Learning English Paper Piecing

I mentioned this project at the beginning of the month.

It’s the #EPPparty hosted by Pat Bravo and Mister Domestic.

And yes, you might have noticed if you are joining or watching this sew along unfold that I am already behind.  But I was really just wanting to work with the shapes that I don’t normally work with in my every day sewing.  So I’ll be joining in on the more difficult blocks and less so on the others.

My goal is to learn how to English paper piece.

I have put this off and put this off, the learning that is.  And in my head, it’s a big and difficult craft.

In real life, it is not.

Not at all.  In fact, if you can hand sew, apparently you would be completely competent in english paper piecing, hand quilting, embroidery, cross stitching and I imagine any other craft that involves a needle and thread.

These are all crafts I’ve learned in the past two or so years.  EPP and hand quilting I only tried this year.

In my world for the past ten years, if I couldn’t do it with my sewing machine I simply refused to do it.  Why would I want to sit and work so slowly?  How could this possibly be time effective?  Look how long it takes to have something to show for yourself!  It might be beautiful, but come on.  I could be sitting here for months working on the same project.

These are the thoughts in my head before now.  My silly, silly head!

Let me tell you!

To sit with needle and thread in hand on my front porch and watch a project come to life a smidgen each day is something that I have been taking such pleasure in.

And I was right before, IT.  IS.  SLOW.  That’s kinda the point though.  I missed that before.

I can still have all my other projects.  All my other quilts can still get done in a week.  But that doesn’t mean there can’t be this other project that I’m working on during breaks, or long drives, or sitting by the pool, or waiting in a waiting room.  This project doesn’t have to be fast.  It’s okay to slow down.

And  this is not torture like I might have once thought.

It’s something I look forward to.  My needle moving in and out with my right hand, while the left holds the hexagons together and in there you find your own rhythm while chatting or thinking or listening to the birds sing or just watching the cars go by.

I control every single stitch.

There is no machine to get cranky, no bobbin to blunder.  There cannot be any drastic mistakes.  It’s the simplest thing.

Easier than working a sewing machine.

Just slow.  And I can do it anywhere.

I made me a little EPP sewing case with things I had around the house.  Just that tin box from this post, some felt, a ribbon and a hot glue gun.

It just holds all my little things so I can just toss it into a bag and drag it everywhere I go.  Plus, I like looking at it.  It’s so pretty with my needles all lined up.

I’m further along than my pictures show.  I only have one more row of hexagons to sew on at this point.  I’m going to then applique them onto a pillow for my sofa.

I was thinking a few EPP pillows might spruce my living room sofa up nicely.

And keeping my projects small, especially when hand sewing them, doesn’t stress me out or take so long I lose interest.

I started this project with no money invested.  I had everything I needed right here at home.

I used my 2.5″ squares from one of my scrap boxes.

I will say there are many ways to get those paper templates.  You can buy them (very inexpensive), cut them yourself, or what I did was use my Silhouette cutting machine.  The Silhouette did make everything much easier for myself.  I put the shape in the software, measured it to 1″ sides, and then pressed cut.  All my templates done in just a moment.  I’ve linked to my machine for this at the bottom.

After this step, it was just sewing time.

Helpful Links

EPP party block 1 details and tutorial

Tutorial for sew basting hexagons (I did not glue mine, but used this tutorial instead)

More video instruction on EPP at CreativeBug

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