English Paper Piecing (also called EPP) is a handwork sewing technique used to piece quilt tops. You start by wrapping fabric around a stiff template (usually cardstock). After thread basting or glueing the fabric to the template, you stitch the shapes together by hand. Once all the pieces are sewn together, the templates are removed. Unlike Foundation Paper Piecing, you can reuse your paper templates and you don’t use a sewing machine.
This fun technique is great for beginners and those who want to work on a project while on the go. Since you are typically using small pieces of fabric for this technique, EPP is a great way to use up those scraps in your stash!
Benefits of EPP:
• Anyone can do it!
This fun technique is great for beginners and it is easy to piece together tricky Y-seams. Once you practice some basic stitches, you’ll be a pro in no time.
• It’s portable.
EPP projects are perfect to take with you while you’re traveling. Have only 5 minutes? Grab your project and get some stitches in. Short on space and don’t have a lot of room to set up a sewing machine? All you need is a comfy chair and some basic supplies.
• The results are precise.
Because you’re going slow, you can more easily control your stitches by hand than on a machine. You can also easily align and sew small and tricky shapes you couldn’t do with machine piecing.
• It’s meditative.
Want to chill out? I enjoy the meditative quality of all hand stitching. There is a calming effect of stitching away. Put on your favorite music or encourage a group of friends to meet up and stitch away!
I also find that handwork, like EPP, is great for my hand-eye coordination. You’ll also find that the more you practice, the more your stitch quality will improve. I’m a big believer that being consistent makes you better and gets things done. Every stitch counts. Do what you can, stitch by stitch. Before you know it, you’ll have a project done and will master a new skill!