Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial for the Love Improv Coin Purse

The Love Improv Coin purse features a simple foundation paper pieced heart on the front panel of the purse, which uses the foundation paper piecing (FPP) technique. The pattern requires knowledge how to FPP, so I thought it might be useful to share a beginner tutorial on how to FPP the heart, if it's not something you've done before. It's a really simple heart, and a great introduction to the technique!


You will need:


The Love Improv Coin Purse PDF pattern and fabric (click here for the pattern)

A piece of card or a business card works well

A quilting ruler (An Add-a-Quarter ruler is even better, if you have one)

Fabric glue or a small pin


Optional – tailors awl

Usual sewing supplies (rotary cutter, ruler, mat, sewing machine etc.)


Top Tip: For small cutting, a 28mm rotary cutter is brilliant, as it gives you more precision and accuracy



First, cut out one of the FPP hearts from the template page in the pattern. Cut the two pieces of the heart in half and cut out the fabric for the heart as per the cutting requirements.



Using a fabric glue pen or small pin, secure the heart fabric to the reverse of the paper. This is the side without the pattern. If you are using glue, only use a small amount, and put it only in the section fo the heart. It is just to lightly secure it in place. Hold it up to the light or use a light box to ensure that there is in excess of 1/4” fabric all the way around the heart section. Repeat for both sides.




Flip the template so that the outline is facing up. Fold back each line of the heart and trim a 1/4” seam allowance. I like to use a postcard to fold my paper onto, to give a nice crisp edge. I also like to use an Add-A-Quarter ruler to give me the 1/4” seam. These rulers are designed to fit nicely over the paper. You can certainly manage without one, but if you plan on doing lots of FPP I would definitely recommend one.


Your heart will now be cut with a 1/4” seam allowance all the way around. Do this for both sides.



Take the top inner corner background piece and line it up against the top inside section of the heart.



Flip over, taking care that the fabric doesn't move. Using a short stitch length on the sewing machine (around 1.5) stitch along the line of the heart through the paper to secure the background fabric in place. Repeat on the other heart piece.



Open out and press.



You will see that this piece is intentionally too big. Trim this section by placing the postcard against the outer line, folding it back over the postcard and using the Add-a-Quarter ruler to trim a 1/4” seam, as before. Repeat for the other side.



Add the top outer background corner to each heart section and press and trim in the same way.


Add the bottom background sections, press and trim to complete two half-hearts.



Carefully remove the papers. The short stitch length should allow the paper to tear away easily, but you can always use tweezers to help you remove any excess paper. Be careful not to stretch the heart out of shape.



Join the two sections together using a 1/4” seam and a regular stitch length to complete your heart. If you have a tailors awl, this is very useful at this stage to carefully guide the fabric through the machine.




Press the seams open so that it lies nice and flat. Press the heart to finish.




Now you've made your FPP heart, follow the pattern to create your improv panels and turn it into a cute little coin purse!