Friday, March 14, 2014

Soupcon Quilt Along Part 6

Soupcon Quilt Along (QAL)
Part 6 of 6

Welcome to the final installment of my Soupcon QAL! I can`t believe how quickly the time has flown by and that we are already at the end! I hope you've had as much fun as I've had. Thanks for all the encouragement and positive feedback. I've been absolutely amazed at your creativity and hope to see some finished Soupcons in the near future! In the next few days I will set up a new tab for my Quilt Alongs (that's right, alongs! I've got the next one in the works and plan to launch it next month). Under the tab you will be able to find links to all of the Soupcon instructions.

The word soupcon is French and it means "a little bit". My goal was to present you with a little bit of many different techniques and methods that I like and to give you some design options so that you could personalize your quilt. In Part 6 I'll share one final technique - a foundation paper pieced border. Once the border is added you will have a wall hanging size quilt that measures 31 1/2" finished. You can continue to add to the quilt to take it to a bed-size quilt. I'll discuss some design options in upcoming posts.

My Blue Soupcon has a scrappy pieced border that measures 3" finished. I'm not sure if this will be a wall hanging or a quilt. There's no rush to make a decision! Notice that I repeated my orange fabric in the pieced border and it is in the same spot on each side. I like the symmetry.

My Red Soupcon has a 1 1/2" border of a directional print fabric and it was added all around the quilt. It was followed by a 1 1/2" foundation paper pieced border. It is the same border as my Blue Soupcon but I used only half of the pattern to make that border. The foundation pieced border is scrappy however I repeated the same fabric in each position on each side.

THERE WAS A TYPO (MY APOLOGIES) SO PLEASE REREAD THIS SECTION WHICH HAS BEEN UPDATED: The first step is to bring your quilt to the required size which is 26" (25 1/2" without seam allowances). Measure your quilt and subtract that measurement from 25 1/2 and divide by 2. This is the width of your strip without a seam allowance. Simply add 1/2" for the seam allowance. Thus if your quilt measures 23 1/2" without seam allowances you will need a 1" finished border all around. Cut 1 1/2" strips, two of which will measure 24" and the other two will measure 26". If your quilt measures 24" without seam allowances you will need a 3/4" finished border all around. Cut 1  1/4" strips, two of which will measure 24 1/2" and the other two will measure 26". If your quilt measurement is 24 1/2" without seam allowances you will need a 1/2" finished border all around. Cut 1" strips, two of which will measure 24 1/2" and the other two will measure 26".  If you need help with the math leave me a comment or send me an email and I'll be happy to assist.

HELPFUL TIP: When I stitched a border to a quilt I pin well. At the end of the border I always place a pin perpendicular to the border and another parallel to the border. This really helps to minimize shifting.

Once the narrow border is added you will foundation paper piece four identical borders. In my Blue Soupcon I added corner squares that were cut 3 1/2" square. This is a great spot for embellishment. If you prefer you could add a pieced block instead of a solid square of fabric. Use your imagination and make the quilt yours! In my Red Soupcon The corner squares were cut 2" square.

 Red Soupcon - Adding the 1 1/2" Inner Border

Red Soupcon has a 1 1/2" (finished measurement) border of a directional print. To do this I cut 2" wide strips of fabric. I wanted to miter the corners so that added an additional 3" (1 1/2"  x 2 = 3") to my measurement. My quilt top measures 26" (includes seam allowance) so when I add the border width of 3" the sum is 29" and that includes the seam allowance. I cut 4 2" strips that were 29" in length.

On the wrong side of each strip make a mark 1 3/4" in from each edge on the side of the strip that will be sewn to your quilt. This is your start/stop sewing point. Pin the border to the quilt; make sure that the 1 3/4" mark is 1/4" in from the edge of the quilt top.

Repeat at the opposite end. Pin the border to the quilt between these two points. Start sewing at the 1 3/4" mark (take a few stitches and then back stitch a few stitches to secure the seam) and then sew to the other end again taking a few back stitches. Repeat on the opposite side. Stitch the two remaining borders to the side lining up the 1 3/4" mark with the edge of the border. Your corners will look like this - there will be two loose, floppy bits at each corner.

