This tutorial is designed to show technique for intermediate to advanced foundation piecing.
Find a Tutorial for Beginner Paper Piecing Here
These instructions are for making block # 14 from the book "Reach for the Stars" by Brenda Henning, but the technique can be used for any foundation pieced block with oddly shaped pieces.
"Reach for the Stars" book
Foundation papers (I use "perfect piecing" packaged papers by June Taylor)
rotary cutter and fabric scissors
paper scissors and pencil
scraps of black and gray for outer ring of points and background
fat quarter (or large scraps) of dark and light greens, pink and red, yellow and gold, and floral
copy the template patterns on page 36 four times on foundation papers
copy the template pattern once on regular paper
Making the blocks:
From the regular paper copy of the templates, cut out the template for unit A and cut apart the pieces as shown below:
On the RIGHT side of each template, label pieces 5 and 6 each with an A and D so that you know that you must cut those fabrics with the template face up. Label the back of each of those with C and B. When the template is laid on the fabric with that side up, you will get the reverse pieces.
Note: pieces 1 and 4 are identical for all units, they are not directional. Piece 3 is the reverse of 2.
cut the four units apart from each other from template papers. Arrange them in stacks in this order: A, B, D, C
this is the order in which the units will be sewn together once you have finished piecing them individually.
Decide which fabrics will be used for the pieces. For Example, for piece 1, I used a black; pieces 2, 3 are gray; piece 4, floral; piece 5 is yellow on units A, D and gold on units B, C;
piece 6 is different for each unit, making the overlapping green and red star (A: dark green, B: pink; D: red, C: light green)
use the paper shapes for each piece as a template to cut fabric, adding 1/2 inch minimum all the way around the piece. Be sure to cut the angles accurately, see below:
piece 1 from black
piece 4 from floral
piece 2 from gray
piece 3 from gray (reverse of piece 2, turn the template over to make a reverse piece)
cut eight of each:
piece 5 from yellow (place template 5 with side labelled A, D face up on the WRONG SIDE of the fabric)
piece 5 from gold (place template 5 with the side labelled B, C up on the WRONG SIDE of fabric)
cut four of each:
piece 6 ("A" side up on wrong side of fabric) from dark green and red
piece 6 ("B" side up on wrong side of fabric) from light green and pink
Turn the entire unit over, being careful to keep the fabrics in place. Check that the black is covering the space for piece 1 and overhangs on all sides. You are now looking at the right side of your foundation pattern (and the wrong side of the black fabric). Sew along the printed line that divides pieces 1 and two as shown below:
Divide the foundation units you have started into four groups, A, B, C, and D. Refer back to your color scheme so that you place the next fabrics (colors) on the correct units.
Start with the foundation pieces for units B and C:
Place one gold piece 5 triangle, right sides together, with the shorter of the long sides lined up with the left edge of the floral fabric as shown below. The gold piece must be placed so that a larger portion hangs over the wide end of the piece (left on the photo below), so that when the piece is folded back after sewing, it covers the entire area of piece 5 on the template plus seam allowance.
The last piece, #6, is added in the same way. Again, make sure that, when placing the fabric triangle prior to sewing, that there is generous hangover on the end toward the center of the block to ensure that, when folded back and pressed, the fabric completely covers the space with adequate seam allowance.
Make four each: Dark green A, pink B, Red D, light green C. Press all.
Lay out the sixteen units in order (A, B, D, C), to form four quarter circles:
Trim all the foundations along the printed outer line (double check: make sure you are cutting on the cutting line, which leaves seam allowance, and NOT on the sewing line)
At this point, you may choose to cut four background templates that are pieced to the outer curve and form the corner to make the block square. The background template is on page 65 of the book.
Or, you may piece all four units together to form a complete circle, then set this into a single piece of background fabric (tutorial for setting a circle will follow)
Related tutorial: Piecing "bumpy" curves