Is learning something new on your 2022 “to do” list? How about English Paper Piecing (EPP)?
I love this technique for so many reasons and the GO! Qube English Paper Piecing-1” Finished Sides makes it so easy to get started!
Reasons to try English Paper Piecing
Why do I love this technique so much?
For starters, I really enjoy doing handwork. It gives me a chance to slow down, step away from social media and relax while still feeling useful.
Here are some more reasons to pick up an EPP project:
- Great way to use scraps – almost no scrap is too small to use!
- Easy to take with you on the GO!
- Different stages of the process, like basting, are easy to do just a little bit at a time
- Perfect for small spaces
- The best TV binge-watching handwork ever
How to English Paper Piece
If you’re new to EPP, it’s a process of basting fabric around cardstock forms or templates, then stitching the pieces together.
When you open up the EPP Qube, you will see two dies for each of the four coordinating shapes in the Qube – hexagon, half-hexagon, diamond, and triangle.
All have 1” finished sides and will work together to create an unlimited number of designs. The shape with the hole in the center is used to cut your cardstock. The larger shapes with no holes will be used to cut your fabric.
You can cut two layers of cardstock and up to six layers of cotton fabric at a time.
Place your material on the die, cover with a mat, and cut.
Once your cardstock and fabric shapes are cut, it’s time to baste! There are three basic basting methods:
- Glue baste the fabric to the cardstock template. Use a fabric glue pen for best results. The hole in the center will later be used to easily remove the template.
- Hand baste the fabric around the template, stitching through the fabric only. These stitches will be left in the finished project.
- Hand baste the fabric around the template by taking wide stitches through the fabric and template together. These stitches will be removed later.
Pro Tip: Leaving your knot on the top side of the shape will make removal easier down the road!
Many fans of EPP will work on cutting and basting all the shapes for a project before starting to join them. Alternatively, you can also work on joining pieces into groups of shapes as you go along.
One of the most common of these groups would be a “rosette” of hexagon shapes as used in the classic Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern.
GO! Hexagon Gardens - a modern interpretation of the classic Grandmother's Flower Garden.
The pattern booklet that comes with the Qube features 36 different “fractured hexagons” you can make using the four shapes in the Qube. This is another great way to start putting your pieces together.
When joining your basted pieces, you will want to use a thin thread and needle to help you catch only the fabric and not the template in your hand stitches.
The template can be removed once a shape is entirely surrounded by other shapes. Removing templates when you can makes your project easier to work with as the size grows.
What if I don’t like handwork?
Even those who are not fans of handwork can enjoy working with this Qube and creating intricate designs.
The fabric shapes are designed with 1/4” seam allowances - making it possible to machine piece these shapes as well!
Ready to Learn More?
Check out English Paper Piecing Made Easy by Katja Marek to learn more about EPP and all the options that are available for you. This book features great directions, pictures, and exciting EPP projects to get you started!
My EPP Project
I fell in love with the GO! Hexagon Gardens Throw Quilt when we first launched the EPP Qube. I started my own version using my bright batik scraps and a solid, pale gray for the background.
Like any good quilter, I happen to have more than one (or two) projects going at a time, and this one fell by the wayside.
With winter upon us, I’ve taken it back out and resumed basting my hexagons. We'll see if my garden can bloom by spring!
Ready to Learn English Paper Piecing?
English Paper Piecing is a fun, relaxing project to work on. If you're ready to learn something new in 2022, then I highly recommend using the GO! Qube English Paper Piecing-1” Finished Sides because it makes it so easy to get started!
Will you be learning how to do English Paper Piecing this year? Do you already do EPP? Share your thoughts or inspiration for EPP in the comment section below!