What is English Paper Piecing? Beginner’s Guide

EPP is the art of hand-sewing small fabric shapes together, wrapped around a paper template to create patchwork patterns. If you don't already know how to English Paper Piece hexagons, follow these easy tutorial b below and try it with our free hexagon templates...

What is English Paper Piecing

Paper piecing has to be one of the most relaxing, addictive and satisfying sewing skills known to man (or woman)! Download our free English Paper Piecing templates and read our Beginners Guide to learn how it’s done…

Download our free English Paper Piecing Patterns

How to make a patchwork pincushion

Once you’ve learned the basics of English Paper Piecing, treat yourself to some slow sewing time and stitch up this lovely patchwork pincushion by Laura Pritchard with our step-by-step tutorial.

Patchwork pincushion tutorial

Total time:

Step 1

Download, print out and cut out our paper hexagon templates. Select a hexagon, pin the paper to the centre of the wrong side of one of your fabric squares.


Step 2

Fold over the right top side of the fabric followed by the top side.

Step 3

Beginning on the folded corner, going from right to left, push the needle through both flaps of fabric but not the paper. Pull the needle through and repeat to make another stitch in the same spot (backstitch).

Step 4

Move to the next corner. Repeat steps 2–3 for the rest of the corners, except the last one. Tuck the final corner in the same direction as the rest. Knot off when the hexie is complete.

What is English Paper Piecing step 1

Step 5

Remove the centre pin and press the hexie with a dry iron, but don’t remove the paper. Repeat steps 1–5 to make as many hexagons as your require.

Step 6

To join hexies, place two hexies right sides together and whipstitch along one edge, stitching both hexies together. Knot off when you reach the end of a hexie edge. Repeat until all necessary edges are attached.

What is English Paper Piecing step 2

Once your hexes are complete you can remove the paper pieces gently from inside each one to leave perfectly-hand-pieced patchwork!

English Paper Piecing Hexagons

Sew a starter set of hexagons and add them to a simple folded felt needlecase to practise your english paper piecing skills. It’s a cute gift idea for friends who love to sew too.