Fabric Friday - Further Adventures In Foundation Paper Piecing - 9

Fabric Friday – Further Adventures In Foundation Paper Piecing

As you may have noticed in recent posts, I seem to be getting a “thing” for Foundation Paper Piecing.

Having used a few pre-designed patterns, I thought that I would have a go at designing my own.

Firstly though I should let you know that I FINALLY completed the star motif that I started on a previous Fabric Friday.

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This project also actually managed to almost bring that never ending pack of fat quarters to an end! Man that set just kept on going!

Anyway, I flippin’ loved this block. Someday I will get together enough fabric and set aside enough time to make a full quilt from this … don’t worry, there is a blue moon scheduled for next year, lol!

Right, having completed that I was very excited about the prospect of designing my own foundation patterns so I set about having a go.

For the first one I thought that I would try something fairly straight forward. So I got some graph paper and got doodling out some designs.

Having had a sketching session it transpired that my brain had decided to drop that bit that would help me make the mental leap from paper to finished piece – I couldn’t quite make the connection between pattern and sewn project for some reason. So I mostly ended up with scrunched up balls of paper all around me.

To counteract this, I just started drawing intersecting lines in a large block and then inking those in with a black pen, stopping at each “intersection”.

It seemed that this method seemed to have cleared the blockage and I ended up with this design.

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As you can see I had also worked out in which order I would be stitching the pieces of fabric to the design.

To work with this pattern I decided to copy it onto tracing paper.

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I set about cutting some strips of fabric (that would fit in the places) and got stitching.

Here was the first block.

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Often it takes four blocks to make up a the “complete” design so I stitched three more and then stitched these together.

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Kapow! I loved this!

Sheesh, that’s another one on the to-do list then, lol!

Well proud that I managed to design one myself, even if it was quite basic.

To be honest, I am sure that this design is so obvious that it’s probably out there already, but I know that it was my brain power that put this one together from paper to finished section – *puffs out chest*.

After coming down from cloud nine I then wondered how small I could get a block so I made up a pattern to use up some tiny scraps of fabric.

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Copied it onto tracing paper as before and got stitching.

Here was the first block – it’s only about 2.5 inches square! Teeny tiny!

Fabric Friday - Further Adventures In Foundation Paper Piecing - 1To see what this would look like as a four block, I made three more and stitched them together.

Fabric Friday - Further Adventures In Foundation Paper Piecing - 3

Fabric Friday - Further Adventures In Foundation Paper Piecing - 4

Kaboom! Loads of colour and perfectly framed!

I can imagine this pattern repeating and seeing the slim black square outlines repeating across the quilt – oh boy, there’s another one.

To be honest though, I won’t be making these into a full sized quilt as I would need about five bazillion of these little squares, but I guess I could make a wall hanging or something…

As you can tell, I am really enjoying this style of patchwork. So much so that I have even invested in some new goodies to help.

The first is the Add-A-Quarter ruler.

This little gizmo is very much like the Perfect Layer rulers however it just has the one quarter inch edge this sits against the edge of the folded fabric and gives the perfect seam allowance against which to cut with the rotary cutter. It simply means that there is no risk of slipping, as I have done a few times with a standard quilting ruler.

Ingenius and simple!

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The next is some water-soluble printer paper. This means that I can print a design onto it, stitch through it and then wash it out after I have finished, rather then trying to tear out all of the little bits of paper – which for the smaller designs is going to be great!

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I’ll let you know how I get on with these in a future Fabric Friday blog post.

Anyway, that’s it for this week. It was just a play week really.

Hope you like how things are coming along with these – I’m really enjoying doing them!

If you have any questions or comments about this post, then please feel free to use the comments section below.

See you next time fellow sewists.

J :)

23 thoughts on “Fabric Friday – Further Adventures In Foundation Paper Piecing

  1. Wow John really love these blocks. I wish I had half the imagination and talent you have to come up with some wonderful designs.
    The small block is especially amazing for using up al those scraps of fabiic. And I supose you could always re size the block bigger, scan in to SnC and print out bigger so can use bigger scraps?


  2. well John if that is a play day I wanna play too…wow I will have to see if I can get my brain into gear, your so inspirational. Thank you for your blog keep it up. God Bless.


  3. Hi John, congratulations on both your blocks they look fab.
    Can you tell us where you obtain the Wash Away foundation paper … please!!!!!


