Q: Do you sell blank Stable Piecing sheets to print on in home printers?
A: No, we do not. We guarantee our piecing and size accuracy because every block is printed straight from the original. Therefore, we don’t want to compromise our product quality. We also use special printers and ink to print our material that can take the wear and tear this fibrous material puts it through. Domestic printers cannot withstand this process.
Q: Why do you sell Stable Piecing foundations and patterns separately?
A: We sell foundations and patterns separately because we often find that people want to make larger quilts that require more than one package of foundations. We try to maintain a sustainable and environmentally friendly product by saving paper and ink waste that would come if we included a pattern with every package.
Q: Can I use the Stable Piecing patterns to make my own blocks without the foundation?
A: No, these patterns were not designed to be standalone patterns. Therefore, each pattern is written as a companion to the corresponding Stable Piecing block, with cutting directions to make the most efficient use of your fabric, have most to all of your pieces’ bias edges on the inside of the finished block, and tips and tricks for easier piecing on the foundation.
Q: Can I leave the foundation in when I’m finished piecing?
A: You can leave the foundation in on a lighter use item, such as a decorative table runner or wall hanging (something you will not wash a lot). We do recommend that you tear it out after piecing if you will use the item frequently and wash it a lot, such as a bed quilt. This is due to the fact that over time, with washing, the foundation will separate at the perforations in the seams and bunch up in the quilt.
Q: Do I really need the companion pattern?
A: We recommend the pattern because it includes the cutting templates and efficient cutting directions, piecing directions, and tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way about piecing this block on this foundation.
Q: How well does the Stable Piecing foundation tear out?
A: It tears out very easily, and doesn’t distort your seams when tearing. We use a stitch length of 1.5 to 1.8, or 18 to 20 stitches to the inch. This perforates the foundation more often, allowing it to tear much easier than a longer stitch length.
Q: What size stitch length do you use?
A: We use a stitch length of 1.5 to 1.8, or 18 to 20 stitches to the inch.
Q: Can I reuse the foundation?
A: No, each foundation is designed for a one time use. You can, however, sew a mis-stitched line two to three times by carefully taking out the bad stitches with a seam ripper, and then continuing as normal.
Q: When do I remove the foundation in the piecing process?
A: We usually remove the foundation after piecing the complete quilt top, or until it gets too stiff or bulky to work with comfortably. If this occurs, we start in the middle and remove the foundation to within 3-4 inches of the edge. This keeps us from stretching the blocks as we add more. If a block has units, in the case of the Gum Leaf or Mariner’s Compass, we piece the units together, tearing out the foundations in the seam allowances only, until the quilt top is completely together. This allows the seams to lay flatter, without the added bulk of the foundation. The final 3-4 inches of foundation around the outer edge are not removed until after the border is added.
Q: Why does it take so many blocks to make a quilt top?
A: When we piece the blocks for a quilt top, we set all the blocks directly together, without any sashing, and usually with smaller borders. This means that we have to have enough blocks side by side to make the top in the desired size. Usually, this means quite a lot of blocks, especially in the larger quilts (56 for a queen size). You can make this number smaller by adding sashing and larger borders.