Playing with Paper

It’s easy to draw your own foundation paper for paper pieced blocks.  Create a carefully drafted paper or quickly draw lines for an improvised block.

This block has carefully drafted and paper pieced triangles.

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Draw two horizontal lines about 2.5″ apart and then draw vertical lines between these tow lines. Be as precise or as random as you want to be.

For a precise block start with two horizontal lines that are parallel and 2.5″ apart. Draw your seam lines 1/4″ from the edges of the paper. Then measure and mark the horizontal lines every 2″s. Start the marks at 1″ in from the seam line on one horizontal line and 2″ on the other to offset them. Then draw lines connecting these marks from one horizontal line to the other to make triangle sections.

If you are not concerned about being precise just go ahead and draw your lines without measuring! Get wonky!!


Once you have your paper prepared cut fabric or find some scraps that are large enough to cover each section on your paper piece.

For my precise block I cut fabric pieces that were 3.5″ square.


Then proceed with paper piecing your block. I will send you to a Carol Doak tutorial,  as she is the absolute authority on the technique!  Also, visit A Quilting Jewel: How to Paper Piece for some straight forward guidance.

Once you have completed piecing the block, trim it to the correct size (or desired size if not being precise). Remember to add in your seam allowance on all sides if you did not include these on your paper. I then went ahead and removed the paper before continuing.

Next cut two pieces of background fabric. For my block I cut 2 pieces that were 3.5″ x 9″. Sew these to each long edge of your paper pieced block. Then trim to size. I trimmed my block to 8.5″ square.


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Here is a block with quickly drawn lines. Using the paper helps you achieve a particular look for this improvised block, and also gives you an opportunity to practice the paper piecing method without having to worry about accuracy.