Frequently Asked Questions:
What is English Paper Piecing?
English Paper Piecing (EPP), also known as Mosaic Piecing or Mosaic Patchwork, is a method of hand Piecing using paper templates to stabilize fabric. Historically the technique originated in England in the 1700s and was brought to the United States out of popularity and necessity. Fabric is basted to paper shapes using thread or glue and the pieces are then stitched together, most commonly using a whip stitch. It is a precise method, allowing the quilter to create accurate shapes, whether simple or complex!
Though the technique has remained constant, the designs have expanded from patterns constructed from nothing but hexagons, to include diamonds, pentagons, stars, squares and more. The technique has grown from using scrap paper cut by hand to using the precision of machines and technology to produce inexpensive, reusable pieces.
Do I need a Sewing Machine?
No sewing machine needed! Our favorite part of EPP is the portability. Whether it be in a car, a waiting room, traveling on an airplane, or in the living room, Paper Pieces can accompany you anywhere you go.
How do we measure Paper Pieces?
Standard Shapes, like hexagons and diamonds, are measured from point-to-point along an outside edge. This way, you know which shapes will fit next to each other.
Curved Shapes and most Applique Shapes, such as hearts, circles and clam shells, are measured across the width of the shape.
Complete Blocks are measured by the finished block size.
3/8” Seam Allowance or ¼” Seam Allowance?
This is a personal preference. ¼” Seam Allowances allow for slightly less bulk and results in less fabric waste. 3/8” Seam allowance allow for a little more wiggle room while basting and is the preferred choice by many of our customers.
What is a Windowed Template?
A windowed Acrylic Template consists of ONLY the seam allowance. With this template, you can trace both inside and outside of your seam allowance with a fabric pencil, creating a cutting line and a line to place your paper within. This is also the preferred template for Hand Piecing.
Why are some Paper Pieces white and some Paper Pieces tan?
With the growing popularity of our Pieces we have started using unbleached recycled paper as well as bleached recycled paper. They are both the same weight and quality. The only difference is the color. The difference in color does not affect the outcome of the project.
Can I Reuse my Paper Pieces?
Absolutely! Our specialty weight card stock is meant to be reused, whether you are glue basting or thread basting. If the corners, points and edges are still in good condition, you can keep sewing with it.
Thread Baste or Glue Baste?
This is a personal preference and we recommend trying both ways to figure out what works best for you!
Why is my block finishing slightly larger than it's supposed to?
Paper Pieces are produced in a way that they match up to each other EXACTLY. Once you baste your pieces and sew them together, you're adding in seam allowances for each piece. This makes your block slightly larger than it's supposed to finish.
When sewing blocks to one another, you can ease them together to finish at the same size. To do this, put your blocks right sides together and tack each corner. You can tie a knot with your thread, or use notions like Wonder Clips or Sew Tites. Next, you can hold your blocks with a slight curve to it while whip stitching them together.
Remember, when you take out your Paper Pieces, your fabric will relax and fall perfectly into place.