Today I’m so excited to share this fun guest post from Leila Gardunia where she walks us all through the step by step process of Foundation Paper Piecing to make this adorable scrappy Carrots mini quilt – it’s so perfect for spring! If you haven’t tried Foundation Paper Piecing, it is a fun, totally different technique that allows you the freedom to create unique and perfectly-pieced shapes that would be practically impossible to get any other way. It’s a fun asset to have in your quilting skill-set. Leila does a fantastic job showing you how to do it!
Hi, I’m Leila, a ginger beer, dark chocolate, and audiobook loving mom of five. During the last year I have become obsessed with designing scrap-busting foundation paper pieced patterns.
It has been a lot of fun to make these patterns and I thought I could share another scrappy foundation paper pieced pattern with you today.
These Scrappy Carrots are a cute, fun, fast project. Even though they could be used for a summer or fall garden themed project, I think they scream Easter! You can make three into a mini quilt or make more to incorporate into a table runner, bag, or zipper pouch. The sky’s the limit!
Click here to download and print the foundations. Then, dig through your scrap basket for some greens and oranges. The pieces in the quilt are so little that you can use your smallest scraps. I love that!
Make all three carrots and tops, sew the tops onto the carrots, then sew the completed carrots together into a row. Remove the papers, quilt as desired, and bind. A cute mini quilt in an afternoon!
If you are new to foundation paper piecing, I have a post The Ultimate Guide to Foundation Paper Piecing that will guide you through step by step. Foundation paper piecing can be a bit hard to wrap your head around at first, but just jump in and give it a try. It really isn’t as hard as it looks.
For everyone who is familiar with foundation paper piecing, I thought I would share a few tips that will make it a smooth and successful process. These are things that I’ve learned along the way – mostly through trial and error.
Three Tips for Successful Foundation Paper Piecing
1. Measure the foundation.
Foundations don’t always print to size, so it is important to measure them. I always measure the foundations themselves, not just the 1” line commonly found on the patterns. I started doing this after I made a foundation paper pieced block that ended up being ⅜” too small. How did that happen?!? I had measured the 1” line!
I went back, remeasured and found that the 1” line was actually just a hair short of 1”. That hair summed over 12 times added up to ⅜” too small. I had to start over. Super frustrating!
From then on, whenever possible, I measure the block itself to see if it printed correctly. Some foundations are odd shaped and this isn’t possible, but when it is, I do. For example, the carrot part of the Scrappy Carrot blocks finishes at 3” x 4 ½”. I can measure the inner line to make sure it printed accurately.
2. Trim your fabric before sewing on the next piece.
Some people don’t do this because of the extra time it takes, but if you do, you will be much less likely to make a mistake when sewing on the next piece of fabric. No one likes ripping out tiny stitches!
Let me show you how to trim.
Pin fabric onto the backside of the foundation, covering section 1. Then flip over the foundation paper and locate the line that runs between section 1 and 2. Using a postcard or piece of cardstock as a guide, fold the foundation back along the line between section 1 and 2.
Line up the ¼” line on the ruler with the edge of the paper and trim the exposed fabric to ¼”.
Fold the paper back down and flip the foundation over to the backside. Place the second piece of fabric on top of the first, right sides together and lined up along the trimmed edge. Pin in place if necessary and stitch. Press and repeat the trimming before adding each piece of fabric.
In the long run, trimming is faster and more sure proof. Give it a try!
3. Determine what size fabric you need for your next piece.
Knowing what size of fabric you need is always helpful, but this is really important when you are making multiples of the same block and want to save time by pre-cutting your fabric. No one wants to pre-cut a bunch of pieces too large or too small, right?
To find out how large your fabric needs to be, place the ¼” line of the ruler on the stitching line. Look at the section underneath the ruler. You will need to cut a piece of fabric ½” wider on each side and it will need to extend ½” longer than the section.
For this Scrappy Carrot, I’ve put the ¼” mark on the line that runs between section 1 and 2. I’ll need a piece of fabric ½” larger on the other three sides. In this case, that would be 1” x 3”. (note red lines)
I hope these tips will be helpful as you foundation paper piece. I think it is such a fun piecing method and who can say no to perfectly matched points? If you want to stay in touch and try more foundation paper piecing, you can download the 52 free foundations from my Year of Scrappy Triangles here. Happy sewing!
Thank you Leila! I can’t wait to start digging into my orange scraps!
As a girl who loves the mountains, I also can’t wait to make some of those mountain blocks!