November 15, 2016

Fussy Cutting Fabric for English Paper Piecing + Giveaway

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Vol. 14 Blog Tour is this week and I'm honored to have a block, Hexie Flower Basket, included in this issue.

My official stop on the blog tour is tomorrow where I will share my block which includes a fussy cut hexagon flower.  But, today I am sharing with you how I fussy cut fabric for English Paper Piecing or EPP (hexagons in particular) using acrylic templates by Paper Pieces who is generously sponsoring the giveaway!



Let's get started!  Here's a list of supplies you will need:


Supplies to aid in fussy cutting shapes for English Paper Piecing


Choosing your Fabric

First determine the desired motif you would like to showcase on your English Paper Piecing shapes.  Audition the motif by placing the clear acrylic template over the fabric.  Be sure you are able to cut the desired number of shapes from your fabric.  I had a only a fat quarter of Hang It Up in Grape from Macrame by Rashida Coleman-Hale was able to cut six of the same motif.

Note:  The acrylic templates are available with either a 1/4" or 3/8" seam allowance.  I like the 3/8" seam allowance unless I working with really small templates such as the 3/8" hexagons I used when making Rainbow Hexie Flower Mini mini quilt measuring 4" square.

Paper Pieces acrylic hexagon template with 3/8" seam allowance

Preparing the Acrylic Fabric Cutting Template

Place the acrylic template on your fabric over the motif  and, using the sharpie marker, draw the basic outline of the motif onto the template.  Mark any reference points which will aid in aligning the template with the motif. In the below picture, I outlined the basket, rope on the basket, pink beads and the outer leaves on the plant.

Lift the template and place pieces of double-sided tape on the opposite side of the template on which you just outlined your motif.  The tape will keep the template from slipping.  Keep in mind, not all double-sided tapes are of the same quality at the Scotch brand.  I have tried some from dollar stores which do not work as well.

Cutting Out the Shapes

Using your rotary cutter, cut out around the template.  Try not to cut too far beyond your template, you might want to cut out a motif near by for your next set of motifs.  I find it easier to lift the fabric rather than the template to be sure you have cut all the way around.


Carefully peel the fabric away from the template and set aside.  Repeat the cutting process until you have the desired number of shapes cut out. The tape really helps hold the fabric in place when cutting out and stays tacky for a long time.  Below are the cut out shapes and the acrylic template with the drawn reference marks.
Cut out hexagons and acrylic template

Gluing the Paper Pieces

Using a glue stick, place one small dot of glue on the Paper Piece and center it on your cut out shape. I baste my hexies from the back rather than sewing through the paper and fabric and find just a small dot to glue will keep the paper in place while basting and can easily be pulled out later.

Paper Pieces glued to the fabric shapes

Basting and Sewing the Paper Pieces

Since I was focusing on fussy cutting the fabric, I found this great tutorial by Diane Gilleland on Sew Mama Sew which shows you have to baste and sew the hexies.

Here are my hexies all basted.
Basted hexies ready to sew together into a flower

And here is the hexie flower from the back.

Hexagons sewn into a flower, a back view

And the hexie flower from the front.

Hexie flower

Alternate Method Without Marking the Template 

It was necessary to draw on the template in order to position it because the motifs were completely surrounded by the background.  If you have a fabric where the design goes to edge of the template, it's not always necessary to draw on the template.  The fabric can be your guide.

This bilaterally symmetrical fabric, Lazy Stripe from True Colors by Tula Pink, was one where I didn't need to mark the template.  I positioned the template over the desired area a cut out the shape.

This is where the method differs from above.  After cutting the first shape, do no remove the cut shape from the template.

Hexagon shape cut from Tula Pink fabric
Instead, move the template with the fabric still adhered to the next area and cut out another shape.  Set aside the second shape cut.  Repeat until you have cut out the desired number of shapes.  The first shape you cut will remain adhered to the template until all are cut.

The first hexagon is still attached to the template allowing for perfect placement for the next cut.
Here are the hexies ready to to sewn together.  It looks as though the pattern will match perfectly.  I still need to choose a fabric for the flower center.

Hexagons made from Lazy Stripe from True Colors by Tula Pink

Here is a quilt show ribbon I made using this method.  The petal fabric is Rainbow Rick Rac (6542) from Patio Prints by Kanvas Studios.

Quilt show ribbon made from fussy cut hexagons

Cleaning the Templates

When the double-sided tape is no longer sticky, I peel away the tape and clean it with Goo Gone to remove the residue.  Alcohol will remove the sharpie markings from the template.


The next time you fussy cut your fabric when English Paper Piecing, I hope you will try my method using Paper Pieces Acrylic Fabric Cutting Templates and double-sided tape.

I recommend signing up for their newsletter which always includes a great sale just for email subscribers.  Scroll down to the very bottom of the webpage and just under the Newsletter box click...Join our email.

