Lesson 7: Making Foundation Blocks
In this lesson, we’ll learn how to turn a pieced block into a foundation block. Using the Churn Dash block that we created in Lesson 6, we’ll make it into a foundation block and print it as a foundation. You can also find this block in the Simple Nine Patch Folder.
What is a Foundation Block?
When you create a block using the foundation technique, you sew fabric directly onto a pattern printed on paper. The paper serves as the foundation for the fabric. In a foundation pattern, each piece of the pattern is numbered. You simply sew each piece of fabric in order by the number on the foundation.
What Blocks can be Converted into Foundations?
Most pieced quilt blocks can be converted into foundations. Many blocks (like Churn Dash) need to be broken into sections. You can foundation piece each section and then sew the sections together.
How do I Know if my Block needs to be Sectioned?
When you sew a foundation block, each new piece of fabric you add has to cover up all the previously sewn seams. Look to see if any lines in the pattern cross each other. If they do, you will need to break up the block into sections. Look at the Churn Dash block and you will see that it needs to be broken up into three sections.
In the block on the left, at least two seams cross each other and we cannot foundation piece it as one block. On the right, we have separated the block into three sections so that no seams cross each other. We can then sew the three sections together.
Now that we know that the Churn Dash block needs to be broken into three sections, let’s open the Foundation Wizard to section and number it.
What is the Foundation Wizard?
The Foundation Wizard contains the tools you need to section and number blocks. You can also color certain patches so that you can foundation piece more easily.
Open the Foundation Wizard
1. Click on the Effects Menu and then click on Foundation Wizard.
2. Perfect Quilt will open the Foundation Wizard.
3. Because the Churn Dash is a simple block, Perfect Quilt should have already sectioned and numbered it for you. However, we are going to clear the numbers and sections so that you can practice for yourself.
4. Click on the Clear All Button.
Now, let’s start by sectioning the block. We will section the Churn Dash block into three sections as show above.
How to Section a Block
1. Click on the Section Tab.
2. To make the sections, click on each patch that you want to be in a section. As you click on the patches, they will turn green. Click on all the patches you want to be in one section.
3. Click on the Make Section Button. The patches will turn blue and have a thick red line around them. This blue color indicates that they are selected. The red line indicates the boundaries of the section.
4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 to create the other sections. You should have a total of three sections. If you make a mistake, click on the Delete Section or Clear Sections Button.
Next, we will number each of the three sections
Numbering the Block
1. Click on the Numbers Tab.
2. Click on the top section to select it. It will turn blue.
3. Click on the patch that you want to be number 1. Perfect Quilt will add the number 1 to it.
4. Click on the patch you want to be number 2 and so on.
5. Repeat for the other sections.
Click on the Print Grays Tab if you want to color your foundation block when you print it. This helps you see the block more clearly when you sew it. Despite the name, you can use any color—not just gray.
1. Click on any patch that you want to be gray.
2. Click on the Choose Color Button to choose any other color, then click on the patches.
3. Click the Close Button to finish converting the Churn Dash block into a foundation block.
Printing Foundation Blocks
Now that the Churn Dash block has been converted into a foundation, we can print it.
1. Click on the File Menu and select Print Foundation. Perfect Quilt will open the Print Foundation box.
2. Select the size of the finished block and the number of copies you want. Perfect Quilt will tell you how many blocks you can fit on a page and how many pages you will need.
3. Choose any of the printing options such as flip horizontal, print numbers.
4. Check your foundation in the foundation preview to make sure that it is sectioned and numbered correctly. Perfect Quilt shows you a flipped preview of the foundation and a preview of the finished block.
5. Click on the Print Button to print the foundation.