I’ve always been equally intimidated and fascinated by English Paper Piecing. Several years ago, one of my Quilty friends sent me a homemade EPP starter kit for my birthday. I loved it. I touched every piece of fabric, toyed with every single pre-made hexagon, zipped and unzipped my first ever Yazzi bag, showed it all off to my husband, and then put it in my sewing closet. I appreciated it very much, and understood the process, but hand sewing? Who has time for hand sewing? Are we in the 1800’s here?
When I started working for Paper Pieces® almost two years ago, I was sent one of our Starter Kits to sort of cut my EPP teeth on. After I sewed together all those pieces, I immediately apologized to my friend. It was so fun! I basted and sewed while I was watching TV with my husband; no need to travel to my sewing room. I EPP’ed in the car on the way to church, in the waiting room for appointments, and on an overnight visit to the hospital.
Raise your hand if you’ve been like me! I thought EPP was too hard, too tedious, and too old fashioned! Apparently, these are all common misconceptions along with wasting fabric.
Too hard? I give you Grandmother’s Flower Garden. All hexagons, easiest shape to stitch.
Too tedious? Try All Stars. With multiple shapes and a rainbow of color, it’s impossible to find it boring.
All Stars by Paper Pieces®
Too old fashioned. Let me tell you about Modernistic Stars! The name LITERALLY says it’s modern.
Modernistic Stars by Paper Pieces®
As for the fabric wasting, EPP is one of the oldest quilting methods. Do you think our great-great grandmothers had the opportunity to be wasteful? Anyone *can* be wasteful. Our patterns are designed to minimize fabric waste- like Antique Garden! We cut the square out of the center of the background before appliquéing the paper pieces. What do we do with that square? We use it for piecing!
I’d like to point you in the direction of our Starter Kit, if you’re an EPP newbie. Or, as always, call one of our awesome customer service reps, who have tips and tricks to get you started, or can recommend a project for your skill level and interests!
English Paper Piecing Starter Kit (Click for Special Offer!)
Written by Amber Weiskircher
Loved the article. Is it a “Misconception”that EPP is not done with batiks? or can it?
I adore EEP! Not only can I travel with it everywhere in my purse, I am incredibly particular about matching my seams and points which I could never get my machine stitching to do. After 20 years of machine stitching, EPP has been my go to for the last 10 years and the finished quilts look AMAZING!
I agree with all you’ve said! People think I’m crazy for hand sewing my quilts. They have no idea how nice it is to be able to do it anywhere. Especially important for someone with chronic health issues which leave me too exhausted to sit at the machine. Yes it takes longer. That’s ok it’s not a race.
Thanks for your article, maybe it will inspire me to get moving on the starter kit you sent me hmmmm several years ago, now to find. I was bound this was going to be my new mode of quilting, bought needles, fine thread etc – even dedicated a special basket to it. I now have mobility issues for awhile so I must find my old starter kit and give it a try.