behind the scenes: The A to Z of EPP QuiltCon workshops

Make all 26 letters of the alphabet with English Paper Pieced (EPP) quilt blocks. using Typecast— a pattern by Whole Circle Studio

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 for English Paper Piecing (EPP) the with Typecast / alphabet quilt block pattern
Preparing paper pieces for fabric and basting.

preparing for English Paper Piecing (EPP) the with Typecast / alphabet quilt block pattern
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!

My favorite tools and supplies for English Paper Piecing. Recommendations for modern sewing and quilting by Whole Circle Studio
Head over to this page to learn all about my other favorite EPP tools & supplies that I use, love, and trust. 

stitching English Paper Piecing (EPP) the with Typecast / alphabet quilt block pattern
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.
Minimize your knots and thread breakage when sewing by hand. Be sure to thread your needle the correct way!

stitching English Paper Piecing (EPP) the with Typecast / alphabet quilt block pattern
In the workshop, I also cover tips and tricks for working with 90 degree turns, Y seams, and aligning seams.

finishing up English Paper Piecing (EPP) the with Typecast / alphabet quilt block pattern
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:
Quilt students practicing English Paper Piecing in Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill's EPP workshop at QuiltCon 2020
Quilt students practicing English Paper Piecing in Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill's EPP workshop at QuiltCon 2020
Quilt students practicing English Paper Piecing in Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill's EPP workshop at QuiltCon 2020
Quilt students practicing English Paper Piecing in Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill's EPP workshop at QuiltCon 2020
Quilt students practicing English Paper Piecing in Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill's EPP workshop at QuiltCon 2020

The Typecast fun doesn’t end there!

SewTite, magnetic sewing "pins" for bagmaking, English paper piecing, foundation paper piecing, garment and cosplay making, machine embroidery, and more! Booth at QuiltCon 2020. Sign made with Typecast EPP pattern by Whole Circle Studio.

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?

Typecast of Characters Blog Tour hosted by Whole Circle Studio
Check out what 26 quilters made with all of the letters! 

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!
Typecast, an English Paper Piecing (EPP) Pattern Make all 26 letters of the alphabet. Each block measures approximately 6” x 9”. This fully tested pattern guide contains detailed instructions, tips and diagrams to walk quilters through the variety of EPP straight line and curved piecing skills they will use while making Typecast blocks. Required English Paper Pieces and optional acrylic templates not included. Pattern by Whole Circle Studio
Want just a few letters? Pick up the pattern guide here and individual paper pieces here.

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