I was so happy to hear all the positive comments on last week’s blog post on EPP! I love that some of you now feel confident enough to give it ( another) try! I don’t think that I mentioned that I had tried EPP many years ago, and I also did not care for it. But with the methods I am using now I find it a bit addictive! But just in case that my described methods still are not your cup of tea, I have compiled a list of a few different ways you can approach it as well:
Instead of basting down your fabric around your paper templates, a lot of people are now glueing them down. You can watch a tutorial by going here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4z-fM5A7EUThis is certainly faster, but I like the repetitive ( and mindless) basting of the shapes. If you are chomping at the bit and want to start sewing your shapes together right away, this might be the method for you.
Rather than having to rely on people like me to provide you with paper templates, you can buy ready-made paper templates. This is a great way to get your paper templates, and they can be reused a few times as well. You can find these particular ones at paperpieces.com
Another way to get paper shapes is to buy specialty punches like this one: These are handy, but I haven’t seen too much variety in shapes, so a bit limiting then, unless you want to make a Grandma’s Flower Garden quilt that uses only hexagons.
You can buy acrylic templates to get more shapes. There is a HUGE variety of acrylic templates out there! I personally like the “open” ones with a 3/8th seam allowance because I can use the inside to trace my paper templates, and the outside to cut my fabric shapes. ( However, honestly, I think it’s just as fast to just trim around your paper shapes with a ruler and rotary cutter once you glue template to fabric!)
And then there is the option to buy a paper-piecing kit, such as this one: This is a great option because you receive all the paper pieces you need for the particular pattern so there’s no guessing. Just add your fabric and you’re on your way.
Another option is to print your desired shapes directly on your fabric. I personally have not tried this so can’t tell you anything about it, but you can check out some FAQ’s by going here.
If you have a die cutting machine, you can buy dies to quickly and easily cut you fabric AND paper. This is super handy, but again, very limited shapes are available.
As you can see there are many ways you can go about EPP. I suggest that you start with a small project and see if you enjoy the process. If you are hooked, you might also want to invest in the following items, which I find very useful to have:
- A rotating cutting mat ( click). This is handy and quick when trimming your pieces ( also useful for other quilting endeavors ofcourse!).
- A small rotary cutter ( click). I love my 60mm Olfa rotary cutter for cutting fabric, but it’s a wee bit big for trimming these small pieces so I prefer to use my 28mm one for this job. And I find the Olfa brand to be well made and durable.
- A ruler ( click). Perfect for trimming your pieces with a straight line, and a smaller ruler is better in this case.
- Milliner’s needles( click). These fine, bendy needles are what you need to take those tiny stitches between your shapes.
- A glue pen (click), for if you would rather glue than baste your seam allowances.
And there you have it. You really don’t need much in the way of supplies, but these items will make your projects flow more easily.
Now, are you curious what I am doing with the blocks I’m building? I was hoping to have a quilt top all ready to share with you today, but life gets in the way, as I’m sure you have all experienced…so this photo will have to do!
I made simple Rail Fence blocks and am inserting some white squares amongst those. I will appliqué my stars on the plain white blocks and scatter them here and there. I think it will look so pretty to have the English paper Pieced blocks that are intricate, among the Rail Fence blocks, which are very simple and plain. By the way, isn’t that fabric to die for?? It’s by Brenda Riddle and is called Finnegan ( click).
Alright, that’s all for this week. This coming week I’ll be celebrating my birthday so I think that in next week’s blog post I’ll have a little give-away, what do you say?? Hmmmm, what shall it be??I will pull together something fun for one lucky winner!
Until next time~happy creating!
Sewline fabric glue pen