How much fabric do you need for English Paper Piecing?
These notes apply to EPP or hand piecing with a running stitch or machine piecing!
One of the great things about using Inklingo for EPP (or any quilting) is that it uses fabric very efficiently and it helps decide how much fabric you need whether you are using little scraps or buying yardage or using your stash.
If you “rough cut” around EPP templates, there is a tendency to cut wide seam allowances and that is wasteful and adds bulk. If you use acrylic templates, it can be difficult to know whether there will be enough fabric.
If you print the shapes on fabric with Inklingo, you know.
Approx 82 x 82 inches
WORKING FROM A PHOTO OR DRAWING
The design uses the FREE Inklingo Diamond/Triangle/Square Shape Collection and the Inklingo On-Point 4.5 inch Shape Collection. All of the blocks are 4.5 inches finished.
The method of determining fabric requirements in this tute is so beautifully simple that I can even “complicate” the whole process by fussy cutting all of the stars!
It is similar to Stack n Whack ™ but even easier!
Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting makes it fast and easy to fussy cut 1152 diamonds for 144 LeMoyne Stars for this design.
Sorry. I can’t wait to sew this one. I’ll be back in a minute.
Okay. Done. (See below.)
This example would be even simpler with scraps or yardage, but we want to impress you by taking the most difficult route to show you how efficiently Inklingo uses fabric and how easy it is to see how much fabric is required.
Stay with me, okay?
I found several yards of this fabric in a sale bin. It has big flowers and a 24-inch repeat.
I printed a window template with the FREE Inklingo Diamond/Triangle/Square shape collection to preview how the fabric would look in the finished diamonds. I moved it around and I like the possibilities!
On page 47 of the free shape collection (above, click for a larger view), there are Suggested Custom Page Sizes which I can print with my ordinary Inkjet printer. (Custom Page Sizes)
It tells me I can print 25 of the diamonds on a sheet of fabric 7.75 x 11.5 inches.
For No Waste Fussy Cutting, I want to print identical sheets of diamonds, so I line up the freezer paper identically on the repeat in the fabric (above). The distance between the dotted lines indicates the repeat in the fabric design.
The 24-inch repeat allows me to alternate sheets and use the fabric very efficiently in a row along the selvage.
In Row 1 (above) all of the sheets outlined in green will be identical, so I can sort the diamonds from 8 identical sheets into 25 sets of 8 identical diamonds for fussy cut LeMoyne Stars!
There is a short video on the Main Lucy Boston Page for Fussy Cutting too.
Only 3 yards of the fabric is shown in the illustration. Row 1 of diamonds continues until there are 16 sheets on 5.5 yards of fabric (8 identical sheets outlined in green and 8 identical sheets outlined in red).
With 3 rows of 16 sheets of freezer paper, I have enough for all 144 LeMoyne Stars! (Again, only about 3 yards of the 5.5 yards of fabric is shown in the illustration, above.)
Extra-Special Bonus Tips (The Voice of Experience)
- We always wash the fabric before printing with Inklingo. It is important to remember that cotton fabric shrinks, so you cannot expect to have the full repeat available. After washing this fabric the repeat was only 23.5 inches, but that is still fine in this case.
- Trim the selvages from the fabric at your cutting mat and do the rest of the cutting with scissors at the ironing board. (“Print on Fabric Best Tips” is one of the Top 10 Tutes)
- Use the first sheet of Freezer Paper as a reference for lining up the next sheet identically on the design while you are at the ironing board.
- I staggered the start of the 2nd and 3rd rows of diamonds, so the diamonds would print on slightly different repeats. I want as much variety as possible in my fussy cut stars, so I don’t want the sheets in Row 2 to produce diamonds that are identical to the ones in Row 1.
- The last 16 sheets of diamonds (outlined in orange) are slightly smaller for 20 diamonds instead of 25 because I only need enough diamonds for 144 LeMoyne Stars, not 150. This arrangement gives me one extra star for the label on the back of the quilt.
- This layout would have worked just as well with a fabric with a 12-inch repeat, and I would not have to alternate the sheets. (12 and 24-inch repeats seem to be fairly common.)
If I was machine piecing, I would just rotary cut the squares without printing because the measurements are easy. (Cut 5-inch squares to finish 4.5 inches.)
If I needed to cut with scissors OR if I was hand piecing OR if I expected to sew some by hand and some by machine, I would probably print all of the squares with Inklingo. Zip. Zip. Zip.
This illustration shows another 3 yards of fabric. I like having 6 yards even though 5.5 is enough in theory. There is enough fabric for the Quarter Square Triangles beside the rows of fussy cut diamonds plus a little extra for a booboo or misprint.
The 4.5-inch squares and setting triangles are from the Inklingo On-Point 4.5-inch Shape Collection.
YOU CAN DO IT!
Now you know how to use Inklingo when you only have a photo of the quilt—or a sketch—or an EQ design, and you want to know how much fabric you need and how to use it efficiently.
Inklingo shows you. All you have to do is use the illustrations in the Catalogue of Shapes of any shape collection!
Create your own layouts.
The illustrations in the Catalogue of Shapes in each Inklingo Shape Collection are all 1/10 of the actual size, so you can use them to create your own layouts, similar to the illustrations in this tute.
I love this method—easy and accurate and visual!
1. Trace the outline of the suggested Custom Page Size and make enough copies for the number of pages you need to print.
2. Trace the outline of a yard of fabric from the Catalogue of Shapes (e.g. page 47 of the free shape collection) for as many yards of fabric as you need. If you are fussy cutting, use a dotted line to indicate the repeats.
3. Position the outlines of the pages on the yardage as shown in the illustrations above.
Maybe you want a smaller variation like this?
INKLINGO GIVES YOU CONFIDENCE AND FREEDOM!
Even if you have purchased a pattern, you may want to modify it and need to know how it affects the fabric requirements.
Inklingo gives you that freedom.
Maybe you have a family quilt you would like to reproduce, or have seen a design online or at a quilt show. Inklingo makes it easy to know exactly—without math and without mistakes!
Confidence in the fabric requirements is important.
This is especially nice if you want to use scraps or stash but don’t want to start a big project until you know whether you have enough.
Once I have printed the fabric I cut several layers at a time, baste, and whip-stitch for English Paper Piecing or I can just print, cut and sew with a running stitch instead.
I sewed this star by hand with a running stitch in about 12 minutes while we were watching the news on TV. It would have taken me that long just to baste the diamonds for EPP.
The free shape collection includes instructions for machine piecing these stars too. Sewing insets by machine is easier than you think when there are cutting and stitching lines printed on the fabric with Inklingo.
Monkey’s Extra Special Bonus Tip Don’t cut around the first sheet of FP until you have used it as a guide to position another piece of FP identically.
My fingers are itching to stitch these!
Thanks for visiting.
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.