Thursday, January 17, 2013

Anyone can sew fabric to paper!

Step by Step

When piecing on paper squares, I use 1 ½” strips of fabric that is from trimmings of quilt backs and from the ends of pieces of fabric I have used in another project and it is still big enough to use but not big enough to store in my fabric cupboard.  I cut and sort these into bags and store them in a tub for when I want to do something mindless.

This particular block I have done a step by step of is for a two color quilt that does not have to be pulled together with a sashing or border.  To make this brown and green quilt, I have used any scrap of fabric that has some sort brown family or green family I can apply to it.  Some of the fabrics are other colors but will still fit my “rules” because there may be something brown or green in the fabric.  My game, my rules.


The center strip is my one constant.  Its purpose is to be a subtle design effect.
I start in the middle on the diagonal with this 6 ½” square of paper that is from a little telephone book.  

Because of the effect I want in the end, I will put brown strips on one side of the square and green ones on the other.
I press each strip as flat as possible after sewing it, with a plastic tool made for this purpose so I can lay the next fabric down and sew it. This way I can complete an entire block before having to press it flat with the iron. 

I use an iron after sewing the entire block so when I trim I don’t have bubbles.

As you can see from the back, there is not much waste because I had the paper to guide me for placement and my finished untrimmed block is relatively square.  My 6 ½” plastic square that I trim with fits inside the strips that hang over the edges.  There is a black diagonal line on the trimming square that lines up with the middle of the center strip.
After trimming I set them aside until I have finished all the blocks.  I pull the paper off after all is done because the seams easily fray.
Laid out with 4 green corners and 4 brown corners meeting results in a striking two color diamond effect.

Foundation piecing can also be done on muslin or other thin fabric.  That would also be trimmed to a square after sewing, but the resulting quilt top will be much heavier because of the extra layer of fabric.  I prefer the paper because it can be removed.  The paper is easy to remove because I shorten the stitch so it makes more holes in the paper.  That also keeps the stitching from coming apart while handling the fabric and stretching it to help in the paper removal.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for this tutorial. I'm not a quilter, but I do like to know how things are done. And if I ever get the urge to try, I'll have this in mind. Must confess, I'm much more likely to buy a quilt than make one.