Sunday, 9 September 2012

English Paper Piecing Tips: Curves, Clam shells and Points

 I mentioned sharing some piecing tips from my Summer Medallion quilt (original pattern by Brigitte Giblin).  The centre star and curved scallops were all English paper pieced.  The star was a little tricky as it has a mix of slightly curved and straight edges. These were joined stitching from corner to corner following Brigitte's construction order diagrams.  
I prepped my paper pieces using Sewline glue stick- see here.  I needed to snip the bottom inner curve a little to give it room to stick down.  I did the same on the inner curves on the clam shells.
There was a trio of 2 clam shells and one shield shape for each section.  Here they are all pinned together in their groups of 3- paper clips are very useful for English paper piecing.
The outer scallops needed something extra than just hand sewing from point to point.  I tried this and I couldn't get the inner and outer curves to fit, one was always ending way out of line with the other.  I ended up stitching the top and bottom points of each curve I was piecing and then sewing the seam in between.
It sounds faffy but it saved a lot of time in the end as accuracy is really important in Engish Paper Piecing.
 A whole area of clam shells could be sewn like this but an appliqué technique is often used.  Mary at Molly Flanders has explored different techniques in depth- see here for more
sib blog


  1. "Faffy" made me laugh...I've never heard that one before. You English folk have the funniest expressions!

  2. thanks for the tips - I've often wondered about curves in EPP. They scare me a bit!

  3. I like your needle. Do you know the name? They look like i once bought but now can't find anywhere.
    The tip for the shells is just what I needed :-) thanks

  4. That's helpful! I'm testing out different basting methods and still haven't decided what I like best. I really like the glue pen because it's so quick, but getting the piece out later was tricky. Do you just spray with some water and carefully pull it out?
    Emily V.

  5. Very cool, thanks for the curve tips :o)

  6. Thanks for the curve tips!
    (still a little scared of sewing by hand, though!)

  7. Your EPP is incredible . I really admire the way you have sewn it so neatly . I used a glue stick ( not the same brand as yours ,but it was a fabric one ) then ironed it and it was so difficult to remove the paper afterwards . I won't be ironing it again ,even though it made the fabric so neat and crisp . The mini quilt you received in the swap is beautiful . So nice when you get something made as well as this was !


Thank you for taking the time out to leave your thoughts. Comments no longer come through to my email (a blogger issue I think!) so I'll answer within the comments, or you can email me direct, verykerryberry (at) gmail (dot) com.