As you may have seen on Pinterest or Instagram, English paper-piecing is currently taking the quilting world by storm, and in particular fussy-cut EPP. In this technique, each of the paper shapes are cut from identical areas of a fabric, often creating a kaleidoscope-type pattern.
This technique is often seen with straight edged shapes such as the hexagon or diamond, but I thought this effect would look equally as pretty in curved EPP to create a flower design. In this series of tutorials spread over the next four months, I will show you how to make this beautiful curved EPP cushion, starting with how to fussy-cut your shapes using template plastic, so let’s begin.
To make this 18″ cushion you will need:
- the free download template sheets which you can find in my Shop here.
- one fat quarter of a feature fabric – check that you can get 8 motifs, though these don’t all have to be identical, I went to four identical shapes, then turned the fabric and went for another four slightly different from the first four.
- 4″ x WOF (width of fabric) strip of co-ordinating fabric for the petal shapes
- one fat quarter of background fabric
- two 2.5″ x WOF strips for the binding
- 50cm of fabric and a 22″ zip for your cushion backing and a 20″ cushion pad.
1. Trace your shape onto template plastic, leaving at least 1/4″ around the outside (A).
2. Using a quilter’s ruler – the smaller the better – mark a 1/4″ border around the outside of the shape (B). Then join the dots to create a cutting line.
3. Cut out your shape with paper scissors – NOT fabric scissors – and redraw the inner shape in felt pen so it’s nice and clear (C).
4. Place your template on top of an interesting motif on your fabric (D) – if you want all your shapes to be identical, draw a couple of registration marks to line up on successive shapes – I have drawn around a leaf at the top and the bottom of the clamshell which I can then line up again on the next shape to be cut (E).
5. Draw around the template with a normal pencil (F).
6. To cut out your shapes, rather than cutting from the edge of your fabric, snip into your fabric close to a pencil outline and then cut the shape out. This way you won’t waste any fabric and will be able to get more shapes out of your fat quarter. As you can see in (G) the fabric’s pattern repeat has allowed me to cut four identical shapes in one direction, and four more, slightly different from the first four but identical to each other, in the other direction (H)
7. Next accurately cut out all of your paper shapes using sharp paper scissors. Using your Sewline glue pen, dab a little glue onto one side of your first clamshell and stick it down onto the wrong side of the fabric (I).
8. As you have concave edges, you need to snip your seam allowance to help the fabric curl down into a nice smooth curve. Using sharp fabric scissors cut four or five snips into the fabric stopping about a couple of thread’s width away from the edge of the paper (J).
8. Run a thin layer of glue along the edge of the paper and gently curl the fabric down onto the paper, you may have to hold it in place for a couple of seconds to take hold (K). Continue to stick down the whole left side (L).
9. Repeat with the right side (M). Then glue along the short bottom edge, and then finally around the top curved edge (N). You may find it easier to turn the shape around so you are pushing the fabric away from you to help you get a nice smooth curved without any sharp points, alternatively, you will find it easier to be pulling the fabric towards you, try both and use whichever method is most comfortable until you have a completed basted shape (O). Repeat with the remaining seven clamshells.
10. If you are fussy-cutting your smaller petal shape, then as above, cut out your template from template plastic (P) and cut eight identical shapes. However, if like me, you are not fussy-cutting this shape, you don’t need template plastic, but instead you can go ahead and glue your paper shapes onto the wrong side of your fabric, leaving enough room around each one to cut a ¼” seam allowance (Q).
11. Cut out each of your shapes, then run some glue along the bottom edge, (R) fold the fabric over and down. Then run some glue up one edge (S), gently curl the fabric down to create a nice smooth curve, and finally repeat on the other side of your shape (T) giving you a second basted shape (U). Repeat with the remaining seven petal shapes.
Next month I will show you how to piece these shapes together using a flat back stitch – see you then!