Apple Cores!!! All Points Patchwork Book Tour

This is my stop on the Apple Core leg of the All Points Patchwork book tour~

If you have not yet seen this thick and amazing book by Diane Gilleland, please check it out.  Let me warn you though, it is HEAVY.  (in a good way)  Diane covers so many possibilities for EPP-- numerous template shapes and construction methods.  Even for someone who's been addicted to doing EPP for years (like me), there are inspiration and ideas in here that I probably never would have stumbled upon, so set was I in my ways.  Thank you, Diane, for putting in the effort to make your ideas so clear to us, and for writing a beautiful book and I'm very happy to own and recommend.

I wanted to try curved EPP but I knew I was a little scared and that there would be a learning curve (hehe).  For my project on this Apple-a-Day Hop, I decided to combine strips of apple core patchwork with Jeni Baker's Drawstring Bag, which I've made a bunch of times and knew I could trust the pattern enough to play around with it.  (If you haven't tried Jeni's bag pattern, I highly recommend it-- there's a free tutorial on her blog.  If you'd like it in different sizes, the pattern is available in her shop)

I was completely unfamiliar with curved patch English paper piecing so I had to read that section in All Points Patchwork a few times to wrap my head around it.  I figured out basting pretty quickly, though the thought of basting through the papers and having to cut it out later kinda made me queasy.  (you think I'm kidding?  removing the basting at the end was terrifying!).  Soon enough the rhythmic stitches took over and I was hardly thinking about it.  When it came time to join them together though.. I felt like a fish out of water.  Thankfully, the book explains how to adjust your usual whip stitch to adapt to the curves.  I gave it a try, but half the time I ended up doing some sort of whip stitch/ladder stitch combination.  This was a practice project, a learning piece.  I wasn't too concerned with how my stitches looked on the front or the back, I was just curious how to do it.. trying to find the method that worked for me the best.  I guess I'm one of those people who can read the instructions over and over but it doesn't make sense til I get my hands on it, you know?

Thankfully, I figured it out.  I realized too late that I was clipping my inner curves too deep, but this bag won't get too much wear and tear, so I'm not going to worry about it.  Next time around I'll be more careful.  I pieced two strips of 5 x 2 apple cores and then pressed the heck out of them and started removing the basting stitches.

Diane's right, with curves, your iron becomes your best friend.  I was so so scared when removing the templates.  I thought my seam allowance would flop all over the place.   The iron made a sharp crease though so with some gentle coaxing, the curves stayed curvy and the seam allowances stayed generally where I wanted them.
(I'm visiting friends this week and their kitty was very curious about my patchwork.. )
In order to adjust the drawstring bag pattern to incorporate my EPP segments, I laid out the fabrics I wanted to use and fiddled with the measurements a bit.  When I thought I had it right, I top stitch appliqued the EPP to the other fabrics in a row (just as Jeni's tutorial does with the main and accent fabrics), leaving about 1/2" seam allowance under the EPP parts.  I used lots of pins and my ruler and cutting mat to keep things straight.

Before assembling the bag, I trimmed the extra EPP flush with my bag fabrics and made sure to back stitch at all seam crossings when I sewed it together.

I followed the tutorial as written to complete the project and it came out just as I had imagined!  I'm so so happy I tried curved EPP!  And it was really satisfying to make a small project, not just jump into another huge long-term hand pieced quilt (yes, Travel Quilts #4, 5 and 6 are still under way..).

Are you ready to try curved EPP and maybe even some Apple Cores?

You can order Diane's book here
Get apple core templates (or practically any other shape) from
and don't forget to visit all the other stops on the Apple-a-Day hop too!

There is a little giveaway as part of the hop too.. if you comment on this post (international entries welcome!) you will be entered to win a pair of Clover Patchwork Scissors.  Aren't they cute?  Giveaway closes midnight on Sunday, July 12.
(this is a Rafflecopter giveaway )

I am headed off to Sisters today for my Quilters Affair class with Sarah Fielke!
Please pop over to my instagram feed (@jessica_alex) for a play by play of my time in quilting utopia!


  1. Super sweet bag! I'm surprised such an addict hadn't done curves before! ;) I love sewing epp curves more than on my machine!

  2. I must try this apple core EPP. But the curves scare me.

  3. I'm still trying to get my head around EPP with straight edges!

  4. Very cute use of the apple cores! Thanks for the info on the book.

  5. I got my copy of Diane's book yesterday in the mail. It is such a great reference book for EPP. I'm currently working on a more complicated bock with lots of intersections and curved pieces. Diane's book has come to my rescue in figuring out how to put the pieces together. Thanks for the 411 on this book!

  6. This may be the next step on my EPP path: apple cores. Thanks for the very detailed tale of your experience, complete with photos and a cat.

  7. Very cute bag. I've never tried apple core as an EPP. But I just might have to add this bag to my "quilty bucket list."

  8. Thanks for the review of the book. Looks good and you have done a great job with theApple cores .... Sue x

  9. Thanks for the review of the book. Looks good and you have done a great job with theApple cores .... Sue x

  10. Love the video, George is very sweet and you did a brill job doing a demo with a toddler on your knee. Well done x

  11. Gorgeous bag and great tuto.I've never tried apple cores.

  12. Thanks for the great review, will have to check out other stops on the book tour too. Your apple cores look wonderful :)

  13. I bought the book and it is really informative and attractively laid out too. I intend to try the apple cores, they scared me a little but the instructions are clear and leave me with confidence!
    Love your bag here : )


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