English Paper Piecing Tutorials
My English Paper Piecing Tutorials include everything you need to start with this vintage hand piecing method.
I teach all of the options, so you can make the best decisions about template material, preparation techniques, fussy cutting methods, fabric requirements, sewing sequence, needles/thread, and more.
If you have admired Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC) or vintage hexagon quilts like Grandmother’s Flower Garden, you might know that English Paper Piecing (EPP) was a favored method for some designs for decades.
When I wrote my English Paper Piecing Tutorials, I wanted to clearly state the the pros—and cons—so you can decide whether EPP is right for you and know the alternatives.
List of English Paper Piecing Tutorials
Many quilters have benefited from my free English Paper Piecing Tutorials since 2010 to use this traditional method. All of the lessons are linkable from the website.
On the other hand, many quilters compare the methods and realize that for them, the disadvantages of EPP outweighed the advantages. For example:
“EPP is like making the quilt twice, first with paper and glue, and then, finally, the sewing. With Inklingo, just print, cut, and sew! “Love the lines”, not the templates and glue! Inklingo is the only way to go!” Sue in Wisconsin
If English Paper Piecing is hard on your hands or too slow, or if you find it difficult to get precise intersections, there is good news.
Your EPP project does not have to become a UFO (Un-Finished Object). It is not too late to switch methods.
Good News – English Paper Piecing Rescue
Many quilters have started projects with English Paper Piecing and then switched to sewing with a running stitch by hand. (You can watch the rest of Live Video 06 too, if you like.).
There is more info plus a free PDF for English Paper Piecing Rescue.
More Good News – More Shapes Per Yard!
The video clip (above) mentions the wider seam allowances that many quilters use for EPP. It is common for EPP quilters to use 0.375 inch seam allowances instead of 0.25 inch seam allowances.
My experience with My Dear Jane and Quilted Diamonds quilts made me wonder just how much extra fabric is required when quilters use 3/8 inch seam allowances for EPP instead of 1/4 inch seam allowances. Those two quilts required an amazing amount of fabric. They have thousands of small pieces. It can be surprising how much fabric is swallowed up in seam allowances.
I decided to find out how much difference the wider seam allowances make in fabric requirements. I used 1 inch Patchwork of the Crosses hexagons in this example.
POTC Hexagons with 0.25 inch Seam Allowances
With 0.25 inch seam allowances, this layout shows that you can cut approximately 270 from a yard of fabric (tight fit).
This is one of three layouts of hexagons in the shape collection. Every layout has a diagram like this and suggested custom page sizes.
Another bonus is that 4 hexagons fit on a 5 x 5 inch charm with this layout.
POTC Hexagons with 0.375 inch Seam Allowances
I re-did this layout with 0.375 inch seam allowances (above). There are only 192 in a yard and 4 will not fit on a 5 x 5 inch charm.
In other words, you can cut up to 40% more of these hexagons when they have 0.25 inch seam allowances. Isn′t that amazing? There are advantages to using 0.25 inch seam allowances when it comes to pressing and quilting and the drape of the quilt too.
The moral of the story is that you might want to choose EPP templates that are thin enough to allow you to use 0.25 inch seam allowances. We all want to get the most out of our fabric!
Consider the Alternatives
You can make an informed decision about method if you know the alternatives.
Consider sewing some seams by hand with a running stitch and some seams by machine. The hybrid method demonstrated in the short video (above) might be the right one for you. I think it qualifies as a good “English Paper Piecing Tutorial” because the more you know, the better your choice will be.
No matter what method you choose, I hope you will share photos and tips in the Facebook Group for Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses.
Aren’t we lucky to be quilters?
Thank you for visiting.
Linda & Monkey in Canada