Quilt-A-Long Adventures: Foundation Paper Piecing

The March applique block along with the January and February blocks

Way back in January I was easily tempted into following not one but three 2016 QALs. The block of the month Sugar Block Club by Amy Gibson has had some enjoyable challenges, drawing me out of my piecing comfort zone. In March I coped with a bit of machine applique but the foundation paper pieced May block stalled my progress. Up until then I’d had just two forays into FPP and they were both some time ago so I knew I’d have to do some revision and be prepared to take my time.  Hum! ‘Time’! Always an issue! Back in May there were too many other things going on and I chose not to tackle the block.

Fast forward to the June block from the Sugar Block Club and I was once again back in my comfort zone although I didn’t actually make the block until 2nd July. I had to smile as I cut out the fabrics and pieced it because in my post of 30th June I commented, ‘I must admit to feeling the need for a little break from trimming HSTs…’ and ironically this block sure uses a lot of HST making skills!

June in the Sugar Block Club. I switched around some of the HSTs to break up the stronger stripes of colour in the original pattern

In the meantime Amy had published the July block and guess what? Yep! Another foundation pieced block! As my box of fabrics reserved for this QAL was already opened I decided it was about time I went back and used Amy’s tutorial and my Carol Doak Craftsy class (started not yet finished…) to crack the foundation paper piecing technique.

Of course, using two tutorials meant I did mash together variations in methodology. In my earlier, enthusiastic, start to the Carol Doak class I purchased a pack of her piecing papers so I printed the Sugar Block Club design on sheets of this rather than copier paper.  This meant I could skip Amy Gibson’s advice to perforate the stitch lines before sewing. And as I followed Amy’s photo tutorial I kept Carol’s teaspoon (tsp) mantra in mind: ‘trim, sew, press’. I did work very slowly through each stage, with plenty of breathing spaces, it took me four days to complete the block! And I had a couple of issues to deal with along the way:

I used the wrong glue stick to ‘temporarily’ attach the foundation paper to the first piece of fabric – oops. I decided with all those exposed bias edges I’d better not try dampening the fabric to remove the paper residue until the block was complete.
I found I’d missed a corner by not placing a piece of fabric correctly. I could have unpicked some seams and realigned the fabric but decided to stitch-in an extra little piece to fill in the corner (top right).
The completed May block 🙂

I guess it would be sensible to make the July block now, while the FPP technique is fresh in my mind and the fabrics and equipment are still at the top my heap of works in progress?

On a completely different note: I am full of satisfying aches today, having spent all of yesterday gardening. We have had at least four days of continuous dry weather – wa-hoo! After so much dull, wet weather the garden looks very green and lush but not particularly colourful. I cleared away most of the spent flowering plants (enormous foxgloves and tatty looking ‘ladies bonnets’) and replaced them with the cosmos, marigolds and nasturtiums that have been growing in pots for too long. I love the mix of sounds that accompany outdoor activity – usually around here these include children playing, a slight drone from the M3 motorway, various birds and noisy Chinook helicopters. Recently all of these have been drowned out by the occasional jet fighter screaming overhead! The Farnborough International Airshow begins on Monday and, if the clouds clear, we usually get a taste of the displays as aircraft fly around the County waiting their turn to swoop in on the Show. In my childhood, aerial activity from Farnborough and military airbases in the area was much more common.  I distinctly remember in the early 70’s our school Headmaster ushering us all on to the school playing field to watch Concorde fly over on one of it’s test flights – very dramatic and VERY loud!

And to close, still looking skywards, what an awe inspiring sunset we witnessed last night:

‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.’ Psalm 19

Have a lovely weekend.


3 thoughts on “Quilt-A-Long Adventures: Foundation Paper Piecing

  1. your blocks look really good and I too love your colour choices ! I don’t know if this is any consolation but I have to re-learn paper piecing each time too and yes, it is slow going for me too. I think the results are worth it though. I haven’t tried any special paper – what do you think of it ?


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