  4. Hi John, What great work you do. I loved your first sample and loved the stunning colours.All I need is some more time to play.Thanking you again. Jackie Lewis


  5. Hi John

    What lovely blocks. My “jobs for others” list is getting long (lol, always coincides with other half going back to work and discovering theres things he needs that I can do!) But I did have a quiltinv magazine open a couple of weeks ago and I thought some hand piecing would be a nice lap project. Your squares show how stunning they could look.

    Looking forward to svg Saturday as (whisper it) that cutting machine I want is not very far away!!!

    Crafty hugs,

    T xxx


  6. WOW… that is amazing!!! And it is a perfect example what tiny scraps can be used for. It would be a shame to throw stuff away, so hopefully nobody will ever again put anything into the bin.


  7. Hello John, me again! Just been thinking about this as I love the concept, but I don’t like to put paper through my sewing machine. Do you think it work if you marked the foundation lines out on the lightest weight calico or a lightweight interfacing? I know the added bulk would limit and change the end use, but it is a thought if you don’t want to put paper through your machine.


    • Hi Deborah. You can actually by foundation designs pre-printed onto fabric or yes, you could mark it out on a lightweight fabric.
      This is a long standing technique with many years of being done. The paper does not harm your machine – it’s no different really to various other paper pricking techniques however you may just need to change your needle fractionally more often as the paper may blunt it slightly quicker than just working with fabric.
      To be honest I use one of the lightest tracing papers that I can find (63gsm), there are only two “weights” that are “lighter”. Copy/printer paper is usually 80 – 120gsm.
      The watersolubale printer paper is no different than a water soluble stabiliser, which is designed to be used with sewing machines so that might be an alternative, although it might work out more expensive than tracing paper.
      Anyway, I’m waffling now. Hope this allays your mind as to using “paper” in your machine to some degree.
      J :)


  8. Super dooper way to get started on a quilt, and use up all those little scraps, I’ll certainely give this a go, thank you for sharing


  9. Hi John fabulous designs & colours. I’ve always found the simpler designs are always the most stunning in the end. Well done I must have a go at this sometime one day when I’ve nothing else to do lol…. Thanks for sharing. X


  10. Foundation piecing is the best! I really love using this method. It is so easy to take a ‘known’ block and just alter a little part to get something completely new (to you – as you say John it is unlikely anyone invents something that has ‘never’ been done before, lol). It is a good way to get an interesting all over pattern going… Love your colour choices John and will be interested to hear how the water soluble printer paper works as I haven’t tried that yet…


  11. What lovely blocks you have sir!!! Friday is my only day off so I ‘m definitely having a paper piecing day after your inspiration. I didn’t know about the water soluble printer paper so thank you for the info, a brilliant idea. Have a great day xxx


  12. Good Morning John, What beautiful blocks you have made. The tiny ones are gorgeous I love the contrast with the Black, and the fabrics are yummy. Your own design (first one’s) are absolutely beautiful. Keep on inspiring us.
    Love and Light
    Sioux x


  13. I’m having a go at some foundation piecing my self this weekend let’s hope it comes out well, lovely to have you and fabric Friday back, looking forward to scan it Saturday!


  14. Really enjoyed reading this. I think it is the hardest thing to work out which piece is the number 1 starting point. As ever, I love the colours {my addiction is colour} and may I suggest some further uses for your mini patches? Pad them up for hot pads in the kitchen; use them as a medallion as a centre piece on a larger block, or as part of a quilt sashing {in the corners, or where sashes intersect between blocks}; stitched vertically for bookmarks {I’ve made a lot of mini patches into bookmarks and everyone loves them}


  15. Lovely blocks, John! I especially like the tiny one and would certainly have a go with my ever growing box of scraps. The water soluble paper sounds like a must though.
    I’m very much into English Crazy Patchwork at the mo and would love to see you do a post on that (apologies if you have and I missed it)


    • Hi Kate. I’ve sorted of been doing English Paper piecing with my Winter Projects project that I’ve talked about previously.
      Sadly I don’t get enough time to dedicate to such a time intensive craft despite my utter pleasure in doing it.
      I’ll perhaps look at doing a proper post later in the year.
      J :)


  16. You are so clever, love them both. I’m not a sewing person but still like to see what you can achieve. I have done iris folding and can see layered papers like this as a lovely background. With the small one, you could ask people to send you in a square and you would soon have enough for your quilt! Keep up the good work, always look forward to your posts.


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