QuiltCon: English Paper Piecing Class

On Thursday I shared about my first class at QuiltCon. After a one hour dinner break, my second class on the first day was English Paper Piecing with Johanna Masko. Again I ended up in class with a guildmate, which I enjoyed. Our whole table was filled with lovely people. I think we chatted more in this class due to some combination of the late hour and not having sewing machines between us.

Johanna asked us to introduce ourselves and share why we chose to take the class. A number of people before me shared that they love handwork. When it was my turn I promptly shared that I do not like handwork, but that I am at a stage in life where I keep finding myself in places where it would be beneficial to have a handwork project to bring along. I have no grand dreams of queen-sized hexie quilts, but I'm pleased to have added a skill to my repertoire. I'd like to get a hexie kit together to keep in the car for the times that I am a few minutes early to school pickup, or I'm waiting for the kids at a class.

It was a great beginning class, focused on how to English Paper Piece without purchasing specialized templates or tools. Johanna led us in making our own templates and we used the freezer paper method for prepping our hexies before sewing them. I had a little trouble with the freezer paper coming loose and moving around as I was trying to baste them, so I might try paper templates and use wonder clips to keep the edges folded over while I baste. I'm pleased at the progress I made that night. I still need to throw the pile into the car so I'll have them with me when I want them. I'm still just not likely to sit down with handwork at home. (I don't even hand sew my binding most of the time!)


A few more of my favorites from the show. This first one is Samarra Khaja's Candy Dots quilt, from the Minimalist Design category of the show. My photo doesn't adequately illustrate the 3D design of the dots. That lovely shadow on the lower portion of the dots was simply the shadow that the overhead lighting cast from the raised dots. (I missed getting a close-up photo of Samarra's artist statement.)

The next two are from the Michael Miller Glitz challenge. (I showed off another from the challenge in my last post.) First, my friend Tami Levin's Putting on the Glitz. I admired this on IG and then was excited to see it in person at a guild meeting. It was so fun to see it hanging in the show. I just love it. Her design. Her choice of pop colors. Her perfect quilting! Tami's artist statement reads:

The Michael Miller challenge fabrics reminded me of the glitz from Art Deco designs. Keeping that in mind I wanted the overall look to be on pointe. The squares were a bit too static which is why I opted to slash organize sub sections on the diagonal for each block. They were filled with contrasting solids that made me think of trees wrapped in fairy lights during the winter months, thus the surrounding white corner triangles.

This next one is Linked In by Julie Anderson. I really loved the geometric design of the rectangular links. And the quilting was a perfect complement to her design. Julie's artist statement reads:

Linked in... Even before creating the piece I wanted to challenge myself to use a piece from each fabric that was a part of the challenge set.

Linking all the squares and rectangles together before machine appliquéing them to the background.


Giveaway *closed*

I'm sharing some of my goodies from QuiltCon with one of you. I'll draw one winner on March 24th at 1pm PST out of all entries on my five posts about my QuiltCon classes. (This is the second of the five posts.) The drawing is open to everyone. To enter, please comment below and tell me your best EPP tip. If you don't English Paper Piece, share a general quilting tip. Followers can get a second entry by posting a second comment to tell me how you follow me (Bloglovin', Instagram, etc.). Thank you! Thank you to everyone who entered. The winner is Anja of Anja Quilts!

15 thoughts on “QuiltCon: English Paper Piecing Class

  1. Elana Goldberg

    I also have started keeping EPP pieces around with me for on-the-go sewing. I like the glue method and just ordered a gluestick to take with me on the go.
    Thanks for the posting reminding me that I have to keep some colorful fabrics in the bag with my clamshell pieces.

  2. Michelle Eacret

    I've never learned how to English Paper Piece but I too try to keep something I can do by hand in the car for the same reasons as you. I usually keep a small project like a wool applique (candle mat, small wall hanging, etc) that I can do when opportunity comes about. Thank you for sharing your experiences and the goodies you picked up.

  3. I spend many an hour waiting for kids classes to finish, so I always have and EPP project for on the go. My best tip is:GLUE BASTING. what a revelation that was to me.

  4. Lisa

    This is an interesting post. I learned to English paper piece from Johanna Masko a few years ago. She's a great teacher isn't she. I've taken a few classes from Johanna because she is from my neck of the woods. I was also excited to see Samara's quilt was one of your favourites. She is a member of the Toronto Modern Guild as am I.
    When I paper piece, I now use paper templates because I can't be bothered to make my own templates My best tip is to use thread that matches your fabrics as best you can.

  5. Bonnie

    I love EPP! I've made hundreds of those little babies....mostly the 1 inch size. I love to cut my hexie papers with my extra large fiskars paper punch. It cuts perfect little 1 inch hexies. There are two other sizes as well. Hexie on!!

  6. I agree...I don't like handwork, but think it would be good to have a little something for just those moments. I've been learning from a friend. I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. I use plastic paper clips to hold the fabric over the template.

  7. I don't do any EPP and so far I haven't been bitten by the handwork bug, but I loved seeing the hexies on Rebecca Bryan's skirt at QuiltCon, so maybe I'll try some EPP on a limited basis. I wish I'd taken a pic of her in her cute skirt. I don't have to do any waiting for kids, and at other waiting situations, I'm usually getting caught up on texts, iMessages, or getting a little reading in for my women's book group. Since I have the same freebies from QuiltCon, I don't need to be entered into your drawing, but I will offer a quilting tip any way. When I chain piece corners on a square in a square, I will clip units from the back of my sewing machine to keep the assembly line going. That way I can do all the left corners and then immediately start the right corners.

  8. sue godfrey

    I love EPP... Try .... Sorting out a range of beautiful fabric to inspire you. Spend some time prepping, glue baste but not too much. And I have just found Superior Threads bottom line, in the little bobbin thingy which is the best thread I have found as it seems to disappear into the work. Enjoy it x

  9. I just learned to EPP, although I think I'll stick to small projects like pillows or mug rugs ;). I like to cut squares a little bigger--2.75 inches for 1" hexies, instead of 2.5" like usually recommended--and trim off the excess of the back with scissors after basting.


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