Tools for Foundation Paper Piecing

Happy 2018 everyone!

I love to foundation paper piece (FPP) due to the precision I can get from this method of piecing.

In this post, I’m going to show you the tools that I consistently use with this technique. These supplies are in addition to basic sewing supplies such as your sewing machine, iron, rotary cutter and mat, and so forth.

With the right tools, foundation paper piecing is easy peasy!
With the right tools, foundation paper piecing is easy peasy!

FPP Tool Descriptions

1. Add-A-Quarter Ruler in 6-inch size. This is an essential ruler for the TSP (trim, stitch, press) method of FPP. I’ve attached it to a regular sized postcard using strapping tape so you can easily flip the ruler back, line up the postcard with your foundation, and trim while maintaining a perfect 1/4-inch seam allowance.

2. Add-A-Quarter Ruler in 12-inch size. This size is optional, but I use it often with larger foundation patterns where the 6-inch ruler is not long enough. I’ve attached this ruler to cardstock from Carol Doak’s Foundation Paper, which is an excellent product for printing out PDF foundations at home.

3. Wooden seam roller. I keep this roller next to my sewing station, both at home and during classes. Use this tool in place of an iron to press seams flat.

4. Fine-tipped snips. I like to use fine-tipped snips because I can trim excess threads very close to the foundations without actually cutting the paper.

5. Pencil. Use a pencil to mark notes on your foundations and pattern instructions. I mark my color selections on the foundations to ensure that I have the correct fabric placement. Some people also like to use colored pencils to lightly mark their foundations to match the fabric color.

6. Clover Fine Patchwork pins. These pins are wonderful for FPP! Use them to hold sections together temporarily to check seam allowances before sewing and for pinning match points to ensure your foundation sections match up correctly.

7. Good quality thread in 50 or 60 weight. I prefer to use neutral colors such as cream or beige. If you are sewing dark fabrics, then choose a dark thread color.

8. Duck Brand Easy-Stick double stick adhesive roller tape. You can find this tape on Amazon or at scrapbooking stores. This tape helps to hold the initial piece of fabric in place on your foundation and does not leave a solid lump or residue like glue. Apply the tape to the foundation and then place it on your fabric to hold it while you prepare the second fabric. Only apply the tape to the initial foundation piece, not all foundation pieces. The tape removes from the fabric easily so be sure to remove it before quilting your project.

The Confident Stitch sells most of these supplies. Plus, keep an eye out for more foundation paper piecing classes at the shop with my sister, Kimberly!

Happy Foundation Paper Piecing!

2 thoughts on “Tools for Foundation Paper Piecing

  1. Ellen says:

    I am confused about why you tape a card to the add-a-quarter ruler. I have done a little paper piecing, but it has been awhile. Can you explain this a little more? Thanks.

    • Kate McIvor says:

      Hi Ellen,
      I just learned yesterday! You tape the add-a-quarter ruler to the postcard to make a contraption similar to the big paper cutter you remember from elementary school. The add-a-quarter ruler overhangs the postcard by a quarter-inch. You line up the edge of the postcard with the seamline, then you lower the add-a-quarter ruler and cut along the ruler.

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