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

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First English Paper Piecing Project EPP

Try Something New Every Month was a fun creative exercise; for 2 years in a row, I tried a new craft or sewing technique each month, you can see all the things I tried, in this post. First up, I wanted to finally try English Paper Piecing (EPP). 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! Looking back, I’m glad that I have had more practice sewing on binding, that really makes or breaks projects like these.

Whether you’re new to EPP or an old pro, you’ll want to check out my round-up of 10 english paper piecing tutorials to try.

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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 (Editing for 2017- I have since decided a whipstitch is much easier).

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

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Kelly J

Thursday 8th of January 2015

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!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Wednesday 14th of January 2015

I need to start another to take to playdates - why not chat and sew! :)


Wednesday 7th of January 2015

Great first project for EPP. I love hexigons.

Cindy S

Tuesday 6th of January 2015

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. Thanks!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Tuesday 6th of January 2015

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 :) Thanks for reading and I hope you can join in!


Monday 5th of January 2015

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!

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 5th of January 2015

I already have a new project with it planned, actually, just need to scrounge up more woven scraps since I prefer knits :)


Monday 5th of January 2015

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.

Stephanie - Swoodson Says

Monday 5th of January 2015

It honestly was not as tricky as I made it out to be in my head - not saying I'm an expert now but I vote you just dive in :)

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