What is English Paper Piecing?

What is English Paper Piecing?

What is English Paper Piecing?

English Paper Piecing, aka EPP, is a method of sewing patchwork which uses paper to create a desired shape. Fabric is basted over a paper template to create a shape and then those shapes are sewn together by hand. Once your shape is sewn on all sides, you remove the paper and finish the project like you would any quilt or sewing project. 

It's a perfect way for anyone who has an interest in sewing or quilting to start, because you can sew without needing a sewing machine. 

english paper pieces six point star in scrappy low volume fabric



Top 5 Reasons Why I Love EPP

  1. Portability - You can’t take a sewing machine with you everywhere, but EPP is super portable. I always have a block with me to work on, making waiting rooms, school pickup and commuting on the train way more fun & productive!

  2. Beginner Friendly The start up supplies are minimal, you don’t need to be an established quilter to start - just the basics will get you going! Best of all you can sew without a sewing machine. You don’t even have to make a quilt, there are lots of small projects that are perfect for EPP - home decor, pillows, pot holders, drawstring bags, even little toys. 

  3. Intricate Designs Made Simple With EPP, no block is too complex. Paper templates provide the precision, so putting together shapes is like a puzzle that fits perfectly. Intricate blocks that would be intimidating to sew on a machine are much easier to sew with EPP.

  4. Soothing I find the rhythmic repetitive nature of EPP very relaxing. It isn’t the fastest way to finish something, but slow stitching is about enjoying the process just as much as the result. Not to mention, seeing something beautiful growing that you created with just your hands is so satisfying. 

  5. Social because you can bring your EPP blocks with you, you can get together with friends to stitch & chat. Almost every time I’m out stitching someone comes to talk to me about what I’m doing. I’m not always the best at making small talk with people, but I could talk about sewing all day long! 

a box of colorful fabric scraps in a rainbow of colors

Bonus answer- it uses scraps!*  All those little bits & pieces of precious favorite fabrics I can’t bear to throw away? Random precut leftovers? It doesn’t take much fabric to cut a single diamond or triangle, and EPP lends itself nicely to scrappy quilts! 

*This is a fake answer because it also creates scraps- ha! Quiltlife amiright?

If you are looking for an english paper piecing tutorial stay tuned for my EPP Basics Series, and learn how to English Paper Piece like a pro!

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