Sunday, 9 December 2018

Sweet Annabelle Quilt - a free EPP Project tutorial -

Sweet Annabelle Quilt
- a free English Paper Piecing tutorial -

Sometimes I find that I just need a simple grab and go English Paper Piecing project, one that doesn't have to be thought about too much. One that can be cut and basted and either thrown into little zip lock bags or held together with binding clips. One that can come to swimming and dance lessons with me, to doctors appointments and then to the beach on holidays.

I have been exploring options for such a project over recent months. Scrolling through Paper Pieces website looking for inspiration as I wanted something a little more than a hexagon and I didn't want something that I felt the need to fussy cut (I have already designed that quilt and I am stitching that in secret ready for release next year).  I have seen the coffin shape a lot over the last 6 months, people making pretty Dresden and even halloween themed ones - just search Pinterest (and my apologies if you get lost over there for hours), but I didn't want a dresden so my attentions were diverted again.

The Coffin shape is a great shape to play with but it was hard to find one that fits with a hexagon but then it gained my attention again as recently I was in a shop and some of the sit and sew girls were playing with a similar shape and they were making the 1797 Revisited quilt. They all assured me that the shape was super quick to stitch so, on a whim I purchased a template and a bag of pre-cut papers and came home to play.  I could have used this shape and made the 1797 Revisited quilt in a more modern and bright style but realistically, I wanted a project that was easily portable and a shape that would work with other shapes readily available, this one did not so I placed my purchase to the side and back to the drawing board I went.

This is the original 1797 Revisited quilt and all it's details can be found HERE.
The template that I purchased can be found here.
Edited to add and to be totally clear, there is nothing wrong with this template.
It just does not fit a regular sized hexagon and thus did not work for my purpose. By a post that the shop owner has placed on their social medial I suspect that they will be adding a complimenting hexagon to their growing range of products and together they will be able to be used to create your own quilt.

The shape used in the quilt above is a variation of a 60 deg diamond / 6 pointed star and a jewel.
All of which have been used in many quilts over the centuries and all are still hugely popular today.
Six and eight points diamonds are my favourite to play with when it comes to fussy cutting.


I turned to my computer and played and what resulted was a 6 pointed diamond trimmed to fit a standard, readily available hexagon. And even better was that this project would only require two shapes to make and the finished design allows for the flowers to be offset and also created a fun zigzag edge and was vintage inspired. So my new project was beginning to take shape.

A simple and effective block, placed on repeat for a new simple 'grab and go' project.

Another thing that was also drawing me to this project was that I can make it as big or small as I wished.  I wasn't committing to a big project that would languish in my WIP or UFO pile.

I have decided to call this quilt my 'Sweet Annabelle Quilt' and it is named after my two daughters. One has the middle name of Ayn (her grandmothers both have the same middle name but with different spellings, Anne / Ann so that's why I went with Ayn!) and Isabelle, so 'Ann - abelle' it is :)

You can also see from the diagram above that the quilt allows for a hexagon to fill the centre of the flower but I switched that out for a simple appliqué circle, more flower like and thinking ahead, it will be nice to hand quilt around each circle when the time comes. :)

Would you like to make your own version? 

I have created a 3 FREE downloads for you if you would like to create your own
 'Sweet Annabelle Quilt'. 

You can copy the photocopy pages in the download onto card stock (I use a 160 - 220gsm paper) to make your own papers by using a rotary cutter to trim or if you have a Scan n Cut, download the Scan n Cut friendly file and have your Scan n Cut do your cutting for you. Both downloads co-ordinate with regular 1/2" hexagons so I haven't included them in the download. The circle is included in the download. 

eg. Rotary Cutter Friendly Download

I have also included a Fabric Swatch Card and an extra insert page that can also be printed onto cardstock. The idea here is to use a little double sided tape to secure a one inch square of each of the fabrics you have used in your quilt. Then take this with you when you go fabric shopping so that you can add to your quilt and not double up on fabrics. It also has a space for you to record your background and flower centre fabrics.  Little things like this make my OCD happy!

On the back is the layout and number of flowers that I am aiming to make.
I am undecided on my actual finished size and may go a little wider.

The quilt as pictured will finish at approx 50" x 59"

I will also show you below how to trim a standard, commercially available diamond to pair with a standard 1/2" hexagon. This may come in handy of you have an abundance of existing diamonds already. Best bit here is that you can scale the design to suit you. Follow the method below for any sized diamond, as long as your hexagon is 1/4 of the side length of your diamond it will work. Why not try a 4" six pointed diamond with a 1" hexagon :) 

Start with a 2" six pointed diamond and template and a 1/2" hexagon paper.  I have coloured the hexagon orange so it is easy to see. Align the 1/2" hexagon as the end of the diamond paper as pictured.

