Try out this small project while learning a new quilting technique – paper piecing. This method helps quilters sew tiny pieces with expert accuracy. You only need a few fabric scraps and your sewing supplies – nothing fancy here. View the video below, download a pattern and you’ll have a small framable quilt block in no time!
Paper foundation piecing is a good skill for beginners to learn as it helps with sewing accurately. There are many small projects that you can make with paper foundation pieced blocks. In this video, I’ll show you how to paper piece this Flying Geese block with 3 triangles. The finished size for this pattern is a 2 1⁄2 by 3 inch rectangle.
You’ll want to download a copy of this pattern at LearnHowToQuilt.com underSmall Projects or under Beginner Basics – Paper Piecing.
I’ve cut out my pattern on the dashed lines. The solid lines are my sew lines. The numbers on the pattern show the order in which to sew my fabric pieces.
When choosing fabric for this project, you’ll want to look for small scale prints with lots of contrast. I’ve used the same red and printed fabrics in both of these blocks. It looks OK in this 3” block where the triangles are larger but when we get into the smaller block you’ll see it blends in with the background.
When paper piecing, always make sure to PRESS your fabric before cutting and after sewing.
I like to take an old postcard/card and fold the dark lines on the paper. Every time I fold this paper, fibers are weakened. Later on this will make it easier to pull of the paper. I also find this helps with fabric positioning and trimming seams. So I’ll take my card. I’ll put it between the #1 and #2 lines and then fold that over. I can fold the lines as I sew or I find it easier to get them done all at once.
I’ll be following along with these instructions as I cut and sew. You can find these at LearnHowToQuilt.com under Beginner Basics – Paper Piecing or you can find them under the Small Projects section.
Just a reminder, you always want to press your fabric before sewing. I’ve folded the line between #1 and #2 and I will place Fabric #1 over the top of this shape. I could cut a triangular shape but I actually like to cut rectangles bigger than that shape. I’m going to cut a piece that is bigger than that shape. In paper piecing there’s no set seam allowance but you must cut your fabric large enough to cover that whole shape with extras left over. I can see that that more than enough covers that shape.
Let me put my finger on #1 and turn this over. I can see that Fabric #1 goes right here. I’ll pin that in place.
I’ll turn it over and I need to check by holding this up to the light to see if my fabric covers this corner, that corner and that corner. Take your piece and hold it up to the light and you can see the shadow in the background of where the fabric is. Certainly all three of these corners are covered with fabric.
I’ll fold the paper between #1 and #2 down. I am going to trim. I”ll eyeball a 1/8 of an inch to a 1⁄4 inch; from there to there. It doesn’t have to be perfect and trim that off.
Now I am ready for Fabric #2. I’ll take Fabric #2 and you can see it’s going to be a triangle but I don’t like to cut triangles. I usually use rectangles. So let me cut a rectangle. I can see that this will more than enough cover that #2 spot. My fabric always has to go on the back. I like to put my finger on #2 and turn it over. My fabric will go right here next to #1.
When I sew, I put right sides together. The same is true of paper piecing. I need to put right sides together. This piece of fabric I can’t move because it is pinned. So I will flip this over. I’ll put right sides together. I see that pin is in the way there so I am going to pull that out. I’ll hold on to all this and turn it over.