Friday, 27 February 2015

English Paper Piecing For Beginners - Medallion Patch-along

English Paper Piecing or EPP is all the rage again and EVERYONE wants to know how to do it! Medallions are gaining popularity too so I thought that this time around, we could set off together on a Patch-along and we can do it bit by bit so that it is not overwhelming.

First of all, what on earth is EPP? It is simply making quilts with paper templates but not like foundation piecing. EPP is where you have a paper shape, wrap the fabric around it and then tack (baste) and then stitch the shapes together to form patterns. Hexies are the most recognisable of all. Here are some examples of simple projects from this blog....



The tute for the red mat is here.




The blue tute is here. Have a look around in the Gallery drop down for some more EPP ideas.

Every sewist accumulates scraps and making hexies and other shapes as you go for EPP is a great way to save time in the long run and keep the scraps neat and organised.



So how do we do that then?

First of all, we need a paper shape. You will need to print it off and then cut one out. Normally you need many more than one but this time, the one will do. Cut the shape from any paper except newsprint. Magazines work well and I am using coloured paper so that you can see it in the photos.
Here is the template for you to print off for the first pattern piece. It is a 3.5cm hexie (1 1/2 ") and you get this number by measuring along one of the sides.


Take your paper shape and choose a nice piece of fabric. Pin the shape to the wrong side of the fabric and trim the fabric so that it is about 1.5cm larger than the paper all around....


Now fold the fabric over the paper and finger press (crease sharply with your finger or nail). Tack (baste) around to keep the fabric around the paper....



TIP: Keep the stitches large so that they are easier to remove later on.
By the way, treat your papers with respect because they can be used a few times - such a boon because they can be an utter bore to cut out! You can buy them too but not in every shape that you need.


et voila! You have a hexie and this is the quinessential EPP shape. Now I am not going to spoil the surprise as this make goes along so today, we need the hexie plus six of these....


We need some fabric for them too. I have chosen a coordinating striped fabric and when I place my second shape onto the fabric, I want the lines to run up and down to make an effect. So place the fabric like this...


Treat the second shape the same way as the hexie although be aware that you will have a 'tail' at the top like this...


That is normal for a pointy shape. Ignore it for now and as we piece, you tuck it under and out of the way. So for now you have a pile of ready to go pieces like this....


The hexie is the centre and the second shape is stitched to it with a neat overcast stitch like so....


Keep going until you have a star like this...


When a shape is completely enclosed by other shapes, you can remove the papers. Remember, do it carefully and put them in a special box for next time. Some of the shapes in this medallion are repeated. Simply snip the tacking threads and pull them gently out and then slide the papers out.

Don't be hasty though and remove the papers until the shape is fully surrounded buy others - you only get to remove the hexie shape this week!
Next week, we will add another row I will look forward to seeing you then and than you so much for stopping by! 

Do you want to know a secret? I don't know how this project turns out. I am letting it evolve week by week so that I work along with you! Brave or silly, I am yet to decide but I am nervous - the German in me doesn't like being this disorganised!

Before I go, I have just received boxes and boxes back from one of the magazines that I work for. I made the mistake of putting some things on the wrong chair....her chair apparently. Sorry! She is getting naughtier and bossier as she gets older!


That dog is so not sorry!

Love and hugs
Debbie xxx