Step-by-Step Photo Guide to Foundation Paper Piecing

The Drop Pillow pattern is primarily foundation paper pieced, and in Ships & Violins fashion, I've incorporated various opportunities to use the offcuts from one completed template in a subsequent template, in an effort to reduce dust-collecting piles of scraps. 

I've photographed instructions on paper piecing Template H, assembling Block E and some other miscellaneous notes to guide you through the template assembly. You've got this!

Assembling Template H

Step1 : We will be sewing along the line CA1 and DA2. Place a CA fabric piece* right side down under section CA1 as shown below. Nestle the template into the corner of your fabric pieces to produce larger scraps when trimming. (The template is upside down because I prefer to fold the paper toward me.) 

*Ignore the seams in the CA piece shown.

Step 2: Fold the template along the line between CA1 and DA2 as shown. Use a ruler to measure 1/4in above the fold and trim the excess fabric, which will be used to complete subsequent templates.

Step 3: Place a DA fabric piece under the CA right side up as shown. The fabric pieces should be right sides together. Pin in place. Sew along the line, backstitch at the beginning and end within the seam allowances. Press open.

Step 4: Fold the template along the line between CA1 and D(S)3. Use a ruler to measure 1/4in above the fold and trim the excess fabric. 

Step 5: Because this is the first template you've assembled there won't be any scraps to draw from for section D(S)3, but we can trim the large Fabric D piece that was just sewn on for section DA2.

Step 6: Once trimmed, place the scrap right side up on the folded D(S)3 section of the template. Ensure that the scrap covers the folded section completely while matching the edge of Fabric C.

Step 7: Place the scrap behind the Fabric C as shown below. Sew along the line between sections CA1 and D(S)3. Press open. 

Step 8: Trim the template by removing the largest excess pieces first. The scraps can be used for subsequent templates as well.

The completed Block H is shown below. 

How to Assemble Block E

Some blocks require two templates to be sewn together, such as Block E. Here's how it's done:

Place E2 RST with E1 along the angled edge. Push a pin through both templates ensuring that the highlighted corners align. Pin in place. Sew along the solid line, backstitching at the beginning and end. Press the seam allowance open and trim dog ears to finish.

Step 2:

SStep 3:

Step 4:


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Cristina De Miranda

Cristina De Miranda has been crafting and creating since her early years watching Art Attack. A tactile world of colour, pattern, and design appeared before her when a colleague introduced her to quilting in 2018. Cristina quickly dusted off her sewing machine and dived into a plethora of designer fabrics. Today, she is totally and irreversibly immersed in a whimsical world called Ships & Violins.