To miter the corners have the wrong side facing up. Line up the corner and pin as shown.

Fold the quilt so that the strips are lined up. I like to place a pin at the top to keep the edges eve and then place another pin (the white headed pin) just in from the bottom corner. You will sew from your pencil mark at the 1 3/4" point out to the corner as indicated by the line. Trim the excess fabric (the fabric above the diagonal line) leaving roughly a 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn and press. The seam allowances will naturally want to fold in one direction. Repeat at the other three corners.

Making the Foundation Paper Pieced Border

The final step is to add a foundation paper pieced border. Believe it or not I've used the same border on both quilts! The border on Red Soupcon is simply half the width of the Blue Soupcon border; the look is of thimbles alternating with points!

You will find the patterns for the foundation papers for both borders here

For Red Soupcon you will print 4 copies of the pattern (one sheet is sufficient for each side). For Blue Soupcon you will print 8 copies because you will need two sheets per side. HELPFUL TIP: I like to print on newsprint or cheap manila. You want a paper that is light weight and that tears easily. Avoid onion skin as it is surprisingly strong and can be difficult to remove.

A WORD ABOUT PAPER FOUNDATION PIECING: Some quilters find it confusing because they are stitching and flipping. This is how I like to think of it. The paper is always on the wrong side of your fabric and the lines are the sewing lines. If you hand piece you know that you draw your 1/4" sewing lines on the wrong side of the fabric; when paper piecing your sewing lines are on the paper which becomes the wrong side of your fabric! This means when you add a piece of fabric to another they will be right sides together and the paper with your sewing lines is the wrong side!

When I foundation piece I like to create templates for cutting the fabric. This allows me to ensure that the grain line is straight and it eliminates the guess work about how large a piece of fabric I need to cut and it minimizes the amount of wasted fabric. What I do is trace the shapes on paper and add a 1/2" seam allowance all the way around. These are the templates I made for my Red Soupcon.  HELPFUL TIP: Make your templates, cut a couple of test pieces of fabric and foundation piece. If you find it challenging to line the patches up redraw your templates and try adding a 5/8" or even a 3/4" seam allowance all the way around.

This is the template I made for my Blue Soupcon. Only one template is needed for all of the patches.

I place my template on the fabric and cut my patches. These are the light star points for my Red Soupcon. I used a single fabric for all of the points so I was able to cut strips of fabric. This made the cutting very quick and easy!

For the dark sections I cut a piece of fabric that would yield 4 "thimbles", one for each side. I cut and layered several of these strips, pinned and then cut multiples at once.

Once you've cut your fabric it is time to prepare your foundation paper. I'll demonstrate on the 3" border but the process is the same for either. There are numbers on the foundation and that indicates the order of placement & sewing. The first strip is 1 to 13. This same strip also has numbers (14) to (26a). There is also a strip numbered 26b to 36. You will need to join sections together so that the border is long enough but hold off doing that until most of the section is foundation pieced. Section 13 will be glued to line up with section 14 and section 26a will be glued to line up with section 26b.

I like to mark on the foundation where the dark fabric will go so I place a D in each triangle that will be dark. In the following pictures the method is correct but I didn't use the actual Soupcon foundations. The solid lines are the sewing lines and the dashed line is the cutting line. I cut out my foundations leaving about 1/8" of paper beyond the dashed line.

I place the first triangle which is light with the right side down. I place a small dab of fabric safe glue on the blank side of my foundation in the area marked 1 and place my foundation paper over the triangle making sure that there is a little fabric above and below the foundation.

I place a thin ruler or a piece of thin cardboard on the sewing line.

I fold back the foundation paper and trim the fabric so that there is a 1/4" seam allowance.

I place a dark triangle right sides together with the light fabric. I pin at the tip and bottom on the sewing line.

I flip the fabric to make sure that all of the triangle will be covered with the fabric. If not I remove the pins and reposition the fabric until it is correctly placed. NOTE: The angle was wrong on this photo so it appears that there isn't much fabric at the bottom but there was.

I shorten my stitch length on my sewing machine and sew from off the fabric onto the foundation and stitch the entire solid line. I sew right off the fabric. I lift the corner of the paper on the sewing line so that I can place my ruler or cardboard on the next sewing line. Shortening the stitch length will make it easy to remove the paper after you are finished.

