Best Foundation Piecing Method

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Hello, I am looking for the simplest means to do foundation piecing. I have discovered there are different methods and I am quite confused. Do you have any guidance or instruction that you would recommend? Thank you.

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Unfortunately this is a very complex question with no simple or right answer. There are as many ways to paper or foundation piece as there are stitchers doing it! A good place to start would be Alex Anderson’s book, Paper Piecing – great for beginners.

Depending on what you want to foundation piece, different techniques work more or less effectively.

I prefer to use a muslin foundation when doing flip and sew, crazy piecing borders, or sashing. But I prefer paper piecing anything that has long, tight points such as a Mariners Compass. I’ve designed literally hundreds of paper pieced blocks using what is now considered the “old fashioned” way to paper piece where you sew directly on the printed line through the paper.

One of the most difficult things to do when paper piecing is letting go – which you must do or you’ll drive yourself crazy! Simply let go of what you think you should be doing and how the block should look (because it’s all backwards and upside down) and simply follow the numerical sequence. Place the new fabric on top of the last fabric sewn , lining up raw edge to raw edge and keeping excess length dispersed in such a way as to cover the space it must cover once it’s stitched on, flipped, and pressed.

Hope this helps a bit. Good luck!


Related Video: Blocks and Quilts for Foundation Piecing

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6 Responses to “Best Foundation Piecing Method”

  1. Diane Reed

    I use newsprint. You can buy a ream from a school supply catalogue very inexpensivly. I put the paper in my printer and copy the pattern to it. Works great.

  2. Jacqueline kasen

    I would like to learn appliqué. Is there a book or reference you can give me.

  3. Lynda Newell

    Like with all quilting there are multiple ways of doing each part of the process. I recommend watching YouTube, reading articles and trying everything you see. You will develop you own repertoire of techniques with time. Paper piecing is slow and tedious but overtime you'll hate it a bit less. The results are breathtaking. Take a look at Amazon for White Newsprint. Much, much less than anything that says "quilt" on it. It comes in a ream of 8 1/2 X 11 sheets. Prints beautifully and tears out well. There is also a technique using freezer paper that does not require tearing the paper away. Many swear by it. I guarantee you will hate paper piecing at first but come back to it once in awhile it will grow on you and you'll get spectacular results. If we lived close I would love to teach you. Good luck.

  4. Patricia Anderson

    I found a tutorial for Paper Piecing by one of the girls who are doing the Challenge. Once I started the challenge I couldn't find it again to refer to. Please advise where I can find it again and the name of the tutorial.

  5. Connie SixAllen


  6. Marlene

    I have found two things that have given me success with paper piecing: 1) keep the edge of each piece of fabric that runs along the seam line on the straight of grain. 2) foundation paper does make a difference, after A LOT of trial and error I found foundation paper by Carol Doak works the best. It runs though my laser printer easily, can be removed better than anything else I've tried, and is the least expensive of all foundation paper on the market. Experiment to find what paper works best for you. It is one of the key components of this method of piecing and you don't want it to frustrate you to the point you abandon a project.