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Foundation Paper Piecing: What Paper Should I use?

Over the years, I've experimented with and tried the most commonly used papers for Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP). In order to help the next budding FPP artist, I've put my findings into this blog post in the hopes that this will serve as a great foundation (haha) to get you started.

In this post, I will be talking exclusively about Foundation Paper Piecing which is when you have a template printed or traced on paper that you directly sew on to produce your quilt block.

The first thing you are going to need is paper. The three main types of paper you can use are printer paper, freezer paper, or FPP paper. There are pro's and con's to each type.

Printer Paper:

This is the cheapest and most accessible option. I have made many quilt blocks using regular printer paper. If you are purchasing printer paper specifically for paper piecing, I'd definitely get the lightest weight paper you can. This will make it easier to tear and see through. Look for paper that is labeled as 20lb like the one shown here.

Freezer Paper:

While you can't print on it, freezer paper is a solid option. It tears more easily that printer paper though not quite as easily as FPP paper. When I've used freezer paper, I used Reynolds brand.

FPP Paper (Quilting Paper)

After having trouble tearing printer paper and freezer paper, I switched to exclusively using FPP paper. I like to use this roll by Golden Threads over 8.5" x 11" sheets because I can trace larger templates. If you want to be able to print from a printer, however, try the popular Foundation Paper sheets from Carol Doak.

Paper Type



Printer Paper

  • Easily accessible

  • Can print from any printer

  • Very difficult to tear

Freezer Paper

  • Relatively inexpensive

  • Can print on using inkjet printers

  • Harder to tear than FPP paper

Foundation Paper Piecing Paper

  • Tears off beautifully

  • Easy to trace on

  • Available in 8.5" x 11" sheets for easy printing

  • Transparency makes it easier to line up fabric

  • More expensive

  • Harder to find

  • Some printers don't take the paper very well

Why bother with FPP? You can create incredibly exact blocks and make designs

with funky angles like this Elephant Abstractions quilt I made (pattern by Violet Craft).

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