Now on to the Giveaway!  

Paper Pieces is generously giving away to one lucky person...



The giveaway will be shipped directly from Paper Pieces and is open to everyone worldwide!

How to enter:

1. Leave a comment letting me know if you have tried English Paper Piecing.  And if you have tried EPP, what's your favorite shape?

2. Followers, old and new alike, get a bonus entry.  Leave a second comment and let me know how you follow - such as BloglovinInstagram or Email.

The giveaway will run through Tuesday, November 22nd and close at 8pm. (Giveaway now closed and winner contacted. Thank you for commenting!)  I normally respond to every comment received, but during the giveaway the volume may be to large for me to do so. Please leave your e-mail address so I have a way of contacting you if you are a no-reply blogger.




Please stop back by tomorrow (Nov. 16) for my stop on the 100 Blocks Vol. 14 Blog Tour where you can comment to win copies of 100 Blocks Vol. 14.  And be sure to visit Quiltmaker's blog, Quilty Pleasures, all this week to see beautiful blocks by talented designers and enter to win some fantastic prizes!

Linking to Tips and Tutorials Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday and Let's Bee Social.





128 comments :

  1. Your fussy cutting is perfect Paige ! I've never tried EPP but that would be a nice opportunity ;-) Thank you for the tutorial and the giveaway !

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  2. I'm following you with Blogger. Thanks again for the chance to win !

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  3. What an innovative idea, and it makes the cutting perfect every time. I haven't sewn hexagons before , but would like to give it a go.Super tutorial and wonderful give-away.

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  4. I follow you with blogger, you are on my friends list on my blog, so I see your new posts so easily.

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  5. I have tried the Hexies but only a couple. This would motivate me for sure.

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  6. I have never tried EPP. I have wanted to but the small pieces scare me.
    patsystitch@gvtc.com

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  7. I follow you by bloglovin.
    patsystitch@gvtc.com

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  8. I would love to try EPP! Thank you for the tutorial!

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  9. Thanks for your tips on fussy cutting; I'm sure they'll be helpful. I have done a bit of EPP and do enjoy it.

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  10. I follow you via Bloglovin'. Thanks for another great tutorial.

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  11. Thank you! I needed this! I love doing hexagons, but haven't tried fussy cutting the shapes yet. Think I need those templates.

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  12. I have tried English Paper Piecing, and love it. I love the hexagon shape, because that is the only one I have used. It is so relaxing to sit and do this, that I definitely need to do another project.

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  13. I have never done EPP. During our guild meetings there is always someone sewing hexies together. I'll have to try it as soon as they have a class.

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  14. I've tried EPP and really enjoy it but I've yet to try fussycutting. This looks like a really neat way of doing it.

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  15. I tried EPP many years ago. That UFO is packed away somewhere. It's pastel pink and green. Reading your blog post has inspired me to dig it out, gather some new tools and work on it again. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  16. I do love EPP! The hexie is a good one, but I love mixing and matching shapes. Thank you for such a great tutorial! I never would have known about the double sided tape trick! So clever Paige!

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  17. I have not EPP, but on my list to do. I have a quilt kit ready to start! Love the fussy cut idea!

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  18. I follow on bloglovin
    quilting lady 2 at Comcast dot net

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  19. No I have not tried EPP yet. It is on my to do list though.
    quilting lady 2 at Comcast dot net

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  20. These are fantastic tips, Paige, thank you so much for sharing them! I love the idea of tracing elements on the template AND using the fabric as a template. This is easy to follow and I'm sure will be a tutorial many people reference (so don't forget to pin these tips to Pinterest!). Thanks for linking up!

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  21. Paige that is the tidiest hexie flower I've ever seen! (the purple one, from the back). And I've never before seen the second way of matching repeats, so thanks for sharing that one.

    As for me, I do like EPP but I've only done hexies and pentagons.

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  22. And I follow you through feedly! thanks very much.

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  23. I enjoy EPP, but I've only ever tried hexies. I appreciate your tutorial - fussy cutting has been a challenge for me.
    ~EA

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  24. I also follow you on Instagram and Feedly.
    ~EA

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  25. I got started doing the EPP while reading Bonnie Hunter's blog, and traveling. It's a great portable project.

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  26. That was genius with the double sided tape!! I could have used that tip when I made my black and white with a pop of color challenge quilt! I used the jewel template and paper pieces which I love!! Thanks for this!

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  27. I've taken an EPP class and purchased a bag of hexagons from Paper Pieces when I visited
    Paducah. I haven't progressed beyond the purchase yet but hope to soon! Would love to win!
    cathylouwilson@gmail.com

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  28. I follow you on Bloglovin. Thanks for the double sided tape tip!
    cathylouwilson@gmail.com

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  29. Hi and thank you for tips and the give away! I love epp and hexagons are my favourites even I like the diamonds, too. I would like to do more fussy cutting. x Teje
    nerospost(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. Thank You for the opportunity and the give away. The hexagon shape is my first love by EPP and this shape is still my favorite.

