Block Friday – Give Foundation Piecing a Try

Today we’re focusing on paper piecing, also known as foundation piecing. How did this technique get these names? Because you literally piece the block onto a foundation layer of paper or fabric. With paper pieced quilt patterns, you remove the paper once the block is complete.

paper piecing chair block
One paper-pieced block for a pillow, by Penny Layman.

Because you’re sewing onto a foundation layer, paper piecing allows you to create blocks that have tiny areas of detail that would be impossible to sew accurately with just a template. The detail can be very complex and once you have the concept down, the piecing part is as easy as sewing a straight line.

Hand piecing with English paper piecing patterns relaxes me and I enjoy a sense of accomplishment. But for some people, the idea of foundation piecing an entire quilt, even by machine, is daunting.

If you’re intrigued but intimidated by paper piecing, I suggest you start with one block and see how it goes.

paper pieced quilt patterns penny layman
Three of Penny Layman’s paper pieced quilt patterns,
each made into a one-block pillow.

I have the perfect resource for you: The Paper Pieced Home: Quilting a Household One Block at a Time by Penny Layman. Her instructions for paper piecing and sewing techniques are easy to follow and her whimsical designs (50 Templates included) will help you put the fun in functional items like window valances, bathmats, sewing organizers, and pillow shams.

If you’d rather hear from Penny live, she will present a one-hour web seminar on paper piecing April 24, 2015, at 1 p.m. ET. Get all the details about the event, how to “be there” even if you can’t attend live, and register now.

P.S. Do you know how to sew a quilt (or a block) with foundation piecing? Do you prefer hand piecing or machine piecing? Tell me about your experience and share your tips below.

Other topics you may enjoy:


Quilting Daily Blog, Sewing Techniques

2 thoughts on “Block Friday – Give Foundation Piecing a Try

  1. i like to do paper piecing to a point. That is what is great about paper piecing the points are sharp. you hace to remember it is backwards from what you think. more people should paper piece. you can save material – if you are lucky. Thanks for letting me voice my opinions,