Sunday, July 5, 2015

#GIVEAWAY, A Quick Tutorial on EPP Hexagons and Some Fun Links

This month on our Facebook page we are giving away the book, "All Points Patchwork" by Diane Gilleland. This is an excellent book if you would like instruction in how to accurately create different shapes using English Paper Piecing (EPP).  It is not loaded with patterns, so if that is what you are looking for you may be disappointed.  It does gives you clear, concise, well photographed, step by step instructions for a broad variety of shapes.  Available in both digital and paperback, your choice. (please check out her link by clicking on the book title above, there are several fun patterns there and tutorial I think you will really enjoy)

In addition to Diane's book, I thought it would be fun to give away this Fiskars Easy Squeeze Punch!  It truly is very easy to use and you will be popping out the papers for your Hexies effortlessly!  

To enter, visit our Facebook page, LIKE our page, COMMENT on both posts and SHARE on your Facebook page...Nothing ever to purchase!  No tricks and no gimmicks. Drawing for both the book and the punch will be held on July 31st, 2015.

English Paper Piecing is all the rage...again.  We can trace paper piecing back to the 1700's.  The technique allows one to accurately piece complex angles utilizing paper pieces as stabilizer.

In the United States we have quilts using this technique that date back to 1807 and 1813.

Photo:  State Museum of Pennsylvania

Because of it's portability, English Paper Piecing became very popular during the migration west. With paper scarce on the journey, pioneer women would use old letters, newspaper clippings or catalogue pages as their foundation. Often these papers were left in the quilt, acting not only as the pattern but as insulation. 

So everything old is new again! With a resurgence of interest in English Paper Piecing we see both traditional and non traditional methods come into play. So many fun things you can do with English Paper Piecing and you can take it with you anywhere!

Here is my quick little tutorial on making Hexies.  This is the way I do it, Not the "right" way or the "wrong" way, not the way illustrated in the book, just the way I do it.  There are lots of techniques out there, if this works for you, great!  If not, try another.

Here is what you will need to get started.  You probably already have these items laying around your house.

A small pair of sharp scissors.
A sharp hand sewing needle.  
Some thread, it doesn't matter what color.
Paper to create your hexagon paper patterns.
A hole punch.
Some fabric scraps.

First part to tackle is creating your paper pattern you can purchase these by the bag full, ready cut for you and you can just jump right in stitching.  Or you can print out a template the size that you wish and cut your pieces.  Or you can use the gizmo that we are giving away from Fiskars and just pop out a bunch when ever you need them.

What to use for paper: I like a card stock, only because it holds it's shape when you are working with it. You can use left over cereal boxes, file folders, thick catalogue covers, old Christmas and Birthday cards are fabulous!...what ever you have, you don't have to run out and purchase "special" paper to accomplish your goal of trying out this technique. Some use plastic so they can reuse them, just make sure you don't iron them and melt them to your fabric. You can purchase heat resistant plastic templates, I do have some and I do love them.

Notice that I punch a hole in the middle of the will want this for later when you are all finished piecing your bits together and want to remove the simply insert a knitting needle, crochet hook or a simple wooden skewer and pop them right out, ready to use again!

So you have your paper piecing templates cut and you are ready to start sewing some Hexies!  Grab your fabric and cut squares with your rotary cutter.  The size of your square will depend on what size Hexie you are making.  Here is a good rule of thumb: set your paper hexie in the corner of your fabric, now measure a square that is 1/2 inch beyond any of your paper tips.  See below:

This is a 2 inch hexagon from tip to tip so I would use a 2.5" strip of fabric and cut it into a 2.5" square.  The actual measure of the hexie is a 1" hexagon, you measure just the side.  For measuring how much fabric you will need to adequately cover your hexie...just measure 1/2 inch beyond the tips as shown. 

Thread your needle but do not make a knot. Lay your paper hexie on top of your fabric square.  Carefully fold the fabric over on one edge, then fold the fabric over on the next edge to create a neat fold.  Take your needle and thread through that corner, fabric only, I don't sew all the way through the paper, no need.  Use your thumb to hold things in place while you take a little bite with your needle as shown making sure to leave about a 1 inch thread tail.

Circle back through with your needle in the same place, taking another bite, this will lock your thread.  Move onto the next corner, carefully folding your fabric and repeat the process of taking a bite and circling back through.  Continue all the way around your hexie finishing in the same corner where you started, taking a bite again and circling through, leave a one inch thread tail and clip...There you go!  Look at you!


Mind you, they are addictive.  Go slow at first, you will pick up the pace once you get the hang of it.  

Get a couple Ziploc bags, one to put your completed hexies in and one to store your kit.  You can keep this in your purse and whip it out anywhere you want!  Ready to quilt at a moments notice.  

Aren't they pretty, like little jelly beans in a bowl!  Now imagine what you can do if you fussy cut your fabric...

Some of my Hexie collection.

These beauties were created by Lois and blogged about here:

Get ready, you are going to have boxes full of these in no time! And the great thing about them, you don't have to make a quilt, nope, you can use them to embellish pillow cases, towels, put a few together for some hot mats, maybe sprinkle a few down a table runner or on place mats, on a purse or a tote or a little makeup bag, across a little girls skirt, on a T-shirt...oh the possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination!  

Here are some links for you to check out.  Fun ideas for how to use your hexies.


  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial - I'm just getting my kit together to start doing some EPP! Looks fabulous!!!

  2. Love your method! I can't wait to try it. Thank you for the tutorial.

  3. Love this post and this giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity!

  4. Thank you for this tutorial and giveaway.

  5. I'm so ready to start English paper piecing. Thank you for the help