Foundation and curved piecing pay off on a striking wall hanging. Our tips and tricks prove it's possible to master these easier-than-they-look techniques.
Inspired by Points of Pride from designers Dolores Smith and Sarah Maxwell of Homestead Hearth
Quiltmaker: Laura Boehnke
1-1/4 yards total assorted purple and green prints (blocks)
1/2 yard gold print (blocks)
1-1/8 yards dark purple print (border, binding)
1-1/4 yards backing fabric
40" square batting
Lightweight tracing paper
Finished quilt: 34" square
Finished block: 12" square
Quantities are for 44/45"-wide, 100% cotton fabrics.
Measurements include 1/4" seam allowances. Sew with right sides together unless otherwise stated.
Foundation Materials and Needle Tips
A foundation material can be permanent or temporary. Permanent foundations remain part of the quilt, while temporary foundations are removed before the quilt is layered for quilting.
Permanent options include muslin, flannel, and sheer cut-away stabilizer. Tracing paper, freezer paper, lightweight newsprint, translucent vellum, wash-away foundation paper, tear-away stabilizer, and typing paper are examples of temporary foundation materials.
The pattern for the arc can be drawn or printed on any foundation material. If you are new to foundation piecing, test different materials to determine what works best for you.
When foundation piecing, use a tiny stitch length (12–16 stitches per inch) and a larger needle, such as a size 90/14, so the foundation will easily tear away from the assembled block. Return to a regular stitch length to join rows of blocks.
Sewing through multiple layers (including your foundation material) dulls a needle quickly. To avoid sewing with a blunt tip, change your needle every 6 to
8 hours of sewing.
Cut pieces in the following order. Click on "Download this Project" for patterns and tips about making foundation-pieced templates.
Because block units are foundation-pieced, fabric pieces are cut larger than necessary. Trim them to the correct size after stitching them to the foundation.
Click on "Download this Project" for tips on how to make foundation-pieced templates of patterns C and D. Be sure to transfer dots marked on patterns to templates, then to fabric pieces. These dots are matching points, which are used when joining pieces.
From assorted purple and green prints, cut:
24-5x7" rectangles (4 sets of 6 matching rectangles)
4 of Pattern D
4 of Pattern C
From gold print, cut:
From dark purple print, cut:
4-2-1/2x42" binding strips
2-5-1/4x34" border strips
2-5-1/4x24-1/2" border strips
Prepare Foundation Papers
1. Use a pencil to trace Foundation Pattern A four times onto lightweight tracing paper or foundation material of your choice, tracing all lines, numbers, and dots. Click on "Download this Project" and print pages 6 and 7 directly onto your foundation material.
2. Using Foundation Pattern B, repeat Step 1 to make four total Foundation B pieces.
3. Cut out foundation A and B pieces roughly 1/4" outside dashed lines. Match A and B pieces on position 6 dotted lines. Tape pieces in place to make an arc foundation paper. Repeat to make four arc foundation papers total.
Assemble Arc Units
To foundation-piece, stitch fabric pieces to a foundation paper with the marked side of the paper facing up and the fabric pieces layered underneath. The resulting pieced units will be mirror images of foundation papers.
1. For one arc unit, gather six matching purple or green print 5x7" rectangles and five gold print 3x7" rectangles.
2. Aligning long edges, layer a purple or green print 5x7" rectangle atop a gold print 3x7" rectangle.
3. Place an arc foundation paper atop layered purple and green rectangles, positioning it so that rectangles' aligned edges are 1/4" beyond stitching line between positions 1 and 2 and at least 1/4" beyond arc's top and bottom stitching lines (Diagram 1). Check placement; pin on the line between positions 1 and 2, then flip gold print rectangle open. Make sure it completely covers position 2 and extends into position 3 at least 1/4". If it doesn't, reposition and recheck until it does.
4. Working with marked side of arc foundation paper up, sew on stitching line through all layers, extending stitching past beginning and end of the line by a few stitches (Diagram 1).
5. Press rectangles open, pressing seam toward gold print rectangle (Diagram 2). Trim gold print rectangle to about 1/4" beyond stitching line between positions 2 and 3 pieces (Diagram 3).
6. Align a matching purple or green print 5x7" rectangle with trimmed gold print piece so their right-hand edges are about 1/4" beyond stitching line between positions 2 and 3 (Diagram 4). Sew on stitching line. Trim seam allowance if needed; press seam toward purple or green print rectangle (Diagram 5). Trim just-added rectangle to about 1/4" beyond next stitching line.
7. Continue adding gold print rectangles and matching purple or green print rectangles in an alternating pattern, trimming in the same manner, until you have pieced an entire arc (Diagram 6).
8. Trim all fabric layers and foundation paper on dashed lines to make an arc unit (Diagram 7).
9. Repeat steps 1–8 to make four arc units total.
1. With right sides together, place a purple or green print C piece atop an arc unit; align marked dots and pin at center (Diagram 8). Pin pieces together at each end, then smooth C piece along arc until edges are aligned; pin approximately every 1", picking up only a few threads at a time (Diagram 9). Sew pieces together, removing each pin just before needle reaches it. Press seam toward C piece.
2. Aligning marked center dots, pin Step 1 arc unit to a purple or green print D piece (Diagram 10). Pin edges and stitch as in Step 1 to make a block (Diagram 11). Press seam toward D piece. The block should be 12-1/2" square including seam allowances.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to make four blocks total.
4. If temporary foundation material was used, remove foundation with tweezers or the blunt edge of a seam ripper.
Assemble Quilt Top
1. Referring to Quilt Assembly Diagram, lay out blocks in pairs, rotating blocks as shown.
2. Sew together blocks in each pair. Press seams in opposite directions.
3. Join pairs to make quilt center. Press seam in one direction. The quilt center should be 24-1/2" square including seam allowances.
4. Sew short border strips to opposite edges of quilt center. Add long border strips to remaining edges to complete quilt top. Press all seams toward border.
1. Layer quilt top, batting, and backing; baste. Quilt as desired.
2. Bind with dark purple print binding strips.