Category Archives: foundation piecing

Tiny foundation piecing pincushions with free template

I am not very experienced with foundation piecing but last time I made some foundation piecing blocks I quite enjoyed the process and discovered a handful of its benefits, one of them being that your blocks look perfect or almost. With that in mind I thought that foundation piecing would also be a good way to make rather small blocks with little fuss and have them look really good.

Having finished my Farmer’s wife quilt sampler recently I thought I would just reduce some nice blocks to about 5 inches square and try them out. So I went to the Yahoo! FWQS group where you can get all the foundation piecing templates for this quilt under Files, got the template for Windmill and Waste not, reduced them to about 5 inch squares and put them into a page for you to download.

For this project you need small fabric scraps big enough to cover each individual piece and have at least 1/4 in around each of them, including the outer edges. For the pincushion use polyfill or batting scraps.

How to do foundation paper piecing

You can learn the principles of foundation piecing on this 2 minute video. These principles can be applied to any foundation piecing blocks no matter how complex they are.

And here is the regular printed tutorial:

Cut your template leaving 1/4 inch around the edges.

Then fold along the printed lines. Use a piece of plastic or thin cardboard to help you.

Now cut the pieces. To waste as little fabric as possible measure each piece on the largest sides as well as the length. You will end up with squares or rectangles. Sometimes like in this case you can cut a square and then use it in both triangles. My squares, pink and orange, were around 3 1/2 inches square. Then I cut both squares on the diagonal.

The process is always the same. Start with your piece number 1.

Place it on the wrong side making sure that you have 1/4 inch seam allowance all around.

Pin the piece.

Now trim the piece. To do that, fold along the line you pressed earlier and then cut leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

Now the stitching starts between piece 1 and 2.

Align both pieces, right sides together, and pin together and to the paper.

Turn paper around and stitch between piece 1 and 2 along the line.

Time to trim piece 2.

Turn over and fold the paper between piece 2 and 3.

Trim leaving 1/4 inch allowance.

Add piece 3 aligning your piece with the previous trimmed piece.

And so on. The process is the same. Trim, add next piece, align, stitch, trim, and so on.

You place on the back of the paper and stitch following the lines on the front.

Once you have both pieces, stitch them together using a 1/4 inch allowance.

And there you have it, a 5 inch block.

Press well.

Pincushion

After making the block what to do with it. I always do something with my samples, be a potholder, a pincushion, even a quilt! At 5 inch square I chose a pincushion design I can donate for a good cause or give as a gift.

Cut the back of the pincushion using the block.

Stitch around all sides leaving a 1 inch opening to turn inside out.

Trim the corners.

Fill the pincushion with polyfill or some batting scraps.

Close the opening using a ladder stitch.

There you have it!

This is the second block on the pattern sheet.

Make a quilt: 17 free tutorials of my quilts

In this post I’m putting together a number of the quilts I have learned with and the techniques I’ve experimented with. You will find traditional quilts along side improv patchwork and textured quilts.

Improv quilts

Improv/free form quilt series

Each of these six blocks are in themselves a mini quilt and could be turned into a larger quilt as well.

Semi-improv 9-patch quilt tutorial

A traditional block taken a step further by splicing it and rearranging it into making a different block.

Improv patchwork back of quilt

This is a good way to get into improv quilting. Just make a strip of random pieces of fabric stitched together.

Improv patchwork Christmas back of quilt

Doing an improv back of a quilt is a way to loosen up after you complete a highly structured quilt like the zig zag quilt on the other side of this back of quilt.

Free form, free motion patchwork trial

This mini quilt was my first attempt at free form or improv patchwork. It is done in a kind of log cabin way from the inside out.

 

Free form patchwork mini quilt – visual creative process

I liked my first free form mini quilt so much I made a second one. This time the quilt is assembled out of different pieces.

 

Textured quilts

Textured 4-patch quilt tutorial (16 textures)

Some traditional and some new textures in this quilt.

Textured quilt sampler (25 textures)

Most textures in this quilt are traditiona such as pin tucks, shirring, pleats but also there are more uncommon fabric manipulations such as fabric origami.

 Charm pack quilts

“Doubly charming” charm pack quilt tutorial

Made with charm packs this is a very quick but beautiful quilt .

“Doubly charming” charm pack back of quilt tutorial

Made with the left over charms, this back of quilt could very well be a quilt top on its own.

Disappearing nine patch quilt

This is a very easy quilt made with charm squares. The fabric is also beautiful.

Disappearing nine patch variation quilt top

Disappearing nine patch was fun to do so I made a second one using a variation of the block using the same charm packs. I think the prairie points make this quilt look girly and cute.

Père-Noël zigzag quilt tutorial

This zigzag quilt comes with a twist: it uses rectangles to make the zigzag lines. Very easy to do and finished with some embroidery touches.


Scrappy quilts

Wonky log cabin tutorial

Use bright fabrics to make this quilt more fun and add to the wonkiness.