I fold my foundation back and trim so that there is a 1/4" seam allowance.

I place my next fabric which is light with the right side against the right side of the dark fabric.

I pin on the sewing line and flip to make sure the fabric is correctly positioned. When I am satisfied I sew as described above.

I continue in this manner until patch 11 is stitched and trimmed. I then glue the next foundation section to the  previous section and continue piecing. When section 24 is stitched and trimmed I add the third and final foundation section. HELPFUL TIP: Sometimes the paper will tear on the sewing line. I just put a little cello tape over the tear to hold it together until the piece is completed.

Once the entire piece is foundation pieced I use a rotary cutter and ruler to trim the foundation on the dashed line.

Stitch a foundation to the top and bottom of your quilt. At this point you can removed your foundation papers. You can add the borders to the quilt so that the light triangles are pointing away from the quilt or

towards the quilt. The choice is yours!

If you are making the Blue Soupcon border, stitch a 3 1/2" square to either end of the two remaining borders (for Red Soupcon it will be the four 2" squares) and then stitch the borders to the sides of the quilt. You are done!

I really hope you've enjoyed this quilt along! I've have fun sharing my ideas with you! As always if you don't like what I've done or you don't want to try this technique by all means do your own thing! A simple DESIGN OPTION would be to just add a nice border of a fabulous print fabric!

Time for a nice, hot cuppa! Until I post again, happy sewing and don't forget to post your pictures of your Soupcon quilt on the Soupcon FLICKR Group!
Karen H


  1. Yay! I'm so happy so see paper piecing. I love it! I finished my step 5 just last night.

    1. Looking forward to seeing what it now looks like! I love the colours you've been using so I', sure it will be stunning!

  2. A perfect border finish. I was guessing what might come next and it magically appeared. Can't wait to get started. Thanks again for a fun project.

    1. You are very welcome Heather! Thanks for sewing along with me!

  3. I love both versions Karen, it might take a day or two to play with the stash before i decide which one to do. Thank you so much for such a fun mystery QAL and all of your kind comments along the way, It has been so inspiring to see how others, in the Flickr group, have interpreted your wonderful designs

    1. I've meant every word I've said about all of the Soupcon quilts. Each is beautiful and unique and reflects the maker! I'm looking forward to seeing some completed quilts!

  4. Lovely! I've done paper pieced blocks, but never a continuous shape in a border. A new skill set. Thank you.

    1. I'm so glad it is something new for you to try out! It is a fun, fast and precise way to make some wonderful borders!

  5. I love both of your borders. But I have yet to complete the last round! Although I am still working on the hexies and see and end in sight. With life getting in the way my thoughts are that it may take a few weeks before I get this far. My goal is before the end of the month but no promises. Thanks for the delightful quilt along. It has been fun albeit challenging. That's a good thing Too, just can't seen to keep up. (yes, I'm working on other quilt alongs as well and I'm behind on most of them!) Thanks again, and I look forward to following your blog, it's on of my favs.

    1. Thanks Susan - I wanted to sent you a personal email to thank you but you are a no-reply blogger! I'm so pleased that you enjoyed my QAL. I know what you mean about life getting in the way of quilting - I've got one that took me 13 years! You'll get your Soupcon done eventually I'm sure!

  6. Wow ! These both finished blocks look fantastic !i like the idea of paperpiecing !
    Thanks for the new tip!

    1. I can't wait to see which border you choose for your quilt!

  7. wonderfull lesson for paper-piecing - thank you very much

    1. You are welcome Sophie! I look forward to seeing your quilts as you add to them. They are very pretty and I love the colours you are using!

  8. I'm leaning toward the red version, but who knows by the time I get there. Working on part 5 and enjoying this QAL. Thanks so much, Karen, for the challenge.

  9. They are both stunning finishes. I can't pick a favourite. Thanks for another great tutorial. You need to write all this down in a book. I'd buy it.

  10. Opting out of step 5 and 6 pieced borders, Karen -- just had to use more of my gorgeous print. But I've enjoyed each of the border tutorials and hope to apply them to something else in the future -- looking forward to the next QAL!