Foundation piecing is a great method for obtaining perfectly accurate pieced quilt blocks every time: You stitch fabric to a foundation of paper or muslin on which the block pattern is printed, using the printed lines as a guide. You don’t even need to cut precise fabric pieces ahead of time; instead, simply use any scrap of fabric you like (on or off-grain), as long as it’s large enough to cover the section of the template you’ve chosen. Sew the fabric patch on, trim the seam allowance, unfold, and press flat.
• Perfect Your Hand-Quilting Stitch Welcome to the age of miniaturization. Even the traditional Barn Raising pattern looks new when condensed in size and pieced with metallics, batiks, and hand-dyed silks.
For step-by-step instructions in foundation piecing, see Kayla Kennington’s article “Quilting on a Small Scale” in the June/July 2002 issue of Threads (#101), pp. 46-51. Then try your hand at miniature foundation piecing using our four free patterns.
Open or download the 4-page PDF file below for four free patterns. (Requires the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print PDF files.).
Once you’ve got the hang of foundation piecing, you’re limited only by the number of block patterns you can find to use. Foundation-piecing pattern software is a great source for templates. Both Foundation Factory by Quilt-Pro Systems (www.quiltpro.com) and Sew Precise! by the Electric Quilt Company (www.electricquilt.com) allow you to choose a pattern, alter its size to suit your needs, and print it out on paper. Printing options include how many blocks to print per page, whether to include numerals and seam allowances, printing in color or grayscale, and how many copies to print. Because you can customize the dimensions of the blocks, these products are ideal for generating templates for miniature piecing.
Choose a block template, pick a size, and print-foundation piecing software is that easy to use. Quilt-Pro Systems’ Foundation Factory (left) and Electric Quilt Company’s Sew Precise! (right) offer a variety of printing options. Click on the images to enlarge them.
Even the traditional Barn Raising pattern looks new when condensed in size and pieced with metallics, batiks, and hand-dyed silks.
Open or download the 4-page PDF file below for four free patterns.