How to Accurately Cut Fabric for Foundation Paper Piecing

How to Accurately Cut Fabric for Foundation Paper Piecing

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I love foundation paper piecing (FPP), but one of the most frustrating problems I had when I was a newbie was coming up short. I would be happily piecing my block, go to flip the next section to press it, and crap! It would be too short or too thin or both. Even worse, I'd be pressing a finished block and find a "hole" at a seam where a piece came up short...ugh! I eventually discovered a method that has worked great for me.

I first saw this technique in Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts by RaNae Merrill. I modified it slightly by using freezer paper. It's a simple and foolproof method for cutting your FPP fabric pieces. This method is especially great for when you have multiples of the same block.


  • Foundation piecing template that has been mirrored.
  • 8½" x 11" sheet of freezer paper
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilting ruler
  • Fabrics for your block
  • Coloured pencils or markers to match your fabrics.

1. Print your template on the dull side of your freezer paper.

2. Colour each section of the template with the fabric colour you want to use for that section. If a section is a white or cream colour, you can make a symbol to represent that colour or leave it blank.

3. Cut out each freezer paper section into separate pieces and lay them on the corresponding fabric with the right side of the fabric facing up. Leave a generous space all the way around each section. Press lightly with a hot iron to get the freezer paper to stick. If you need multiples of the same section, you can place the freezer paper sections on 4 to 5 layers of fabric.

4. With your quilt ruler, cut ¾ inch allowance around each section.

5. All your cut sections should look like this when you're done. They're now ready to be pieced with no surprises. It's important to NOT remove the freezer paper from the top of the stack. Pick up your fabric pieces from the bottom so you will know which piece it is.

1 comment:

  1. I like this. Should help! I have a little trouble with credit pieces I am paper piecing. Not sure why but when I make multiples they don't all look quite the same. But quilt came out OK anyway.