How to fix a mistake in Foundation Paper Piecing without seam ripping

I started making quilts with Foundation Paper Piecing because I hated the precision needed for traditional piecing. I love the freedom of making mistakes and it not being the end of the world.

Even though FPP isn’t as perfection demanding as other quilting methods, occasionally there are times where a mistake needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, the flaw in this method comes when seam ripping ends up ruining your pattern. Usually you can just tape the ripped paper and it will all be fine, but I like to avoid the process if I can, especially if the mistake is in the middle  or the very first piece in a section.

Take for instance my following mistake. I’m working on a baby quilt for my soon to arrive nephew. His dad is in the U.S. Army, so I designed a FPP pattern around the symbol for this military branch. While sewing I didn’t think about how the center star was white and ended up making it yellow. Some of the sections where this mistake occured were simple enough to carefully seam rip and resew, but the thought of entirely ripping out a section with 6+ pieces was going to suck the joy right out of this project.

So, how did I fix it?

Simple. I cheated.

So, put your seam ripper up and I’ll show you how to quickly fix that mistake in your foundation Paper Piecing project.

Step 1: Make a Template

The great thing about foundation Paper Piecing is that the shape you need has already been made for you. Flip over the section to where the paper is. Locate the piece that needs to be fixed and trace the lines onto a separate piece of paper. Do not add a seam allowance. Cut out.

Step Two:  Cut out fabric

Using the template trace out the shape onto fabric. Cut it out 1/4″ away from the line. Repeat for a total of two pieces.

Step Three: Sew

Place the two pieces of fabric together and sew along the lines you traced onto the fabric leaving a large enough gap to turn fabric. If the piece you’re fixing has part of it on a seam that joins two sections together you can leave that seam completely open. Trim the seams down to 1/8″ and clip any points. Turn and press making sure all points and seams are pushed out fully. Press.

Step 4: Topstitch

Place your patch onto the place you want to fix making sure everything lines up and the fabric below doesn’t show. Topstitch as close to the edge as you can.

And there you have it. It’s definitely not as perfect as seam ripping and sewing the entire section again, but when you can’t print a new copy or just don’t want to start a section over, this method is good enough.

Note on the pattern:

If you or someone you love is in the Army and you would like to make this pattern, be sure to check back in with me next Friday, January 14th, for the pattern release!

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JessieSharon Craft


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