English Paper Piecing & La Passacaglia

English Paper Piecing (EPP) is the method of creating a quilt top by wrapping fabric over sturdy pieces of paper and basting the fabric to the piece with thread or fabric glue. You then sew the pieces together by hand.

Hand sewing is my preferred method of sewing. I think I am probably in the minority of sewers, but I really love working the needle through fabric. Before I started quilting, I spent years (decades 😉 ) doing cross stitch and embroidery. I’ve done Cathedral Window Quilts and English Paper Piecing such as Grandmother’s Flower Garden. I enjoy being able to sit in front of the television and stitch.

I also really love the fact that I can take my project with me. I have worked on paper piecing projects at the doctor’s office, the hospital, in the school pickup line, baseball practices, play rehearsals, while on conference calls…. the list goes on and on!

Last fall I started looking for new English paper piecing patterns and came upon an absolutely amazing quilt pattern. It was a pattern called La Passacaglia by Willyne Hammerstein. Willyne, a quilter from the Netherlands, created a book of quilt patterns she named Millefiori Quilts. She was inspired by the tiling designs of an English mathematician named Mr. Penrose who worked on stars, cosmos, and geometric design.

The designs in this book are extraordinary. She has since published three additional books that are also amazing. I have several patterns from her other books already planned.

When I was researching this pattern, I found a Facebook page for quilters who were working on Millefiori quilts. The administrators of the group explained that it takes most people a year to complete this quilt. It is very demanding. I can’t post pictures of other peoples quilts here, but let me tell you there are some drop dead gorgeous versions of this quilt out there. And you know how the difference in fabric choices can make such a huge difference in the look of the quilt? This quilt really, really is affected by fabric choices. If you are on Pinterest, I have a board called ‘La Passagalia’ within my Quilting board. I encourage you to take a look at some of these amazing works of art! My pinterest name is bgrahamlc (lavender crossings).

La Passacaglia is made up of many different rosettes. I have started several of these and have almost finished my first one.

Aren’t they fun!?! I’m having such a good time with this one. I can’t wait to get the whole thing together!

We are going to offer a beginning paper piecing class at Lavender Crossings sometime this spring. It will cover tools, notions, project bags, the actual paper pieces, basting and different ways to sew the pieces together. It is easier than it looks and very relaxing.

Well, I am going to get back to sewing! Happy Crafting!


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