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11 Free Foundation Paper Piecing Patterns

Free paper piecing patterns for foundation paper piecing

Of all the things I’ve tried this year, foundation paper piecing is my favorite! Looking for free foundation paper piecing patterns can be overwhelming; I am drawn to modern shapes and graphic animals. You can see my first attempt at foundation paper piecing in my TSNEM post here, as a part of my yearly Try Something New Every Month challenge.

As always, when preparing myself to try a craft technique I found loads of ideas and tutorials that were inspiring and wanted to share them!

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I’m trying to keep track of all the cool patterns and tips I find on my Pinterest board – I’m also definitely following this huge Pinterest board with over 2400 free paper piecing patterns! Wombat Quilts has a great list too, find it here.

Tutorials for Paper Piecing

  • I haven’t used this yet, but I think it will be handy to know how to enlarge & reduce a pattern, from Sew Hooked
  • This free pattern at Blossom Heart Quilts also has a tutorial – I like how she pointed out that pinning will skew the fabric a bit, and the trick of holding the pattern/fabric up to the light to see if it covers. Also how she used the ruler to fold the paper is nifty, easier than perforating the paper like the video tutorial that I used in my previous post.
  • Sew What Sherlock has a “lazy way” tutorial that mentions tracing the pattern on both sides, which would’ve helped me on my first try! She also points out something as important that wasn’t mentioned in the other two – shortening the stitch length (which makes sense) and sewing past the seam allowance. I then read somewhere else, that I didn’t bookmark, to never sew into the seam allowance. Hmm. I’m not sure I have a firm enough grasp to know which makes more sense to me, do you know what is right? [Sarah elaborated a bit more in the comments – and maybe there isn’t a “right” just a preference thing!]
  • Freezer paper is apparently not only for applique – check out this method for using it as a foundation, with a tutorial from Sandi at Piecemeal Quilts

Different tutorials seem to “require” different tools – I already use and love a rotary cutter and quilting rulers but I am going to look for a Clover finger press* at the fabric store next time I go, they look nifty.

On to the free patterns!

A list of free foundation paper piecing patterns! Download these PDF paper piecing patterns and try out this beginner friendly sewing method.

1. Microscope* from borsedigaya via Craftsy

Feather Paper Pieced

2. Feather from Blossom Heart Quilts

3. Hexagon Bee from Badskirt

Cassette Tape Paper Pieced

4. Cassette Tape from Sewing Under Rainbow

paper pieced pumpkin

5. Pumpkin from 1/4″ Mark

Airplane paper pieced block

6. Airplane by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Art Gallery Fabrics

Abstract modern paper pieced blocks

7. Abstract Modern Blocks from The Long Thread

Herringbone Quilt Block

8.  Herringbone Block from Quiet Play

Paper pieced house

[picture kindly provided by Kerry Green of Verykerryberry]

9. Tiny House from VeryKerryBerry

Paper pieced cow

10. Cow from Piecemeal Quilts

Paper pieced heart

11. Concentric Heart from The Tartan Kiwi

Foundation Paper Piecing Books

If books are more your thing, I have my eye on these two and will be checking my library for them: Playful Little Paper-Pieced Projects: 37 Graphic Designs & Tips from Top Modern Quilters* & Paper Pieced Modern: 13 Stunning Quilts • Step-by-Step Visual Guide*.

There are two Craftsy classes I found, one has over 100 positive reviews and includes a free e-book of 50 patterns,  Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing with Carol Doak*, and the other seems newer but appears to be geared more towards beginners,  Start Foundation Paper Piecing with Elizabeth Dackson*. Have you taken either of them? I’d love to hear if you have!

Normally in these round-up posts I only include free patterns but there were too many amazing patterns for sale, so I wanted to include those too. I can’t decide which one to buy for my next attempt – I’m leaning towards the llama to make a couch pillow!

Modern Foundation Paper Piecing Patterns

Modern Foundation Paper Pieced Quilts

Lastly, these quilts are just too cool. I still haven’t recovered from making my first full sized quilt, but I can’t shake the desire to have that lion hanging on my wall!

Forest Abstractions Quilt* from Violet Craft

Jungle Abstractions – The Lion Quilt* from Violet Craft

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This Post Has 16 Comments
  1. Honestly I’m not sure why you *wouldn’t* sew into the seam allowance, unless you don’t want to rip the paper away from the stitches on inside areas, but that just seems silly to me. When you sew through the seam allowance (or past a seam end) it ensures that your fabric won’t slip as you sew two sections together or as you place the next piece perpendicular to the original oversewn seam, making for better seam matching. To each his/her own I guess, but sewing through the SA is pretty common. Thanks for sharing my post/pattern, I still think Leonard is my favorite pattern 🙂

    1. Hi Sarah! Please don’t feel like I was questioning you/your advice – I know exactly zero about the process. I couldn’t think of a compelling reason not to either – I wish I had saved that other link! Anyways, no problem, hopefully it’ll drive some traffic and sales your way 🙂

      1. Oh, not at all! People PP in all kinds of different ways, whatever works for them is fine by me! My personal pet peeve is people who don’t include SA in their patterns…. WHY? just for the purposes of resizing?? It makes it so much more difficult to sew, trim, etc. /endrant :p

  2. I love the airplane pattern! I’ve mostly seen patterns on a much smaller scale, but I love how that bigger one has such an impact. Makes me want to think of some fun shape to paper piece for a wall hanging!

    1. Oh hello! Hopefully the post has brought you some traffic/sales – since I wrote it, I had a family member gift me the lion quilt pattern/fabric kit that I am excited to start! Thank you for letting me know about your free patterns, I am going to go check them out, and thank you for leaving a comment. I love seeing your work!

  3. […] I love this reindeer!! I am so proud of this project. I have paper pieced a few things, I initially tried it as a part of Try Something New Every Month last year and then made a wall hanging this year but both were very simple shapes. I sewed up this 12″ block and hope to make it into a pillow, but wanted to share it by itself first. If you’re looking for more paper piecing ideas, be sure to check out my post with a bunch of cool free paper piecing patterns! […]

  4. […] As always, a reminder that I record income as it’s received as opposed to when it’s earned! I put the graph from q1 below; I’m trying to balance it so my patterns are earning more. Ads were about the same, but patterns did get a boost which is encouraging. The highest performing Etsy affiliate posts were (again) this list of nursing friendly PDF patterns,  this moon embroidery, and this list of paper piecing patterns. […]

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