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  31. Your fussy cutting tutorial is perfect, I was always wondering how to get EPP patterns to line up perfectly!

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  32. You know I follow your wonderful blog :) (via e-mail)

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  33. Awesome tutorial - really makes EPP look attainable! When I tried it I cut my own papers - that template would have made it so much easier! mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  34. I follow your blog by email! 😘 mumbird3(at)gmail(dot)com

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  35. I made a twin sized I Spy quilt using 2 inch hexies which were all fussy cut and 2 inch triangles. Now I am EPP a six pointed star that will be separated by 2 inch hexies. I am not doing any fussy cutting for it. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

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  36. I am one of your followers. Nancy A: rangerer@sbcglobal.net

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  37. I keep thinking I'm going to try EPP, but I'm a bit intimidated. I have started doing some hand embroidery and maybe I'll work my way into it ;)

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  38. I haven't tried paper piecing, but would love to! So many fun fabrics to try it with!

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  39. I have tried EPP but have only made hexagons, so I guess that would be my favorite shape! :)

    Sandy A

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  40. I haven't yet done EPPbut it's on my list to do. You've made matching the hexi's look very easy. Thanks for showing me how you did it. You do very good work. kthurn(at)bektel(dot)com

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  41. I follow you by email. kthurn(at)bektel(dot)com

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  42. I've never tried EPP, but I love hand needlework.

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  43. Ich liebe EPP und bin begeistert von Ihrem Tutorial, am liebsten nähe ich die Hexagone und die Drachen!

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  44. Ich folge Ihnen auf Instagram!

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  45. Your EPP is really crisp. I've tried EPP, but I have a hard time basting. I assume using the glue stick would make it easier, I'll have to invest in one! [vvv.quilts@gmail.com]

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  46. I've been following you on Instagram @vevivicky and am now following via Bloglovin', too! [vvv.quilts@gmail.com]

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  47. I've tried EPP a few times but never the fussy cutting (which yours is fantastic). I have a hard time sewing them together. Can you tell me what type, brand of needle you use when you sew them together. My stitches always seem to show so much. I'm going to try this method soon. Thanks, grinnie1961 at gmail dot com

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  48. Just found your blog today. New follower on Bloglovin' and IG. thanks, grinnie1961 at gmail dot com

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  49. Great tutorial on the fussy cutting for hexies! Thanks. I haven't made any before but am getting closer to doing it. =)

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  50. I have tried and I liked it. I used hexies and it was fun. tljeo at yahoo dot com

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  51. I get your newsletter. tljeo at yahoo dot com

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  52. I tried EPP at a guild meeting once. It was fun, and I should try to take it up so that I have an "on the go" project". My favorite is the hexis. thanks! cknapp3626(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  53. I follow you by email. cknapp3626(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

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  54. I love EPP and hexies are my favourite shape :) Congratulations on having a block in 100 Blocks! Your tutorial is very well done.

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  55. At last, something I've done! I took a workshop last year on the "Patchwork of the Crosses" block--and got obsessed for a while. Of course, this uses the oblong hexie shape, but I've also used the "normal" shape as well for quite a few blocks, but as yet have not put anything together as a finished project. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  56. I haven't tried paper piecing yet but your tutorial on fussy cutting has me anxious to try it. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  57. I follow you on Bloglovin. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  58. That Rainbow Ric Rac star flower is awesome! I have tried EPP with hexagons, and it turns out that the hexie bug bites pretty hard! ;P I especially like working with fussy cut ones, so thank you for the chance to win!

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  59. I enjoyed the early release of your block and how you did your fussy cutting, very helpful. I have done several small quilts with hexagons, even made a name tag for my bee, using bee fabric! And hexagons are my favorite, so I could use your giveaway. Kathy in Colo repzjratplainsdotnet

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  60. I enjoy your email blog that you send out, I could see your frustration with the too light background, as up close it was great. kathy in colo repzjratplainsdotnet

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  61. Great job on the paper piecing. I've made hexagons for a grandmothers flower garden and now I'm working on patchwork of the crosses, which has elongated hexies and squares. I don't really have a favorite shape because I haven't tried enough shapes.

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  62. I love EPP and have made hexies using this method.

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  63. I haven't tried EPP..but would love to learn! LOVE Hexie's...but have been afraid to try I guess :/

    Thank you for chance to win your Give-a-way too...

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  64. I follow you thru Email & Bloglovin :)

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  65. I have never made a basket block before - Congrats on such a great block!

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  66. Thank you for the great tutorial on fussy cutting! I love EPP and hexies!

