The best way to describe sewing using foundation piecing is sewing by numbers. Sewing takes place on pre-printed or drawn paper which is eventually torn away. The fabric pieces are placed underneath the paper and sewing is completed following the lines on the paper. It can be easier to use this method that ‘normal ‘sewing as you know exactly where to sew. Also, with many foundation patterns there is an indication of which fabric should be used – for example, a background piece or a colourful piece – and often which colour. This is great for minimising confusion.
This doesn’t mean that sewing with foundation piecing is only for simple designs. Some of the loveliest designers I follow, @Mossandlotus, @quietplay and @tartankiwi create the most amazing and attractive pieces using this technique. Then for simpler, more iconic looks, Alison Glass has released a series of modern, but simple quilts make using this technique – see the Solstice Quilt at the end of this blog.
There is no need for additional equipment when using foundation piecing, just a normal machine foot is perfect. It is possible to buy pre-printed foundation sheet, or you can trace or print your own and the removal of paper is made easier by watching a movie or listening to the radio. 😊
Recently, in the UK, PatternTrace launched their own foundation paper which glides through a printer and is super easy to use and remove. It is the only paper I use now. It also makes the placing of the fabric pieces underneath the paper much easier because it is partially transparent.
So why not have a go – all the above pieces were completed in my teen classes 😲 … So, of course, you can do it! My next foundation piecing class is on 2nd December, via Zoom, where we will be making the Alison Glass Solstice Quilt – pre-printed papers are included in the price so it couldn’t be simpler. This is very suitable for beginners and will be a smashing day sewing head towards Christmas this year.