English paper piecing (EPP) is a perfect project to take with you on the go, or to keep hands busy on a creative project while watching TV. You start with small pieces of fabric that you attach to paper templates and then stitch the perfect pieces together to make a quilt, table runner or other project. There are a lot of different ways and techniques to get to the final piece. We’ve got our favorite tips and tricks for English Paper Piecing – to make your project successful.
Looking for a great scrap busting projects? English paper piecing is a perfect way to use up those small scraps! Or plan a project with coordinating fabrics! Whichever you decide, you’ll find cutting, gluing and sewing these little pieces together addictive.
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Tips for gluing fabric around curved paper templates
When glue basting curves for English paper piecing, it is especially important to make sure that you leave a gap between the glue and the edge of your paper template. This allows the straight-woven fabric to ease into the curves.
Start with the concave (inner) curves. Clip the seam allowance, if necessary, stopping 1/8-inch from the stitching line. Add glue, then, a little at a time, smooth the fabric over the edge of the paper from front to back. Your index finger is a great tool for this step!
For convex (outer) curves, add glue, then bring the seam allowance from front to back as before, easing the fabric into a smooth edge. The excess fabric will form pleats near the cut edge – they will not show on the front as long as your edges are smooth.
Draw your finger along the basted edge. If you feel bumps, pull up that section, refresh the glue and reposition. For long curves, glue in sections to keep glue moist during placement.
What are your tips? Share them in the comments below!
Browse through more English paper piecing projects and inspiration on Create Whimsy.
Learn how to English Paper Piece with this table topper project on Create Whimsy.