Wednesday, September 26, 2018

10 foundation paper piecing tips

At the best of times, foundation paper piecing can produce beautifully crisp and accurate seams or points, and at the worst of times it can make you want to flip your sewing table over and walk away. 

For a beginner FPP can be a daunting technique, but with a few tips and tricks you can stack the odds in your favor to get fantastic results. Below are some of the tips we went over at the Sew-In on Saturday:
  1. Sit near a bright window or a bright lamp… holding your work up to the light can help you align your seams and check your coverage as you work.
  2. When first learning, use your default stitch length as you will likely have to seam rip at least once (and that’s ok!). Reducing the stitch length can help with seam stability and clean removal of the paper later on, but it can also make seam ripping very difficult, so choose wisely.
  3. Backstitching is important, especially with short seams. However, much like the stitch length, backstitching can be a pain to rip out if you make a mistake, so be careful.
  4. Trim your seam allowances after each seam sewn, this helps reduce bulk. Scant seams are good, but don't cut it too close - you don't want the seams unravelling. 
  5. Measure multiple times and cut once. Seriously. You are bound to make mistakes when first learning, but cut yourself some slack and take your time - you'll get the hang of it.
  6. Solids are a good place to start when first learning FPP. Working with patterned fabrics (especially directional patterns) can be maddening and give you results that might not live up to your expectations. Solids take the pressure off of having to figure out not only the technique but also the direction of the print. Then again, sometimes a chaotic arrangement of a pattern can create a nice secondary design!
  1. On larger, more elaborate blocks, it is helpful to have a color image of the finished block to refer to, digital or paper. When you are dealing with multiple sections or lots of tiny pieces, having a point of reference to look at can be very helpful to keep you on track.
  2. Most FPP patterns will have a code indicating what section of the pattern to start with… follow these instructions! There is usually a particular order the fabric needs to be sewn on in order to give the desired end result, so ignore the patternmaker's directions at your peril.
  3. Press often (ideally on each seam sewn) and do so with a dry iron. Steam, sprays, or moisture of any kind will cause your foundation paper to warp. 
  4. When tearing out the paper, be gentle. It is exciting to be finished, but if you have used a normal stitch length and/or if you have short seams in your block, excessive force or tugging can rip or warp the seams.
Have any FPP advice of your own? Feel free to share it in the comments below!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Andrea Tsang Jackson workshop and trunk show

In November we will be welcoming Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop to Montreal for a trunk show and day-long workshop. Attendance for both events is open to the public, see below for details:
Photo taken by Kitty Wilkin for The Quilter’s Planner 2019

The Trunk Show will be taking place on Friday November 23rd from 7pm to 9pm at the SouthWest Mission, 631 rue Melrose in Verdun (the location of our regular monthly meetings). Entrance is free for workshop participants, and $10 for the general public (cash only please, pay at the door). Refreshments will be provided.

Andrea will spend the evening with us, presenting some of her modern quilt projects and discussing her quilting inspiration, philosophy and techniques.

On Color, Transparency and Background

The Transparency and Gemstones workshop will take place on Saturday November 24th from 10am to 4pm at the CRCS St-Zotique 75 Rue du Square Sir George Étienne Cartier, Montréal (the location for our sew-ins). Cost to attend the day-long workshop is $92 and includes a gemstone pattern with extra templates.

During the workshop, Andrea will introduce participants to advanced paper-piecing and conduct an in-depth discussion about transparency effects in modern quilting. There will also be a discussion on how to size up and down paper piecing templates. Pre-registration is required to attend, so if you would like to register or if you have any questions, please contact us at

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sew-In reminder and some FPP resources

Just a quick reminder that our first sew-in of the year is tomorrow, September 22nd from 10am to 4pm. We will be meeting at the CRCS St-Zotique, check the board at the entrance for our room number. There will be some road closures on Saturday due the construction (surprise surprise) and the Montreal Marathon, so check your route before heading out!

Quilt by Adaire Schlatter

We will begin work on the QuiltCon 2019 charity quilt, so if you were interested in helping out with the layout/design, now is your chance. We are still looking for fabric/scraps to use for the negative space in the quilt, so if you have some to donate, please bring them along. Solids and tone-on-tone prints in white or off-white are what we are looking for.

