Full Bobbin Designs Foundation Paper Piecing Pattern Quilt Block Designer


Foundation paper piecing is a quilting technique used to create precise and intricate quilt blocks or designs. It involves sewing fabric pieces onto a foundation, typically a piece of lightweight paper in a specific order to achieve complex patterns with accurate seam allowances.
English Paper Piecing (EPP) involves hand-stitching fabric around pre-cut paper templates, creating intricate shapes with a whipstitch or ladder stitch, while Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) employs a sewing machine to stitch fabric onto a foundation material, following printed lines for precise alignment; EPP is portable and offers curved designs but is slower, while FPP allows for greater accuracy, intricate patterns, and faster assembly, often utilising tear-away paper or foundation fabric.

When it comes to foundation paper piecing, using a temporary glue stick or glue pen is a common and effective method to hold fabric pieces in place while sewing. These glues are used to secure fabric to the foundation paper or fabric template, making it easier to accurately sew along the lines without pins or shifting fabric.

Here are the types of glue commonly used for foundation paper piecing:

  1. Washable Glue Stick: A washable glue stick is a water-soluble adhesive that can be used to lightly attach fabric to the foundation paper. It's important to use a glue stick that is washable and won't leave a residue on the fabric after washing the finished quilt.

  2. Fabric Glue Pen: Fabric glue pens are designed specifically for fabric projects. They often have a narrow applicator tip that allows for precise application of the glue along the edges of the fabric. Like washable glue sticks, fabric glue pens are water-soluble and won't leave a permanent residue.

  3. Liquid Fabric Glue: Some quilters prefer using liquid fabric glue that comes in a bottle with a fine-tip applicator. This type of glue can be applied in a thin line along the fabric edges before pressing it onto the foundation.

When using glue for foundation paper piecing, it's important to apply a small amount of glue and avoid using too much, as excess glue can seep through the fabric and make it stiff or difficult to sew. The glue is meant to hold the fabric in place temporarily until the sewing is complete.

Always make sure to test the glue on a scrap piece of fabric to ensure it doesn't leave any marks or stains, and choose glues that are specifically labeled as washable or suitable for fabric projects. Remember that the goal is to have the glue easily wash away when the quilt is laundered after completion.

Cutting fabric for foundation paper piecing involves precision and careful attention to the size and shape of the fabric pieces to ensure accurate and neat piecing. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to cut fabric for foundation paper piecing:

  1. Selecting Fabric: Choose the fabrics you want to use for your foundation paper piecing project. Consider color, pattern, and texture to achieve your desired design.

  2. Review the Pattern: Carefully study the foundation paper piecing pattern you'll be working on. Note the sizes and shapes of each section and the order in which they will be sewn.

  3. Gathering Supplies: Gather the necessary supplies, including your chosen fabrics, foundation paper, rotary cutter, cutting mat, ruler, and any marking tools you might need.

  4. Cutting Basics: Start by cutting your fabric pieces larger than the sections they will cover on the foundation. A general guideline is to cut fabric pieces about 1/4 to 1/2 inch larger than the section's size on all sides.

  5. Cutting Precisely: Place the fabric face down on your cutting mat. Position the pattern piece (template) onto the fabric, aligning it with the grainline if applicable. Ensure there's enough fabric around the edges for seam allowances.

  6. Cutting with a Rotary Cutter: Using a rotary cutter, carefully cut around the template, maintaining a consistent and accurate cutting line. A ruler can help guide the rotary cutter and ensure straight edges.

  7. Labeling: Since foundation paper piecing involves sewing in a specific order, label or mark the fabric pieces with the corresponding section numbers or letters. This will help you keep track of which piece goes where.

  8. Cutting Multiple Pieces: If your pattern requires multiple pieces of the same shape, consider layering your fabric and cutting multiple pieces at once to save time.

  9. Repeat for All Sections: Repeat the cutting process for each section of the pattern, making sure to cut fabric pieces larger than the corresponding foundation sections.

