English Paper Piecing Workshop

Today, we’re delighted to introduce our friend Jenny Jackson of Hashtag Sew. Jenny’s enthusiasm and passion for her craft is infectious and she reaches a huge audience through her appearances on the UK’s Sewing Street, a retail supplier of everything fabric, quilting, knitting, haberdashery and much more.

Jenny has been a magnificent champion for Aurifil thread for years, with a particular focus on our super fine and strong 80wt thread. She swears by it for her go-to method of EPP, utilizing as many of our 88 colors as she can get her hands on.

We’ve long admired Jenny’s work and were thrilled to partner with her on a curated collection of must-have hues to perfectly coordinate with her debut book, English Paper Piecing Workshop (David & Charles). The collection is a colorful combination of neutrals and brights, certain to take makers through a myriad of projects! Both book and thread collection are available worldwide!

Based in the UK? Snag your copies of English Paper Piecing Workshop via Jenny’s launch on Sewing Street tomorrow (April 10) at 9amBST. It’s going to be an EPP party! If you’re looking to find a thread collection outside of the US or UK, submit a request via our thread concierge so we can help you locate a local shop!

And now, let’s turn the blog over to Jenny, to learn a little more about her background, her inspirations, and where we can find her next! Thanks Jenny!

How did you first get started in this creative, maker-centric industry?
I have always had a love for all things crafty since a young age and studied Fashion and Textile Design with Business Studies at University. After having my son not long after graduating I felt the need to get back to sewing when he was around 4 years old I joined Instagram and found so much inspiration, that is where I fell in love with English Paper Piecing and was soon designing my own patterns for Sewing Magazines followed by appearing on Sewing Quarter TV.

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration? 
I think Instagram has given me a huge amount of inspiration, seeing everyone’s lovely makes and the amazing sewing community that comes with it.

What is your favorite thing to make? 
I love love making quilts! I can’t get enough of designing and making them.

What drives you to continue creating and innovating? 
The amazing support and feedback from the sewing community drives me to keep doing what I love and also my son Dylan, I want to make him proud of me everyday and seeing his face light up when telling him what I am going to be doing next in my journey completely warms my heart.

When did you first discover Aurifil Thread and why is it your go-to?
I first discovered Aurifil Thread when I was working on Sewing Quarter quite a few years ago, I first started using the 50wt in my machine and it just sewed like a dream and made a huge difference to the finish of my designs. Since then I have also totally fallen in love with the 80wt thread for English Paper Piecing, it is just perfect in every single way for this technique.

Your book, English Paper Piecing Workshop (David & Charles), releases tomorrow on Sewing Street in the UK! First, congratulations!! Second, can you tell us more about this book, how it came to be, and what readers can expect? 
Awww Thank you so much! I am beyond excited for the release. I have been playing with the idea of writing a book for a few years and finally decided to just go for it. I had so many ideas of what could be included and it was a dream come true to get a publishing deal. Readers can expect very bright, modern, geometric designs throughout the book. Projects of different sizes and items that can be used to complement your home.

What is most exciting to you about a Sewing Street launch (and for our non-UK readers, can you tell us a little more about your connection with Sewing Street)?
Sewing Street is a TV channel for all things sewing. I design patterns for the channel and demonstrate these designs on air (live TV is so much fun)! I think what is exciting me most about the launch on Sewing Street is that I am going to bring loads of the samples from the book to show everyone, it is going to be a very bright and colourful hour. I am also super excited to show everyone my 80wt Aurifil collection which complements my book perfectly.

Why do you love 80wt for EPP and can you offer any top tips for new users? 
I love it because it is the perfect weight thread, it slides through the fabric so smoothly and doesn’t become frayed at all. It is so thin yet so strong which is perfect and it lessens the chances of seeing your hand stitching on the front of a project. Also the colour choices are just AMAZING! My Top tip is to use a very thin super sharp needle (I use Milliners Size 11). With thin needles comes a very small eye, which is 80wt thread is perfect for. The trick to threading the needle is to hold your thread between your finger and thumb and bring your needle to the thread, it works every time!

Can you take us through your color selection for your coordinating thread set, which is now in stores worldwide?
Yes of course– I am so so excited about this box! So, firstly I decided to choose some neutral/tonal colours– the white, cream, light grey, and darker grey are my absolute go to threads when sewing all different coloured fabrics together. Depending on the shade of the colours I will always pick one of these 4 to work with. I then chose a rainbow of colours– purple, yellow, orange, green, and pink, because, well, who doesn’t love a rainbow! If I am sewing loads of shapes together in one colour (but different shades of that colour) I like to use a coordinating thread. 

How do you use color within your EPP projects?
Colour is my thing!! I try to use as much colour as possible in my designs (as you can tell from my book) I love everything bright, so often I will design my patterns around bright fabric that I have seen.

Who are you hoping to inspire with this collection?
I am hoping that my thread collection will inspire everyone to have a go at using 80wt thread for their EPP as well as other hand sewing projects; to see what a difference it will make. I would also love people to have a go at using the different neutral tones to sew with when piecing fabrics of all different colours. 

What are your plans for 2022 and where can we find you for more inspiration?
Owwww I have so many plans it is going to be a busy year! I am hoping to start teaching more workshops and I dream of being able to organise sewing retreats. I will also be having stands at more quilt shows. I have lots of designs in my head at the moment and will be spending some time getting those onto paper and maybe even organising a sewing bi-monthly subscription box.

You can find me doing regular shows on Sewing Street. I will be attending Festival of Quilts this year at the NEC in the UK. You can also find me on Instagram @hashtagsew and my website is www.hashtagsew.com. (Do sign up to my newsletter to keep an eye out for what I am up to on a monthly basis along with a slew of special offers!)

I have recently set up a new facebook group called Scrappy Hexie Fun which is a great source of EPP inspiration and sewing chat.

Thank you to Jenny for taking a moment to chat with us! We’re so excited about her Sewing Street Launch. If you’re in the UK and would like to tune in, Jenny’s book launch will be live on air at 9amBST. Click on the button below to check out the Sewing Street website and follow along!

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Jenny Jackson is an enthusiastic demonstrator and designer on Sewing Street TV channel. Her debut book release, English Paper Piecing Workshop (David & Charles), will be available in stores everywhere in May of 2022.

A designer focused on EPP patterns and projects, Jenny currently releases her patterns, paper pieces, and kits via her website. She is a designer for Quilt Now and Love Patchwork and Quilting magazines. If you are interested in my designs and/or would like to collaborate please contact me via email.

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