English Paper Piecing (EPP) : Making your template

I remembered when I was first introduced to  English Paper Piecing in beginner’s class, I thought it was cool and easy.  On one hand I thought I am not sure I’ll be doing a lot of this (not a fan of hand stitching – I think it takes forever) and on the other hand I thought this is going to be great to carry with me anywhere. Lately, it has become handy for keeping busy at those times when due to electricity outage I can’t use my electric machine.

Anyway, I have been doing bits and pieces of EPP mostly Hexagons and a brief experiment with diamonds but I got tired of those. I wanted other interesting designs that would be easy for me to make…I’m terrible at following patterns so it had to be something I could figure out on my own. Plus I have all these invitation cards from A box full of Junk that needed recycling 🙂 .

image_3

I have always had to create my own templates for my EPP since buying prepackaged templates or those fancy Hexagon punches wasn’t an option. So to create any of the following templates: Equilateral triangle, diamonds, hexagon, elongated Hexagons, parallelograms…I use the isometric grid in the image above. I was given some copies of the template in class and I made more when I discovered how useful they can be. Now to make your templates, here is what to do:

  1. Trace out your desired shape in the size you want (you can also color it out to avoid confusion as below)

    6.5 template.jpg
    Cut out the colored triangle: This is a 0.5″ grid generated from the link provided further down this post
  2. Glue the cut out template to a cardboard, plastic template or anything that works for you (In my case I am using my recycled invitation cards) to cut out your “master template”

template

  1. Next, layer more cardboard, old magazines or again what ever you normally use for your EPP templates.
  2. Place your master template on your layers and cut around it using your paper scissors or your rotary cutter if you don’t cringe at the thought of cutting paper with it. Personally I find scissors an easier option, guess I’m not used to using my rotary cutter without mat or ruler which is not necessary with scissors
  3. Continue moving your master template around your layers until you have as many templates as you need.

If you need a template with seam allowance for the purpose of cutting out your fabric, repeat steps 1 -4 but make sure to add your seam allowance in step one. Each line of my isometric grid is 1/4″apart which makes it easy to add seam allowance to the desired shape.

image_4

You can conveniently cut out a 6.5″ triangle and 5″diamond template from this grid. I have searched everywhere online for a downloadable copy of this template to no avail. However,thanks to Jennifer of  @Dizzy Quilter I found this link where you can generate a similar template if you choose equilateral triangle.However, the steps above works with any isometric grid or template you decide to use.  https://incompetech.com/graphpaper/ (you can generate a template with your desired line color, line weight, sides of the equilateral triangle – I’d recommend a sheet with 0.5″ sides of triangle as in an image above)

And now for the fun part, I found out I could create my own EPP designs using this Isometric grid template. To do the same, simply decide the shape and size you are interested in making your center piece then color that in. Keep coloring other shapes around it to create a design or an “idea” (Note: it does’t matter if you can realistically piece your design or not at this point as you can always change it around) Here are some designs I created using this grid.

hexie-1
This started with the diamond but it also incorporates hexagon and Jewel
Hexie 3.jpg
This design was built around the center Jewel
hexie
The center of this one started with 6 equilateral triangles because I had plans for some fussing cutting but it can also be one big Hexagon
hexie-4
This is the interpretation of the design above, with my attempt at fussing cutting and piecing the center hexagon
star 2.jpg
The center of this was also fussy cut and pieced see below
star-3
I have now completed this but I didn’t take any picture of that
diamond-fusion
This is the design that eventually became my Diamond Fusion Block for the Cloud 9 New Block Hop.
dfusion
You remember this beauty don’t you?

I’m sure you get the point by now and obviously don’t need more photos 🙂 so thanks for stopping by and I hope you find this useful. As always, kindly share your thoughts, ideas and advise in the comment section. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Sola 🙂

P.S: I will update this post with a scanned copy of the isometric grid as soon as I can.

14 Replies to “English Paper Piecing (EPP) : Making your template”

  1. I have never tried EPP, it seems to tedious to me. But your designs are amazing! I also love your tenacity for finding the resources to make it happen when you don’t have access to so many of the tools that make it easy. That’s why quilters are awesome… they just figure it out and get it done.

    1. Thank you Stephanie, EPP is actually tedious. I’m always amazed to see some big and complicated looking EPP quilts posted online…what patience they must have! You are right about Quilters, I think resourcefulness is a prerequisite ?

      On Sep 29, 2016 11:31 PM, “Alice Samuel's Quilt Co.” wrote:

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