Saturday, May 2, 2015

Foundation Paper Piecing - An Enchanted Forest by Janeen Van Niekerk

I love foundation paper piecing! It is the best way (IMHO) to get accurate points and seams especially when working with small pieces. What is it? Sometimes called sew and flip, it is the technique of sewing fabric directly onto a printed pattern and the flipping it over and sewing another piece to cover the raw edges. Usually you can just follow the lines on the printed side so it is really easy. The hardest parts are getting your fabric pieces the right size and shape to cover the shape you are working on, figuring out in which order to sew the pieces, and working upside down and backwards. For a more comprehensive description and instructions check out this YouTube tutorial from Connecting Threads.

I do foundation piecing almost exactly the way Karen (from the video) does with a few exceptions. Instead of pinning I use either a dab of glue stick or a piece of blue painters' tape. 

Additionally, instead of paper or vellum, I have recently been using a foundation product that doesn't need to be taken out - Ricky Tims' Stable Stuff Poly. I think both foundations (lightweight paper or Stable Stuff) are good it just depends on the final product. I really don't like removing papers, so this works for me. 

I'm working on a couple of foundation pieced projects at the moment. Sedona Star, a BOM from Sarah Vedeler, and Enchanted Forest, a BOW by Janeen Van Niekerk of Quilt Art Designs.  I'm loving the Enchanted Forest (I added the adjective enchanted - it fits), I keep thinking about painter Bob Ross every time I piece a little critter (remember? "its your world, you can put little squirrels and rabbits anywhere you like").

Janeen is the QUEEN of foundation piecing. She has patterns for animals, cars, dresses, traditional blocks and anything else you can think of. Check out her Pattern Shop at Craftsy. She also has BOM and Quilt Alongs on her website every year. Enchanted Forest is the Art Quilt Along for 2015. 

To make Enchanted Forest, I've needed green fabrics - lots of different greens! Lime, Avocado, Olive, Kelly, Moss, Forest, Spring, Hunter, Spruce, and Blue-Green. And lots of different prints - Solids, Tone on Tone, Textures, Dots, Stripes, Foliage, Swirls and more. It's been fun looking over the green Fat Quarters in the shops I've visited. Of course I also needed blues, reds, yellows, browns, grays, and oranges for the critters.

So, I've finished week 5 of 12 - some sky, sun, flying geese, 3 trees, 3 birds, and 1 lizard.  I hope to catch up  - Janeen has been sending out a pattern a week and I am 4 weeks behind.  

Janeen lives in Pretoria South Africa. I wonder how many people from different countries are participating in her Quilt Along.

So, if you are at all curious about foundation piecing, check out Janeen and Quilt Art Designs. They are terrific!