Next term as part of our skills building classes we’re tacking Foundation Paper Piecing or FPP as its often called. There is often a lot of confusion about what FPP is and how and why you’d go about using it, yet as with so many of these traditional quilting techniques, it’s a fab thing to have up your quilting sleeve! People who like to FPP tend to just LOVE it and it’s one of those techniques that allows you to tackle all kinds of really complex looking blocks with ease. It allows you to achieve the kind of accuracy that hand piecing gives, but using your sewing machine.
It’s a beguiling promise; FPP allows you to achieve super accurate piecing, preserve sharp points, piece funny angles and bias and make super neat blocks every time. However it’s a technique that is much better taught and demonstrated than explained! In this method you use a paper ‘foundation’ to form a basis for your fabric placing and you effectively sew back to front, using the lines of your paper template whilst placing fabric behind the paper. Now I totally get that this sounds a bit bonkers but when you watch someone do it you see immediately how methodical it is. By sewing on the lines of your template you get perfect seam placement which lets you make very complex blocks ( like our follow on class the New York Beauty) with ease.
We’re running two classes this spring using this technique. For those of you completely new to the technique we have our Introduction to Foundation Paper Piecing where we will make this classic Flying Geese block as a practice piece. You can make up 3 more at home to turn this into a 16 inch modern cushion or use as a part of a mini pouch or other project. We’ll make this block together and you will take away other patterns to try at home to reinforce the technique.
If you can make Flying Geese in a row like this using FPP you can make them in a circle and for those wanting to move on to another FPP challenge we have the iconic New York Beauty FPP Mini Quilt or use this design as the centre piece in our other new class this spring The Old English Frame Quilt.
The New York Beauty block is an iconic quilters block with good reason – its a real jaw dropping display of accurate piecing, but if you make it using the FPP technique this accuracy is guaranteed by the technique. This is such a feel good make. Raid your stash for 32 favourite fabrics in a wave of colour and then just sew, flip, press, repeat! I can’t wait to see what you make in this class!
You can use Foundation Piecing to piece traditional blocks more accurately and quickly as well as using it to tackle a whole range of other styles of blocks such as Mariners Compass and New York Beauty with their characteristic points and curves. Learning to Foundation Piece is a crucial part of the quilters sewing skill set and we hope that you’ll join us to learn how in our Beginners Introduction To Foundation Paper Piecing or our follow on class The New York Beauty.