Learning to Quilt One Block at a Time: Foundation Paper Piecing

My plan to sew a quilt block each month fell apart after the first three months. Here is it the month of August and I just made the quilt block for the month of April. I am following lessons through a free online course offered through Craftsy called, 2015 Block of the Month. Right now I am just learning the techniques and not putting together a finished quilt as the instructor is doing. Because of that I am using scraps of various fabrics I have for each block I make. You can see the other blocks I’ve made here, here, and here. In this lesson I learned how to do foundation paper piecing for making blocks.

The lower part of this block (the basket base) was put together using the same techniques I learned in the previous lessons. This block design is called a Pine Needle Basket.


The top half of the block (the basket handle) was put together by sewing pieces of fabric together onto a paper pattern (the foundation). The pieces must be put together in the proper sequence in order to make it work— I felt like I was putting together a puzzle! This is what the back side of the block looks like after sewing the fabric pieces to the paper. Because the fabric is sewn to the paper with very small stitches using the sewing machine, the paper is easy to remove because of the perforations.

Pine-Needle-Basket-Quilt-Block Back

After I finished this block, I wanted to try foundation paper piecing on another block. This website has many free patterns to download and I chose the Flying Kite Pattern to try in a small four inch block. It went together quickly and I want to try more designs!


Foundation-Paper-Piecing-Flying Kite

If you want you learn to sew quilt blocks, but the thought of tackling a large quilt is intimidating, just start making some little quilt blocks using scraps of fabric you already have. Quilt blocks can be used in many ways other than to make quilts. Frame several blocks for wall art, make a pillow top, add a quilt block to a handbag, make a hot pad, placemat, or coaster. Get those creative juices flowing and you’ll find all kinds of uses for your “sampler”  blocks.

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