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Exclusive Project

Large Sofa Throw

English Paper Piecing Tea Cosy

English Paper Piecing is a hand sewn quilting technique that dates back to the late 1700s, and early 1800s. It is based on the concept of creating stabilised fabric shapes (most traditionally the hexagon) using paper, and hand stitching them together. Traditionally, women would reuse old love letters and recipe cards as paper was considered a luxury! This is a great technique if you like to take your time over a crafting project as, inevitably, it takes a lot longer than machine sewn quilts. It is also a good one to do if you aren’t that confident on a sewing machine or maybe don’t own one yet. You can also take this project out with you to easily craft on the go. It’s a great way to use up those scraps of fabric you have laying around too. The preparation work for a paper pieced quilting project can take some time but the beautiful results are worth it!

You will need:

  • 80 x 1” Paper hexagons
  • 40 x 1.5” Fabric No. 1 hexagons
  • 20 x 1.5” Fabric No. 2 hexagons
  • 20 x 1.5” Fabric No. 3 hexagons
  • Two 20cm x 30cm fabric pieces
  • Two 20cm x 30cm pieces of wadding
  • Sewing scissors
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Complimentary sewing thread
  • Straight pins
  • Tape measure
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron

Time to Make: 10-20+ hrs

Skill Level: Advanced


  1. Large Sofa Throw Cut out all of your hexagon shapes from paper and fabric using the template provided so that you have all the pieces you need ready.
  2. Large Sofa Throw Place a paper hexagon centrally on the wrong side of the fabric hexagon. Holding the two pieces together, fold over two edges at one of the corners. Knot the end of your sewing thread and run a stitch at the fold, holding the corner secure. Turn the hexagons round to the right to the next corner and repeat the process, securing the folded corner with a stitch. Repeat this process for the remaining four corners and secure with a knot. Cut off the thread and place the stitched hexagon to one side. Repeat this process with the remaining 79 hexagons.
  3. Large Sofa Throw Take 2 of your hexagons and line up one edge with right sides together. Using a fine whip stitch, sew the two pieces together along this edge taking care to only catch the very edge of the fabric and not catch the paper in the stitches. Fold out the hexagons and admire the results! You shouldn’t be able to see any of the stitches on the right side.
  4. Large Sofa Throw Repeat step 3 until you have made a row of 8 hexagons as pictured. Repeat this process until you have created two panels of 5 rows of 8 hexagons. Remove the paper pieces and press the panels with an iron.
  5. Large Sofa Throw Carefully trim the edges of the panels to create two straight-edged panels approximately 20cm x 30cm in size.
  6. Large Sofa Throw Take your wadding, fabric pieces, and quilted panels and stitch them together in their pairs using a 1 cm seam allowance leaving one of the long sides open. With the wadding, trim the seam allowance down to a few millimetres, with the fabric lining pieces, trim away the corners to remove the excess, and with the quilted panels, trim away the corners to remove excess, turn through to the right side, and press with an iron.
  7. Large Sofa Throw Insert the lining pocket inside the wadding pocket, and then the quilted pocket inside the lining pocket. Line up the side seams and pin the three layers together along the open edge. Using your sewing machine stitch through all of the layers leaving a 7cm gap. Gently turn the project through the open gap and tuck the lining up inside the quilted pocket. Press the bottom edge to create a neat finish. To close the gap either run a line of machine stitching along the gap close to the edge, or using a small whip stitch similar to how you joined the hexagons back in step 3.
  8. Large Sofa Throw Now you can put on the kettle, make a brew, and admire your handiwork while enjoying a lovely cuppa.