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Quilter extraordinaire Johanna Felberbaum explains why foundation paper piecing is the answer to all 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.
In addition, they can be modern or traditional depending on the layout and construction. They can pop off the wall or blend in casually with the right color scheme.
No brainer, right? That’s why everyone loves them!
There is one kind of catch, though – accuracy is absolutely key to the Flying Geese block. Because the block effect relies on a high contrast, if the points are not perfect, it will be quite noticeable.
Luckily, an easy way to get your stitches perfectly perfect is called Foundation Paper Piecing.
You may have heard of English pieces of paper.
This is not that.
Here are the first 3 differences:
Foundation Paper Piecing versus 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 the fabric is wrapped and pressed with the fingers, the foundation paper is light and tears easily after all the seams have been sewn.
- The patterns in English paper pieces are individual shapes that are all incorporated to form an arrangement. But foundation paper patterns are complete block designs that are essentially traced with a sewing needle.
They are both effective methods to avoid worrying about getting Y seams just right, and to get those precise stitches that are so essential to Flying Geese blocks.
The advantages of foundation paper piecing include:
- Increased accuracy
- Time saving in measuring, cutting and sewing phases
- Make your own designs by hand drawing or printing
- You can use scrap fabric from your stash
- Being able to use a variety of fabrics, even very delicate ones
- Fix mistakes easily with a seam ripper
Of course, this technique is not limited to Flying Geese, but it is especially useful for blocks with small pieces that would otherwise be very difficult to piece together with precision. It also lends itself well to fussy cut and irregularly shaped pieces.
Now not all blocks will be compatible with paper pieces, but tons are. The most inspiring thing is to know that you can be creative and make your models – even your models – and rely on the accuracy of having a foundation to work on.
Precision with ease – what more could a quilter ask for?
Let us know if you’ve tried the foundation paper piece and what you like in the comments section!