The lovely Jane asked me to create a quilt block for her Desperate Housewife’s Quilt (DHWQ). Of course I left it to the last minute and have been madly sewing and taking photos. But I love the result!!
This block is 8″ square and sewn using a technique called Foundation Piecing. This is where you use a piece of paper with the design printed on it as the basis for your sewing.
It produces very accurate blocks so it is great for a group project. I have only done it once before when I made a wedding present with the Quiltitis girls. We each made a number of blocks each then came together to join them as a quilt, so they needed to be exactly the same. Foundation piecing worked perfectly for us – the finished quilt was beautiful!
For this project, I used fabric that was left over from a quilt I made for my daughter’s bed. She has been asking for a matching pillow slip so I made two Pastel Stripes blocks. They will be the pretty feature in her pillow case.
Here’s the scraps I started with above. You need a large triangle for the largest part of the block. I’d recommend a 10″ square cut into two triangles. The strips need to be at least 1.5″ wide for the narrow stripes and 2″ wide for the wider stripe. Plus you need a small triangle for the corner.
I could go through step by step about how to foundation piece, but there are some great videos out there on Youtube so I won’t reinvent the wheel. Try this one, but there are lots of others:
I started with the small triangle and worked across the stripes to the large triangle.
My Tips for Foundation Piecing:
- Iron as you go carefully. It’s important.
- Iron before you trim the strips (if you are using longer strips like I was)
- Check carefully that your pieces will cover the shape. (If you look carefully you can see where I trimmed one of my strips too short)
- Use a shorter stitch length so it is easier to tear your paper off when you’re done
- I used normal paper that I could run through my printer. There are papers available especially for foundation piecing that can also be run through your printer but are thinner and easier to see through. If I were making a whole quilt, I would definitely have bought some.
- Use a good light to hold your pieces up and check that they are in place.
Here’s the back and front of my finished blocks before I trimmed them. The 8″ square only just fits onto an A4 piece of paper, so make sure your leave the seam allowance around the outside when you trim your finished blocks.
Here is the foundation block for you to print. It is a Jpeg file so you should be able resize it as well.
Have you tried foundation piecing before? Any tips to add?