If you have been hearing about foundation paper piecing and wondering what it is, how it is made, you are at the right place. When I have seen those perfect shapes on fabric with no mistake, especially shapes of animals, trees, flowers and the complicated geometric shapes, I gave a wow to those who made them. I thought they were the masters of quilting until I learned about foundation paper piecing.

Foundation paper piercing is so rewarding when you see what patterns you can make. It takes a little practice the first time you try it but when you learn the basics, you can achieve any shapes that looks complicated.

Foundation paper piercing designs are the combinations of several smaller pieces which are sewn one on top of the next while gradually building a design. Each piece of the designs  is labelled with a number that you sew in numerical order.
Here is my step by step tutorial for you. I must say that I am not a professional but I'd like to show in my way how I make this. Hope it will be useful.

When you sew, you will need a template . You will use the template while you are sewing. You sew along the printed lines by numerical order. The finished sewn block will be a reverse image of the template because the fabric is sewn to the back of the template.
In this tutorial I will use this simple economy block. Once you learn the basic technique of FPP, the steps are all the same for foundation paper piecing patterns.

1- Before beginning, decide which fabrics to use for each section. Cut the fabric pieces for each section of the fpp template, pieces should be 1/2 inches larger than the section they will cover. The excess fabric will be trimmed later or you can cut the Fabrics as you go along, it's up to you. Here I preferred to precut.

2-  Find number 1 and 2 in the template and take to the fabric pieces for these sections.

3- Hold up your template against light source - windows will do great job. The right side of paper faces you .Take the fabric for number 1 and hold it to the wrong side of the paper template, wrong side of the fabric touches the paper, the right side of the fabric touching the light. Make sure that the fabric for number 1 covers all of this area with 1/2 inch seam allowance. Pin in place, the right side of the fabric faces you, wrong side facing the template.

4- Place number 2 triangle fabric right sides together with number 1 fabric. You need to align raw edges on the side where the number 1 and 2 meet . Pin in place along the line between the two sections. Don't forget that number 2 fabric should cover number 2 section completely with seam allowance so after pinning, you can fold the number 2 fabric and check it.

5- Sew along the line on the template between number 1 and 2. You need to shorten your stitch length about 1.5 so it'll be easier to remove the paper. You can extend your sewing line a few stitches beyond the line.

6- Fold the template along the seam line and trim the seam allowance on the fabric piece to 0.25 inch. Remember that the seam allowance is trimmed after sewing. For the rest of the block you will trim the seam allowances before sewing. Fold the triangle number 2 over and press it. Number 1 and 2 are pieced. (Don't forget to press after sewing each piece.)

  7- For number 3, fold the template over at the seam line between number 1 and 3.Trim excess fabric 0.25 inch beyond the fold line. You will trim the seam allowance for the seam before sewing. Sew through the line between 1 and tree, open the number 3 piece and press it.

    Repeat steps 4-6 to piece the remaining sections on the template in numerical order.

8-When you've finished sewing all pieces, trim the pieced block  along the dashed outer edge of paper template. The photo below shows the sewn lines.

9- Press the whole block and remove the template. You've done it! I like this technique quite a lot. It is a great technique to achieve perfect shapes from fabric. Enjoy it! There are some free patterns of fpp available in my block. Have a look at Rose Pattern here and Foundation Paper Pieced Butterfly Blocks. Free patterns are available in the link. Follow my blog because more free fpp patterns will be released here soon.

Hatun Çomak

I'm Hatun from Turkiye. I love quilting and patchwork and this is my patchworld. I share my projects, process, patterns and tutorials here in my blog. .