Last week I had a blast teaching two sessions of my Beyond Hexies and Diamonds: The A to Z of EPP (English Paper Piecing) at QuiltCon 2020 in Austin, Texas. In class, we handstitched letters using my Typecast pattern and paper pieces. Before heading down to Austin, I prepared samples to share in class as I demonstrated the different steps—sort of like baking shows that have cakes all ready to take out of the oven so they don’t have to wait!
Here’s a peek of some of the steps:
Preparing paper pieces for fabric and basting.
Viola! What it looks like when the paper pieces are wrapped with fabric and basted. Time to gather up our supplies, including my favorite thread for EPP—Aurifil 50wt cotton. It’s important to match your thread color to your fabric so that your stitches blend and don’t distract (if that’s the look you’re trying to achieve). Aurifil is perfect for this as they offer 270 colors!
I’ve been using thread conditioner and beeswax on my thread for years while working on applique and EPP projects. I find that applying this type of product to my thread can help prevent fraying and knotting while I’m sewing.
Here’s another tip to reduce knots: Did you know that thread has a nap, or grain? Think about running your fingers over a piece of wood and what it feels like going with the grain and going against the grain. Going with the grain feels much smoother, right? Same thing with thread! The direction that thread comes off a spool will be running the thread with the grain, just like thread runs through your machine. When threading your needle for handwork, you’ll want to make sure you thread your needle with the end coming off the spool, then cut your thread and put a knot at that end. If you’re having issues with your thread knotting up and breaking, this should reduce those occurrences.
In the workshop, I also cover tips and tricks for working with 90 degree turns, Y seams, and aligning seams.
Last but not least, we reviewed how to finish up the Typecast quilt blocks and chatted about ideas for integrated other quilt blocks, including those constructed with other piecing techniques including machine piecing.
Check out all of the beautiful work in progress by my QuiltCon students:
The Typecast fun doesn’t end there!
SewTites made their exhibit booth signage with my Typecast pattern! Have you heard of SewTites?, They are magnetic sewing “pins” for bagmaking, English paper piecing, foundation paper piecing, garment and cosplay making, machine embroidery, and more! The owners, Jamie and Jessica, are sisters and are super nice. They generously gave me enough SewTites so I had one for each student to try out. They’re a great alternative to binder clips or Wonder Clips.
Want more inspiration?
What will you make with Typecast?
Get started with the complete Typecast English Paper Piecing paper pack + pattern guide (and save $10).
You can re-use the same letters in the paper pack over and over to make lots of custom projects!
Want just a few letters? Pick up the pattern guide here and individual paper pieces here.