Saturday, August 01, 2020

Stepping Stones Sampler Lesson 7 - Foundation Piecing

I hope you had fun with last month's Dresden Plate blocks!  If you haven't finished them yet, keep working on them - I purposely did not put this one at the end because sometimes it takes a little longer if you are hand appliqueing them.  This month we will be doing a Foundation Paper Piecing technique.  This is a great way to gain accuracy in your piecing, and many people find that they really enjoy doing it!


This is the block we'll be working on - it's a bit of a variation on a Duck and Ducklings block.  First of all you'll need to download the pattern for the block and print up the foundation pattern.  You will need 16 squares and there are two on a sheet. Make sure your printer is set for full size or your blocks will be the wrong size! If you don't want to print that many pages, you can print a page, then layer that on top of 3 more sheets of paper, stapling at the corners.  Take the thread out of your machine and with a size 12 or 14 needle and a normal stitch length, stitch along all the lines on the pattern.  That way you can make multiple copies with the one print, plus they will be easier to tear off at the end!

Start by using a pin to secure a 4 ½ inch triangle of your medium fabric over section 1 of your paper template with the fabric facing right side up on the backside of your paper.  Make sure you have at least ¼ of an inch over all the lines.  Place a 4 ½ inch background piece on top of this – right side down, lining up the long edge with the long edge of the medium fabric.   You can pin these through the paper, but make sure the pin is out of the way of your stitching line (flat headed pins are perfect for this).  Turn the paper over so that the printed side is on top and the fabric on the bottom.  Make sure not to allow the fabric to fold over or move out of place, and stitch across the diagonal line on the small triangle.  Start and end your stitching ¼ inch beyond the printed line so that your seam will not pull out later.


Trim your thread ends, fold the paper back on the stitched line and trim your seam to ¼ inch.  (Add a Quarter rulers are great for this!)  Fold out the background triangle and press.

Working from the printed side of the paper foundation, use a piece of template plastic or card stock to fold the paper back at the next seam line.  Trim your fabric 1/4 inch from the seam, it will be a guideline to add the next background triangle

See how the ruler helps you to cut a nice accurate seam allowance?  There is also a 1/8 inch ruler that I use for miniature blocks.

Repeat the process to add the third background triangle.  
Trim off that last edge and add the large triangle.
Press, and trim all edges 1/4 inch from the printed line.
Now you can remove the foundation paper from the back.  I like to do this in reverse order of sewing.
Don't worry if your first block seems to take a long time, you will get faster with practice!  

Make four of these units, then add four rectangles of your main fabric and the center square of your background fabric to complete a block!  (It should finish at 12 1/2 inches)  Keep sewing the remaining paper foundation squares and make a total of four of these blocks.

Download Lesson 7 Instructions here!


Next month we'll be making blocks that you can either piece with templates, use foundation piecing, or specialty rulers.  It's always nice to have options, you know!  They will also be the final four blocks we will need to complete the quilt.  The process will be speeding along and you will have a finished top by the end of the year!

Thanks for quilting along with me!  I hope you are enjoying the process and I am very much looking forward to seeing your progress. 

Happy Stitching!

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