Thursday, June 9, 2011

Week 6, Foundation Paper Piecing

Click on the image to enlarge. More details available on my flickr page

Get ready to stretch your mind!

Foundation paper piecing is not an easy concept to grasp for the first time. In fact it can be downright frustrating as many of you experienced on Wednesday night! The fact is that you can get by as a quilter without ever learning this technique but it sure makes easy work of blocks with many angled seams, miniature pieces and precision points.

Once you learn this technique it's just another tool to tackle a complex block. Like most things, you get better with practice and making multiples is much easier than making just one.

Piecing over a foundation of paper or stabiliser fabric lets beginners achieve a difficult look without struggling with seam allowances and questions over which direction to press them.

You will need a few tools by your side when you start: a cutting matt, a rotary cutter, a ruler, some pins and an iron. Don't ever use steam when you press paper pieced block as the ink can ruin your fabrics.

Next you will need to select a pattern and either draft it onto graph paper using a pencil or use quilting software (I use Electric Quilt) to design and print out your foundation pattern.

By breaking down a block into rectangular units and then joining these units together you can make up some wonderful shapes. For example the alphabet, animals and many traditional pieced blocks.

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