Try our free quilting block pattern to learn the paper foundation technique.
Ever wonder how some quilters can get their pieced top to look absolutely perfect?
Everywhere you gaze the pieced angles of the quilt look perfectly symmetrical.
We’re going to show you how the pros do it. It’s easy enough that beginners can use this simple technique after you have gotten the basics of quilting down.
Please note that this technique is done using a sewing machine, but can be done with a simple needle and thread. The machine makes it easier and faster!
This is what the American Chain free quilting block pattern will look like once you've completed a foundation square.
To start this project you will need the foundation block pattern.
Print off as many copies of the pattern as you need. You will need a copy for each block you are doing for your quilt.
To explain further, 6 copies if your quilt is only using 6 blocks. 112 copies if your quilt will have 112 blocks to complete it.
Once you have all of the copies printed out, move on to the “Steps”.
Start with having all of the fabric prepared. Wash and press it with an iron. This will ensure that the fabric won’t shrink when you wash your final quilt and that you will have smooth materials to work with. This is particularly helpful when it comes to sewing them together.
Cut your fabric in a way to ensure that all of the pieces are at least ½ inch bigger that what you need. They do not need to be the exact shape of your design pieces. For example, it could be rectangles that you cut out, but your final pieces are diamonds. You can even use scraps if you’d like.
Now, pin the first piece (#1) of fabric with the wrong side touching back side of the paper, over where the first piece is marked. Make sure it has good placement by holding the two up to a light source, like a window. The fabric should cover the entire place of the design and overlap the surrounding places by at least ¼ inch.
Here is where most people get tricked up. Pin the next piece (#2) of fabric with the right side touching the right side of the first piece of fabric. The edge of the second piece should overlap its seam line by at least a ¼ inch and when unfolded overlaps the surrounding sections by ¼ inch.
Remember that you want all of the right sides on the materials to be facing away from the paper when the block is finished.
Hold the fabric up to the light to make sure that the placement is ideal.
Place the materials paper side facing up. Sew on the line using stitches that are 1 to 1.5 mm. This can be done with either a sewing machine or by hand.
Once the pieces are stitched together trim whatever excess material there is. Remember to keep ¼ for the seam allowance all around.
Unpin and unfold the fabric sections.
When piece #2 is unfolded, pin it into the fabric’s proper place on the paper guide.
Lay the material for piece #3 over #2 with right sides touching. Make sure the seam edge overlaps the seam line and all around to the neighboring sections by at least a ¼ inch.
Pin fabric #3 into place. Hold up to light to ensure proper placement.
Stitch on the line just like before.
Trim excess material ¼ inch away from the seam that was just sewn.
Unpin, unfold and pin section #3 into proper place on the paper guide.
Continue to work in this manner until all the pieces are stitched into place.
Once at this point, baste with long stitches around the edge of your block.
Trim the excess cloth and leave a ¼ inch seam allowance around the outer edge of the block.
Now, carefully tear away the paper from the back of your quilting block.
Voilà, the quilting block is done with expert procession.
Repeat this process for each quilting block that you want to have as part of your quilt top.
Where can you find more patterns like this free quilting block pattern?
There are several places all over the internet. Our favorite place is Craftsy.com. Most patterns available are from independent designers. This keeps the prices low while no two patterns are the same. There’s always something new to help inspire your creativity.
To get even more tips on how to make perfect foundation blocks it's worth taking a virtual class.Carol Doak's Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing Craftsy class.
This online quilting class is perfect for learning all the tips from a master at foundation piecing.
We hope you enjoy this free quilting block pattern.
Be sure to check out our store often. We're constantly adding new and free patterns!
Until next time.
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