Scrappy FPP Pouch

This mini project came out of a desire to try out foundation paper piecing (FPP), since I haven’t done it before. I’ve only done English paper piecing (EPP) and decided it was a waste of time and does not look very good either, with stitches showing on right side of patchwork. But FPP is different – it’s done with a machine and doesn’t require precise cutting of fabric. The stitches are done through the paper, while patches of fabric are placed on back side, and after sewing each seam, the paper is folded at a needle perforated line, and the excess fabric is trimmed with a rotary cutter a quarter inch away from the paper fold line, which is the seam line. I had to restart the very first block three times, because I made the mistakes on first two tries that were done on first couple of seams and too much hassle to correct, because the seams are done with short stitches so that paper would be easily removed at the end, but the caveat is that short stitch length would make seams hard to rip. The two mistakes were: 1) sewing the piece of fabric that was too small and wouldn’t cover its shape; 2) trimming the newly added piece of fabric at quarter inch, because I unfolded it before I trimmed the seam (d’oh!). After these mistakes I was able to to complete the whole block without any more hiccups.

I found this pattern online, but it was low-res so I rebuilt it in Illustrator, and I’ve also flipped it horizontally to have an inverted version, once I made up my mind that I’ll make a zipper pouch out of it. I also made four strips of flying geese for either side of two blocks. If you’d like to give it a try, here’s the printable PDF. The numbers are omitted on flying geese strip, because it’s so simple and I knew how to go about it: just start with the first triangle with its wide side flat on the edge, and then add the pieces on either side of it, then proceed with second triangle and so on.

The shapes on flying geese blocks were so small that I was able to use up the tiniest little scraps of fabric I accumulated from previous projects. I see a lot of women on YT using a large pieces of fabric for this, to avoid sewing a piece that is insufficiently sized and would not cover the area of the design that it is supposed to, leaving a lot of wasted fabric after seam trimming. I think with just a bit of careful placement, this can be avoided completely. To that end, this was my strategy: first, make sure the piece of fabric will cover the shape I want it to cover, and give me enough of the seam allowance all around. If it’s unclear, check by holding the pattern printout with this piece of fabric against the light to see through. Then, when placing the fabric on the back side of the printout, I would mark the beginning and end of the seam line to be stitched with thumb and index fingers of both of my hands (alternatively, this can be done with more accuracy by poking the pin through beginning and end of the seam line and thus aligning the piece of fabric to be stitched with near perfect seam allowance that doesn’t need trimming). If I put the pin through seam line once I place the piece of fabric, I can flip it over the pin to make sure it will cover the area it is intended to – and this was only necessary for tiny little pieces where I wasn’t exactly sure they’ll have enough coverage, but most of the time this step was unnecessary. I did not have any problems with insufficient coverage, it just did not happen, and I did not need to spend much time aligning the fabric – it was pretty quick and easy.

To make the pouch with two rectangular blocks, I ironed on the fusible fleece of the same size to each piece, then cut the costume satin fabric for the lining, also of the same size, and then sewn it all together. It turned out like so:

zipper pouch

This was actually pretty fun to do, so I think I’ll design some bigger blocks, or series of blocks, once I’m done with the two as of yet unfinished quilts.

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