Monday, October 18, 2010

Foundation Paper Piecing....

Here is a quick how-to on foundation paper piecing....
This is a great method for piecing when you have irregular shapes or edges cut on the bias...piecing in this manner results in perfectly pieced blocks.
I am working on the pickle-dish (Gypsy Kisses) quilt from Material Obsession 2.  The instructions call for light and dark strips - 2.5 inches by 5.5 inches....
I copied the pattern on foundation may copy by hand or run it through the printer as I did....
My darks are marked on the foundation paper...I will place my strips right sides together to the back of the foundation paper...with the dark strip closest to the strips will extend 1/4 inch beyond the end of the foundation paper....
I will stitch directly on the first line of stitching drawn on the foundation this pattern the arcs will be appliqued on to the background I will begin my stitch line at least 1/4 inch above the paper edge and end 1/4 inch below the bottom edge....shorten your stitch length so that the stitches stay secure when you remove the paper...
First finger press the top strip of fabric back and then iron fold the paper back at the next line of stitching...and trim the excess fabric 1/4 inch from this the next strip of fabric with raw edges together and right sides facing...fold the paper back down to reveal the next stitching line....and stitch again on this line....
Continue until you have completed the entire template...then trim 1/4 inch from the last edge...I then trimmed my arc leaving 1/4 inch at the top and the I have enough to turn under for applique...

So there you have it!  A couple of will need to keep the needle you use with paper piecing separate from other needles - this will dull your needle...and there is a lot of up and down to trim and get to the ironing board - so I would keep your mat and rotary cutter close as well as the ironing board and iron.
Hope this helps if you have ever had the notion of trying Foundation Paper Piecing!



  1. This is going to look fabulous. I've done a littl paper piecing for my Bee ... a NY Beauty. I found it a bit tedious but loved the results.

  2. Hi Claudia! I agree - it can be tedious, but the results are perfectly pieced blocks. So worth the extra effort I guess ;)

  3. This is going to look so lovely!

  4. Thank you for showing us how to paper piece. I really like this pattern!! I was curious, what do you do for the center of your fan?
    Sincerely - Trish

  5. Hi Trish - the center will be the appliqued black and white dot "eye". You can see part of it in the next post. The pattern is from Material Obsession 2 and is the pickle-dish quilt. Hope this helps!

  6. Hi Mary :-), I wonder if it would be ok for me to pin this tutorial to my pinterest board? With all the changes going on with Pinterest I haven't been sure whether I can keep adding tutorials to my boards. They are only for my personal use and to have them in one spot but completely understand if this is now not ok and if I should remove them. When you have time would you mind letting me know your thoughts. I really admire your quilts and hope that once my little ones are bit more independent I can try out some of your suggestions and tutorials that you so kindly share :-). Tanya x

  7. Hello Mary,

    I use the translator to write you. I love beacoup your accomplishments, I am tempted to make this model on paper, can you tell me the size of the pattern, the size of the sections.
    I hope you do not get bored Sincerely