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English Paper Piecing (EPP)- Try Something New Every Month


First English Paper Piecing Project EPP

2015 is a new year and with it, I’m sharing a new project. You’re invited to join me by trying something new every month – whether it’s crafting or sewing related! I have a bad habit of buying supplies, bookmarking tutorials, etc. and then doing the same safe, comfortable projects and techniques (more confessions in my UFO post!). Every month I plan on blogging about a new project on the first Monday; please join in with the hashtag #TSNEM on twitter, Instagram, etc. or email me if you plan to blog as well so I can include a link to your post!


First up, I wanted to finally try English Paper Piecing (EPP). A few folks I follow on Instagram are always posting inspiration, like @hugsarefun & @craftypod plus my Mom has been talking about loving ‘hexies’ for months. Hand sewing isn’t my strong suit and I could use the practice; for a first attempt, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out! You can see my round-up of 10 EPP projects in this post.

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EPP Hexi Mug Rug

I didn’t research a whole lot, but I did baste using the same method as my friend Rebecca at Hugs are Fun. Haley at The Zen of Making has a great series with helpful pictures on getting started. I did not use a glue stick because I was lazy, but I think I will next time. The larger, sloppier seam allowances made fishing the templates out a lot harder at the end!I used a ladder stitch to join the hexies together. In working on this post (but after completing the project) I found this EPP post on Sometimes Crafter that is great, comparing different joining stitches, methods, etc.

First EPP Project

My points are not perfect, but I was surprised how easily they matched up for my first try. I used this Fiskars punch* of my Mom’s and a bunch of card-stock scraps to make the templates. All of the fabric is from Birch Organics; they’re scraps from the Christmas gifts I made this year, and a fun tutorial that has yet to be shared.

The actual EPP and handwork was fun and easily done while watching television; I didn’t run into any trouble or issues.

The actual quilting is where I ran into trouble. First, I used too wide of bias binding and tried to round the corners and it looked awful. To square it back up, I had to trim a decent amount off. Then I tried much thinner bias binding, and completely butchered it. My machine seems to be having some tension issues but I know it’s also my inexperience/ineptitude. At this point, I was a little panicked that it wasn’t salvageable and I’d wasted my pretty scraps and time for nothing.

Hexie Mug Rug

I went back to the too-thick bias binding over top of the wonky grey binding, for what I thought was ‘not that bad’. I’d use it! I gifted it, to a friend who received a much worse mug rug last year (my first quilting project ever). My goal is to keep improving each year, until she has a decent mug rug.

What do you think! Are you an EPP addict? I think I will keep a little stash going, I love that it’s an easy way to use up quilting cotton scraps and really like the hexagon shape (and I know there are other shapes and patterns out there). I definitely need to improve my binding skills though.

Check out the other TSNEM participants in January and what they made!

Try Something New Every Month - English Paper Piecing

This Post Has 15 Comments
  1. Cute! love the fabrics you chose. I definitely want to try some EPP soon too, and a little mug rug like that would be perfect for my tea when I’m using the computer. Add one more thing to my to-do list πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve always wanted to try EPP! Yours looks great, and I always have trouble with the binding of my quilted items too. I can never get them to look amazing on both sides.

  3. Ooo, paper piecing! That’s on my list for #tsnem too! I think you did a great job for a first go at it. I need to dig up some thorough tutorials before I even attempt it myself.

  4. You did a great job! I love your fabric choices! I’ve never done any sort of binding, but I love the little mug rug! I hope to see more EPP popping up from you! It’s such a fun and versatile craft!

  5. I don’t know if I’ll try EPP, but I do enjoy paper piecing patchwork sometimes. I was at first surprised when I saw it was not the hexies I was expecting, but then I saw it was. I guess it’s the quilting that added another element to the mug rug so that I didn’t spot them right away.

    I tried a little sample EPP I got at a quilt show and it was fun, but I prefer to use the machine. I already knit and crochet so that keeps my hands busy.

    This is a great idea to try something new every month. I signed up.

    1. Hey Cindy!
      I generally prefer my machine to hand sewing too, but it’s down in my basement in a not-kid-safe room so EPP is a fun new option to do by hand while my kid plays. I am yarn-challenged, so my only previous choice was embroidery πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading and I hope you can join in!

  6. Looks great! I have done one EPP project and enjoyed doing, but it was it was very time-consuming and I haven’t had the motivation to start another although I would like to some day!

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