English Paper Piecing Then & Now
Have you tried English Paper Piecing? The hand work craze has hit AccuQuilt.
English paper piecing (also called EPP) is a traditional technique of wrapping fabric around a paper piece or cardboard to stabilize and form a patchwork shape. Hexagons (like the ever-favorite Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilts) are widely used for paper piecing, since this method can lead to greater accuracy.
The accuracy is due to the fact that the small pieces are sewn together by hand. This is a great method for sewing difficult seams (like set-in seams or Y seams). It also makes the project portable. Paper piecing is the perfect project for waiting for appointments or taking to soccer games.
Quilting fabric is basted around pre-cut paper shapes and then sewn together by hand. After the pieces are all sewn together, the foundation papers and basting stitches are removed. (Some quilters leave the papers in).
If you have a lot of quilting fabric scraps, EPP is a great way to use them up, since the shapes used are usually small. The AccuQuilt GO! cutting machines makes it even easier.
EPP at AccuQuilt
Both our English Paper Piecing (aka EPP) dies are designed to cut BOTH paper templates and fabric hexies on a single die board! We're going to walk through the process with the GO! English Paper Piecing - 1" Finished die, but the steps are the same with the GO! English Paper Piecing - 1/2" Finished die too.
Start by gathering your quilting fabrics. You'll need the GO!, GO! Baby, or GO! Big fabric cutter. Pick your favorite scraps - yes, this die is made for scraps! Any of these GO! Big fabric cutting machines will yield fast, accurate quilting fabric cuts.
Place your fabric over the larger hexagons and your paper over the smaller hexagons. Place the cutting mat over the die and roll through the machine.
Slide the cutting mat off the die...
All done! Perfect hexagons and paper templates engineered to work together!
To start sewing, pin a paper template to the center of the fabric hexagon. Make sure your seam allowances are equal between the six sides.
Fold the fabric over the paper and take a stitch. Use a knot to hold the stitch in place.
Take a small stitch at each corner of the hexagon. You'll end up with longer stitches between each corner.
When you are done basting, the finished hexagon looks like the one below.
Once you have a few hexagons basted, you can start stitching them together. Place two hexagons right sides together. Whipstitch the hexagons together along one seam.
Your first hexie pair will look like the guys below.
Continue whipstitching the hexagons together, matching one side at a time.
When you get to the intersection in the middle, simply turn and keep sewing.
Three hexies together!
Erica is working on a fun project making a flag out of hexagons!
Check out this helpful English Paper Piecing video.
What EPP project are you planning? Whichever one you choose, your favorite GO! Cutter will make the project faster and easier.