As much as I love wool appliqué, I have been missing piecing blocks. So I decided to take a little break and pull out some paper foundation fun. I have had my eye on a little mini New York Beauty block for quite awhile. The pattern is from a Fons and Porter magazine that I’ve had for years.
I gathered my fabric, small cutting mat, and my essential quarter-inch ruler. This block is small enough that I could really use an eighth-inch ruler, but I don’t have one so will make do with the one I have. It is a handy tool for paper foundation. The ruler has a lip on one edge that you butt up against the seam allowance, allowing a quarter-inch seam to be cut.
One of the other tools that I find essential is good lighting, as it helps me to hold the fabric and foundation paper up to the light to see that I am aligning my fabrics correctly.
The trickiest parts of paper foundation is getting your brain around the rhythm of working off of a foundation. I haven’t done paper foundation for awhile, so this is a practice block to remind me of the process and to see if I really want to make a mini (these pieces are pretty small). If you’re new to paper piecing, you can watch a video tutorial here.
Here’s how the quarter-inch ruler works. I fold the paper foundation back, butt the lip of the ruler against it, and cut the quarter-inch seam with my rotary cutter.
I’m making progress — look at those tiny points!
Once you get in the rhythm, it goes pretty quickly.
Once all the stitching is done, it’s time to trim the excess fabric.
Look at those little bright points! Now it’s time to add the curved pieces.
I decided I wanted this fun and bright.
In the picture above, can you see the crease mark I made on the orange fabric? There’s a matching one on the black and white, but it’s harder to see. These are the center marks of both pieces, where I will begin pinning.
Before pinning, it’s time to remove the paper. This tweezers that I just got in my Sew Sampler box from The Fat Quarter Shop is perfect for this task; it’s difficult to get my fingers in those little points!
Pinning is key, together with working carefully with those stretchy edges.
Here’s the finished block, a little wonky but not bad. I’m not sure if I want to do blocks this small. I’ll try another one tomorrow and see what I think.
So now I’m off to do more wool work. I’ve satisfied my yen to piece for now.