Sew Easy: Paper Foundation Piecing

Sew Easy: Paper Foundation Piecing

Piecing on foundation paper allows you to create complex or unusual designs with precision and ease. Below you’ll find both video and image+text tutorials for this technique with clear, step-by-step instructions. PLUS—if you’ve found this lesson useful, you can download a copy of this AND many more Sew Easy lessons in our FREE eBooklet Sew Easy Lessons: The Essential Collection of Quilting Techniques. Click here to download your copy of this lesson plus many other tried-and-true patchwork tutorials!

Video Tutorial

Step-by-Step Sew Easy Instructions

  1. Place fabric pieces larger than section 1 and 2 right sides together on back side of paper. Be sure fabric for section 1 is under that area and edges of fabric extend at least ¼” past stitching line.
  2. Using 90/14-sized needle and a short stitch length so papers will tear off easily, stitch on line between two areas, extending stitching into seam allowances at ends of seams.
  3. Open pieces and finger press the seam. Right sides of fabrics will be facing out on back side of pattern.
  4. Turn unit over and fold back paper on stitched line. Trim seam allowance to ¼”.
  5. Continue adding fabrics in numerical order, as you did with section 2. When all fabrics are added, trim excess paper and fabric along solid cutting lines.
  6. Sew all paper-pieced units together, as directed. Leave paper foundations intact until block or top is sewn together.
  7. After units or blocks are joined, carefully tear off paper foundations. Scoring paper with a pin or sharp-tipped scissors is helpful to remove foundation paper.
  8. A foundation-pieced block or quilt top will be extremely precise, even with unusual shapes.

Products used: Havel’s Self-Healing Cutting Mat, Havel’s 6-½” Fabric Ruler, Havel’s 45mm and 60mm Rotary Cutters, and Havel’s 3½” Straight-Tip Embroidery Scissors. Check out Havel’s Sewing for more information and a complete catalog.

Other products include Aurifil 40wt. cotton thread (fuchsia), 90/14 sewing machine needle, open-toe embroidery foot, glasshead pins, wool pressing pad, travel iron, starch.

Machine featured is the performance icon™ by PFAFF®. To find a retailer near you, visit

Fabric from Garden Glory collection by Maja Ronnback and Abstract Collage collection by Ampersand, both for Paintbrush Studio Fabrics.

If you’d like to download the individual PDF of Sew Easy: Paper Foundation Piecing, click here!

Want to learn more? Visit our Sew Easy index to find many more great Sew Easy videos from the Quilting Company team.

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