Foundation Piecing Tips

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Do I need a special machine stitich for foundation piecing?

Stitch Length

Using a short stitch will make for easier removal of the paper foundation. Try for around 14 stitches per inch to add as many perforations as possible.

Are there any basic tips for using rotary cutters?

Start with a Large Piece of Fabric

Take the time to doublecheck each piece of fabric as it is added to your foundation. Cut a large chunk of fabric to be sure that your seam allowances will completely covered after the piece is flipped to the right side.

Which side of the foundation do I sew on?

Up or Down?

When using foundations, be sure to place your fabric pieces on the unprinted side of the paper or muslin. This enables you to sew right on top of the pattern stitching lines.

What are some basic foundation piecing techniques?

Press Often

Take the time to press each seam to the right side as soon as it is sewn. This simple procedure will make block assembly a much smoother and more accurate process. Do not "iron" as you would an item of clothing. "Press" by placing and lifting the iron straight up and down without distorting the small pieces of fabric.

Do I need a special machine stitich for foundation piecing?

Extend Those Seam Allowances

Start and finish your sewing line a few stitches into each seam allowance. This will lock the seam in place and keep the piecing accurate.

What size needle should I use?

Needle Size

Use a large needle in your machine when stitching on paper foundation lines. The larger holes will make removing the paper easier.

What should I use for a foundation?

Paper or Fabric?

Foundation piecing is commonly done using paper or muslin fabric as the base of each block. The pattern is traced or copied onto the foundation. The marked lines make accurate piecing a snap.

How do I cut the fabrics for a foundation pieced block?

Fabric Size

Be sure to cut a generous piece of fabric to cover each section of the foundation. The recommended small stitch length makes for some very difficult seam ripping.

What are some basic foundation piecing techniques?

Try a Mini Iron

One of my new favorite tools for foundation piecing is the Clover Mini Iron. The nifty iron is just the right size for pressing seam allowances and working in tight spaces. This iron is great for smoothing appliqued bias strips and any other small pieces of fabric.

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Kristle Jones