How To's · Patchwork · Patterns · Quilting · Sewing

Sewing How To: Patchwork – English Paper Piecing

Want to try a different patchwork technique?

Have a go at English paper piecing – you don’t need a sewing machine for this method as it can all be done by hand and its a great alternative to machine quilting. Added bonus with this method is you can reuse the paper templates for multiple patchwork projects, and if you really want to minimise waste you can even reuse the tacking thread if removed in one piece.

This is my favourite patchwork method, its great for working in smaller segments/shapes that you can add to over time and doesn’t require a machine so you can take it anywhere with you. You can even combine this method with machine quilting by machine quilting a background and adding English paper pieced details appliquéd on top. You can also join all the patchwork pieces by hand then add the quilted details using machine if you prefer.

Sewing How To: Patchwork – English Paper Piecing

  1. Cut out your paper templates:

Choose your shape and cut out a template on paper. Use this first paper template as a template to cut out as many paper templates required for your project – Each individual shape used in your project will need a paper template.

  1. Cut out your fabric:

Using your chosen fabric take a paper template and cut out the fabric around the template leaving a 1cm seam allowance. Repeat until all pieces of fabric required have been cut.

  1. Attach the fabric to the paper templates:

Take one of the paper templates and one of the pieces of cut fabric and place your paper template in the middle, starting on one side fold over the edge of the fabric and sew using a tacking stitch to secure. Repeat with the remaining sides. Repeat with all templates and fabric.

4. Joining the shapes:

Take 2 of the fabric/paper shapes and place right sides together, using a whip stitch sew down the required side edge to join. Repeat with the remaining fabric/paper shapes until they are all joined together.

  1. Removing the paper:

Once all the shapes have been joined, press, then removing the tacking stitch and paper templates from the fabric shapes. Press again to secure.

  1. Adding wadding:

Cut a piece of wadding the same size as your project then using a running stitch add quilting details to the project, you can sew down the seam lines, sew either side of the seam lines or add details into the middle of the shapes. You can do this by hand or use a machine.

English paper piecing patchwork project ideas:

Want to try out an English paper pieced patchwork project? check out these sewing tutorials:

Additional Patchwork Tutorials:


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