Monday, November 8, 2010

English Paper Piecing

Today, I'm going to write about English Paper Piecing (aka EPP) and applique. Making hexagons first started me on this method. In the past, I have tried needle turn, freezer paper, liquid glue and glue sticks. They all worked for me; but I was just curious to try different methods of applique. EPP is the last method and my favourite so far (that is until something new comes along). It is a bit time consuming but I like the fact that my applique pieces are firm and they don't tend to move around a lot when being appliqued.

So, here is how it is done (only for hand applique - this will not work for machine applique):

A - Cut out your paper template (remember .... your paper template) without any seam allowance. Place template on the back of fabric and pin in place. Be sure to leave enough material all around the paper template for seam allowance. B - Here is my template cut out showing seam allowance.
C - When I'm ready to start basting, the pins are transferred from the back of the template to the front. If the template is large, place a couple of pins in the centre of the template to stop your fabric from stretching too much when the fabric is folded over the edge of the paper. Before I figured this out, my completed fabric template would not lay flat as the fabric stretched and pulled the paper template out of shape giving me a slight bowl shape.
Continue folding and basting the fabric all around the edge of the paper template. On the curves, take your scissors and make tiny clips so that the fabric will fold over nicely on the curves.

D - This is what the front will look like once complete .... see ... nice and flat.

E - This is what the back will look like once your template has been basted.

F - This is what the back looks like after the fabric template has been appliqued to the background fabric (the background fabric has been trimmed away).

G - The basting threads have been removed from the front and the paper template has been removed.
If you don't want to remove the background fabric; then just make a slit in the background fabric (anywhere inside the applique edges) and insert your finger into the slit and remove the paper template.

H - Follow the same steps for the stems and leaves.

i - Shows all the paper templates removed.

J - The finished block.

This is the layout for all my applique. The fabric templates have all been pinned in place and now all I have to do is pick a block and sit down and applique while watching some TV. This pattern will be a lap quilt ....

.... while this top is a wall hanging. I still have not completed the embroidery for the vines but will continue working on this hanging after it is taken down from the wall. I'm waiting for the beginning of December to roll around so that I can replace this top with a Xmas hanging.
Can you see why I love pumpkins? These are all my pumpkins that have been collected over the past few years and I suspect a few more will be added as time goes by.

Now you know how I do my applique.
Have a great day!


Sandy said...

Very ver neat! Thanks, sandy

Mary Lou Casada said...

Great tutorial! I have done this and it is a foolproof way to applique! I've since learned needleturn (which I prefer), but I still have projects started with my pieces all basted and ready to go using EPP! Might be time to drag those UFO's out and get 'em done! :-)
Mary Lou

Sharon said...

Great tutorial. I use freezer paper and do the exact same thing, but I iron the freezer paper to the wrong side of the fabric so no need for pins.

Jennifer said...

I have tried this method too, and find it works well - you get good clean edges so the applique looks crisp.

Julie Fukuda said...

I can see this works better for larger pieces. What happens when you cut through the stitches of the first applique when you add something overlapping? Doesn't that cut the thread?
I am in the middle of some needle-turn applique now and since I am closer to the end than the beginning I keep going but all the while I am wishing I'd done it some other way.

Brenda said...

You have done a wonderful job on explaining each step. Your projects are great. Thank you for sharing!

QuiltSue said...

Thanks for that. It makes me feel that I might almost be able to do some applique one day.

Teresa said...

Looks great and thanks for clear instructions!

Deb said...

I am sure with this great tutorial that there may be a few new appliquers in the midst. I hope so it is a wonderful technique to learn for your quilts in the future. I love this idea especially when you have the applique boarders..thanks for taking the time to share your technique

Days and colors said...

Thank you! Your work is always amazing, it's a great tutorial!

Carrie P. said...

Great job with your tutorial. Thanks for sharing.