Foundation Piecing with Angles

Angles can be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to paper piecing – especially long skinny angles! Time and again I’ve set out my fabric, thinking it perfect, but finding when I folded it back that I missed the mark completely. Until I found a little folding trick. This is the method I use whenever I have to deal with angles, so you may find it helpful in your piecing. 

This tutorial shows an example of one particular pattern but the method can be applied to any angle section of a paper pieced pattern.

You can see I’ve started this pattern already and pieced the first sections (A1, A2, and A3) but A4 needs to go on an angle so that all of the triangle is covered by fabric and still allows for seam allowance. So let’s start!

Step 1: Turn your block fabric side UP. Lay your fabric over the area that you need to cover (remembering to leave enough for at least 1/4” seam allowance on all sides).

Step 2: Holding your fabric firmly in place, fold the pattern on the angled line that you need to sew – folding paper and fabric in one go. Press it very firmly so that when you release it, there’s a nice crease.

Step 3: Flip your fabric over and line up the crease on your fabric, with the crease/line on the pattern underneath (still working with your pattern fabric side up).

This means the shorter side will now be partly covering the area you need – keeping in mind that when you sew your line and flip the fabric back, the larger section will be there instead and you’ll trim off the remainder of the shorter piece. I like to fold it over at this point just to double check that it will in fact cover the area.

Step 4: You can pin your fabrics in place or just very carefully hold them in place and turn the pattern over. Sew on the angle line as per usual.

Your line might look rather wonky compared to the fabric placement, but if you’ve done it correctly, when you fold your fabric back, it should cover the angled section perfectly.

Trim back the seam allowance like you normally would, and you’re done! Make sure to press with a hot iron - I got a bit snap happy and took this photo pressing it.

Now this does mean there’s a bit more wastage of fabric, but in my mind if it saves me having to unpick and re-sew eleventy billion times, it’s worth it. Besides the cut off scraps usually come in handy for some other paper piecing project somewhere along the line!

Go forth and conquer those angles!

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