You can tell a paper is a unit because the word UNIT is printed in bold lettering. Units are the foundation we use when we are using the foundation paper piecing technique to make a quilt top.
When cutting units from the large newsprint sheets, cut 1/8″ to 1/4″ outside the trim line. This extra paper allows you to trim the unit to size after piecing.
There are many things printed on each unit, but for this tutorial we look at just a few of them. This is a picture of Unit CZR for a flying geese unit.
Trim and Sew Lines
Trim lines and sew lines are the two bold lines outlining the entire unit. The outside line is the trim line.
Once the piecing is finished for the unit, you will trim paper and fabric on this line.
The line just inside the trim line is the sew line
because it is 1/4″ from the trim line. The sew line is used when the pieced and trimmed unit is sewn to other units or other fabrics.
Look for Section 1.
Piecing always starts with Section 1 and moves in numerical order until the piecing is completed for the unit. Unit CZR pictured here goes from Section 1 to Section 9.
Each section is outlined first with a solid line and second with a dashed line 1/4″ away from the solid line. The solid line is the sew line and the dashed line indicates the seam allowance. Look at Section 1 and notice the area inside the solid
line. The shape of this area is what gets covered by the fabric for that section. Now look at the area inside the dashed
line of Section 1. This is the amount of fabric needed to have sufficient seam allowance for that section.
Hatching or No Hatching
The sections in a unit will either be shaded (hatching) or not shaded (no hatching). Quiltworx uses hatching
to indicate which sections are covered with the accent fabric(s)
and no hatching
to indicate which sections are covered with the background fabric(s)
. Hatching is used in units and templates as well. Unit CZR has 3 sections that are hatched (accent fabrics). Later you’ll see how hatching is used to connect templates and units.Note:
Accent fabrics may or may not be the darker fabric and background fabrics may or may not be the lighter fabric. Hatching is a way to keep track of your fabrics during cutting and piecing. You decide which fabric is the accent and which is the background. In any written instructions, you will see the words accent fabric and background fabric.
If the quilt layout requires 4 of these units, then you would need 4 of these paper units to complete the layout.
Now that we know what units are, we need some fabric pieces to sew onto the units. Templates are used to cut the fabrics into the shapes we need.Note:
When cutting any template from the large newsprint sheets, cut on the outside line. Extra paper is not needed here because you will be cutting fabric into the size and/or shape of the template or template layout sheet.
For this tutorial, we explore the two Quiltworx templates used most often: the Single Template and the Template Layout Sheet (TLS).
A single template is one shape. This is Template G for Unit CZR.
Here are some things to note about this template:
- You can see that the triangle has hatching, indicating this is the accent fabric. This section matches up with the hatched section on Unit CZR.
- The template name, Template G, identifies the template. The word “Template” is spelled out for the template name.
- The template section number, Temp G, corresponds to the section(s) in Unit CZR marked Temp G. The word “Temp” is abbreviated for the template section number.
Pre-Cutting Fabric for the Single Template
- The cutting instructions are printed on the template.
The cutting instructions printed on the template tell you to cut 3″ x 42″ strips of fabric. These strips may be cut from one fabric or several fabrics per the coloring you have chosen. For this example, we choose two different accent fabrics: two blue and one red. They will be pieced with the red in the center. Cut one 3″ strip from each.
Now stack the strips, right side up, in the desired color order. Use the template, flipping as needed, to cut 4 stacks of fabric (one stack per Unit CZR).
Template Layout Sheet (TLS)
A template layout sheet is a collection of related templates grouped together within a boundary line. A TLS is cut from the newsprint paper in one piece. Here is the template layout sheet for Unit CZR.