Paper for Foundation Piecing

Just a quick post to tell you about a “new” discovery. Most of you know how hard it is to use regular (20, 22, or 24 lb) copy paper for foundation piecing patterns.  The paper just won’t tear away cleanly after stitching and you end up using tweezers to get all the little paper bits off your quilt block.

I have been using 16 lb newsprint for the foundation piecing patterns in my Mariner’s Alphabet Pattern.  It is fairly hard to come by in 8 1/2 by 11 sheets; the only place I have found was through an online order at Office Depot. The newsprint is great at tearing off after stitching, but I have some trouble with it not feeding through my printer properly.  About 5 % of the time multiple pages will feed through at once.  So when I print out a bunch of patterns to sell through the local shops, I have to watch the printer very carefully and double check every pattern to ensure the set of patterns is complete.

Ginny Hillsberg at Uptown Fabrics in Port Townsend is using 16 lb copy paper for this purpose.  Last time I was in her shop, she handed me a stack of it and suggested I try it out.  It feeds through my printer nicely (so far) and the patterns print well.  I tested stitching through it and tearing off the paper; that worked well also.  It is slightly harder to tear than the newsprint, but tore cleanly with a  stitch length  of about 1.5 mm.  I like to use a fairly  short stitch length on foundation piecing  because the seams are less likely to start coming undone at the ends, so I haven’t tested the paper with a regular stitch length.

Once I use up the reams of newsprint I bought last year, I will definitely be switching over to the 16 lb copy paper.  If you can’t find it locally, here is a link to Amazon where it can be purchased:  X-9 Copy Paper, 92 Bright, 500 Sheets/Ream, 8 1/2″ x 11″, 16 lb..  It is also available online at OfficeMax, if you happen to shop there.  Not sure if they stock it in their stores or not.

2 thoughts on “Paper for Foundation Piecing

  1. trkingmomoe

    Thank you. I just down loaded a mariner’s compass to paper piece. I do have news print in large sheets. I will try that and cut them down to feed. I will have to look to see what the lb is on my printer paper.


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