Category Archives: sewing

Video tutorial: foundation paper piecing for beginners

Since I started doing my Dear Jane quilt using foundation paper piecing, I have been saying how easy paper piecing is and how perfect blocks turn out.

It may be a bit tricky to understand at first, that is why this tutorial uses solid fabrics. This makes it even easier. Judge by yourself and let me know what you think.

The video lasts for 3.45 minutes. It is short and sweet.

If you want to try foundation paper piecing, download the Chevron block pattern (pdf) and print it on plain printer paper. The pattern has two pieces which are mirror of each other.

To help you with measurements, for the two sides of the block, I cut:

  • Area 1: One 5 1/2 inch to 6 inch square cut in the diagonal into 2 triangles (yellow)
  • Area  4: One 5 1/2 inch to 6 inch square cut in the diagonal into 2 triangles (white)
  • Area  2: Two 2 inch x 7 1/2 inch strip in charcoal
  • Area 3: Two 2 inch x 7 1/2 inch strip in beige

I made two full blocks with the intention of doing something with them though I still haven’t decided what I will make.

I haven’t decided on the placement either. Which one do you prefer?

Download Chevron block pattern (pdf)

Placement 1

Placement 2

Placement 3

Placement 4

Follow me napkins

A set of 6 napkins of my favourite media services.

I’m not the most active crafter in social media though I use several services to share my work. That’s how my Follow me napkins came about. Follow me!

Materials

  • 6 store bought white napkins
  • Double sided iron on interfacing
  • Fabric scraps for the icon background
  • White fabric for the logo

Download Follow me napkins (pdf) pattern.

Instructions

Print and cut out all the pattern shapes.

Trace 6 squares using the pattern.

Cut 6 squares.

Cut all icons with care.

Important:  All icons need to be traced over double sided iron interfacing from the wrong side. See photo below.

Then iron double sided interfacing on to the white fabric.

Cut logo carefully on the line.

Remove the paper to reveal the adhesive side.

Place logo on the background square making sure placement is in the right angle. And press following manufacturing instructions.

Now using black thread and machine free motion, embroider around the edge of the icon. I went around the edge about 3 times, maybe 4 in some areas.

You could use some fabric stabiliser to top fabric from puckering. My stabiliser of choice is just plain printer paper.

Now applique the square to the napkin.

Use printer paper as stabiliser placing it on the wrong side of the napkin.

Pin 3 layers well.

Stitch around the edges 3 times.

Turn over.

Remove the paper.

Pinterest napkin is done!

5 more to go.

In order to save iron on double sided interfacing -it is quite expensive after all- I traced all the other icons on one single line as per picture, pressed on fabric and then cut out the shapes.

Now Twitter’s turn.

Same deal as before. Use some paper as interfacing.

The paper is easy to remove.

Skype’s logo is a bit tricky to cut. Make sure to use a small pair of scissors.

Tumblr.

LinkedIn.

And Facebook.

Foundation piecing tutorial with lots of photos

This block has a step by step tutorial that demonstrates how to make the block above but before I go ahead, if you’re new to foundation piecing maybe you want to start with some other simpler blocks. If not, just scroll down until you find the tutorial for this block.

Learning foundation piecing

Start with easy and simple blocks like this one:

Scrappy heart potholder tutorial: this was my first encounter with this technique. Easy but confusing. Then build a bit more of complexity into it but not too much. Keep it simple.

Foundation piecing teapot potholder pattern: this was my second foundation piecing work. Gradually select more challenging blocks like this one:

Foundation piecing step by step: this is when I started to get serious about properly learning foundation piecing.

So I also made the Caldonia pattern (pdf).

And the Icky Thump pattern (pdf). If you want more of a challenge by now, just use small blocks.

The challenge in these two blocks is in their size, particularly the orange one: Tiny foundation piecing pincushions with free template.

After these exercises, I embarked into a far more challenging paper foundation piecing: a Dear Jane quilt.

Step by step foundation piecing tutorial

The block, by six two seven handworks, is called Global Concepts (pdf) and it’s free. Wombat quilts also has a selection of free foundation piecing blocks you can use instead of this one. Print the template. You will need to print the pdf 4 times. Cut roughly the pieces like below. I  don’t cut all the way down to the line because I like to trim the paper and fabric together at the end. I coloured in the pieces beforehand so I wouldn’t not make any mistakes. Also you can also experiment with colour placement. For instance I decided to highlight the star in the centre giving it a 3D look whereas on the pdf pattern the focus is not so much on the centre star but the surrounding pieces. If you’re not quite sure about colours, a safe bet is using complementary colours. In brief, in a colour wheel complementary colours are opposites.

Now cut your fabric. To cut the fabric measure the widest part of the area to cover and the height, including seam allowances. Add 1/4 in for good measure. I came up with the following:

  • Piece 1 – 3in  x 6 1/2 in – cut 4 pieces in colour 1 and 4 pieces in colour 2. This is for the star in the centre.
  • Piece 2 – 2in x 5 1/4 in – cut 8 pieces
  • Piece 3 – 2 x 5 1/4 in – cut 8 pieces
  • Piece 4 – 2  x 5 3/4 in – cut 8 pieces
  • Piece 5 – 2 1/4 x 7 in – cut 8 pieces (if you’re careful placing this piece you may be able to use one piece to cover 2 triangles)

Now fold along each line as per picture below.

The easiest way to do this is to use a thin piece of cardboard as your guide. The fold will help you to trim off excess fabric at each step.

So let’s start. Three things to remember:

  • all pieces are placed at the back of the paper
  • all pieces are stitched from the front of the paper
  • the first piece of fabric you place goes right side up and all the others go wrong side up

First piece Place the piece on the back of the paper, right side of the fabric up, making sure the whole surface of piece 1 is covered including the seam allowance. Pin so the piece doesn’t move.

Turn around.

Now fold the paper along fold 1. This is what the folds are for! You could do this as you go but it’s a lot easier to do all the folds before you start. So we’re going to trim off excess fabric.

Place your ruler as per picture leaving 1/4 in seam allowance.
Cut excess fabric and unfold. Turn over.
Piece number 2 Now, take the next rectangle and place it on top of piece number 1 as per picture with right sides of the fabric facing together. Make sure the edges are aligned and that when turned over the piece will cover all of area 2 including seam allowances. Pin.
Turn piece over and stitch along the line between 1 and 2.
First two pieces are stitched together.

Turn over and voilà!

Now piece number 2 needs trimming. Turn piece over.

And fold the paper back on fold 2.

Again, place the ruler leaving 1/4 in seam allowance as per picture.

Trim off excess fabric.

And piece 2 is done! Piece number 3 Place the piece on top of piece 2 right sides facing together and pin.

Turn over and stitch along the line.

Turn over and fold paper back.

Trim off excess fabric.

Piece number 4 Let’s do it again. Place piece 4 aligned with piece 3, wrong side of fabric 3 up. Pin.

Stitch along the line.

Turn piece over and fold paper back.

Trim off excess fabric.

Piece number 5 You can see with piece number 5 the fabric is placed with wrong side up.

Stitch along the line.

Trim off fabric around the three edges on the dashed line.

First piece out of 8 is done.

Stitch all pieces together to make this 12 1/4 in block.

I’ll be making this block into a pot holder. It makes a very nice gift for any occasion.