Preparing the Foundation
First, to download the foundation, visit this page on my website and open the pdf.
I use it for a number of reasons. One reason is that with this technique, it is very useful to see through the foundation. Another, and this is important, is that because I am placing multiple patches at once, I use little dabs of glue to secure the patches to the paper. After the foundation is sewn and it’s time to remove the paper, I wet the paper in order to release the glue. Vellum takes this quite well. The paper holds its integrity while wet/damp and is easy to tear off.
Not so for printer/copier paper. Once you wet it, printer paper will turn into a sodden mess that is a pain to tear off and leaves way too much residue at the stitch lines.
There is, however, a problem with vellum as well: you must use a laser printer/copier with it. Ink jet ink will rub off the vellum onto your fabric.
With these little X blocks, however, I realized that I could place the glue dots such that I never glued fabric to paper and therefore didn’t need to wet the paper to release glue. While I still think it is preferable to use vellum (so you can more easily see through the paper), you can use printer paper. You will just need to use a light box in order to see through the paper.
Whew, that was a lot of explanation (which probably most of you didn’t need – sorry).
So, first step: print the foundation onto either vellum (preferred) or printer paper (will work).
Cut the blocks into four separate units. Here’s one.
Place the foundation on either a white background or a light box (essential if you used printer paper) with the printed side facing down.
Now, fold over the foundation so that you are very exactly lining up two adjoining seam lines. Fold and crease the paper sharply. (It is important that you be exact here: this is what allows the perfect alignment that happens like magic when you sew the foundation).
Repeat for the other seam adjoining seam.
On the non-printed side of the foundation, line up the quarter inch line on your ruler along the far left seam line. Using a red extra fine line permanent marker (I use Sharpies), draw a line alongside the ruler. (Why use red? Because when you flip the foundation over to sew, it would be confusing to have an assortment of black lines to choose from). This line marks the edge of your seam allowance.
Draw another seam allowance line after the second seam line.
That’s it, your foundation is now ready to sew.