Piecing & Applique
Templates and Cutting Patches
Mark the seam lines rather than cutting lines when hand piecing. Cut out patches approximately 1⁄4" beyond the marked seam lines.
To make a template for hand piecing, trace the seam (dashed) line of a full-size template pattern on template plastic. To convert rotary cutting diagrams to hand-piecing templates, first draw the shape to scale, then subtract 1⁄4" from every side.
Trace the full-size templates on the wrong side of your fabric using a sharp pencil, leaving at least 1⁄2" between each traced line.
Put patches right sides together matching seam lines. Sew the seam through the marked lines with a short running stitch using a single thread. Begin and end stitching at the seam line (not the edge of the fabric) with 2 or 3 backstitches to secure the seam.
Make paper copies of each foundation. Sew patches in the numerical order printed on the pattern. Center fabric under #1, wrong side of the fabric to the unprinted side of the paper and pin in place from the paper side.
Turn fabric side up. With right sides together, position a patch of fabric sufficient to cover #2 and its seam allowances so the fabric’s edge extends at least 1⁄4" into the #2 area. Pin in place. Set a very short stitch length on your sewing machine (18– 20 per inch or 1.5 mm). Turn the assembly paper side up. Stitch through the paper and the fabric layers along the printed seam line, beginning and ending 1⁄4" beyond the ends of the line.
Turn assembly to the fabric side. Trim the seam allowances to approximately 1⁄4". Press the fabric open to cover #2 and seam allowances.
Repeat this process to complete the blocks or sections, allowing at least 1⁄4" beyond the edge of the paper.
Use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim 1⁄4" outside the seam line of the foundation, creating a seam allowance. If necessary, join sections by matching points and sewing with 1⁄4" seam. Once all the seams around a foundation section have been sewn, remove the paper foundations.