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  67. I have done paper piecing using old Xmas cards, but my hexagons arent always symmetrical. I could really use those cards!

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  68. I love EPP and Paper Pieces, too! I am about to complete my second totally EPP quilt--this one a Millefiore (from The New Hexagon QAL). I am a work in progress for fussy cutting but have done a little. EPP is always with me when riding in the car--makes use of the time and distracts me from traffic! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  69. Found you via Quiltmaker on your blog, looks great, I'll be back.
    Paminminn@gmail.com

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  70. Thanks for sharing your design process - it's helpful to read through your thought process.
    paminminn@gmail.com

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  71. I have done some EPP. Just with Hexies.

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  72. I follow you by email. Thanks for the fussy cutting for EPP tutorial.

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  73. I haven't tried English Paper Piecing yet. I need to learn this skill!
    nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

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  74. Bloglovin follower: Nicole Sender & new e-mail subscriber.
    nikilsend(at)outlook(dot)com

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  75. I am addicted to EPP! Currently working on the cover quilt from Hands of Scraps by Edyta Sitar. Also, have Lucy Boston quilt started. pepperto@wowway.com

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  76. Blogloving works for me. Thanks.

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  77. I love your two sided tape tip for fussy cutting. What a great way to get accurate results. Thanks! I have been doing EPP for three years now.started with Sue Daley's "This and That."

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  78. I am doing Katjaa Mareks quilt along and am enjoying them very much. I have the same macrame fabric in teal and have used it for fussy cutting. Thanks for the chance to win.

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  79. Love your tutorial! Thanks!! Just started paper piecing and look forward to trying new shapes.

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  80. I am using half hexagons for my currrent EPP project. I have used hexagons and done a Patchwork of the crosses with honeycomb and squares.

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  81. I've done a little EPP- started with Katja Marek's New Hexagon and now I'm exploring more traditional shapes, like the basic hexagon and honeycomb. I LOVE fussy cutting. Your tutorial above is great- one of the best I've seen. Thanks!

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  82. I'm following you and Paperpieces on Instagram.

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  83. First time reading this blog and found it informational and inspiring to get started on EPP.

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  84. Great tutorial Paige. I have tried paper piecing but not for a while, I like the traditional hexagon best.

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  85. My favorite EEP is a 1" hexie and I love to fussy cut. Just found your blog and love your very informative post on fussy cutting...

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  86. I Love English Paper Piecing. I will have to say that the hexie is my favorite

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  87. My favorite technique is EPP...what is my favorite shape? I have to say one inch hexies as it is my go to size!!! I love 5/16ths inch at the moment for one current r-w-b project...Jess at Paper pieces.com is AwesomE!!!! I must say this tute is awesome and the best I have seen for fussy cutting! thank you for sharing it

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  88. I didnt know of you till this very minute..I am now following you via bloglovin'...THANK YOU PAPER PIECES!!!!!

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  89. I have always been too intimidated to try EPP, but I love the look of your fussy cut hexies! I'd love to win and try my hand at one.

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  90. No I've never tried EPP, but I should try, as I sit at lots of soccer practices! thanks, Cathy cjcwatkins@gmail.com

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  91. I've yet to make any EPP blocks but I'm dying to do so.

    GeezBEES75 at Gmail dot com

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  92. I've yet to make any EPP blocks but I'm dying to do so.

    GeezBEES75 at Gmail dot com

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  93. I have tried some EPP and I do like the Paper Piece templates.
    I am excited to try the fussy cut hexies!
    snicolas1@gmail.com

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  94. never tried paper piecing hexies before

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  95. I have done some e.p.p. I've done hexagons but now I'm working on diamonds, which I really like.

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  96. I follow you on bloglovin although I seem to have missed some posts.

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  97. I just started EPP with Katje Marek's "Blocks on the Go for Quilts on the Grow" and so far I love the hexies best! Thanks so much for this fabulous tutorial on fussy-cutting!!

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  98. I just started following you through Feedly :)

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  99. I love EPp but I always stitch baste my hexies . I have never used the fabric hexie as a template for precision cutting , great tip

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  100. Great way to fussy cut for EPP! I have done some EPP, but only hexies so far
    Yevonne
    sewfaithfully at hotmail dot com

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  101. I follow you on FB, IG, and bloglovin
    Yevonne
    Sewfaithfully at hotmail dot com

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  102. I love EPP. My favourite shape would be hexagons.

    sharoneujones@gmail.com

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    1. I follow you via email

      sharoneujones@gmail.com

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  103. Thanks for sharing your process. I have tried hexie EPP, but I have recently cut out some diamond shapes to give them a try. Love your fabric choices.

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  104. Thanks for the great information. I haven't done any EPP yet but would love to make a small hexie quilt sometime. I can just imagine fussy cutting some Kaffe fabrics to make a rosette.

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