EPP Fever!

9 comments » fabric, fun, gifty, staff projects

Last fall when Jenna and I began designing graphics for Vicki Bellino’s newest book Tiny Obsessions, I was completely unaware of the world of English Paper Piecing. To be honest, just the sound of it made me think it was far too difficult for me. As I started doing some research, I stumbled upon some really fascinating EPP projects and knew then I wanted to learn how to tackle this technique! Luckily, Vicki is a great teacher and happened to have some wonderful tutorials on English Paper Piecing right on our website so I didn’t have to go too far to learn.

Around that time, I was still on the lookout for fun and easy projects that I could make as Christmas gifts for friends and relatives. I came across Elizabeth Hartman’s “hexie pillow” project inspired by Tacha Bruecher’s Hexa-go-go book and knew I had to make one as well. Now that Vicki unknowingly taught me how to EPP and I had a project in mind, I was ready to get started. I already had a pillow form, so I gathered the necessary measurements and started planning out my project on the computer. By doing this, I was able to figure out how many hexagons I would need from the start. I made my own hexagon templates and printed out a bunch on regular printer paper (I’m sure something stiffer like cardstock would have been nice, but I managed just fine with the text weight paper) and spent some time cutting all of them out. You can also purchase pre-made paper pieces which would expedite the process and get you straight to the fun part.

I had a Bookish stack that was aching to be turned into hexagons and some Christmas movies that needed to be watched. I spent quite a while assembling the hexagons, but it was rather simple and a great “in front of the TV” project. I made my first attempts at fussy-cutting and found the Bookish focal to have countless options. Once I reached the point of having enough hexagons for my pillow, I laid them all out on the floor to arrange them in an order I liked. This proved to be much more challenging than I expected, mainly because my cat insisted on “helping.” It went a lot smoother once I was able to arrange in a cat-free area. I noticed that a lot of people make the hexagon “flowers” when they’re doing a project, but I found it easier to keep track of them if I did them in rows (and then labeled them so I didn’t have to redo this part 5 times!).

Because I had so many colors going on throughout the hexagons, I went ahead and used invisible nylon thread so it wouldn’t show up on any of my seams later on. In the beginning I was very slow at whipstitching and putting together the rows, but eventually got a lot faster. After I finished, I left the assembled top on my sewing table for a few days because I was really nervous about trimming it up and moving on to sewing it to the backing fabric. Eventually I bit the bullet and was really glad I did; the final results were so great to see after working on this for so long.

It might be a few months after Christmas, but I am happy to be done with it and really like the end product. I’m sure my aunt will enjoy getting a surprise gift in the mail now just as much as she would have in December… I hope at least! In the meantime, I’ve got my eye out for a new English Paper Piecing project to start!

If you’re looking to start English Paper Piecing, we have all the tools you’ll need! Click here to check out the selection.

9 responses to “EPP Fever!”

  1. Joy Gross Says:
    02/22/2013 7:37 pm

    That pillow turned out adorable! Great job!

  2. Jenni Says:
    02/23/2013 3:38 pm

    So stinking cute Katrina!! Love love love!

  3. Jenna Says:
    02/25/2013 8:07 am

    lOVE love love this Katrina. I’m inspired to do my own pillow now too. (adding another project to the list, I know, I know) Nice job!

  4. Kelly Says:
    02/25/2013 6:43 pm

    Addicted myself, but I’ve been doing the flowers. Might need to branch out. :-)

  5. Patty Says:
    02/25/2013 7:21 pm

    Love love the pillow and it is so exciting to see what can be done beside the grandma’s garden, which I love. Who would have thought this would really catch on again. That which is good never goes away.

  6. Katrina Says:
    02/26/2013 9:14 am

    Thanks everyone! I’m glad you like it… gives me hope that my aunt will too ;)

  7. bea Says:
    02/26/2013 9:51 am

    lovely! how big are the hexies? and how big is the pillow? and can you tell how many hexies and rows it is? I WANT to make one….. I’m doing some hexie Ahhhh’s 3″ hexies….

  8. colorado13 Says:
    02/26/2013 2:25 pm

    I too have become addicted to EPP! I had to leave it for a while to finish some quilts, stocking for my new granddaughter, etc. I have also been knitting furiously and finished 2 scarves and a blanket. Back to it TODAY!!

  9. Katrina Says:
    02/26/2013 3:34 pm

    Bea – To be honest, I don’t remember what size the hexagons were, but the pillow was on the smaller side… 13 inches I think? I believe my rows alternated having 8 and 9 hexagons per row with 10 total rows. I hope that helps!


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