English paper piecing basics for absolute beginners

Today I want to share with you how I English Paper Piece.(EPP)  I began experimenting with this technique early on in my Quilting life and fell in love with it! Here is how I do it and I hope this inspires you to give it a try as it is super easy and great fun.

I started with hexagons and still love them.  They are a great starting point for EPP and allow you to learn the basic technique.

You can buy ready made paper templates from the UK from the lovely Jesse, owner of Sew and Quilt or in the US from paperpieces.com.  Alternatively you can create your own, by creating your template and then printing it off onto copy paper and cutting out.  I tend to use this method far more because I can get the exact size and shape of template I need and it is free! Incomptech is a great site for creating hexagons and other geometric shapes.

 Cutting
  1. Using a template, cut out the fabric you need leaving at least a quarter inch seam allowance around the template.
  2. Basting - is when you attach the template to the fabric either by washable glue or using a large tacking stitch taking care NOT to go through the paper template and just catching the fabric.  I use both methods but when I have a large pile of templates to baste I always go for a prittstick of sewline glue pen.  
  3. Once all your templates are basted, it is time to join them.  Traditionally, the stitch used for this is called the "Whip stitch".  It is quick and easy and if you use a good quality thread, the stitches can hardly be seen on the right side.  I like to use Aurifil 50wt thread as it is strong, cotton and fine.  Experiment until you find the right thread for you! With this stitch you just want to be catching the edges of the fabric and NOT going through the papers as this will cause problems removing templates when finished.  I made a little (ropey) video to show you the basic stitch in action.
  4. You continue to use the whip stitch to join all the edges to your central hexagon and then return to join the remaining unsewn edges together.  DO NOT BE AFRAID to bend your templates here.  They will forgive you! and tend to bounce back into shape nicely!   Sometimes bending them is unavoidable.  
  5. A wonder clip is a great little extra hand when your hands are feeling tired with gripping so try that out too.
  6. And basically that is it!  Once your project is finished you can remove all your paper templates usually.  
  7. If not too distorted, these templates can be stored and re used if you wish.


Now wasn't that easy?  I hope I have encouraged someone to give it a go and if you have then please feel free to share on Instagram if you follow me using the #easyepp
Much love
Collette x

2 comments:

  1. I'm almost seventeen and as much as I don't see many people my age doing this sort of thing, I love to sew, quilt and EPP, I found out about it on instagram, started once and realised how addictive it was, time would literally fly by. I love the fact that even the smallest scraps of fabric aren't wasted now as the hexagons and other shapes can be used as big or small as you want. I just today bought around 40 small scraps that I can make roughly 120 1/2inch hexies from, there was a huge variation in the amount of different styles and colours and it only cost me 50p! I have to be so strict with myself to get my college work done first otherwise id spent hours just EPP!xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Fantastic to hear about your enthusiasm for EPP. It is so portable and such fun to do. I also find it very relaxing. But yes college work should probably come first. X

      Delete

I love to read comments on blogs so please feel free to talk away!