Foundation paper piecing has been on my to do list for months and months but I have been really nervous to try it. I’ve looked at guides and I just could not wrap my head around how it worked. I also kept dragging my feet on choosing a pattern, there are so many options out there. Carina has recently been making these awesome, brightly colored paper pieced geese so I decided that would be a good place to start.
I bought the Goosed Up pattern from Jeliquilts and immediately started panicking. The pattern looks so unbelievably complicated and I still couldn’t make sense of how to even begin the process.
I watched this YouTube video and while I still didn’t completely get it, I figured I would learn better by trying it out.
I got pretty far into the process and then realized I forgot to sew a seam really early on. I went back and forth on if I should backtrack but instead I just ripped the entire thing out and started completely over. I am so glad I did because the second time around things just clicked and I finally felt like I got it. I was able to get back to where I had been before a lot quicker the second time around.
Once I really started to understand foundation paper piecing, I enjoyed it a lot. I am not great at math or precision, both of which are required for traditional quilting. So I really like foundation paper piecing and english paper piecing which removes a lot of the precision work. It’s also a great way to use up oddly shaped scrap pieces of fabric since you just need pieces that are bigger than the area you are trying to cover, but the shape of them doesn’t matter.
But I did feel like in the end when I trimmed away all the excess fabric, it felt like a lot of it was wasted in the paper piecing process. This might be because I am a beginning though and it’s possible that as I get better I won’t need to use such big pieces and there will be less waste.
So far I think sashiko embroidery and foundation paper piecing are tied for my favorite things I’ve tried this year. There are a lot of really fun foundation paper piecing patterns and I really want to play around more. I absolutely love the Geometric Bear and Geometric Sewing Machine from Quiet Play.
Have you tried foundation paper piecing? I would love to know your favorite pattern!
Check out my past TSNEM posts –
January – Woodburning
February – Sashiko Embroidery
March – Macarons
See what other bloggers tried this month!
- Kristy tried embroidery
- Rebecca tried foundation paper piecing
- Vicky tried chalk paint
- Stephanie tried wood burning
Very nice 🙂 I love the effect of the pink against the black background
I don’t usually use solid fabric, I love using lots and lots of patterns. But for this I felt like it needed the solid to really make the colors pop. I did pick up some dark grey to try out so it isn’t quite as dark for the next one though.
Kelly J says
I love foundation piecing! I agree that it’s much easier to understand how to do it once you start working on it. I also had a lot of scraps left over from my first projects, but once you’ve done it more you get better at using smaller pieces.
Yeah, I definitely think the wasted fabric was just a rookie mistake. I was cutting pieces bigger than I actually needed because I didn’t want to mess up. Hopefully as I work on it more I will improve!
When I learned this skill, I was taught a method that wastes very little fabric and I would not do it any other way. Good job BTW!!
Ooh do you have any advice for wasting less? Is there a special trick?