Scrappy foundation paper piecing

Some foundation paper piecing patterns are straight forward and others require a lot of tiny piece of fabric. When the first time I made one of the latter, I just couldn’t imagine cutting each piece of fabric individually before assembling. And I have developed scrappy method. Pick any random fabric big enough to fit into the shapes plus generous seam allowance and sew. And then trim off the excess. No preparation or pieces gone missing and totally scrap friendly.
Here is how.

Note : Foundation paper piecing method done with stitching through paper. By following the number on the pattern, all the fabric will be in the place with nice neat stitches. No worrying about sewing accuracy.
Fabrics are stitched on the wrong side of paper. The pattern printed paper is a reverse image.

Gather fabric you need and the pattern. Here are my pattern for a little house, 2″ finished and I am using pure scraps of any shapes and sizes. Just make sure fabrics are big enough and plenty.

Cut out the pattern just around the finished line. I prefer not to have the seam allowance outside the pattern. Cheaper and thinner the paper, better.

The first part is ①, the door. I wanted this plum and it is big enough to fit there including 1/4″ seam allowance even it is an awkward shape!

Fold the pattern on the line between ① and ② . Trim the fabric about 1/4″ from the fold. Make sure the paper pattern is on the wrong side of fabric.

Trimmed with 1/4″ seam allowance. Pin the pattern to the fabric and cut off any unnecessary parts but well bigger than the pattern.

Place the fabric for ② right side together with ① . Match the edge of fabric where you trimmed for seam allowance at the previous step.

Open the paper and stitch on the line between ① and ② . Make sure to extend the stitch all the way out to the seam allowance area. Stitch length is 1.6 – 1.8 in order to rip the paper easily later.

Fold and press the fabric ② on the seam and check it is in the right place and have plenty excess for seam allowance all the way around.

From here it is repeating the process.
Fold the paper pattern on the next stitch line. You need to rip the paper gently where the stitches are.

Trim the fabric to the seam allowance, about 1/4″.

Place the next fabric by matching the edge and right side together.

Open the paper and stitch on the line extending to seam allowance.

Fold and press fabric ③ and trim excess.

You might want to check the fabric is big enough by looking it against light source or window. Don’t look at the light directly.


Fold the fabric on the next stitch line.

Trim the fabric to the seam allowance about 1/4″.
Place the next fabric to match the edge and right side together.

Stitched, folded and ironed.

And repeat the process until all are done.

I used a bit bigger piece of fabric for the roof ⑦. Again once the seam allowance edge is matched and it is well bigger than the ⑦, I can just stitch without worry about …

if it is right size and shape.

The fabric for sky ⑧ and ⑨ I had was really scrappy off cut. And the stitch is on diagonal. So I just placed them together while folding the pattern on the stitch line and checked the ⑧ is well covered with the fabric.

Checking through light.

Stitched, folded, pressed and trimmed with very big seam allowance.

It’s done with the last piece.

Trim for the finish. Measure 1/4″ seam allowance from the pattern. The first two sides, top and right.

And another two. The finished size for this block is 2″ and that makes this bits to be 2 1/2″.

The little house is all done!