gathering supplies for english paper piecing

19 Sep
September 19, 2015

i’ve actually enjoyed starting this project so much, and found a rhythm with such ease, i wanted to share the process.

so maybe a month ago, i got really inspired to pursue learning english paper piecing (epp). i watched a few youtube videos, read a few posts… i checked out some projects via pinterest that can be made by this process, and then, i just kind of went for it.

i think this process appeals to me so much because you can get started with very little… or purchasing very little. have some 2.5″ square fabric scraps? have some old file folders? scissors, thread, a needle? then you’re ready to start.


first on the list: hexies- the pieces of epp. you need to decide the type of project you want to do, pick a shape and size, and then honestly, the easiest thing to do- google templates. you can find just about every size, online, ready to go. if you have a printer, cut your old file folders down to the right size (above, i use a guillotine), print them out, and then cut. if you’re not up for cutting, or don’t have a printer, most quilt shops sell the pieces. you can get about 100 pieces for around $4-5. (i will say, most projects require hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces- factor that in). i personally like having hand work to do if i’m watching tv, and i like cutting the pieces. pretty simple, and free is my favorite price.


above- cutting them out. once cut, i like to punch a hole in the center for getting them out of the fabric when you’re ready. so now, you’ve got your pieces. what else do you need? here’s what i’ve compiled as handy, take on the go, epp travel {sit on the couch} box:


1- thimbles- i use a variety. the pink are great for pulling needles, they’re kind of grippy. 2- binding clips. i used to use needles to hold my piece and fabric together as i stitched, but a binding clip does the trick with no holes in your paper. 3- sharps- sewing needles come in a variety of lengths and sizes. i’m rather ignorant about what’s best. i usually use any small to mid-size needle that i have, and they’ve all worked fine. 4- one of the best things in this box, thread conditioner. hand sewing has lots of little thread snarls and bunch ups- thread heaven cuts down on that. if you use a longer thread to sew, invest in thread heaven, it’ll save you some headache. 5- snips, the cuter the better. 6- thread. i’ve never gotten nuts about thread. i use gutterman. for basting your fabric, pick something that you don’t mind throwing away. i’ve been clearing out inexpensive thread i never use. 7- your paper pieces- i use 1″ hexies, and tend to cut out at least a hundred at a time 8- little magnetic box for sharps. 9- pins- just to have on hand 10- 2.5″ (if you’re using 1″ hexies) squares of fabric for covering your pieces. 11- handy little box or pouch for organizing all you bits and pieces. i got this one at target, but it looks like they have them on amazon. 12- the finished product, covered hexies ready to be sewn into your desired project.

tomorrow’s post will be all about my process for covering/basting the pieces. i use a sew process (not glue) and i don’t cut my fabric to size. i’m all about speedy.

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