Thursday 5 January 2012

the basics of english paper piecing

 I always assume that because I've seen something on another blog,
then everyone has right?
This post is a basic guide to English paper piecing (epp) for those who haven't read the blogs I've read.
Firstly it may not be obvious,
 epp is a hand sewing technique, if you love your machine
you might not like it...I'm just need patience.
 My home made templates.
I love epp because I like the control, the accuracy and the ability to sew anywhere
especially in the garden!!!
Draw around your cardboard/plastic template.
Cut out your paper template.
Cut the fabric with a 1/4'' seam all around
Tack the fabric on to the paper piece.
Place two pieces right sides together and whip stitch across the edge,
taking care not to sew through the paper.
 I've opened the pieces out above to help you understand how it works.
Carry on stitch more pieces together with the same thread,
when you cant join any more tie it off with a knot.
Paper pieces are removed at the end.
The bigger the pieces the quicker your project will come together.
The above picture is my current epp project,
the circles are the size of dinner plates.
Epp is a great way to make trickier quilts by hand
if you are a machine-phobe.
I do use my machine for patchwork,
I just like hand sewing.
If you have any question or are unsure,
take a look at my fussy cutting tutorial or leave me a comment.
 I liken epp to that of a jigsaw,
only with simpler pieces.
If you can wrap fabric around a paper shape and sew them together,
then you can paper piece it.
I like to use a bright coloured thread for the tacking
so when you come to cut out the thread it's obvious which knots to cut.
Believe me I've cut the wrong ones before,
it happens!


koralee said...

Oh my goodness..this is soooo beautiful...I really don't think I could ever create such beauty. Just think of the joy this will bring you when it is all finished and used in your home! You inspire me!
Just wanted to thank you for your sweet visit...and hugs for 2012.
Oh and by the way...I sooooo want your lovely green floral top in your last is beautiful! Hugs. xoxxo

Andrea said...

hello I'm putting together a quilt of circles like yours. You're doing the hand

Simone said...

It was through you that I learnt to do epp Clare. I was going to make a cushion but I am a bit worried about zips and things. I think I will turn my 'cushion'into a table runner instead. Thanks for continuing to inspire. x

Jenny at Red House said...

We had a quilting workshop at our Bespoke Country craft club last night , I think I caught the bug!!! love your quilt! jennyx

aksherry said...

oh, I am so wanting to do this!! Should I add another project to my list?? :)

Pattyskypants said...

I had to laugh: I found a paper-pieced quilt top in my UFO box. It's been there since 1976. I know because the paper I used was recycled from the office . . . somebody's dissertation edits from 1976. Never finished the quilt and the very controlled palette includes prints not available for over 40 years, so . . .

Bobo Bun said...

After you mentioned your quilt from Mollyflanders quite a few posts back I visited and was really inspired by one of her quilts. I've just written a post about the quilt I'm starting and linked to you so more people can get help from your great ideas and suggestions.

Likewise I'm also loving the top, I adore that shade of green.


Susan said...

Sue Daley, the Queen of EPP in Australia taught me! She suggests using a milliner's needle - it's finer and you are less likely to catch the papers. You need a finer thread of course, but I love my skinny needle! Looking forward to getting started on this project!

Fi said...

I dont think I've ever tried EPP, tho I have (many years ago ) hand-pieced using the American method, which is quite good too.

I havent done any patchwork for years, but it sure looks tempting when I look at yours.


Nicky said...

I'm just wondering how to squeeze this in may be a cushion but it will be lovely!

Georgia said...

I *love* handsewing. Perfect for an on-the-go project (waiting for the kids to finish school, waiting for the kids to finish ballet classes, waiting for the kids at swimming lessons...). I've never tried anything as tricky as your Rose and Star though!
I've only just now discovered your blog - lovely. And you live in the New Forest! It was my favourite, favourite area of the UK when we visited...quite some years ago now. :-)

Mary said...

Clare! HOw in the world did I miss this post on Thursday! I feel behind before it has even begun!!! LOL!! Your explanation is wonderful...and I am so excited for just can't imagine!!!

Angela said...

Im just like you - I love paper piecing. I have a machine and have made some quilts that way but PP wins everytime for me. I love everything about it, even cutting out the papers. I am so excited to be doing this block party along with everyone.
Angela x