Likes, Dislikes & Tips for Foundation Piecing

Tags: foundation piecing, paper piecing, quilting lesson

Let's learn how to foundation piece. It is a fun technique that quilters either like or dislike. Find out why and find an easy solution. Follow along with Ruth's step by step instructions for this quilting technique. Foundation Template included.

Likes and Dislikes about Foundation/Paper Piecing

Quilters either love foundation piecing or don't like it at all. The two reasons for this are:

Why quilters love paper piecing: when done correctly, the blocks come out perfectly every time with all points matching evenly.

Why quilters dislike paper piecing: The thing quilters least like about paper piecing is removing the paper foundations. However, what many quilters do not know is that this can be easily overcome by using a non-woven interfacing for the foundations which can be left in the quilt, or a wash away stabilizer could be used instead. This washes out later once the quilt is all pieced together.

What's the difference between foundation piecing and paper piecing. It's the foundations or templates used. For Paper Piecing, foundations are printed on paper and the paper needs to be removed. Foundation Piecing can also be printed on paper but also several other materials, some are temporary, others a permanent. Using paper is less expensive, however more time consuming.

Tips on Foundation and Paper Piecing:

For Temporary foundations, use a slightly smaller stitch on your machine from the standard sewn seam length. That is a stitch length of approximately 15-20 stitches per inch.

To help prevent the blocks from stretching, when possible, try to place the straight of grain around the perimeter of the block.

For paper piecing, do not remove the foundation until blocks have all their seams sewn, including the other edge. For example, the block is in its finished state within the quilt.

Always begin a new project with a new needle. When using paper foundations, the needle will dull more quickly and should be replaced after each project.

A Foundation Block to Try

Join Ruth in making one of her favorite foundation pieced blocks "Square in a Square". She will show you a step by step process to make this. The block is 6" square when finished. Make several and send in a photo to show her your creation.

square in a square block

Square in a Square 6" block

You can download the template for this block here: 6" Square in a Square Foundation Template

You can find the instructions on how to make this block here: Instructions for Square in a Square Block

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