FPP Patchwork Block

Here’s another FPP block I’ve made a while ago, or more precisely in January of ’23. I designed the pattern in Illustrator for the purpose of using up the tiny solid color scraps of fabric I had as leftover from the Millefiori quilt I’ve completed, and I’ll make a post about it one of these days…

I’m not sure what this block could be used for, perhaps a pouch or as part of a bag, or I could turn it into a coaster, or whatever those mats are called that go under the hot dish. The block is made out of 12 sub-blocks, 4 identical pieces in each of 3 varieties. It could be a great way for someone to practice, so I’m sharing the pattern for it in PDF format here. The page that contains the whole design can be printed for coloring, or imported into an image editing or paint program and colored there, to find out what color scheme will work for your specific needs. As for me, I didn’t do the coloring, since I just wanted to do something fun and quick that will allow me to use up my scraps, so the color matching is not the greatest. The sub-blocks could be also rearranged or rotated differently, and this block could be repeated for a larger quilt. I find that my Pfaff 130 has no problem quilting through the FPP blocks when I use fusible fleece and stitch straight with regular presser foot. However, when I switch to a hopping foot, I will get skipped stitches in certain areas around the seams, especially where there are many layers of fabric overlapping.

This image will give a clearer idea of sub-blocks before they’ve been stitched together, with paper printouts still in place:

The way I do the foundation paper piecing blocks these days is to print out the the shape of individual pieces I’ll be stitching, with a quarter inch seam allowance around it, and I’ll place it on fabric and cut around it with a bit more allowance, just so I don’t end up stitching the piece and realizing it doesn’t cover the required area once I flip it over – just giving myself a bit more room for imperfect placement, yet hardly wasting any fabric, just a few millimeters that I cut off with rotary cutter after making a stitch . I use index and thumb of both hands and place them on either side of the seam-to-be, as indicated on printed side, before stitching to make sure that I’ve placed the piece of fabric correctly, with about quarter inch to 3/8″ for seam allowance. Previously I used to look at fabric piece placement against the lamp to see through the printout on the other side, but this 4 finger method works better for me now – I guess it’s a preference thing, whatever is easier, yields least amount of wasted fabric or makes for the quicker turnaround. In the case of this FPP block, I haven’t made the patterns for the individual pieces because all the pieces were so small and I would just pick a piece of fabric and see if it would fit with enough room for the seam allowance. Here’s what it looks like on the wrong side, with seams neatly trimmed after each stitch:

If you end up making anything with this pattern, dropping a link to the image of your work in the comments below would be fantastic. Likewise, if a video of my process would be helpful, drop a comment and I’ll make a recording during my next project. There are plenty of tutorials on YT that show how to do FPP, but everyone does it a little differently. I’ve even seen it done without stitching through paper, but instead paper is folded at the seam line, and the stitch is made right next to the fold, which allows for the printout to be reused, and no paper removal is needed. Perhaps I’ll try that on my next project, as I’m still experimenting and finding what works best for me.

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