Foundation Paper Piecing Skillz Kit

by Jamie Trinier January 16, 2017

One of the reasons we created the Skillz Kit was to force me to learn new things.

First up, Foundation Paper Piecing!

I’ve always been so scared to try it, not sure why, I guess it just seemed too overwhelming.

Ladies in my guild would bring in these beautiful quilts, and I would think, "Ooooh, I need that pattern," then they would say it was paper pieced and my next thought would be, "Damn it, I don’t know how to do that."

Well, let me tell you, I was so wrong!

Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) is NOT hard and is SO much fun!

I can see how people get addicted to it!

I'm so glad we chose this for one of our Skillz Boxes!

Some of the requirements for the patterns in the Skillz Box was that it had to be small, manageable and not too overwhelming.

Enter Violet Craft’s Love Abstractions: The Heart.

I made it a few days ago and it was such a fun little challenge.

As with the other kits this month, I made mine with different fabrics than we sent you, our blossoming #CulcitaCrew, because we couldn't get the collection to me in time. But, I will be doing one in that collection and updating this post (or maybe just doing another) once I get the fabrics (our shipping location is at my sister's in the US and I'm in Calgary).

Anywho... I had heard of Violet through ladies in my guild and loved her work (have you seen her lion?!), and then we got to meet her at a tradeshow in September.

Instant woman crush.

jamie with violet craft

She is such an amazing lady, so incredibly talented and has a huge, infectious laugh!

She gave us a little demo at that tradeshow, but since I had never FPP’d before it didn’t really stick.

Luckily, she made a demo video with Man Sewing’s Rob Appell this fall. I had the video up on YouTube and kept replaying it if I got stuck. I highly recommend you do this too, so I've embedded the video below.

Violet's patterns and way of teaching are, for me, so clear to follow.

Once I got block A done, I didn’t have to refer to the video anymore, I was just able to play! I was able to get the entire heart block done in a couple hours. Now I’m hooked!

Now, first things first. Our wonderful #CulcitaCrew Skillz Box-ers, you got two copies of the pattern page.

If you want to make more than one, make a copy of the pattern page before you begin.

This way, you’ll always have the pattern and heaven forbid you mess up, you will not have messed the pattern up too.

Back to sewing.

Violet lays out her patterns in a way that’s totally easy to follow, simply start choosing your five fabrics for the heart and one background fabric. I cut a little piece and taped it to the pattern, so I wouldn’t confuse myself trying to remember what fabric was what.

heart abstractions pattern fabric key
Then I cut out the lettered sections (block A, B, etc...) it doesn’t have to be exact, just close to the 1/4” seam allowance line.

heart abstractions foundation paper piecing pattern cut out
I decided to use a blue Dupioni silk I had in my stash for the back ground, so that’s what I started with for A1.

I cut a little piece big enough to cover the spot and all the seam allowances, used my handy dandy Add a Quarter Plus ruler and got started.

add a quarter plus ruler foundation paper piecing
Really, it’s the same couple steps over and over.

Fold the paper over the Add a Quarter ruler along the line to be sewn, cut the seam allowance, cut a piece big enough for A2 (or whatever step you are on), take A2 to the top, unfold the paper and sew along the line!

Kinda sounds like a lot once I write it down, but it’s not really.

Be sure to sew a 1/4” on either side of the line, to make sure you get the seam allowance covered.

And as always, press each seam.

I think what took the most time, was going from my cutting table, to the machine, to the ironing board.

If I really get serious about FPP, I’m going to have to change my set up, so I can do it all at my machine.

foundation paper piecing progress


foundation paper piecing progress 3

foundation paper piecing progress 4

I think the trickiest part for me was remembering that I was looking at the back of the heart while I was working.

The fabric is always right side down!

foundation paper piecing progress 5
Then on to seam two!

foundation paper piecing progress 6

foundation paper piecing progress 8


Block A done!

foundation paper piecing kit violet craft heart block a done

foundation paper piecing kit violet craft heart block a done front
In Violet and Rob’s video, she give a tip to be able to keep the fabrics in the right place when you ‘bring it to the top.'

She uses a pin in the video, but also says to use an ink pen.

I used an ink pen, worked totally great.

foundation paper piecing notes

foundation paper piecing notes 2
I also used a pen to draw the sewing lines out a bit further, because I couldn’t see the fold line while at my machine very well. I’m going to blame the light on the machine, and not the fact that I’m starting to think that I may need reading glasses. Heh.

foundation paper piecing notes 3
Once all the blocks were done, I trimmed them up and started sewing them together. Violet makes this part pretty simple too, sewing A to B, etc.

Violet gives another tip for lining up the blocks.

You stick a pin through the point on A and the point on B, leave it straight up and down and sew!


You don’t have to worry about weird corners or angles matching up.

foundation paper piecing notes

foundation paper piecing notes
And it’s a heart!

So much fun! I can’t wait to do it again!

foundation paper piecing violet craft's heart

Let me know - how did it go for you? Any other tips and tricks to add, beyond what I've noted here? Comment below!

Jamie Trinier
Jamie Trinier


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