English paper piecing

I think I have a new love.

English paper pieced flowers

Last weekend we went away and I decided somewhat last minute that I wanted to take something with me to craft. I’ve seen many bloggers take English paper piecing projects with them when they travel because it’s portable and doesn’t require a lot of tools. I always thought English paper piecing would be very complicated and difficult but I had never looked into the details of how exactly it’s done. A couple of YouTube videos convinced me that it is in fact extremely easy as long as you work accurately. Within an hour I had printed several sheets with hexagon templates from My Poppet and cut a stack of fabric squares to take with me.

Sunnyside flower fabrics

I chose four fabrics from the Sunnyside collection that I didn’t use for the babyquilt because they had flowers on them. The print is the same for each fabric but they’re in a different colourway. The white one reminds me of old fashioned curtains and tablecloths but cut up into smaller pieces this association luckily disappeared. I decided to start simple and assemble hexagon flowers with one of the fabrics in the centre and the other 3 in a circle around it.

assembled flower

All I needed to take with me was a plastic thingy (that probably has another official name in English) that at first held the sheets with printed templates and that I later used to store assembled hexagon flowers (a very nice discovery that those fit in there!). Two small containers held my precut fabric squares and my cut templates and fabric covered templates. Lastly, I brought some pins and needles in a small pincushion, a pair of scissors and two spools of thread.

English paper piecing supplies

During the weekend I assembled almost 5 flowers! I was amazed at how fast they came together for something that is made completely by hand. What I also like about it is that it’s actually so easy that I can still do it when I’m relatively tired and other crafting projects aren’t an option. This might change when I try more complicated projects with differently shaped pieces or attempt fussy cutting.

English paper piecing process

The remaining fabric has already been cut into squares and I am ready to assemble some more flowers. I’m not really sure what I am actually going to do with them because my spur of the moment decision to try English paper piecing didn’t really involve much more than “let’s give it a try and we’ll see how I like it”. Assemble into larger pieces to make a very small quilt or keep them separate and applique on pillows?

detailI also already have quite a number of ideas for other paper pieced projects. Where can I get more time?

October 4, 2014

Emmely Treffers

About Emmely

I am a sewing enthusiast from the Netherlands. I live in the Leiden area with my husband and two daughters and I am currently working as a senior researcher in molecular virology. With my quilting patterns and sewing blog I want to infect as many people as possible with my love for sewing.

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  1. CurlsnSkirls

    Have also watched a YouTube on this, but not felt any urge to give it a try. Do like your choice of fabrics, and know from experience that these will come into play at some point . . . in the future! 🙂
    del xx

    • Emmely

      I like the simplicity of the process, it gives me something to do while I can still participate in a conversation. You’re right, they’ll probably end up in some kind of project, someday.

  2. ukcitycrafter

    Oh dear, you are now on the slippery slope of becoming addicted to EPP like the rest of us!! I swore I’d never do it but I’m just finishing a table topper and have my mind set on trying another pattern when it’s finished!

    • Emmely

      Hmmm, yes, I think this craft is here to stay… 😉

  3. Carolyn

    This is so cool! It seems like a perfect activity for traveling. I’m always looking for a travel craft at the last minute before my flight, and I usually go for either knitting or embroidery. This is a great alternative! I’ll be curious to see what you wind up doing with the flowers. 🙂

    • Emmely

      I’ve tried embroidery for travel but always end up choosing so many colours of floss to take that it becomes a bit too voluminous. I think that if I make a pincushion that I can wrap around my wrist I could even do the paper piecing in the car (if the road is not too bumpy).


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