Wednesday Tute 18 – English Paper Piecing 04


This time we address dealing with seam allowances at intersections.

Unfortunately, one of the disadvantages of English Paper Piecing is that the seams are pressed open. We can’t change that, but we can manage the intersections.


Inklingo seams pressed to the side

First, we need a little background. One of the many advantages of printing the shapes on fabric with Inklingo and sewing with a running stitch is that the seam allowances can be pressed to the side around the intersections.

That’s one of the reasons hand pieced blocks sometimes look better than ones made with English Paper Piecing.

In the star above, the seam allowances are all pressed to the side counter clockwise (red arrows) . . .


Inklingo seams pressed to the sideer-detail

. . . so the bulk at the center is distributed well.

Doesn’t this look pretty?

There is no lump where the seams come together at the center of the star because the seams are pressed to the side.

This method of pressing works perfectly when 6 diamonds come together at the center of a star AND the technique is exactly the same for 3 hexagons, or 4 squares, or 8 diamonds, or any shape.

If you press all of the stars in the same direction (clockwise or counterclockwise), the quilt top goes together like magic. (Pressing instructions are always included in Inklingo design books and shape collections.)


Sue Daley’s video shows a way to avoid lumpy stars when you are English Paper Piecing (especially at 4 – 4:30 minutes). You can get better EPP intersections if you baste with Sue’s method. It works.

As Sue explains, your intersections will be better if you always start basting at the same point of the diamond and always baste in the same direction. When all of the pieces are identical, you can avoid a lump at the intersection!


Inklingo diamonds basted Sue’s method works whether you prefer to baste with glue or to baste with a needle and thread.

Notice how the seam allowances at the sharp points are all pointing the same way.

As Sue says, the more time you spend getting the basting right, the fewer problems you will have when it comes to the whip-stitching.


Inklingo basted and ready to sew.

Sue’s method allows you to overlap the tails of seam allowances to distribute the bulk at the intersection. Just be sure to keep these tags out of the way when you are sewing (future tute).

Isn’t that cool?

In this example, the templates and the fabric were printed with the new 60° Diamond 1.25 inch (only $20 for a few more days).


Inklingo printed and ready to sew.

If you prefer to skip the basting and to be able to press the seam allowances to the side, you can print all of the shapes with No Waste Fussy Cutting . . .


Inklingo diamonds ready to sew, no basting!

. . . and sew with a running stitch (hexagon video).


Inklingo half star

I sewed this half with a running stitch in less time than it took just to baste the first half.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

I love this method because the blocks look fabulous on the front. . .


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star (back)

. . . and the back.

The seams are pressed to the side, there is no lump in the middle, and there are no papers to pick out.

My best tips for getting perfect intersections are in an article on QuiltingHub, including video.


Print 6 identical sheets with Inklingo

Last night I spent 20 minutes preparing and printing 6 identical sheets of fabric with  diamonds for 25 more Kaleidoscope Stars. (Click for a larger view)

I rotary cut rows, layer the rows, and cut several layers at a time. The preparation is finished! No gluing, no basting, ready to sew.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

With a running stitch, each star is finished . . .


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Star

. . . and finger pressed in about 10 minutes in front of the TV.


Star intersection

Voilà! Perfect intersections with no lump and no hole.

Faster, easier, and better results with a running stitch.


Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses

There are illustrated instructions for English Paper Piecing in The Patchwork of the Crosses (POTC).

EPP is the slowest and most difficult method in the book, but it is included because it is the method that Lucy Boston used to make all of her quilts, as described in The Patchworks of Lucy Boston by Diana Boston.

The more you know about EPP and Inklingo, the easier it is to choose the method that is best for you.


Inklingo Kaleidoscope Stars

There are many ways to set Kaleidoscope Stars, like the Antique Diamond Star Quilt, Seven Sisters and many others.


In Wednesday Tute 15, we showed you how you can print the Inklingo layouts without seam allowances on a variety of template materials to rotary cut your own precise templates.

In Wednesday Tute 16, we showed you how you can print the Inklingo layouts with seam allowances on fabric to use the fabric more efficiently and to make the shapes faster and easier to cut than with acrylic templates.

In Wednesday Tute 17, we showed you a few different basting methods, so you have a choice depending on the template material you have printed.

In the next few Wednesday Tutes, we’ll look at more reasons to use Inklingo when you EPP because Inklingo has advantages for quilters who enjoy whip-stitching and paper templates too.


You can catch up on our other Wednesday Tutes now too:


Sue Daley Patchwork with Busy Fingers

Sue Daley is a talented designer and an expert with English Paper Piecing. She has lovely designs on her Patchwork with Busy Fingers website and almost all of them are Inklingoable, including her Pie & Tarts.

With Inklingo and English Paper Piecing, you can make wonderful designs with hexagons, diamonds, triangles, shapes with curves (Clamshell, Apple Core, Dresden Plate), and many others. (Inklingo Index of Shapes)

There is inspiration in the Smart Shopper’s Idea Book (free download).


I hope you will subscribe to the blog (top of right side-bar), so you don’t miss more about English Paper Piecing in our next Wednesday Tutes!


I am excited about sewing 23 more Kaleidoscope Stars that are ready and waiting in my portable sewing kit. I will add photos to FB soon.

In the meantime, several other Inklingo quilters are posting photos on the Facebook page for Inklingo Quilts and Projects. Gorgeous!

Thanks for visiting. See you again soon!

Linda & Monkey

New to Inklingo? Order and download free shapes and start sewing in the next few minutes. Quick Start (Always FREE.) There are triangles, diamonds, and squares in the free collection—great for dozens of different blocks.

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4 thoughts on “Wednesday Tute 18 – English Paper Piecing 04”

  1. Being in the throes of a raging addiction to Inklingo kaleidoscope stars, I love how fast and easy they are to hand piece using a simple running stitch and get perfect results. I can’t imagine going through the steps needed to achieve anything close to those results with EPP!


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