I've always steered clear of directional fabrics when foundation paper piecing, but I was determined to use FIGO's Serenity striped fabric in a meaningful and intentional way for The Last Kiss sew along.
Below I've provided the step-by-step process I used to ensure that my striped fabric ran parallel to the length of The Last Kiss quilt top. This method has inspired me to venture beyond solids and basics to see what stories I can tell using directional fabrics with purpose. I hope it inspires you to do the same.
Step 1: Prepare your template using your preferred paper piecing method.
Above is the medium-sized kiss template. Below are the first three completed sections and my prepared seam allowance. The fourth section will be striped fabric.
Step 2: Trace the perimeter of the fourth section onto a plain sheet of paper.
Measure and mark a 1/2" seam allowance around the perimeter to allow for plenty of excess fabric when sewing and pressing open. Feel free to shorten sharp and lengthy corners.
Once you're more comfortable with this technique you can measure and mark a 1/4" seam allowance.
Cut out the new template (I'll refer to this as the "cutout" going forward).
Step 3: With the wrong side of the cutout facing up, mark "RS" for right side and arrows noting the desired direction of your fabric. In this case, I marked my arrows north and south for my striped fabric.
Note: If the section you've selected is the first section to be sewn to your paper piecing template, the "RS" of your cutout will be the side with the marked seam allowance.
Step 4: Place the cutout RS up onto the patterned side of your fabric. Reference the arrows to ensure it's your desired placement.
In the photo below, I've matched the direction of my stripe with the arrows on my cutout. I've also aligned the straight left edge of the cutout with a single stripe on the fabric.
Once you're pleased with the placement, pin, glue or tape the cutout in place.
If you would like to see more of your fabric when placing the cutout, cut away the centre area to serve as a window. Be sure to transfer any notes to the border.
Step 5: Cut the fabric piece by following the outer edge of the cutout. Use a ruler and rotary cutter for accuracy.
Step 6: Match the striped fabric piece with the prepared 1/4" seam allowance of the pattern's template RST, and attach by stitching along the template's marked sewline.
Step 7: Press open, confirm placement, and do a little dance!
Below is my completed mid-size kiss featuring directional fabrics.