May 10, 2016

The Splendid Sampler: Goose on the Loose

I am excited to share with you my latest quilt block for The Splendid Sampler.  If you haven't heard about it, The Splendid Sampler is a year long sew-along hosted by Pat Sloan & Jane Davidson.  Two new six inch blocks are released each week, designed by over 80 different contributors.  I am taking my time and have committed to making one block each week.  There have already been so many wonderful & unique blocks shared so far.
The block I chose to work on this week is block #22, Goose on the Loose, designed by one of my own quilting heroes: Amy Smart of Diary of  a Quilter.  I have long been inspired by her bright and playful quilt designs.
This block allowed me to try out a technique that I have wanted to try my hand at for a while:  foundation paper piecing.  The verdict is in... I love it!  While this block isn't as intricate as many foundation paper-pieced patterns I have eyed, it was the perfect pattern for my first try.  I must admit, there's a bit of a thrill to see those point match up so beautifully.
Fabrics used in this block are Bejeweled Seal Teal and Dots Tile Fresco, both from the Lavish collection by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics
Before starting this block, I reviewed some tips for paper piecing and this is what I tried & recommend for success:
1)  Print the pattern onto vellum paper.  
It's easier to see through when placing fabric.  A lot of people suggested using a light box or a brightly lit window.  As a mom with littles, most of my sewing is done late at night, so brightly lit windows aren't an option. (which in the Pacific NW are hard to come by).  I already had vellum on hand, so it worked great for me.  It was also easier to fold.
2)  Pre-fold all the lines before you start stitching.  
This wasn't a must, but it certainly did help with keeping my folds nice & crisp.  I think the extra fold lines helped when tearing the paper away when I was finished with stitching.
3)  Color the foundation paper to match your fabric placement.  
This block is comprised of 2 blocks (repeated) that are essentially the same, but the fabric placement is opposite of each other.  Coloring each foundation paper before stitching helped to make sure my fabric placement was correct on the first try.
4)  Use the Add A Quarter Inch Ruler to simplify trimming the quarter inch seam allowance.  
I started my block without this ruler.  Once I started using it, trimming went so much more quickly!  I love that this is a chunky little ruler, so if my toddler gets a hold of it, I know she won't immediately snap it in half.  The quarter in ledge "hugs" the seam, making trimming quick & accurate.  You can find the Add A Quarter Inch Ruler in our shop
I really enjoyed making this block & have already been daydreaming about making other things with this same pattern.
Have you tried foundation paper piecing?  What tips can you offer to make foundation paper piecing successful?
- Leah

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