  10. Check Sizes: After cutting, double-check that your fabric pieces are larger than the foundation sections they will cover. It's easier to trim excess fabric than to add more if a piece is too small.

Remember that accuracy is key in foundation paper piecing, so take your time and strive for precise cutting. If you're new to the technique, it's a good idea to practice on scrap fabric before cutting into your main fabrics to gain confidence and improve your cutting skills.

Not really, special paper is often used for foundation paper piecing (FPP) to achieve the best results. The paper used in FPP is designed to be easily removed from the fabric after sewing, leaving behind clean and accurate piecing. There are a few options for foundation paper:

  1. Foundation Paper Piecing Paper: There are papers specifically designed for foundation paper piecing. They are lightweight and often have a slightly sticky or tacky side that helps keep the fabric in place while sewing. These papers tear away easily after stitching without leaving residue.

  2. Freezer Paper: Freezer paper can also be used for foundation paper piecing. One side of freezer paper is coated with a thin layer of plastic that can be temporarily adhered to fabric with a warm iron. After sewing, the paper can be easily peeled away.

  3. Regular Printer Paper: In a pinch, you can use regular printer paper for foundation paper piecing, especially for simple and larger pieces. However, it might be slightly more difficult to remove and might leave more residue on the fabric.

  4. Newsprint or Tracing Paper: Some quilters use newsprint or tracing paper as foundation paper. These options can work, but they might not tear away as cleanly as specialized foundation paper.

When choosing paper for foundation paper piecing, consider the following factors:

  • Ease of Removal: The paper should be easy to tear away without damaging the stitches or leaving residue on the fabric.

  • Sturdiness: The paper should be sturdy enough to support the fabric during sewing without tearing or shifting excessively.

  • Printability: If you're printing foundation patterns onto the paper, make sure the paper is compatible with your printer and that the printed lines are easily visible.

  • Size: The paper should be suitable for your printer if you plan to print the foundation patterns, and it should also fit within the size of your sewing space.

It's important to test whichever paper you choose with your chosen fabrics and sewing methods to ensure that it works well for your specific project. Some quilters prefer to purchase specialised foundation paper, as it is tailored for the technique and provides reliable results, but experimenting with different options can help you find what works best for you.

Yes, in most cases, the paper is removed from paper piecing once the sewing is complete. The paper serves as a temporary stabiliser and guide during the piecing process, helping to ensure accurate and precise seams. Once the quilt block or project is fully assembled, the paper is no longer needed and is removed to reveal the finished pieced design.

The process of removing the paper involves carefully tearing it away from the stitched fabric. Here's how you typically go about it:

  1. Completed Block: Ensure that your quilt block or project is fully sewn and that all the seams are secure.

  2. Access Points: Identify a starting point where you can easily access the edge of the paper. This is usually a seam allowance area.

  3. Gently Tear: Begin to gently tear the paper away from the fabric along the seams. Take your time and be patient, especially around corners and points, to avoid damaging the fabric or stitches.

  4. Stitch Removal: In some cases, you might need to help release any stitches that are caught by the paper as you remove it. Use a small tool or your fingers to carefully free the stitches.

  5. Complete Removal: Continue tearing the paper away from the fabric until all paper is removed. Be sure to check inside seams and corners to make sure no small bits of paper remain.

  6. Inspect and Trim: Once all the paper is removed, inspect the block for any loose threads or bits of paper. Trim any stray threads as needed.

  7. Final Pressing: After the paper is removed, give your block a final pressing to set the seams and flatten the fabric.

Keep in mind that the ease of paper removal can depend on the type of paper you used, the quality of your stitches, and the specific fabrics you worked with. It's important to use paper that is designed to be easily removed and to stitch accurately to ensure smooth removal. While paper removal can be a bit time-consuming, it's a necessary step to achieve the clean and precise appearance of paper pieced projects.