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Start here if you're just getting started with English Paper Piecing (EPP)


I have written and compiled a comprehensive beginner English Paper Piecing (or EPP for short) guide including of all the free patterns that I offer, EPP basting, stitching and finishing tutorials, the resources needed, and much more that will help you learn how to confidently English paper piece.

Learning to English Paper Piece (EPP)

When I first began English paper piecing in the early 2000's, I wasn't really sure where to begin looking for resources or information to help me.


My only source of information at that time was a copy of the Readers Digest Complete Guide to Needlework published in the early 1980's which had a whole 3 pages dedicated to "one-shape patchwork". 1 page for "shell" patchwork (now more commonly referred to as Clamshell), 1 page for Baby Blocks (or tumbling blocks) and 1 page for Grandmothers Flower Garden (hexagons). I like to have a little giggle now and then by looking back at this book and seeing how far I have come since then.


Therefore, it is my intention that this Guide will prevent you from undergoing the same processes of trial and error (and disappointments) that I did back then when I was just starting out on my EPP journey.




Can I really teach myself EPP?

Absolutely you can!


If you can thread a needle (or use a needle threader) then, you can English paper piece.


English paper piecing is an excellent starting point on your patchwork and quilting adventure because it only requires the mastery of simple stitches and very few supplies. In fact, the chances are that you may have all the supplies you need already within your home or workplace.

How to English paper piece (EPP) - An overview

Watch this short video to see just how straightforward and easy it is to make a flower rosette for a Grandmothers Flower Garden quilt.


Then, continue reading below the video for more information about EPP and the supplies you'll need to get started.


What is English Paper Piecing (EPP)?

The technique of wrapping fabric around paper templates to make patchwork pieces is known as English Paper Piecing or EPP (for short).


It is an simple way of creating large complex pieces of patchwork consisting of geometric shapes that tessellate or fit together without any gaps or overlaps. The finished pieces often look like tiled floors or mosaics and so you may find that it is also referred to as “mosaic patchwork”.


Typically, an English paper pieced quilt is made up of a series of repeating shapes in an all-over design as opposed to “blocks” surrounded by borders or frames as is common in other traditional patchwork techniques.


It is the perfect introduction to patchwork and quilting for those new to the craft due to its relative low cost, ease of portability and leisurely pace of construction.


As shown in the video above, the process of EPP is a simple one:

A fabric patch is cut out including a seam allowance so that it is larger than the paper template. This fabric patch is then wrapped around a paper template and held in place with tacking or basting stitches.


One or more pieces are then sewn together to create a larger piece of “fabric”. 


This fabric can then be used as an alternative to a single piece of fabric for your sewing project such as bags or clothing or it can be layered with wadding (or batting) and a backing fabric and then quilted to make a quilt, table mat, wall hanging any many other items.



Supplies for English Paper Piecing

The very first thing I would like to say about EPP Tools and materials is, to start with what you have

If you have nothing at all, then start with the best that you can afford.  


This craft has been practiced for hundreds of years using only the most basic tools and equipment. 


It is extremely easy to get caught up in the fervour of the latest quilting gadget or gizmo to be released which promises to revolutionise the way that you sew. My sewing room is littered with them - but I always return to the same basic tools:

Basic supplies needed for English Paper Piecing (EPP)

One last thing...

Please give yourself permission to make mistakes, learn and grow.

As you continue on your English Paper Piecing journey, you will begin to notice the areas that you would like to improve upon or change and this will be the time to start experimenting and investing in different tools and materials.


After all, the only right way to English Paper Piece is the way that works for YOU!



Now, let's get stitching!

Download my Beginners Guide with a free pattern for a simple mug rug.


How to make a Quilters Knot
The first time I saw someone make a quilter's knot, I was blown away!I use this knot all the time and often make one as soon as I've cut my thread and threaded my needle - often without realising I've done it!Depending on what you are stitching, you ...
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How to sew an EPP Hexagon Flower Rosette using a whip stitch
Take 2 basted hexagons (the centre hexagon and one of the "petals") and, lining up the edges and points, place them right sides together.Thread a needle and knot the end of your thread.Insert your threaded needle under the seam allowance on one of th...
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How to thread baste hexagons for EPP (English Paper Piecing)
Thread basting hexagons is a cost effective alternative to glue basting and, for me, an incredibly relaxing past time.Here's how to do it:1 Punch a hole in the centre of your template (it will make it easier to remove later on)2 Pin the tem...
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How to correctly press your EPP block after appliqué
A number of my EPP patterns call for the completed EPP blocks to be appliquéd to a background square.When you have finished appliquéing your EPP (especially if you chose to appliqué by hand), the finished quilt block might be a bit crumpled and wr...
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How to remove EPP paper templates AFTER appliqué
Once you have stitched your paper shapes down onto the background fabric, you will want to remove them.  I prefer to do this as I go (after each shapes has been stitched) so that my work remains pliable and easy to handle.Removing paper templates AFT...
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How to Hand Appliqué an EPP shape to a background fabric
Appliqué is the art of applying a decoration or trimming of fabric (sometimes called a motif) onto another piece of fabric. In Hand Appliqué, the motif is attached using stitches which are made by hand. The aim of the appliqué stitch is therefore to ...
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How to remove EPP paper templates before appliqué
If you are planning to machine appliqué your basted shapes to a background fabric, you will need to remove your paper EPP templates before you start stitching.Here's how I prepare my shapes for machine appliqué:1. Lightly spray the front of a prepare...
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How to glue baste Petal shapes for EPP
Glue along the bottom straight edge of the petal template first.Run a line of glue around the top edge of the petal and carefully turn the fabric allowance over the template.  Smooth the excess fabric towards the centre of the template so that you ge...
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How to Glue Baste Leaf Shapes for EPP and appliqué
Glue your paper template to the WRONG side of your fabric piece.Trim the excess fabric away from the edge of the paper template. Leave at least 1/4" seam allowance.Apply a line of water soluble glue along one edge of the leaf template. Do n...
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How to Glue Baste Hexagons
Hexagons are the perfect shape to start English Paper Piecing with. Follow the steps below to baste your hexagons perfectly. Alternatively, you can watch the video at the end of this post.Place the paper template onto the WRONG side of your fabric sh...
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Three template options for English Paper Piecing (EPP)
At the heart of English Paper Piecing as the name suggests is the humble paper template. Used to give shape and form to our fabric pieces, you have 3 main options when it comes to sourcing paper templates:Make your own templates.English Pap...
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Tools and materials needed for English Paper Piecing (EPP)
The first thing I would like to say about EPP Tools and materials is, to start with what you have. If you have nothing at all, then start with the best that you can afford.  This craft has been practiced for hundreds of years using only the most b...
Read More
What is English Paper Piecing (EPP)?
The technique of wrapping fabric around paper templates to make patchwork pieces is known as English Paper Piecing or EPP (for short).It is an easy way of creating large complex pieces of patchwork consisting of geometric shapes that tessellate or fi...
Read More