Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Eat Chocolate, Drink Coffee. English Paper Piece the Trash into Holiday Decor

It is not an exaggeration to say that English Paper Piecing (EPP) is one of the most addictive quilt-related activities I've ever undertaken. It wasn't enough for me to do EPP with fabric, first to make quilts, and then to stitch polyhedra.

But then, a couple of years ago, after my DH caved to supermarket displays (always blame the DH!) and bought a bag of Lindt Truffles (no financial affiliation!) I found myself fascinated by the wrappers.  One thing led to parties, I started following people around to collect their wrappers....and here are tutorials for two projects made from them. Both are sparkly, fun, and therefore perfect holiday decor!  These truffles come in so many colors, you can do Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza color schemes, and more! 

PROJECT 1 Small Pentagon Bowl

Detailed directions are in my polyhedron book, but you can don't need it to follow this tutorial. You will need a regular pentagon shape. 

1. Cut out six cardstock pentagons. Mine are 1.75" high, from the middle of the base to the tip, a good size for this particular chocolate brand.

2. I'll break it to you gently: You must eat six chocolates: One for the base, five for the sides. It's your creative duty. (OK, you can share the burden with someone you love.) I was at Costco yesterday and one of the generous ladies was handing everybody 3 Lindt truffles! Pass her twice! 

3. Wrap each cardstock pentagon with a candy wrapper.

As you fold to the back, figure out where you can trim away extra.
Cut same-size pieces from more foil - I used a holiday coffee pouch and glue-sticked the pentagons to the backs. They don't wrap around.
Lay everything out. 
Zigzag the pieces together on the sewing machine. As my book explains in detail, I first go around the central piece,  attaching the sides; then sew up the seams between all side pieces. I used silver metallic thread in the top.... 
...and the bottom....
I put the inside of the foil coffee bag on the outside, on one panel. I think it creates a sort of spaceship effect. 
Wasn't that fun? If you're still have leftover wrappers, you can make....

BOWL II: Hand-sewn Hexagon & Pentagon Bowl

This bowl's a little bigger. This time, you have to drink a lot of coffee as well as consuming six chocolate truffles
The first step is to cut six cardstock pentagons, same size as the project above, 1.75" in height. Wrap each with a truffle wrapper. 
The back. Cut away excess. 
Instead of covering each of the backs with another foil piece,  I tried mashing down some of the backs neatly. (Don't iron, for gosh sakes, the wrapper will melt and attack you with toxic fumes!) Then I stitched a star in silver metallic thread, from the front, to hold everything down.
The smushed backs looked pretty good! 
For the center, you need a hexagon whose sides are the same length as the pentagon's sides, 1.25" in this case. Cut it from cardstock. 

I wrapped one side with a coffee bag piece cut a little larger than the hexagon, so I could bring the edges to the reverse side. 

And in the opening, I slid another coffee bag piece the same size as the hexagon. 
Laid out the pentagon pieces around the hexagon base, good side up. 
Unthread the sewing machine. Use an old needle. Set the machine for a long stitch, even a basting stitch. Send the central piece through the sewing machine, poking more-or-less equidistant holes all the way around. Do the same with the side pieces. 
Hand lace everything together with sturdy thread. I used upholstery thread. 
Hand stitching is a bit awkward. I tried lots of different stitches to see what I liked best. They all worked fine, a whipstitch, a lacing stitch, whatever you like. 

And it's done!
Side view.
But wait! There's more! More chocolate wrapper - and broccoli bag - projects are posted  here. My favorite of all is this hand and machine sewn dish on that page and in the photo below.  
It cuts the sweetness with nutritional information! The base and square pieces are from the bag that holds the candies. The shape is a partial truncated cuboctahedron, and it's another project from my polyhedron book, available on etsy, here, for immediate digital download, or in paperback from Amazon, here

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