English Paper Piecing: the Perfect Introduction to Quilting

If you have read some of my previous blog posts, you might know that I am quite new to the quilting community. Though I have known how to sew for a long time, I wasn’t exposed to things like English Paper Piecing (EPP) and applique until I started working for Connecting Threads. As I settled into the environment and began picking up on different things, my interest in quilts grew more and more.


This mug is one of our most popular items and the mug rug under it is just the icing on top!

I have been seeing so much on Pinterest about EPP so decided I needed to give it a try. It seemed tricky; the things I had noticed online about it included perfectly lined stars that formed into beautiful squares and intricate, scrappy pillows.

For those not yet involved in quilting, English Paper Piecing is a technique that uses paper templates to stabilize the fabric being stitched together for the most accurate outcome when hand sewing different (sometimes difficult) angles. You can find out more about EPP and watch a tutorial on how to perfect this skill in our video here.

Despite my nervousness to begin, I decided a small hexie project would be a good way to officially enter the world of quilting, and honestly, who can pass up an opportunity to learn how to make these adorable little shapes?! I gathered the scraps from our Christmas Glitz fabric collection, looked up a tutorial, and began working on the fourteen individual pieces. It only took about an hour from start to finish and I realized that by the end, I was a lot calmer than I was to begin with. I also realized that I had a lot of fun doing it and even as a beginner, I was looking forward to projects in the future.


Though mine ended up a little rougher than what I had seen from various quilters, I was very impressed with myself in the end. Something as small of a project as a one-hour mug rug is a great introduction to quilting if you think you or a friend might be interested in the craft. You learn the basics to hand sewing and a general hexagonal layout that is used very often with quilts. Small projects like this one are also portable, which is something to remember next time you’re stuck in traffic, a waiting room, or at a sporting event. Just tuck it away in a purse or suitcase and piece wherever you go. It takes a bit of patience, but the reward is incredible because you’re proud of yourself afterwards and have a beautiful, handmade item to keep and remind you of where you started.



  1. Dawn - August 11, 2015

    Well done, Kindal! The “roughness” of your project is far overshadowed by the crispness of the hexagons and sharp hand-stitching. Seriously nice work! 🙂

  2. Joy - August 11, 2015

    Great job!

  3. Merrily Jackson - August 12, 2015

    For the Hexagon mug coaster, how is the back of it finished? Did you make 2 hex coasters and stitch them together?? I made some coaster that way, but I’m wondering if there is a better way.
    Thank you!

    • Kindal Dolph - November 16, 2015

      Yes, I made another coaster with 7 pieces that all had the same pattern and whip stitched them together back to back. You could also just use backing fabric and wadding and sew those together as well. Hope this was helpful!

  4. Merrily Jackson - August 12, 2015

    For the hexagon mug coaster, how did you finish the back? Did you make 2 coaster and stitch them together???
    Thank you!

  5. Margaret Williams - October 20, 2015

    Nice work! You’ve inspired me! I’m going to try this this afternoon.