Today I’d like to share how to baste a hexie paper template for English Paper Piecing (EPP). EPP is a really fun way to make quilts. It’s when paper templates are used to create shapes that fit together to make a quilt top. Hexagons are used extensively, but other shapes can be used too.
The paper templates can be used to create design motifs, especially when different shapes and sizes are used. The Kaliedoscope Quilt used five different shapes, although I used a different piecing method for that quilt, it could have been made with EPP.
The templates can be made with cardstock cut to size, or purchased. The next step is to baste them. This requires a piece of fabric that is larger than the paper template by at least 3/8″ on each side for the seam allowance. For my tutorial, I’m using a half-inch hexie with a 1 1/2″ square of fabric.
This does give me extra fabric on the backside of the template when I’m finished, but doesn’t seem to affect the quilt negatively otherwise. You can use a WonderClip, or a small amount of fabric glue, to hold the paper template in place while basting.
To baste a hexie, fold the fabric over two adjoining edges of the hexie template, and finger press in place. Using a threaded needle, make a stitch to hold this corner together without going through the paper. Then turn the template in your hand counterclockwise, holding everything in place. Fold the fabric over the next edge, and take another stitch. Continue around the hexie template folding each edge over the previous one, using one stitch to hold each corner in place.
After all the corners are basted, take a small stitch in the seam allowance to keep it in place. Now it is ready to sew together with other hexies!
Here’s a video tutorial on how I baste my hexies. Do you sew hexie quilts? Is this how you baste your hexies? What is your favorite size to work with? I feel like once you find your favorite size, it becomes a lot more fun and easier to follow through on a larger project.
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