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How to use Honeycombs for English Paper Piecing

How to use Honeycombs for English Paper Piecing

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Hello All~
I'm Jessica and this is my first post to The Cutting Table.

I've got a new book out this month on English paper piecing (EPP) called Quilting on the Go and today I'm going to share a little tutorial for how to use the Honeycomb pre-cuts for this ultra-portable hand sewing technique.

English paper piecing is a technique where the fabric patches are first basted to paper templates and then stitched together by hand (I use a whip stitch).  Once all sides of a patch are sewn, the template can be removed and reused.  It's simple and addictive, and can be done almost anywhere.  In my book I explain how to build a travel sewing kit so you can take your quilting with you wherever you go-- doctor's appointments, plane trips, picnics, you get the idea.  With Honeycombs, most of the cutting is done for you, making it even easier to get out the door and start quilting on the go!

A Honeycomb can be cut into the following EPP shapes and sizes:
2" equilateral triangles
2" 60-degree diamonds
1" (short side) kites
2" half hexagons

Depending on the seam allowance you prefer, you can change them up a bit to suit your comfort level.
I happen to be a huge fan of 60 degree diamonds, and if you cut up a Honeycomb, your diamonds come out to exactly 2 5/8" high-- perfect to baste around a 2" template.

So let's cut  some.
First, layer two print Honeycombs.

 Next, place the plastic hexie template (the one that comes with the fabric) so that 1/3 of the hexagon is covered.  Carefully align the corners.

 Here you've got two options-- either draw a line around the template and cut with scissors, or go at it with a rotary cutter (carefully though, a fresh blade can slice through the template plastic)

 Your cut may go a bit further than necessary, but that's not really a big deal.  Slide the cut diamonds out of the way, reposition the template, and cut again.

Now you have 6 cute diamonds, ready to baste to your EPP templates.

 The next step is to secure fabric to your templates with paper clips.

Fold in and baste around the edges with 5 backstitches, taking additional bites of fabric along each side.  Do not stitch through the template paper!

Whipstitch your diamonds into a star!

I'm going to turn these into a pillow.  What can you make with Honeycombs and EPP?

Check out my book and my blog for more pattern ideas, and get ready to stitch outside this summer!