How to Make an EPP Wreath Ornament with Hexies

Finished EPP Wreath Ornament

How to Make an EPP Wreath Ornament with Hexies

A large English Paper Piecing (EPP) project can seem daunting. But a small project, such as an ornament, lets you try the technique on something easy. And it’s something that you will actually use! Not naming names, but some people always have a portable EPP project ready to go. Ahem.

English Paper Piecing is an old technique that stabilizes and stitches two pieces of fabric together. Our EPP Hexagon Flower Garden Table Topper provides an overview of English Paper Piecing.

Ready to give it a try? Or already know how to EPP and want a relaxing TV project to add some holiday joy? Let’s make an EPP Wreath Ornament with Hexies!

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EPP Wreath Ornament on Tree

How to Make an EPP Wreath Ornament with Hexies

English Paper Piecing (EPP) is a traditional hand stitching technique gaining favor with modern stitchers. An EPP Wreath Ornament with Hexies is a festive starter project.

Materials

  • 2 cotton fabrics, at least 5 x 5 inches each, or an assortment of scraps that will yield 12 pieces at least 2.5 x 2.5 inches each.
  • 12 paper piecing templates, hexagons with 1-inch sides
  • Washable fabric glue stick (Sewline and Fons & Porter make good ones with interchangeable refills)
  • Thread to match fabrics
  • 6-inch piece of ribbon for hanger
  • Thread conditioner, such as Thread Magic (optional, but recommended)

Tools

  • Fabric scissors
  • Optional: Acrylic hexagon template, rotary cutter and mat
  • Thread snips
  • Hand sewing needles
  • Needle threader, if needed
  • Small clips, such as Mini Wonder Clips (they fit into corners nicely)
  • Iron and pressing surface (optional)
  • Thimble (if you use one)

Instructions

  1. Select fabrics. I purchased a charm pack (5-inch squares) of coordinating fabrics so I could make several ornaments that look nice together.Holiday Charm Pack
  2. Gather supplies. I selected 2 contrasting charm squares so that I could alternate the colors of my wreath.EPP Wreath Supplies
  3. On the wrong side of fabric, arrange hexies with at least 1/2-inch between pieces for seam allowances. A light dab of glue stick will hold templates in place for cutting.Hexies Glued Lightly to Back of Fabric
  4. Cut around each hexagon, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance. Your cutting can be a little wonky as long as you have enough of a fabric edge to fold over the paper. If you prefer, use an acrylic cutting template and rotary cutter to cut your fabric - just be sure to include seam allowance. The paper templates provide the precision, however, for piecing - not the cutting. Yay!First Hexie Cut with Seam Allowance
  5. Here are my 12 hexies cut out. You can see that there is some forgiveness in the cutting. You will see in the next steps why you don't need to stress over it.Hexies Cut with Seam Allowance
  6. With your glue pen, add a narrow bead of glue to one of the paper hexagon sides, avoiding the very edge. That is where your stitches will be, and excess glue in the fold will gum up your needle and make stitching harder. You don't have to use as much glue as I did - I wanted it to be visible in the photo. The glue dries clear.Glue Side 1 Edge
  7. Fold the seam allowance over the glued edge of the paper template. Glue the next side. (See how this is a larger seam allowance? When you fold it over, it won't matter!Fold Edge 1 Glue Edge 2
  8. Fold over the second side. It looks like too much fabric, but this will be hidden inside the ornament. You can trim it if you like, but there is no need to.Fold Edge 2
  9. Continue gluing and folding each side of the hexagon. You can see here that the back (the side with the template) looks less than perfect, but when you turn it over, the right side is perfect! So, relax a little. It's going to be okay!Glue Basted Back and Front
  10. Lay out the wreath shape. I alternated red and green so I could have a matching front and back to my ornament, but you can arrange differently, if you prefer.Layout Both Sides
  11. Thread your needle with no more than 18 inches of thread and knot the end with a quilter's knot. You are stitching such short segments at one time, a longer piece of thread will just get in your way. I strongly recommend treating the thread with a conditioner such as Thread Magic, a type of synthetic beeswax. As you stitch, the thread will be drawn against the paper template edges, and it can fray. The conditioner prevents tangling and breakage.Condition with Thread Magic
  12. Place 2 adjacent fabric hexagons right sides together. Align the edges to prepare to stitch the first side.Adjacent Pieces Right Sides Together
  13. At one corner, bury the knot under a fold.Bury Knot Under Fold
  14. Whipstitch one edge together. Take teeny tiny bites of fabric with each stitch, just 2 or 3 threads. Aim for small stitches, about 1/16-inch apart. Knot when you reach the end of the side and bury the thread tail.Whip Stitch One Edge RST
  15. When opened and laid flat, your first two pieces are stitched together almost invisibly.First 2 Pieces Stitched
  16. Line up the next piece and whipstitch as before.Line Up Next Adjacent Hexie
  17. Here is the wreath ornament before and after stitching. Any imperfections in seam allowances are now invisible!EPP Wreath Ornament Before and After Stitching
  18. Stitch the second wreath shape just like you did the first one. Now you have both front and back ready to go.EPP Wreath Ornament Front and Back Stitched
  19. Place front and back paper sides together and clip in place. For this EPP project, the paper templates remain inside the project to give stability to the wreath shape. Insert the ends of your ribbon hanging loop between the top hexagons and hold in place with glue.WST Clip Front to Back Insert Ribbon
  20. Whipstitch the front and back of the wreath together, taking a few stitches to secure the ribbon hanger when you get to it. I switched thread colors to match my fabric, stitching all of one color, then the other. Remember to stitch the inner sides, too.Whip Stitch EPP Wreath Ornament Front to Back
  21. Here is the finished EPP Wreath Ornament with Hexies!Finished EPP Wreath Ornament
  22. The EPP Wreath Ornament with Hexies looks happy on my tree!EPP Wreath Ornament on Tree

Browse through more English paper piecing inspiration on Create Whimsy.


English Paper Pieced Wreath Ornament Pinterest Image 2
English Paper Pieced Wreath Ornament Pinterest Image 1
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