The May theme for Sew For Fifteen is Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP). Fabric is sewn to paper one piece at a time, allowing the sewist to create precise points and angles that are difficult or near impossible to achieve with traditional piecing. FPP can be used to make simple blocks, like Half Square Triangles and Half Right Triangles, as well as complicated compositions such as detailed animal blocks and multi-part mini quilts.
Foundation Paper Piecing is a technique that can be done with nearly the same supplies as traditional piecing, with the exception of the pattern templates. However, there are a number of tools that can make your paper piecing easier and better – a seam roller, water soluble glue stick, add-a-quarter ruler, and a light box, among other things. A few of the tutorials below list them in detail.
I recently acquired a light box, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with that tool here. Beyond that, all I need are paper, fabric, and thread. Oh, and scissors, a rotary cutter, and a cutting mat. And a sewing machine. You know, the essentials. 🙂
I use Aurifil 50wt 2600 (light gray) thread for all my piecing, including FPP, and I always turn my stitch length down to 1.0. The smaller stitch length holds the thread more securely when you rip the paper off at the end, and it helps with that part by perforating the paper.
It’s not too late to join us for the May Sew For Fifteen challenge. Take a look at the tutorials and free patterns below and jump on in!
Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorials:
Quiet Play Patterns: Kristy at Quiet Play Patterns has designed a huge variety of FPP patterns, including geometric animals, holiday patterns, dinosaurs, letters, and so many more. The linked image below is one of a handful of free patterns that she offers on her PayHip site, linked above.
Wombat Quilts: Cath at Wombat Quilts has shared some really helpful tutorials and posts on Foundation Paper Piecing. In addition, she has rounded up over 70 free FPP block patterns, including her own and those published by other makers. The block below is an example of one of the many blocks that she has designed and shared for free.
Lillyella Stitchery: Nicole at Lillyella Stitchery has a number of paid and free FPP patterns that are great for learning angles in FPP, and work for small quilted items all the way up to large quilts.
Sariella Patterns: A collaboration between Sarah Thomas at SARIDITTY and Nicole Young at Lillyella Stitchery, Sariella offers a number of beautiful free and paid patterns. The Electric Diamond pattern is another great way to learn angles in FPP and can be made in so many ways, from edgy to super cute!