Here’s a summary of my third “Give It a Month” birthday challenge. Each month this upcoming year, I’m conquering a new quilting technique. This past month, I tried foundation piecing.
I’ve done foundation piecing a few times and never found success with it. I found it frustrating and time-consuming. And even though foundation piecing is supposed to ensure accuracy, I still found my projects being a little off. Two of the quilts on my UFO Challenge list this year were foundation piecing projects, so I thought it was time to get more confidence in this technique and finish up those quilts.
I started by educating myself. There were a few blogs and video tutorials I found helpful.
- Jessica Dayon’s blog
- Christa Watson’s blog
- Polka Dot Chair blog
- American Patchwork & Quilting YouTube
(Word of warning, though. Because each pattern is so different, even though these tutorials are helpful in understanding the process, it still takes a little time to figure out the process on your individual pattern.)
Then I tested different products, processes, and techniques. I think it’s so important when you’re trying a new technique to test things first, so you feel comfortable with the products you’re using.
I’m not a person who needs all the bells and whistles for my sewing. I like to keep things simple and avoid needing a million tools to sew a quilt. Here’s what I used and loved while foundation piecing, although the resources I mentioned above use some other tools and techniques that may work best for you!
- Log Cabin Quilt Block Foundation Paper
- Add a Quarter Inch Ruler
- Wool Ironing Mat
- Mini Iron
- Flat Flower Pins
I tried printing my own foundation patterns, but loved the ease of having them already printed for me (the one linked above had clear numbering and shading to make it easy). If you’re just starting on foundation piecing, I highly recommend buying preprinted patterns! I loved having the ironing mat and mini iron right next to my machine, so I could save time when pressing between sewing each stitching line. I used flower pins to hold the fabrics in place (some people use glue, but I had the best luck with pins). And the Add a Quarter Inch ruler used to trim the seam allowance is honestly life changing (I held off on purchasing it for year, but it’s amazing!)
Next, I started on my project using my favorite tools! I made a Log Cabin baby quilt using 16 foundation piecing blocks. It turned out so cute! I tried a few different stitch lengths while sewing, but found that 1.2mm works best for me and made ripping the papers out easiest. That small stitch length makes it SUPER hard to rip out seams, though, which I definitely had to do a few times.
So after a month of foundation piecing, would I do it again? Not sure. I love the precision of foundation piecing and the cool patterns available! But overall, I thought foundation piecing was time-consuming and a waste of fabric and thread. I prefer classic piecing projects, and it was very hard for me to slow down and try piecing with this method. I think I made a mistake of having two large quilts made with foundation piecing on my list. In the future, I would only do foundation piecing for a mini quilt (something I can finish a little more quickly).
This page may contain affiliate links. Please review my disclosure for more info.
Thanks for joining me for “happy hour,”
Have you ever done foundation piecing? I’d love to hear your experience in the comments!