The Free Motion Quilting Project: 55. Double Foundation Piecing

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

55. Double Foundation Piecing

It's time to jump back to our pieced version of Express Your Love and learn a new way to foundation piece! Today we're working in the blue hair section and I decided to do something a little different and super scrappy:

free motion quilting | Leah Day

I'm calling this Double Foundation Piecing because you're literally foundation piecing once to make small blocks, then putting the blocks together into strips and foundation piecing the strips to cover the larger hair shaped foundation.

Does this sound confusing? It's actually super easy and a great way to use up all those itsy bitsy scraps that you don't want to throw away. Let's watch the video to see how it works:

So first foundation piece the small blocks, then trim them down, then connect them together to form strips, THEN piece the strips onto the prepared foundation for the hair section on the quilt.

One warning - this produced a VERY thick fabric. We've got multiple layers going on with this particular piece from first the little squares, then all the seam allowances from connecting everything together.

Yes, this may cause issues in the quilting, but that's okay! Part of experimenting and trying new things is to figure out #1 if the idea works and #2 what the limitations of the technique will be.

I know with this particular section dense free motion quilting is just not going to be possible. I might be able to quilt some soft lines in this section, but I absolutely won't be able to fill it the way I've filled the other versions of Express Your Love.

Please understand that this is OKAY! Some quilts need a lot of quilting to look good, but some quilts like this one really need the emphasis to stay on the piecing and applique lines. It's all about design and playing around to see what works and what doesn't.

So I'm off to keep playing and experimenting! I hope you will give this one a try today too!

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Other Foundation Piecing Posts: Prepare Your Foundation 
Red Diagonal Section  
How to Create a Scrappy Mix of Colors 
Orange Triangle Section
Yellow Log Cabin Section  
Green Mosaic Section 
Blue Double Scrappy Section 
Purple Braid Section


  1. Leah, I love watching your tutorials. I am learning so much from you. Thank you for your generosity and time.

  2. Actually, I like this tehnic because I love piecing part and hate quilting part. This seemed mostly about piecing so I tried and enjoyed. IMHO, it's definitely suitable for a wall quilt but I can't imagine it for a cosy blanket because the outcome is heavy and stiff.
    I made a large picnic blanket and it's doing well. Thick, so no grass stubbles and small stones peeking through :)

  3. Leah, love love love this video, and am copying the url for it for quick reference. Thank you so much. One suggestion, which I learned from garment sewing--in the second part of the video where you are flipping back the foundation and trimming the really bulky seams, just tilt your scissors until they're practically lying flat against the fabric the whole time you're trimming. This automatically 'grades' the seam allowance so that one layer ends up slightly wider than the other. This is a trick used in dressmaking to cut down on bulk and make the seam allowance line less obvious on the right side.


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