Quilter extraordinaire Johanna Felberbaum explains why foundation paper piecing is the answer to all of your precision problems as she breaks down the basics of this flying geese quilt pattern!
Flying Geese are super popular in quilt patterns because the motif is so versatile that each project can be completely unique based on fabric selection.
Plus they can be either modern or traditional depending on layout and construction. They can pop off the wall or blend in casually with the right color scheme.
No brainer, right? This is why everyone loves them!
There’s kind of a catch, though – precision is absolutely key to the Flying Geese block. Because the effect of the block relies on high contrast, if the points aren’t perfect, it will be quite noticeable.
Luckily an easy way to achieve your perfectly perfect points is called Foundation Paper Piecing.
You may have heard of English paper piecing.
This is not that.
Here are the top 3 differences :
Foundation Paper Piecing vs. English Paper Piecing
- English paper piecing is a hand sewing technique, while foundation paper piecing usually uses a machine.
- Rather than stiff paper around which fabric is wrapped and finger-pressed, foundation paper is lightweight and will tear away easily after all the seams have been sewn.
- The templates in English paper piecing are individual shapes that are all incorporated to form an arrangement. But foundation paper templates are full block designs which are essentially traced over with the sewing needle.
They are both effective methods to avoid worrying about getting y-seams just right, and for achieving those precise points that are so essential to Flying Geese blocks.
Benefits of foundation paper piecing include:
- Increased accuracy
- Saving time in the measuring, cutting and stitching stages
- Making your own designs into templates by hand drawing or printing them out
- Being able to use scrap fabric from your stash
- Being able to use a variety of textiles, even very delicate ones
- Easily fixing mistakes with a seam ripper
Of course this technique is not limited to Flying Geese, but is especially useful for blocks with small pieces that would otherwise be very difficult to piece together accurately. It also lends itself well to fussy cut and irregular-shaped pieces.
Now not all blocks will be compatible with paper piecing, but tons of them are. The most inspiring thing is to know you can be creative and make your own templates – even your own patterns – and rely on the accuracy of having a foundation to work from.
Precision with ease – what more could a quilter ask for?
Let us know if you’ve tried foundation paper piecing and what you love about it in the comments section!