English Paper Piecing: Whipstitch vs. flatback stitch

English Paper Piecing: Whipstitch vs. flatback stitch

Whipstitch vs. Flat Back Stitch

There are 2 commonly used stitches in English Paper Piecing. Whipstitch and flat back stitch. In this tutorial I will show you how to perform each stitch so you can see the difference and decide for yourself which you prefer.


Let's start with the whipstitch, this is the most commonly used stitch because it's quick and easy!

Take your first 2 pieces and sandwich them right sides together. I like to use a Wonder Clip to keep them in place. Take your threaded needle and start as close to the bottom edge as you can and make a knot. Stitch along the edge the whole length of that side and end with another knot at the top. With each stitch, try to push your needle through just a tiny bit of the fabric and not push through your paper. The less fabric you stitch through, the less visible your stitches will be and the flatter your project will lay.

Flat Back Stitch

The flat back stitch is a little trickier to master but great for you if you want nearly invisible stitching on the finished side of your project.

Take your pieces and align them flat together along the edge you will be stitching first. Take a piece of tape (I used clear scotch tape but you can use washi or masking tape too) and tape your pieces together. Keeping your pieces flat, stitch along the edge keeping your needle perpendicular to your pieces. As you add more pieces to your project, you may find this stitch more difficult to preform but this stitch will reward you with nearly invisible thread on your finished side which gives your project a cleaner, neater look.

Give each a try and see how you like them! One is not better than the other, the stitch you decide to do is up to your personal preference! Although I like the look of the flat back stitch, I like the whipstitch best. I find stitching much more enjoyable using the whipstitch because it's a bit easier and I simply don't worry about visible threads which makes my stitching much more relaxing and fun.
Check out my other EPP blogs on The Basics and How to Stitch a Hexagon Flower. And get your EPP supplies from my shop HERE :)

Have fun and happy EPP-ing! :)

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