English Paper Piecing

I have long been interested in trying English Paper Piecing (EPP).  The portability of it, the high cuteness factor of the finished product, the idea of sewing something entirely by hand, these are all factors in my fascination.  The thing that finally made me start was finding out that I’m having surgery in August and the realization that I will go crazy after 3 days in the hospital without something to do, and packing a sewing machine is not feasible.

So, ever in character for me, I started to do some research.  What size hexies did I want to start with? (Hexies are measured by the length of each side, not their width or height.)  How would I get/make the templates I would need?  I decided to go with 1″ hexies: not too big, and not too small.  I read about lots of different ways to make templates, and also places that you could buy templates, and in the end, I decided to buy a Fiskars easy-squeeze XL hexagon cutter.

Fiskars squeeze punch, XL size

This has worked perfectly for me. It cuts 1″ hexagons and saves me so much time with scissors. It is also more accurate than I could be with scissors, also a bonus. I got it at Michaels, with a coupon. I think Joanns in the States sells them as well.

I figured I should probably make just a few test hexies to make sure I actually enjoyed this project. Well, as some people have said, they are addicting, and ‘just a few’ has turned into 4 full flowers and many, many more extra hexies after just a few evenings of work.

Finished flowers

1" hexies


Are they not just so cute?  I’m using 2.5″ squares of fabric, which fit wonderfully around the templates.  They are so quick to make, and the hand-sewing is very relaxing.  Also, awesomely portable.  And Thing 1 wants to learn how to make them already.

8 thoughts on “English Paper Piecing

  1. Having had surgery in November and being in the hospital for 4 days, don’t pack a bag with too much entertainment. After surgery, you will sleep a lot–a lot. I took a book I was reading and it didn’t hold my attention for more than 5 minutes. Your body will need time to repair itself. So, be patient with yourself, rest when you need to, ask others to help when you need it. It takes a while.

    And, yes, I have done EPP and it can be addicitive/time consuming, and never ending. Enjoy the process.


    • I know what you mean. The last time I had a major surgery it was a c-section with my son and then I slept a lot and had to look after a baby. But I hate being bored, so I figure it’s better to be prepared than to wish I had something to do.

      On Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 6:17 PM, Apple Pie Patchwork wrote:



  2. This was a very interesting post. I had never heard of EPP. Apart from beating the hospital blues, I can think of taking it camping, to the beach, on a plane. Add my name to the list of people who want to learn. Maybe Thing 1 can teach me.


  3. That’s a clever and elegant solution – never thought of a craft punch…! If I hadn’t OD’d on hexagons, I would invest in one of those! 🙂 Hope your surgery goes smoothly and you heal faster than thought possible!


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