Paper piecing Tuto & Tips

A lot of sewer who have not tried foundation paper piecing think it is difficult. It is what it seems but actually it is quite easy: it requires only basic sewing knowledge like sewing a straight line. Nothing more! Here is a great tutorial made by Karen Johnson (Connecting threads). You can find many good tutorials online for foundation piecing, in movie or pictures, I think this one is the best.

I have seen several people (blogs, tuto, etc) who cut each piece of the pattern then sew in order. This is not the proper way to paper piece. It is longer plus this way the piecing is not accurate anymore. One of the great thing with paper piecing is that it allows small details almost impossible to sew otherwise, and it allows also very neat and precise piecing with crisp details. You can achieve this only by sewing through the paper.

Here are few tips and advises that I would like to add:
- Use foundation paper instead of usual printer paper: it is easier to remove without damaging the stitches.
- A small stitch make easier to remove the paper at the end, a large stitch make easier if you need to use your seam ripper. It is why I prefer a medium stitch size.
- When you choose your fabrics, the background should be contrasting with all the other fabrics of the design. If not, a part of the drawing might merge with the background and "disappear". It is the most common mistake, but when you know that, it's easy to avoid!
- Always follow the numbers (1,2,3,4...)
- When you precut your shape accurately, it is sometime dificult to be correctly adjusted to the pattern once you unfold the fabric, particularly for triangle shapes. tip: Larger pieces of fabric make it easier: they correctly cover the shapes, plus it's quicker!
- Always use large piece of fabric for the tiny shapes: it is easier to sew and you trim it later.
- For your very first paper pieced block, choose a simple pattern with larges pieces. (ex. matryoshka, barn or sweet heart from my shop are very easy)
- A cup of tea and few chocolates are a good help.
- Always have fun!

Spring Fling Blog Hop... and Y seams!

I hope you all enjoy this beginning of Spring like I do, gardening with my little ones and following this joyful blog hop! Today is my turn and I propose you a paper piecing block.  Here is my Rockrose block:

You can download the pattern HERE and THERE. This block includes Y seams. This is an opportunity for those who believe Y seams are difficult to try it and see how easy it is! So if you are new to Y seams, do not worry, just follow those easy steps:


Each seam must end without including the seam allowance. This allows you to pivot the pieces and attach them without creating a tuck. Mark small dots at the seam line corners on all pieces to be joined. (In a paper pieced block, you do not need to mark dots because you use the end/corners of paper). Use a pin to pin through the dot (or corner of paper) at each end before you sew. Start sewing right at that point (remove the pin first) and backstitch. When you come to the other end, stop right at the dot and backstitch again. Done!

I hope you will have fun sewing my block! And do not forget to check the other designer's blocks on the Fling Spring Blog Hop page!


  1. Thank you for your lovely Xmas patterns and your clear and helpful tutorial.I am making a Christmas table runner with your pine tree pattern purchased on line. Margery

  2. Looking for the Mystery Quilt beginning blocks. I have the May/June issue and it says that you have them available on line?/