8 Fast Ways To Use Inklingo For English Paper Piecing


English Paper Piecing is an art and a skill. We discuss 8 fast ways to make English paper piecing more accurate, fun, and easy. Read the tips now.

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8 Fast Ways To Use Inklingo For English Paper Piecing

Did you know that quilters who are devoted to English Paper Piecing (EPP) use Inklingo too?

Inklingo has significant advantages even if you are sewing with whip-stitches over templates.

There are at least 8 good ways to use Inklingo for English Paper Piecing.Often when quilters print shapes on fabric with Inklingo for the first time, they are surprised how much easier, faster and more precise it is to sew with a running stitch than to sew with whip-stitches over papers, but some will always prefer EPP.

The more you know about English Paper Piecing and Inklingo, the easier it is to choose the best technique to learn—and the best technique to teach.

Dawn says: Inklingo is so versatile, I think every EPP’er should try it.

Inkjet Printer For Inklingo


1. TO MAKE PAPER TEMPLATES (shapes without seam allowances)

From the beginning, every Inklingo shape collection has included layouts of shapes without seam allowances.

Make Paper Templates



When you print your own templates, you choose your own template material depending on (a) how stiff you like it to be and (b) your preferred basting and sewing method, plus:

  • instant access
  • no shipping costs
  • no waiting for deliveries
  • never run short of templates
  • save money

Print the shapes without seam allowances onto paper, freezer paper or cardstock. Staple the printed sheet with 4 or 5 unprinted, so you can accurately rotary cut several layers at a time. I position the staples so I don't have to remove them (above) and cut 100 or more templates with one printed sheet. There are illustrated tips in these links.

Back to the fifties? Or 2014?
  • Should you draw your templates and cut with scissors the way Lucy Boston did?
  • Should you print your templates with Inklingo and rotary cut several layers at a time?
  • Should you buy pre-cut papers?
  • Should you skip the templates and print on fabric instead?


Lucy Boston learned to sew by mending old quilts. She had none of the advantages we have today. She drew the hexagons for Patchwork of the Crosses on Basildon Bond writing paper and cut them out with scissors, but I'm sure she would not mind if you print your own templates or use a rotary cutter.

Lucy Boston lived to be 98 and was very creative in her old age, but it makes me sad to think how many more quilt masterpieces she could have created if she had had a rotary cutter, Inklingo, and the best selection of cotton fabric in the whole history of the world—advantages we take for granted today.

Lucy Boston - Patchwork of the Crosses


The brilliance of Lucy Boston was in the way she used the designs in the fabric, not her sewing method.

I included instructions for EPP because that was the method Lucy Boston used, but it is the slowest, most difficult method in the book.


2. TO CUT THE FABRIC SHAPES (shapes with seam allowances)

At first glance it may seem silly to print AND baste because we don't need the sewing line on the fabric for EPP. However, there are huge advantages to printing shapes on fabric even if you intend to baste and whip-stitch.

Cut The Fabric Shapes



Save fabric and save time! Inklingo uses the fabric very efficiently and you can cut several layers at a time. It is much faster and easier than rotary cutting around individual templates. It doesn't waste fabric because there is a variety of layouts to suit every situation (above).

How? "Layer to Cut"

Print one sheet of fabric with the shapes with seam allowances, layer with unprinted sheets of fabric and rotary cut several layers at a time! There is a lesson on the All About Inklingo blog which includes my best tips and video!

Some of the shapes have sewing lines and some don't but the sewing lines are not required when you baste to papers for EPP.  

Many times when quilters print their first shapes on fabric they see how much easier it is than they imagined and they stop basting and whip-stitching and start sewing with a running stitch. That's fine too. (See # 6 below.)



Inklingo also helps quilters who want to fussy cut shapes for EPP. There are two methods.

  1. Fussy cutting with freezer paper templates. (See # 1 above.) This is the traditional method. You decide on each motif individually and make Swiss cheese of the fabric.
  2. Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting. This method is similar to Stack n Whack™ because the identical designs in each shape are random. Each is a little surprise.
Fussy Cut The Fabric


With the right fabric, Inklingo No Waste Fussy Cutting is the best method. Lesson on QuiltingHub: /Articles/ArticleID/202 There is a short video with tips for choosing fabric for POTC on the Main Lucy Boston Page. Preview the fabric with a window template as described in # 4 below.


Save fabric and save time and get unusual, surprising effects!


How? "Layer to Cut" Again!

Print one sheet of fabric, layer with identical sheets of fabric (unprinted) and rotary cut several layers at a time.

This is similar to # 2 above, but in this case the sheets of fabric are cut so the design in the fabric of the unprinted sheets is identical to the design in the fabric of the printed sheet. Just like Stack n Whack™, One Block Wonder, and other Kaleidoscope techniques, the design in each shape is random, but you get identical sets.

POTC hand piecing with Inklingo



EPPers can print the shapes on paper to make window templates to preview fabrics in their stash or at a quilt shop instead of using acrylic.

Preview The Fabric With Window Templates



You can print an unlimited number of pages for window templates, so you are not limited to previewing one fabric or one area at a time. Downloading and printing with Inklingo is probably better for the planet than manufacturing and shipping more acrylic too.


Print and cut. Easy peasy. I like to carry my window templates in a plastic sheet protector.



The Inklingo Catalogue of Shapes in each shape collection shows EPPers how much fabric they need. Everyone needs that info no matter which sewing method is used.

Decide How Much Fabric To Buy



The diagrams make it easier to decide how much to buy, or to see if a tiny scrap in your stash is big enough for 4 or 8 hexies or other shapes.

Inklingo often uses less fabric than cutting with templates, and there is a choice of layouts for rotary cutting or scissors cutting.

