Posted by Liz on July 24th, 2012 (Articles)

The Joys of Foundation Piecing

Foundation piecing (also known as paper piecing) is a type of patchwork quilting, where the patterns are printed on paper, which is sewn onto the fabric. I love foundation quilting (the quilt that I’m making for my future niece/nephew is paper pieced), and here are some of the many reasons why I think that you should try foundation quilting.

  1. There is no measuring required. You can complete a whole quilt without a quilting ruler or measuring tape. There are no numbers to get confused about.
  2. Your cutting doesn’t have to be neat or straight, it’s just your sewing that you have to be accurate with. I just place the pattern onto the fabric and cut the fabric into a roughly similar shape.
  3. It is literally ‘quilting by numbers’. Every little part is numbered, you sew piece 1 to piece 2. Sew piece 3 to that until you are finished. It couldn’t be simpler!
  4. It’s great for using scraps because you don’t particularly need equal seams (or at least, I can’t be bothered to cut equal seams)
  5. It’s easy to produce really complex quilts. You follow a pattern, so the more intricate the pattern is, the more intricate you’re quilt will be – but you still produce it by sewing the pieces together in order.
  6. It’s easy to produce tiny patterns. Because you’re sewing on the line you can accurately sew tiny pieces of fabric together.
  7. It’s easy to sew together unusual shapes, and smaller shapes. The fabric is sewn onto foundation paper pattern which stabilizes the pieces while you sew.
  8. It’s easy to sew together silky, stretchy or delicate fabrics because of the good old foundation paper.
  9. As long as you sew on the lines, all the blocks you produce with a pattern will be identical.
  10. You can think of something you’d like to sew, find patterns and start sewing in a matter of minutes, thanks to the glorious wonder that is the Internet. It’s easy to search for and print free patterns. Yay for sharing!
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