Foundation Piecing Primer 5: Controlling the Flip

Foundation Piecing Primer 5: Controlling the Flip



Author Brenda Groelz

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Brenda Groelz completes her series on foundation piecing, a great method for piecing accurate points, odd angles and tiny pieces. In this issue, we've got a block made with lots of odd angles, and to make it more challenging, the background fabric is directional. Read through the following steps and tips to learn how to deal with the biggest hurdle in foundation piecing: Controlling the Flip! Then try your hand at piecing Pie in the Sky, an original design that Brenda created for you.

A Cut foundation apart on bold lines into 2 foundation units and sew each foundation unit separately. Cut fabrics at least 1" larger all around than area to be covered. Place #1 fabric wrong side to unprinted side of foundation, directly behind the #1 position. Place #2 fabric right side to foundation, with seam allowance jutting at least 1/4" into the #2 position. Tip: The bulk of the fabric will be placed AWAY from the area it is planned to cover. Pin in place. Place Fabrics 1 & 2
Place Fabrics 1 & 2
B Turn foundation printed side up. Stitch on line between #1 and #2 positions, using short stitch length (15-18 stitches per inch). Start and end 2-3 stitches beyond the end of the line. Remove from machine and clip all threads. Note: From now on, all fabrics are placed right sides to the paper. Be sure to allow extra fabric beyond the edges of the paper foundation for seam allowance. Sew
C Using scissors placed between
paper and fabric, trim seam allowance to 1/4˝ if needed. When adding light fabrics, trim dark fabrics narrower to avoid shadowing.
D Press seam allowance flat from fabric side, then flip tan fabric strip to cover #2 position and press again. Note: If you have photocopied the foundation, avoid touching the printed side with iron. Toner will melt and transfer to your iron and fabrics. Continue to place, stitch, trim, flip and press remaining fabrics in numerical order to finish foundation. Flip & Press
Flip & Press
E Note: Do not cut fabric along edge of paper! Turn foundation paper side up and align 1/4" mark of ruler along edge of paper foundation. Rotary cut away extra fabric on all sides, creating a perfect 1/4" seam allowance. Leave paper in! Trim Edges
Trim Edges
F Use 2 foundation units to complete one block. Lengthen stitch to normal (10-12 stitches per inch) and sew units together along edge of paper. Leave paper in until quilt has been assembled.

Completed Units
Completed Units

Sew Together
Sew Together

Controlling the Flip!
Here's a technique to control where your fabric ends up after stitching and flipping. It's an easy way to ensure that your fabric is always large enough, and that your clouds (directional fabric print) run in the right direction.
G Place block, printed side up. Place fabric #8, right side down on top of #8 position. Check for adequate seam allowance around the area you plan to cover and that your clouds are running the way you want. The way you place your fabric now is the way it will end up in the block. Block Finished Through Fabric #7
Block finished through fabric #7
Place Fabric #8 Face Down
Place fabric #8 right side down
H Fold fabric toward #8 position along printed seamline between #1 & #8. Finger crease fold all the way to edges of fabric. Fold Fabric Toward #8 Position
Fold fabric toward #8 position
I Using pencil, mark ends of printed seamline on fabric. Then trim fabric approximately 1/2" beyond fold (top layer only). Mark
J Move foundation to top of fabric, open up fold, and match pencil marks to ends of printed seamline. Move Paper to Top
Move paper to top

K Sew seamline, trim and press as before.


L This technique perfects the flip. You’ll never rip again!

Never rip again!


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