Stephanie will also be doing a Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) demo for those of you who are curious and/or want to try it before the November workshop with Andrea Tsang Jackson. If you would like to sew along, please bring an FPP pattern of your choice, your sewing machine and some fabric scraps to work with.

If you can't make it but still want to try your hand at FPP, here are a few resources for getting started in foundation paper piecing:

Angela Walters tutorial:

Beginner-friendly foundation paper piecing:

FPP for Beginners:

Monday, September 17, 2018

September 2018 Meeting Minutes

September 2018 Mtl MQG Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, September 11 at 7pm, SouthWest Mission Verdun

Quick points of business:
  • Welcome back! Exec team for the 2018-19 year are: 
    • President - Stephanie 
    • Vice-president - Izzy 
    • Treasurer - Claudia 
    • Secretary - Fiona 
    • Registrar - Josee 
    • Programming - Joanna, Stacy, Cinzia 
    • Assisting - Patti
  • Dues for 2018-19 = $40, see Josee to complete registration
  • Snack volunteers, send around sign up sheet (list complete)
  • We will continue to collect donations for the mid-year raffle (December) and end of year raffle (June) like we did last year. If you have something you would like to contribute, bring it to a meeting. To participate in the raffle, you simply need to wear your name tag during our regular meetings and see Izzy to get your raffle ticket at the break.
  • LDH ( had donated some scissors which we will be raffling off at the December meeting
  • Collect Palliacco quilts -
    • Total of 15 quilts being donated, Debby has them and will be delivering them soon. 
    • Thank you to everyone who contributed!!! This was a great turnout for a great cause.
  • Collect QuiltCon challenge blocks, we may have enough for more than one quilt
    • Next steps: design/layout will begin at the September 22 sew-in, you can bring more star blocks to the sew-in if you still wish to contribute
    • Volunteers for finishing: Patti, Shannon S., Josee, Izzy and Nicole (quilting), Michele (backing), Cinzia and Stephanie (binding).
    • Our deadline for finishing the quilt is December so it can be shipped in time for QuiltCon
  • MQG released new version of website, be sure to set up your new profile and join the Montreal MQG Circle. If you have any difficulty, there is a 'Help' section specifically for new website 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

October Mug Rug Exchange

As announced at the meeting yesterday evening, for the October meeting we will be doing a mug rug exchange with the theme of October, so your choice of Halloween, Harvest, and/or Autumn. Let your imagination run wild (appropriate to the season ;-) ), or be inspired by some of the links at the end of the post!

  • Large enough to be a coaster for a mug, but not so big that it gets in the way of whatever you are doing while drinking from your mug.

  • Quilted and bound, single block in autumn colours of any abstract pattern (rail fence, nine patch, etc.)
  • Foundation, or English, paper pieced object related to one of the themes.
  • Regular or improvisational piecing or appliqué of an object related to one of the themes.
  • Non-pieced, but quilted, themed fabric.
  • Any other quilted method I haven't yet mentioned... :-P

  • If you bring one to the October meeting, you will leave with one!
  • None
  • Paper bag, or other opaque wrapper, so that what the recipient will have a pleasant surprise.
  • The addition of candy is not discouraged... ;-)

All photos were sourced from the following links:




Here are a couple of links of resources about foundation paper piecing:

Joanna L.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September meeting reminder

Tonight is our first meeting of the 2018-19 season! The rain should be clearing up in time for our 7pm meeting at our usual spot, the SouthWest Mission in Verdun (corner of Verdun and Melrose).

A few things we will be discussing:

  • Collection of dues for the new year ($40 per member)
  • Collection of the completed Palliacco quilts
    • Guild labels will be available for application at the meeting. If you wish to use one, please bring a waterproof marker and white thread and needle. 
  • Collection of the QuiltCon 2019 charity challenge blocks
    • We will be discussing next steps in the process.
  • Andrea Tsang Jackson workshop
  • Announcement of a swap (yay!)
  • Lots and lots of Show and Tell :) 
Bring a coffee, bring some handwork and join us for a relaxed and quilty meeting. Looking forward to starting a new year with you all, see you tonight!