Carefully use a rotary cutter to trim away the end. Repeat for the other end.


Your diamond has now been converted to a compatible size to work with your 1/2" hexagon.

Also remember that papers can be reused, so if you are joining your blooms as you go you only need to leave the papers in the outer most edge of your work, freeing them up to be reused.

Lets talk fabric Requirements

You will need:-
An assortment of fabrics for the flowers.
One 10" square can yield two (2) Sweet Annabelle flowers (12 petals as above)*see note below
Yellow fabric for the flower centres.
Background Fabric.

You will also require backing fabric and binding, all of which you can gather when you have your finished top at your desired size. No need to stress that yet as there are plenty of flowers to grow first. 

Here is my tip on fabric requirements

 For the flower centres and the background, especially if like me you do not know how big you will be making your quilt, pick two fabrics that are readily available. For example I am using Moda Bella 97 for my background and Kona Meringue for my flower centres. Both readily available so that I can top up as I need.   :)

Fabric Prepartion

You can use an existing template to cut your fabrics too.  As pictured below you can see that I have placed 2 pieces of thin masking tape 1/4" outside the paper template pictured under.  I will use this as a guide to trace my flower petals.


I prefer to take the time to trace my templates, especially in this instance where I am working with 10" squares because I can fit my 12 petals on my fabric this way. If I was not trimming the points off I would actually require a 12" length*. So if you do have a larger piece of fabric you may be able to omit the tape step.

On my sandpaper board I trace the template to just beyond the tape and then draw across the opening at the bottom as pictured. You can see that the traced shape is 1/4" bigger all around.


Here I have my 12 petals traced and ready to be cut out and basted ready for stitching.

When basting your petals, you do not need to baste one of the short ends if you are planning to appliqué the circle like I am. If you are having a hexagon centre then you will need to baste all sides.

Quick and easy rotary cutting method for the background fabric.

Strip cutting fabric is so fast and easy. Let me show you.

Measure the height of your template.  This one measures a nice 2 1/4". 

Cut your background fabric into 2 1/4" width of fabric strips.

Layer as many strips as you are comfortable with. This will be dependant on your skill level and how sharp your blade is. Please exercise caution so you do not cut yourself.

Using your template, cut the diamonds from the strip.

This next step is optional and I am planning to hand quilt my quilt so I want to reduce bulk therefor I have trimmed the corners by placing a paper on my fabric and then using an Add a Quarter ruler to trim.

This strip cutting method can also be used for the hexagons.

 Sewing your Quilt

Once you have your fabric cut and basted it is time to sew.

Sew six petals together to create the bloom and then add three of the petals and two of the hexagons in the background fabric to the side as pictured. By adding the background now it will make it that much quicker to sew your quilt together later.  If you were having the hexagon centre you would sew it into place before sewing the final seam joining the petals. Also, at this point you can remove two of the petal papers and reuse :)

I am using Aurifil's 80wt thread in 2250 Red and 2021 Off White.

I am also tracing my circles onto a water soluble tearaway (I am using Polyfuse by Matilda's Own), fusing to the back of my yellow fabric. I am then trimming my fabric 1/8 - 1/4" bigger. Using a glue pen I am then 'basting' like I would do for an EPP shape but without the EPP paper and then positioning into place with a little appliqué glue until I join some flowers, remove some papers and then I can appliqué into place. 

Once I have my quilt sewn together I can go back and add some filler pieces to the edge to complete. If you wanted to square up your quilt you would just add additional pieces in the back ground fabric.

I am also only making one of each flower to start so that I can begin to join my flowers with no doubles appearing too close and this will also allow me to reuse my papers.

When I am at the stage of finishing off the edges of my quilt I will pop back and add the link for a new post on how to compete your quilt for those that may not know how.

I have been unable to find any retail outlet both here in Australia or Overseas that stocks a coffin shape that works with a standard sized hexagon but with that said I am of the impression that there will be a hexagon made available to work with the Coffin Shape that is used in the 1797 Revisited quilt I shared above and if that is the case you will have the option to purchase pre cut papers and templates.

So that is my summer sewing project all sorted. This will be a nice project to sew in-between the fussy cutting and secret sewing of my next pattern release, Amoré in 2019.

If you would like to see the progress of my quilt, search #sweetannabellequilt on Instagram.

Happy stitching,

Sharon xx


  1. Fantastic! And thank you for being so generous with the detailed instructions.

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