English Paper Piecing ~ A New-to-Me Adventure

English Paper Piecing ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

Every summer, around this time, I start to get the itch. You see, in the summer my kids are desperate to get outside and play. And I can’t blame them ~ when you live somewhere that gets so cold in the winter, you really appreciate the warm weather months. But being outside every day means I’m not in my sewing space every day. I know you all are creative people too, so you understand what I mean when I say I need to do or make something. It’s almost like breathing to me.

So, I’ve decided to take up some hand work. Specifically, to learn english paper piecing. I can work on projects while being outside with the kids, sitting outside at camps, and going on road trips. Everything is small and travels well. Perfect! (I feel like I’m the last blogger in existence to start down this path, but better late than never, right?)

I was never super interested in the hexie craze that happened online over the last several years. I did love the quilts I saw…I just didn’t really feel the urge to make one. But then I found Jodi from Tales of Cloth on Instagram, and I was incredibly inspired. I love the mixing of shapes! (I even ordered one of her Shape Family sets so I can play around with my own designs at home.)

English Paper Piecing ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

So far I’ve made a whole 3 “block” units. But I’m only one day in, so not bad, right? I’m not sure what I’m going to do with these yet, but I’m going to keep going. I am using 1″ hexagons and 1″ 6 point diamond pieces from Paper Pieces. Side note: I guess I didn’t realize just how small 1″ was when I ordered these! It’s small! I also ordered some books – to learn techniques, see patterns, and generally be inspired. These are All Points Patchwork by Diane Gilleland, The New Hexagon by Katja Marek, and Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell (affiliate links).

English Paper Piecing ~ Fresh Lemons Quilts

I plan to have a lot more to share as the summer progresses. Here’s to slow stitching and enjoying the outdoors at the same time!



  1. Reply


    July 8, 2016

    Merci de me faire découvrir ces blocs qui sont très beaux. Bon courage pour la suite. Bonne journée

  2. Reply

    Julie w

    July 8, 2016

    Portability is part of the reason I knit. I’ve seen some lovely EPP out there but haven’t yet gotten my act together enough to try one myself.

  3. Reply

    Melody A.

    July 8, 2016

    Your blocks are just beautiful, they make me want to try it!! Look forward to seeing what you come up with as the summer progresses !

  4. Reply


    July 8, 2016

    I do Alabama Chanin stitching in the garden. At the moment I am sewing a skirt all by hand. This doesn’t need much stuff to carry too.


  5. Reply


    July 8, 2016

    Very pretty! I’ve only worked with hexagons, and have to admit I haven’t done anything with them yet. (Although I did arrange some cutely in a frame for my toddler’s room.) I chuckled reading about your kids’ desire to be outside in the summer. It’s so hot and humid where we are in Texas, we do a lot of indoor activities during the summer, I crave the fall when we want to go outside again!

  6. Reply

    Diane W.

    July 8, 2016

    I started doing EPP this year and it’s so addicting! I sew every night, and am making a basic grandmother’s flower garden baby quilt, which I hope to sell. After that, I’m going to make something more challenging for myself!

  7. Reply

    Bella Malis

    July 8, 2016

    A new cover for the Singer 222 sewing machine case, using the new Robert Kaufman fabric of vintage sewing machine. Right now am guilting the fabric, Bosal, lining. Putting all together before I add the zippers and the construct.

  8. Reply


    July 8, 2016

    I’ve recently decided to give this a go. So funny, I looked at a few sizes of hexies and decided I couldn’t go smaller than 1″ but the bigger ones looked like they might not allow enough variety in fabric for a project. I guess we all use our own yardstick. Good luck.

  9. Reply

    Alice in WV

    July 8, 2016

    Those are gorgeous! English paper piecing is addictive. It’s creative, but the way the pieces go together is very precise and orderly. Here’s some advice: Find a cute lidded basket or container (something with a handle) to keep your EPP project in. Precut enough pieces for several blocks and put them in baggies. Make sure you have needles, thread, small scissors, pin cushion, etc. Have everything you need. Then take it with you wherever you go. I mean, everywhere. Waiting at the doctor’s? Make a few pieces. Waiting for a friend to meet you for lunch? Make a few pieces. Any time you have a few minutes, make a few pieces or sew a couple together. Trust me, you’ll have a stack of completed blocks in no time. (I’ve made all the flowers for a queen-size Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt just waiting for my daughter to finish her piano lessons.) Turns out, we spend an alarming amount of time just… waiting. 🙂

  10. Reply


    July 9, 2016

    Hex a Gogo is a wonderfully inspiring book too, from a few years ago. Modern and fun. Love your fussy cut floating flowers!

  11. Reply


    July 9, 2016

    Love your blocks like the idea of adding the diamonds with the hexies, will have to give this a try I’ve just been making hexie flowers. This could well be my next project for the craft meetings when I need something portable

  12. Reply


    July 9, 2016

    Welcome to your new addiction! EPP has been a constant in my life since I started quilting about 16 years ago. It’s amazing just what you can do with paper and a little fabric. Enjoy the process. I worked for Katja for 14 years. I’ll tell her you bought her book. She will be delighted : )

  13. Reply


    July 9, 2016

    You will be so hooked for this! I have made lots of hexagons but now needed something else and started diamonds. I have seen in IG that Family shape and it’s fantastic! Great books! x Teje

  14. Reply


    July 9, 2016

    I take my hexies everywhere I go. Love it! I won’t some charms in a pack. Had no idea what to do with them. Decided to make 2 1/2 inch hexies which left enough fabric in each charm square to then make a 3/4 inch hexie too. Now they are in little and bigger flowers appliquéd to a plain background for a funky sweet summer runner. Have a great time with your English Paper Piecing adventure.

  15. Reply

    Wendy Rance

    July 9, 2016

    I love EPP. I have just completed a weekend course with Sue Daley from Patchwork with Busy Fingers. She has lots of inspiring you tube tutorials. Have a look at these and her website, you will love them. She also sells Playing with Paper starter packs, which is a great way to collect templates and papers.


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