Do you ever wake up in the morning just itching to try something out? No, just me then. I’ve been getting increasingly curious about foundation paper piecing for making quilt blocks, possibly because Pinterest keeps suggesting I might like it (you are wise all seeing Pinterest Cookie Monster, and just a little scary with your accuracy), and possibly because it’s cool. the idea that you sew from the back, without having to cut precisely and still end up with very beautiful pointy points was both baffling and intriguing. Which meant there was really only one thing to do; have a go.
And so this week, I made a mini quilt. Just because.
After many many happy moments pottering around Pinterest I found the free patterns for foundation piecing on Piecemeal Quilts including a gorgeous set of heart blocks, and my heart was sold. They’re all lovely blocks and one day it would be so much fun to make a row quilt that has a row of hearts all with the same fabric but in different patterns. But I’m getting ahead of myself, back to foundation piecing.
The other really great resource I found was You Tube. I watched a few tutorials but the method and video I liked the best was this one from Connecting Threads:
I don’t have any velum as far as I know so I printed out the pattern and traced it onto greaseproof paper and that worked fine. I don’t have an add a quarter ruler either so I just eyeballed it when trimming the seams down, though I can see why it would be so handy – I must remember to tell Father Christmas about them.
I did a little stash diving for some scraps and then I was off, and it turns out, foundation piecing is really really easy.
It is a little big bizarre sewing from the back and there were a couple of times when I got my right and left muddled up and sewed the wrong piece first but greaseproof paper will hold up to some very gentle seam ripping and all was well in the end.
And then with nice sharp pointy points in all directions, I gently pulled off the backing paper, and squared the block up to 6 inches. It was at that point that I realised that if I wanted to add a border I probably should have done it when the paper was still attached to ensure that I didn’t loose any of the points, but you live and learn. Next time I’ll remember.
To turn it into a mini quilt I sandwiched a bit of left over wadding with a square pinched from the corner of a fat quarter and filled the heart in with some free motion quilted hearts for the practice. Clearly I need a bit more practice but that’s just a good excuse to make more quilts.
The binding is leftover from my very first quilt, I misread the instructions on how much to make and had metres and metres more than I needed so it’s nice to put it to good use after 7 years of sitting in the scraps pile.
And I love the result. I managed not to chop the points off the heart when putting the binding off which is nothing short of miraculous and for a few scraps and an afternoon’s work it’s not bad. As might be suggested by the fact that every time I tried to put it down to take a photo, it kept mysteriously disappearing!
This week I’ve also been knitting in all sorts of odd moments and car journeys. Pip’s jumper is going to be Livingstone in a beautiful blue grey baby cashmerino appropriately called Mist and as I’ve already got nearly to the underarms and then had to pull it all back out because I’d got the pattern spacing slightly wrong, it’s probably a good job I’ve started now. In truth the mistake I made was consistent and not very obvious so I could quite easily have left it, but the more I thought about it the more it niggled and I knew I’d always look at it and think, those seagulls should be further apart.
I can’t help it, when it comes to knitting I have perfectionist tendencies.
The flock of seagulls is growing again though and we still have more than a month so I’m quite confident that I’ll be finished in time, and hopefully I’ll have a bit of time to get started on something for Kitty before September looms.
Fingers crossed, and needles.