English paper piecing | a tutorial

hexy diamond

My very first patchworking project was as a child at school and have made many projects using the epp method, from tiny hexagons to giant and lots of other shapes in between.  I have shared my love for quilting with friends and as a help thought I’d post a tutorial on how I epp.  There are lots of online tools for making hexagons, I use these by Love patchwork & quilting magazine.  Once you have the templates cut out, I punch a hole into them.  This makes popping the templates out later so much quicker.

hexy diamond 2

For my 1 inch hexagons I cut just a fraction over a 2.5inch square, this gives a good overlap.  To baste my template, thread a needle and tie a knot at the end of the thread.  Fold fabric edges over the card template, as below

hexy diamond 3

Whip stitch the fold of fabric a you go around the hexagon

hexy diamond 4

and then you have a basted your hexagon.

hexy diamond 5

To join the hexagons together, place to hexagons right side together.  With a threaded needle tie a small knot at the end of the thread and whip stitch along the one edge, being careful to catch only the fabric and not piercing the card template.  I guess I use around 10 per hexagon side – but this is only a guide.

hexy diamond 7

To join a 3rd template, place the the new hexagon template right sides together as below and whip stitch to the end of the one side.

hexy diamond 9

Open up the stitched templates and then fold gently ready to stitch the next seam.

hexy diamond 12

making sure to stitch from the centre out.

hexy diamond 13

and the reverse

hexy diamond 14

Here’s the back of my completed templates.

hexy diamond back

To pop out the templates, I use a knitting needle or chop stick, gently pop into the punched hole and the template will slip out quickly and neatly.  You can also leave all the basting stitches in, as they will never be seen.

hexy diamond

Just ready to baste and quilt now.  Have wondered about a youtube tutorial, as seeing things made makes so much more sense to me – its just  the way my brain works I guess. And if you were wondering the main fabrics used are from a collection caller Shimmer 2 by Jennifer Sampou, the pale grey is kona.


quilt binding

I’ve finished the commission and I’m going to get back to my little list of things I want to sew for me.  There is a little pile of fabric that I ordered while I stitched and can’t wait to start.  I did want to share the best quilt binding technique – well its works brilliantly for me.  Jenny’s video tutorials are great and I now always try work to her mantra when quilting – finished is better than perfect!



Working full-time and also in the midst of a tight commission time line has meant that blogging and other social media stuff has all taken a side line.  The commission is 1 inch hexagons in pastel solids


I’m using regular gutermann thread and Ryman thin card with holes punched in – to make popping the template easier.  Also found some amazing needles by a Japanese company, Tulip – truly amazing and thoroughly recommend.


Its a mamouth task with a deadline at the end of the month, the sitting and stitching is very soothing when the world goes a little mad.  No back to stitching x


epp – shimmer 2

hexy diamonds

With the fabrics left over form the Shimmering Single Girl quilt, I’ve started to make up 1 inch hexagons to form diamonds.  The idea is to make quilted cushion covers for my bed, although I have started to think I may even have a try at a lampshade or upholstering a small chair with the final hexy fabric.

eep close up back

I love the quicker basting of whip stitching the hexagons, found that if I use much larger templates this method doesn’t work so well.   Also tried glue basting and although super quick, do somehow prefer this way. You can also see my templates are hole punched as it makes popping out the templates so much quicker – what ever method you use the punched hole is brilliant.

epp blues

Also working in the pale silver grey fat quarter I bought, as it seemed a waste not to and its building up really well.  Shimmer 2 has really become a firm favorite line and can not wait to see what Jennifer Sampou comes up with in her next collection!