Thank you so much for the great response to my focus quilt
! Apparently I won't be making this quilt alone, which is super fun! I will be anxiously waiting to see other versions of it popping up. Thanks to all of you who purchased the templates!
I thought it would be a good time to share some of my methodology when it comes to EPP (English paper piecing). Please remember that this is simply one way of doing things, not
the end all, be all. I hope you pick up some tips that will be helpful to you.
Printing and Cutting the Templates:
I have been printing the trapezoid pages only (page 2 of the PDF
) on card stock on my home printer. I print a few sheets at a time, as needed, then use a rotary cutter specifically for paper
to cut them into strips. This is a great way to use blades that are too dull to cut fabric!
You will notice that this rotary cutter is clearly marked for paper. All of the inhabitants of this house have been instructed and coached about the usage of this and other cutting tools. (Read: my husband!) Ha!
Once the strips are cut, I like to use a paper scissors to cut the shapes apart. I find that it's more efficient to use a scissors for these short cuts. It's quicker than lining up everything with the ruler and rotary cutter. (This is just personal preference!)
I keep all the templates in this cute little box to help keep them organized, otherwise they would be floating all over the place. It's just the right size!
If your home printer doesn't like to print on card stock, you could always take the files to a copy center, like Kinkos or Office Max, and have them print the sheets for you.
I have been using my paper punch (by Fiskars) that I bought at JoAnn's to punch the hexagons. It's so quick and efficient! (And lots of fun, too!) The hexagons measure 1" on each side.
Cutting the fabric:
I have been using a 2 1/2" square (or so) for the center blocks. Fussy cut, of course!
I cut the strips for the trapezoids 2 5/8" wide x 20" or so. I like to cut these from fat quarters. If you cut the FQ the long way, it's just the right amount of fabric for the outside pieces of one block. (I love that it worked out that way!)
I started by cutting my strips 2 1/2" wide, but after a few blocks, I determined that I really like having the extra 1/8" in the width of the strip. There is a little more fabric to wrap around the back side of the paper pieces, which makes it easier to work with. Small difference, big results!
In this photo you can see how much fabric wraps around the back side of the papers. You may also notice that I trim the edges of the fabric on the hexagon to mimic the shape of the paper. I am a little bit particular and I like to have the back nice and tidy, too. I LOVE my Clover wonder clips for holding the fabric in place while basting. They are wonderful!
I like to thread baste the fabric around the shapes using Aurifil thread. I don't sew through the paper (I never understood that, but to each his own!), I just sew through the fabric. Once the fabric is basted in place, I trim the tails on the trapezoids down to about 1/4". Again, keeping things tidy is helpful!
Sewing the pieces together:
When it comes time to sew the pieces together, I've been using my collection of bobbin threads shown above. (The top one is available here
.) It's a great assortment of colors and the thread is nice and thin, but strong. It doesn't tangle easily, either. If I am unable to find something that matches with my fabric from my selections above, I fall back on my trusty Aurifil thread in the color 2600, which blends with almost anything!
The block measures 6" across, and about 5 1/4" tall.
And here's a peek at the back. I could remove the center paper now, if I wanted to, since it is fully enclosed by other pieces, but I decided that I will leave the papers in for awhile yet. I can't wait to have a giant stack of these completed. I'm having SO MUCH fun with this project!
I hope that this post will help you along with your EPP!