 


Sampler quilt

A traditional quilt made with fat quarters though it could well be made with fabric scraps. I made this quilt because I wanted to improve my patchwork skills. I think it worked.


Coin quilt

You don’t know what to do with all those fabric scraps in your scrap bin? Make a coin quilt. Try different colour combinations, even alternating white and colour rectangles, different thickness, etc for a different look.

Paper pieced scrappy flower hexagon quilt

This quilt is in progress and a long term project where I can use all the small scraps from other projects.

I have made a couple more quilts, including my biggest project: Farmer’s wife quilt sampler but this sample should be enough to choose from.

 

Folded star pot holder

I like fabric manipulations and fabric texture.

I have made a 25 textures quilt sampler and a 4-patch textured quilt with 15 more textures or fabric manipulations. And today I have yet another fabric manipulation to show you. It is made with prairie points which have been modified to reduce bulk.

There are many folded stars out there and different ways to make them. This one is just one of them.

Folded stars are a bit time consuming and this particular one requires hand sewing. But they look beautiful.

Materials

There are 4 rows of prairie points.

For each prairie point cut one rectangle 1 1/2 in x 2 1/2 in.

  • Row 1: 4 ochre prairie points
  • Row 2: 8 violet prairie points
  • Row 3: 8 ochre prairie points
  • Row 5: 16 violet prairie points

And

  • One 10 in square piece of muslin or calico.
  • Two 10 1/2 in square for the back and front.
  • Extra fabric for the binding.
  • One 11 in square of batting.

Modified prairie point

Take one rectangle and fold 1/4 inches in and press.

Then fold in half as per picture and press with your finger.

Take one side of the rectangle and fold it in as per picture.

Do the same with the other side.

Now you have a prairie point ready to pin.

Take the muslin or calico and find the center by folding it as per picture below. Press to mark the lines well.

Start pinning in the centre of the muslin piece.

You will need 4 pieces for this row.

Make sure all lines align.

Now stitch all points in the middle to the calico.

And then stitch along the bottom as per picture.

The first row has been completed.

For the second row you will need 8 pieces.

Use a ruler to establish the placement 1/2 in below the first piece as per picture.

Pin.

Continue doing first opposite pieces.

Finish with the last 4 prairie points on the corners.

Stitch all the pointy ends and the the larger sides as per picture.

For next row you will need 8 prairie points again.

Proceed as per the previous row. Place at 1/2 in from the previous row, pin and stitch.

The next row and last requires 16 prairie points.

Place them as the previous row and then add 8 more prairie points overlapping as per picture.

Stitch pointy ends and larger edge to the calico.

Your folded star is done.

Now take the 10 1/2 in square and make a circle smaller than the filed star.

Draw your circle.

Place piece over the folded star. Then cut along the circle.

Now fold the fabric about 1/8 in all around the circle and pin.

Top stitch as close to the edge as possible.

Cut the muslin to reduce bulk.

Now make a quilt sandwich placing the backing wrong side up, the batting and the folded star on top.

Pin.

Quilt in circles using the foot’s edge of your machine as a guide.

Now trim off excess batting.

Ready to add binding.

Voilà!

Foundation piecing pot holders

This is what you can do with last week’s block: a pot holder you can give away as a quick gift to teachers, family or friends.

If you missed last week’s post, go and check out the foundation piecing tutorial.

Or watch How to do foundation paper piecing video below.

You can learn the principles of foundation piecing on this 2 minute video. These principles can be applied to any foundation piecing blocks no matter how complex they are.

I have limited experience with foundation paper piecing but I find it most useful to produce beautiful complex looking blocks while minimising the inaccuracies of cutting and stitching individual pieces together. It doesn’t mean your blocks are perfect every time, far from it, but in my experience the blocks look better, flatter and more achieved.

Piecing blocks are usually made into quilts but I have found another use for them as pot holders to give away to teachers, family members or friends.

For my pot holders I have used the free foundation piecing templates from 627handworks.

Caldonia pattern (pdf)

Icky Thump pattern (pdf)

Zeppelin pattern (pdf)

Making the pot holder

You will need some extra fabric for the back and some batting.

Use the finished block size to cut a square of fabric which is about 1/2 inch bigger  than the block on all sides. Cut a piece of batting the same size as the back.

Make the sandwich placing the back fabric wrong side up, then the batting and the block on top as per picture.

Quilt any way you like. I didn’t use my quilting foot this time and used the regular foot width instead to guide me between lines which is about 1/4 in to 3/8 in.

Trim very close to the edge after quilting.

Nearly there!

Closeup.

Add the binding. Cut a strip of fabric long enough to cover the block all around plus the corners. I cut my strip 1 1/2 in wide.

There’s a good tutorial on how to add binding to your quilt at quiltbug.com.

Closeups of quilting and piecing

TeresaDownUnder on Instagram

I have now an account in Instagram. My user name is TeresaDownUnder.

I’m gradually uploading photos of my old projects as well as the new ones with links to their tutorial.

Just follow me to get notifications when I post new tutorials on my blog.