Quilt Class: Foundation Piecing pt.3

New York Compass
New York Compass

We are midway through the foundation piecing class making a New York compass block. This is a long tutorial, but there are a lot of steps and I want all of the parts to be clear.

This segment discusses more foundation piecing. In order to get to this point, you should have completed parts 1 and 2. All of the supplies are listed in Part 1

Remember our goal:

NY Compass Outline
NY Compass Outline

Next, we need to foundation piece the small strip called Section D.

Cut fabric
Cut fabric
4 Pieces of fabric
4 Pieces of fabric

Cut 4 pieces of fabric that coordinate with the fabrics of your block. The pieces should be about 2.5″x 1.75″, which is generous. You may be able to use scraps for these pieces.

Place fabric on pattern
Place fabric on pattern

As you did in Part 2, you will work on placing 2 fabrics on the line between D1 & D2 with about a quarter inch hanging over into D2 as a seam allowance. Note the printed part of the pattern (the lines on which you sew) are face down for this step.

Pin fabric
Pin fabric

I like to pin the first piece of fabric to my pattern. It helps keep the fabric from shifting as I work on the second piece of fabric. Note the printed part of the pattern (the lines on which you sew) are face up for this step.

Position 2d piece of fabric
Position 2d piece of fabric

Flip Section D back over and position the second piece of fabric over the first. I often hold the pieces up to the light (or use a lightbox) to position the second piece.

Ready to Sew
Ready to Sew

When you have both of your pieces placed like you like them, pin in place. I like to use thin pins. Your piece should now look like the above photo.

Sew on line
Sew on line
Sew on the line (#2)
Sew on the line (#2)

With the applique’ foot on your machine. Sew on the line between D1 & D2. Do not cross the perpendicular line at the top or bottom. Back stitch one stitch at the beginning and the end.

Section D sewn
Section D sewn

Once you have sewn on the line, your piece should look like the above photo.

Press first sewn pieces
Press first sewn pieces

Open up both pieces and make sure they cover D1 & D2. Once you are convinced that you have covered both D1 & D2 with your fabric and there is a 1/4″ seam allowance, press your piece. Press with the pattern on top. Note the pattern is face up and you can see the sewing lines. (Nota bene: if you have taped your pattern, use a press cloth so that you do not get melted tape on your iron)

Sewn, pressed Section D back
Sewn, pressed Section D back

Flip your Section D over again, so you are ready to trim.

Ready to trim
Ready to trim

Lay your pattern, with sewn fabric, pattern side up (fabric down) on your cutting mat. The inside part of the curve will be facing your body. You may want to flip Section D around if you are left handed.

Fold the longer piece of the pattern over to the left using the seam line as the fold line. This will expose the fabric that will be your seam allowance.

Place ruler on sewn line
Place ruler on sewn line

Line up your ruler’s 1/4″ mark on the seam/fold line and trim your seam allowance to 1/4″.

Trim
Trim
Trimmed
Trimmed

Trim seam allowance to 1/4″.

Ready to press pieces into place
Ready to press pieces into place

Go back to the ironing board and position your piece so the fabric is up, pattern side down and smooth the fabric towards D2, lightly finger pressing.

Press towards D2
Press towards D2
Press towards D2
Press towards D2

Take the piece to the iron and press carefully towards D2.

Place D3 fabric
Place D3 fabric

Place your next fabric with the longer part towards D2 and the future seam allowance closer to D3. Hold the whole piece up to the light to make sure your placement is correct.

Place D3 fabric in place
Place D3 fabric in place

Pin in place.

Get ready to sew on the line between D2 & D3.

Sewn D3
Sewn D3

Once sewn, your piece should look like the photo above.

Check to make sure fabric covers D3
Check to make sure fabric covers D3

Check to make sure your fabric covers pattern section D3. You do this by folding the fabric over and looking to see that you have about 1/4″ on all sides.

Pattern side up
Pattern side up

Now, get ready to trim. Put your piece on the cutting mat pattern side up.

Folder pattern back
Folder pattern back

Fold your pattern to the left again, like you did before.

Ready to trim
Ready to trim
Trimmed
Trimmed

Line up your ruler’s 1/4″ mark on the seam/fold line and trim your seam allowance to 1/4″.

Avoid the bump
Avoid the bump

See that bump in the photo above? You do not want that bump to show once you have pieced D4 on to the parts of Section D you have already pieced. Press again, this time towards D4. Avoid the bump by pressing!

Press towards D4
Press towards D4

Press towards D4. No ironing!

We are heading to the home stretch!

Position D5
Position D5

Position your last piece as you have done before. It is going to look at little weird and out of alignment, because you are working with a curve. Remember to position the fabric so it covers D5 plus 1/4″ seam allowance. Pay no attention to the edges of the other pieces, such as D4, that you have already sewn.

Check placement
Check placement

It is easier for me to see whether or not piece D5 was in the right position by pinning it. Note, I would pin it on the pattern side to sew, because then I can see where the pin is in relation to where my sewing machine foot and needle are. The pin in the photo is temporary.

Sewn D5
Sewn D5

Once you have the placement finalized, go ahead and sew.

Fold back pattern and prepare to trim seam allowance
Fold back pattern and prepare to trim seam allowance
Align ruler for 1/4" seam allowance
Align ruler for 1/4″ seam allowance

Now you have to fold back the pattern one last time and prepare to trim the seam allowance.

D5 trimmed!
D5 trimmed!

Trim!

Section D Complete!
Section D Complete!

Now your piece is done. Fold back the D5 fabric and press. Place your ruler on the lines at the end of the pattern and trim a 1/4″ seam allowance. I know you can do this without photos.

Now you have to trim the curved parts of Section D

Untrimmed Section D
Untrimmed Section D

It is too difficult to sew the untrimmed Section D, so you will have to trim.

Dots mark 1/4"
Dots mark 1/4″

To trim, mark 1/4″ away from the dark line. The dots in the photo above mark 1/4″. I have trimmed the straight ends with a rotary cutter and I am ready to play “dot to dot” with my scissors. I am going to cut from dot to dot to create a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Section D
Section D
Finished Section D
Finished Section D

On to part 4!

Tips:

  • If you have to rip out stitches, rip them out from the fabric side, not the paper side.
  • Pay attention to putting the next piece on the foundation.
  • Avoid the bump by pressing!

Resources:

Author: Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *