Sunday, 18 March 2018

MARCH STUDIO TOUR: Accurate foundation piecing

I posted this tutorial several years ago but wanted to revisit it because I think it is so important for getting beautiful results with your foundation piecing.

I love paper foundation piecing (PFP), but one of the most frustrating problems I had when I was a newbie was coming up short. I would be happily piecing my block, go to flip the next section to press it, and crap! It would be too short or too thin or both. Even worse, I'd be pressing a finished block and find a "hole" at a seam where a piece came up short...ugh! I eventually discovered a method that has worked great for me. I first saw this technique in Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts by RaNae Merrill and modified it slightly by using freezer paper.

This is a simple and foolproof method for cutting your paper foundation fabric pieces perfectly. The tutorial will give you instructions for this cutting technique so you can accurately cut fabric for PFP, saving you time and precious fabric. This method is especially great for when you have multiple blocks to make. With these simple steps, all your pieces will stitch and flip beautifully.


You Will Need

  • Foundation piecing template that has been mirrored. 
  • 8½" x 11" sheet of freezer paper 
  • Scissors 
  • Rotary cutter 
  • Quilting ruler 
  • Fabrics for your block 
  • Coloured pencils or markers to match your fabrics.


    1. Print your template on the dull side of your freezer paper.

    2. Colour each section of the template with the fabric colour you want to use for that section. If a section is a white or cream colour, you can make a symbol to represent that colour or leave it blank.

    3. Cut out each freezer paper section into separate pieces and lay them on the corresponding fabric with the right side of the fabric facing up. Leave a generous space all the way around each section. Press lightly with a hot iron to get the freezer paper to stick. If you need multiples of the same section, you can place the freezer paper sections on 4 to 5 layers of fabric.

    4. With your quilt ruler, cut 3/4 inch allowance all around each section.

    5. All your cut sections should look like this when you're done. They're now ready to be pieced together with no surprises. It's important to NOT remove the freezer paper or you won't know which piece is which. Pick up your pieces from the bottom.