center of the snow person. If desired, glue a mushroom bird or similar onto one of the hands. Decorate the plaque with snow texture paint.
These “snowballs” aren’t only for paper piecing Percy the Snowman. The large ones make nice indoor play balls for kids (and the young at heart). And, let’s face it, the winter is long. A nice game of catch inside the house would do everyone some good.
But, there’s one caveat: once you master EPP, it becomes kind of addictive. On the upside, it’s a nice way to let go of those precious scraps you can’t bear to throw away.