Making easy work of English Paper Piecing with Sulky Paper Solvy

Yesterday, I discussed using Sulky Paper Solvy as an applique backing to assist in the turning process for circles and then simply dissolving this miracle paper away.

Normally, with English paper piecing (also known as EPP in the quilting world), fabric is sewn or basted to paper, ironed, connected with slip stitches to other shapes and then the arduous task of having to remove the papers. Today, I’ll show you an easier way. I wish I knew about Paper Solvy years ago as I toiled at a year-long EPP project and removed hundreds of papers!

Because Sulky Paper Solvy dissolves quickly in water, you can sew the fabric to the paper and quickly wash it away without paper picking/removal required.

Our project today is an appliqued T-towel to practice this EPP/applique method. In this post are the materials and sewing instructions.


  • Paper Solvy also comes in 8½” x 11″ sheets making it very printer friendly
  • small scraps of fabric
  • T- towel to which the EPP pieces will be applied
  • EPP shapes, you can find these for free on the internet and download them. I’m using a 1½” tumbler shape. You can also trace a shape if you aren’t computer savvy – the library may be a good resource, look for books on English Paper Piecing.
  • basting thread
  • hand sewing needle
  • paper scissors and small applique scissors
  • invisible or monofilament machine sewing thread
  • sewing machine and a zigzag stitch
  • a bowl of warm water for the dissolving of the Paper Solvy once the project is completed

Material list

sewing instructions

  • Cut out your Paper Solvy english paper piece shapes individually and accurately.
  • Cut out your fabric pieces making them approximately ¼” bigger all around than the Paper Solvy.

Sulky Paper Solvy EPP templates and fabric

  • Center the Paper Solvy template on the wrong side of the fabric and turn the fabric gently to towards the Paper Solvy. Baste as you go as shown below.
  • Once you have basted all around the template, tie the thread off with a knot and cut the thread but leave the basting thread on this piece of fabric and Paper Solvy. Set aside and make enough EPP pieces to go across the bottom of your T- towel.

Paper Solvy centered on the fabric and basting started.

Front and back of EPP piece showing basting stitches completed.

English paper piecing completed for T-towel.

  • Slip stitch pieces together by facing 2 pieces right sides together, matching corners and catching the edge of each side of the 2 EPP pieces as shown below.

Note: These tumbler shapes are alternated in direction.

Close up of slip stitching.

Two pieces slip stitched together to start the row of EPP.

  • Lay out EPP pieces and slip stitch all together until you have enough to trim the bottom of your T-towel.

Complete row of EPP.

  • You may need to turn the edges in on the right and left side depending on the width of your T-towel, fold this in and iron prior to pinning your EPP row to your T-towel.
  • Pin completed row to the T-towel to get ready to applique.
  • Applique stitch with monofilament (invisible) thread and a blanket stitch on all 4 sides of the EPP row.

Pinned row of EPP piecing on T-towel

EPP row appliqued to t-towel with a blanket stitch and monofilament (invisible) thread, hard to see because of invisibility.

  • Now that the applique stitch is applied to the EPP row, the basting stitches can be removed with applique scissors or tiny scissors that can get close to the basting stitches.

Removing basting stitches.

  • Immerse your towel in warm water and let soak for about 10 minutes and then rinse towel to remove Sulky Paper Solvy. Allow drying.

Soaking towel and EPP in water to dissolve Sulky Paper Solvy from the back of the EPP row.

  • Admire your efforts and how easy this was with Sulky Paper Solvy and no paper removal required – is my favorite part!

A nice summer EPP and appliqued T-towel to decorate my dishwasher.

With the myriad of EPP projects available, I think you’ll find Sulky Paper Solvy is fantastic. Be sure to ask at your local sewing or quilting retailer to see about availability. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you’ll try your hand at EPP with Sulky Paper Solvy.

This is part 4 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 3: How to use Sulky Paper Solvy to make appliques

Go to part 5: Making an original textile piece using the magic of Sulky Ultra Solvy

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Mabsy June 28, 2019 - 10:17 am
Love this method, I’m definitely going to purchase some of this Sulky Water Soluable Stabilizer to try This. Thank you for posting!
Robin Bogaert June 29, 2019 - 9:57 pm
Really great stuff for EPP ! You are welcome Mabsy!
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