English Paper Piece Basting Around Curves

Here’s a quick and easy way to baste around curves when doing EPP.

Originally posted on April 3, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda

English Paper Piecing (or EPP) has been around many years.  While basting by thread or gluestick is easier on straight lines like the traditional hexagon, other designs, such as the apple core or clamshell are a little trickier.  Here’s Cheryl’s tried and true method for getting smooth curves to connect.

  1. Start with your fabric trimmed to about a scant 1/4 inch from the paper.  When clipping curves, only clip the inside curves.  The top and bottom curves you don’t clip.  Don’t make teeny tiny clips. About 1/4 inch apart is fine.

2. Start your thread basting on the inside curve on the bottom.  Sew each clipped “tab” down.  Pull slightly so the fabric is snug against the inside curve.

3. When you get to the top, fold over the corner and make sure your thread exits so it’s on the backside.  Now you will do a running stitch just through the fabric on the top curve, and not through the paper.  When you get to the other corner, fold it over and insert the needle and thread through the fabric and paper.

4. Pull gently to curl the fabric over the paper and create a smooth line on the top edge.  Continue down the inside curve on the opposite side, and repeat for the bottom curve.

Now you are ready to sew your apple core pieces together!  Once you have your pieces sewn together you may remove the threads and papers and applique them to another surface or leave the edges wavy. These are very small papers (about 1 inch on the curves) but you can do this technique with larger pieces as well.  The same applies tot he outer and inner curves of the clamshell style.  We hope you try this technique!


“Weekly Quilt -Year 4, Week 42 ” by Cheryl Sleboda

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