Friday, October 9, 2015

Tutorial Time

Hello lovely guests! Welcome to the very first tutorial on my little blog! I hope you enjoy it - should there still be any questions don´t hesitate to ask me!

How to do...

Foundation Paper Piecing - what the...huuuh?!!!

No, no ,no...stop! Don´t run away yet!!! This is just a very big name for a really simple task! Foundation paper piecing pretty much just means that you will use your sewing machine to stitch fabric directly onto paper that has your template printed on it. Yes, I am totally serious about sewing ON the paper! Are you still with me?! Great! Let´s get started!

step 1

Print out the hexie templates for the PDF and cut them out. Don´t be confused - the templates are reversed to give you a finished paper pieced hexie that is directed the right way. Just remember that the template is printed to the back of the paper and the fabric will be placed on the front so you will end up with a mirror image of the printed template. Don´t worry, this will make perfect sense to you once you get started.

If you are a very organized person you could totally print out a second set of templates and color them in to give you an idea of what colors you want to use and what fabric to pick out for achieving the look you want. Either way, now is a good time to get your fabrics ready and plug your iron in!

Also, we will do a little change on your sewing machine setting. When doing paper piecing you need to set your stitch length to shorter than you usually do. On my machine I tend to sew with a stitch length of 2,5 and for paper piecing I set it to 1,5. The reason why we are doing this is easily explained - the shorter your stitches are, the more stitches you will get and the more perforation your paper will get, which will make it a lot easier to rip the paper out once we are done. 

step 2

You can see the numbered steps on the paper, right? So let´s find number 1. The sewing line between number 1 and 2 will connect two pieces of fabric showing two parts of the finished hexie. So you will have to keep that in mind when you choose colors/fabrics. One of those two fabrics might have to be a background and one might be a part of the main object on the hexie. 

Now cut your fabrics. Those who already know how to paper piece will just eyeball how much seam allowance the need to add around their fabric pieces. Those you are fairly new to paper piecing should cut a piece that is slightly too big. Just remember once the piece is sewn down it is easy to trim any excess fabric but it is less enjoyable to rip all those tiny stitches out to replace a fabric piece that was too small and couldn´t cover all the required space of the template.

step 3

Place the fabric piece you cut out for number one right side up on the front (the non-printed side) of the paper template and hold it against a light source (window, lamp, computer monitor) to help you placing it perfectly. Make sure the piece is big enough to completely cover the number 1 area plus enough seam allowance all around it. Pin it in place. 

Find the fabric piece you cut out for number 2 and place it right sides together with the number 1 piece in a way that guarantees that both fabric pieces will overlap the sewing line between 1 and 2 - hold it against your light source to make sure! Pin in place. 

step 4

Carefully stitch along the sewing line between 1 and 2. Don´t forget to backstitch on both ends to secure your thread. 

step 5

Fold your paper template away from the seam you just created and if the seam allowance is really big trim it back to about 1/8 inch.

step 6

Turn your paper template with the fabric side up and flip the number 2 fabric piece away from the seam you just created and iron it "open". 

step 7

Now you are ready to add the fabric for number 3. Just hold the paper template against your light source to help you place the number 3 fabric piece right sides together with the number 2 fabric piece along the sewing line between number 2 and 3. Pin in place, double check that it is big enough and then sew it on along the sewing line and please backstitch again! Fold paper template back, trim the seam allowance and iron. 

Repeat all these steps until you are done. Now you will notice that there is excess fabric that overlaps the paper template. Trim all the excess off and then rip out your paper and iron the fabric hexie once again.

step 8

This is where foundation paper piecing meets English paper piecing - oh boy! Haha, again, it really sounds more freaky than it is! 

Simply cut out the 1 inch hexie template provided on the PDF pattern and place it on the wrong side of the fabric hexie, centering it carefully. Secure it with a pin and baste the excess fabric around the 1 inch paper hexie. When I baste hexies I don´t run my stitches through the fabric AND paper but rather have them running just through the fabric. Why? Because I don´t have to remove any basting stitches in my projects as they simply will not show and it makes removing the paper pieces pretty easy as you can just slip them back out once you are done with your hexie project.

How do I do it? I will make a stitch at each corner of the hexie to secure the two edges and then will just move to the next corner and do the same there. Repeat this for all corners and secure your thread on the last one. See, all basting happened on the back side of the hexie! No removing of stitches later - hooray! 


  1. Thank you for the tutorial. I saw your adorable patterns on the Nanna Company blog and rushed and bought the set with the gnome. I can't wait to have a go!!

  2. Hola me encantan. felicidades, es de una precisiĆ³n impecable. Un beso

  3. Thanks for the tutorial. Do you use regular paper?