When you start your quilt you can be confident that you will have enough fabric to finish.  http://www.lindafranz.com/blog/wednesday-tute-21-english-paper-piecing-07/


Monkey's Cheat Sheet is a great way to stay organized.



Quilters often switch from whip-stitching to a running stitch in the middle of a project to save it from becoming another UFO. Finish in the amount of time you want to spend making a quilt!



Patchwork Of The Crosses Examples



Quilters who start with good intentions cannot always finish with EPP for a variety of reasons:

  • Some quilters become discouraged with extremely slow progress---especially if they see other quilters finishing 3 or 4 beautiful POTC blocks with a running stitch in the time it takes to prepare and sew one with EPP.
  • Some quilters experience pain if English Paper Piecing puts too much strain on their wrists and hands. Many quilters find the rhythm of a running stitch more relaxing and easier on their joints.
  • Some quilters have problems rotary cutting because of bad knees or arthritis or carpal tunnel, so they don't get the benefit of acrylic templates. They can use scissors to cut if they print lines on fabric with Inklingo—and keep the project alive!
  • Some quilters dislike seeing stitches on the front or have difficulty getting precise intersections with EPP. Sewing with a running stitch is more precise and the stitches are hidden in the seam.

All our best tips are in the free English Paper Piecing Rescue PDF under the Hand Piecing tab on the Inklingo website.

It doesn't have to take years and the patience of a saint to make a quilt like Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses! Inklingo makes it possible to finish a quilt which was started with EPP.




Quilters can never have too many designs!


300 Pieced Hexagons is a good example!

Create Original New Designs



The website for Inklingo and the All About Inklingo blog are separate sites but both are great resources for quilters who enjoy whip-stitching or a running stitch.

Learn From Inklingo Support And Tutorials


There is a list of tutorials for English Paper Piecing on the Inklingo website under the Hand Piecing tab.
There are many other tutorials listed on the All About Inklingo blog. (Top Ten Tutes)
Castle Wall Tutorials are listed on the Main Castle Wall Page.

Patchwork Of The Crosses Example



  1. To make paper templates (shapes without seam allowances)
  2. To cut the fabric shapes (shapes with seam allowances)
  3. To fussy cut the fabric
  4. To preview fabric with window templates
  5. To decide how much fabric to buy
  6. To rescue an English Paper Piecing UFO
  7. To create original designs
  8. To learn from Inklingo support and tutorials

You might think of even more.

Inklingo is converting quilters from EPP to a running stitch one quilter at a time. In the meantime, quilters who love whip-stitching are benefiting from Inklingo too!



Ask your guild or local shop to provide Inklingo classes!

Shops and teachers can make significantly more money introducing quilters to Inklingo than they can by selling pre-cut papers and acrylic templates, so they will thank you for the suggestion. The Inklingo Affiliate Program (free) ensures that EVERYONE benefits from Inklingo, even if Inklingo is just mentioned as an optional method.   

Inklingo Classes



  1. See more of Joan's POTC blocks in the Inklingo Yahoo Group. https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Inklingo/info
  2. See one or two photos on the Inklingo Facebook page every day. https://www.facebook.com/inklingo
  3. Search for Franz or Inklingo to find more articles on QuiltingHub. This one explains how to print on fabric—jam free, /Articles/ArticleID/178

and there are more to come.

If you enjoyed this article, please log in and “rate” it. Thank you for visiting Inklingo on QuiltingHub!

Patchwork Of The Crosses Example


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A temporary method of holding the quilt Sandwich layers together while you finish assembling it. This can be conducted using Basting Sprays, pins, clips or temporary stitching called a Tacking Stitch or Basting Stitch.
The basic unit of a quilt top, usually square but can be rectangular or other shapes. Blocks can be pieced, appliqued or plain.
English Paper Piecing
A method of hand piecing where paper templates are used inside the block elements to guide where the edges are turned under and templates are removed. Baby Blocks, Grandmother's Flower Garden and other non-square shapes are often pieced this way.

See Also: Assembly Piecing, Machine Piecing, Chain Piecing, Paper Piecing, Hand Piecing, Piecing
Fussy Cut
The cutting out of specific areas of a fabric to use the image or motif on the fabric. Often used to isolate animals, flowers, etc from a Conversation Print or Novelty Print fabric. A template may be used to cut out many images to be the same size for use in a block. Because the remaining fabric then looks like Swiss cheese, it is wasteful of fabric.
Hand Piecing
When you sew all of the patches in a quilt top together by hand, not using a sewing machine.

See Also: English Paper Piecing, Assembly Piecing, Machine Piecing, Chain Piecing, Paper Piecing, Piecing
A quilt block pattern that is pieced so it looks like an image seen through a kaleidoscope.
A decorative applique design or figure, as of lace or velvet, used in trimming.
Rotary Cutter
A very sharp tool that looks like a pizza wheel which is capable of cutting through multiple layers of fabric.
Running Stitch
A hand needlework technique in which the needle accumulates several stitches on it before needle and thread are drawn through the cloth. The running stitch is used in both piecing and quilting.
An easy way to create quilt blocks with unique kaleidoscope designs. These designs require a set of identical pieces cut from a print fabric. Rather than finding and cutting each piece individually, a quilter can cut and layer a number of large, identical print rectangles to make a stack.

Same As: Stack-n-Whack, Whack
A quilter's personal collection of fabrics. Buying more fabric is adding to your stash.
Pattern pieces made out of paper, cardboard, plastic or metal, giving you something to draw around so that you can accurately replicate any shape.
Linda Franz

Linda Franz is the inventor of the amazing brand of Inklingo. It has revolutionized piecing and accuracy for the entire industry. Check out her brand page by clicking Inklingo

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