You can get the papers in a number of different ways.
First up, you can just buy them! Yes, a quick search on the internet for “English paper piecing papers” should yield results. These ready-cut papers are obviously very convenient. You’ll need quite a few depending on your project, but you can of course remove and reuse them as you work.
I often draft my own master template. This enables me to have just the size of shape that I need for the project, and of course, it’s the cheapest option too.
To do this, all you need is some isometric graph paper. You can buy this in pads from stationery shops or online, but you can also find free printable sheets on the internet. Just do an internet search and you’ll find lots.
I love English paper piecing because you can accurately work designs with quite small and intricate patterns. The accuracy comes not from the cutting of the fabric, or the sewing (well maybe a little!), but mainly from the paper shape that forms the template for the patchwork. The papers are basted to the fabric and then the shapes are oversewn together. If you’re not familiar with the technique, do check out our free video workshop, Introduction to English Paper Piecing.
You can of course cut your own papers. You’ll need an accurate template to work from as your master. Commercially available templates are available online and from quilt shops. I’ve got this set of plastic template shapes. Some of mine are a ‘window’ type of template. You draw within the window for marking the paper shapes, and then you can mark on the outside of the ‘window frame’ for your fabric cutting line.
One of the advantages of these clear plastic, or window type templates is that you can position your shape exactly on the fabric. This is useful if you are fussy cutting from a print to isolate a motif for your piecing, or for kaleidoscope type effects.
Using the isometric paper as a guide, accurately draw the shape you need using a ruler and fine pen. Glue the paper to thin card (I like to recycle a cereal box or something similar) and cut it out carefully. Be sure to be accurate at this master template making stage, your whole project depends on it!
With your master card template shape made, you can now draw around it onto paper or thin card to make the papers that you’ll baste your fabrics to.
We hope you’ll be inspired to find out more about English paper piecing and the exciting creative potential that it offers. We’ve picked out a selection of our workshops and mini courses for you below. As with all our classes, you’ll have instant, lifetime access to the videos and you can watch them as many times as you like. Click on any of the images below for more information and to get started!