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Moda Blockheads 4 - Block 21

Well this block was a surprise. It is Shiny Bauble by my friend and talented artist Janet Clare.

I have to confess I was not expecting any foundation piecing, hence my surprise. I have not sewn foundation piecing for a long time, so I had to dust off the cobwebs in my brain to get started. Once I had thought about it for a while, it all came back to me. It is like riding a bike!

Make sure your foundations are printed the correct size. Measure them after you have printed them off. Mine were a little small, I suspect that is due to the fact I printed on A4 paper and the pattern sheet is probably done on US Letter size. I cannot print that size here in Australia, so I just had to adapt. There is probably some tech wizard out there who could tell me how to resize the templates on the computer but I just cut my foundation a little bigger, measuring the correct size for the pattern. If the foundation was a very involved and complicated one, with lots and lots of pieces, I would probably go to the trouble of figuring out how to print it at the correct size. There were only three pieces to each foundation, so just cutting them to measure the required size of 3 ½" x 9" or 2" x 5" was the best way to proceed for me.

I used checks from my Easy Living Toweling range, making sure they were cut symmetrically and exactly the same.

On the small square I made sure that one of the white lines on the check was exactly in the centre of the large triangle. So each foundation was pinned on the fabric in the same place, relative to the checks. This way they both look the same and the checks and stripes line up. If the stripe was very small scale, there's no need to worry about this, your eye won't pick it up.

You can see on this photo that I am using Diagonal Seam tape so sew across the diagonal on these squares. This speeds up the process enormously, there is no need to mark the diagonal on your squares. It saves you a whole step and so much time. I am using this procedure all the time now, I have Diagonal Seam tape on all my sewing machines and am showing it to all my classes.

People often get confused when sewing foundation piecing. They mix up where to put the fabric and get in a muddle. I tell people to remember the golden sewing rule and that is 'Right sides together'.

If you have the fabric right sides together, you can't go wrong. The foundation has to be visible, so you can see the lines to sew on. The fabrics you are sewing together must be right sides together, so the seam will be hidden when you flip the pieces back. If you use the idea of right sides together, when sewing your fabric you can work out what you should be doing.

The paper foundation is on the wrong side of the first piece of fabric. Fabric number two will be right sides together against fabric number 1.

It is also worth pinning the seam and flipping the fabric back, prior to sewing, to make sure it is correct and is covering the whole shape that it is meant to.

I enjoyed revisiting foundation piecing and refreshing that skill, so thank you Janet for this lovely block.

Happy sewing


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