I'm so happy that you've found you're way here. Last month, I came across a fabulous pattern for a flying geese keychain and just had to make one. After making it, I couldn't wait to share it with you.
The Tiny Geese Keychain pattern is a simple and fun paper piecing pattern by Michael Ann Made. It's available in her pattern shop on Craftsy. Michael Ann includes a full tutorial with her pattern, as well. The tutorial is very well done, with step-by-step instructions and actual pictures of Michael Ann making a keychain right along with you.
After reading through the instructions, I wanted to try out something a little different than traditional paper piecing. While I really do enjoy paper piecing, I don't enjoy ripping off the papers in the end. So, I decided to use the wonderful foundation paper that I carry in my shop, Sharon's Secret Foundation Paper. Typically, it's used for applique, but both my mom and I often use it for foundation piecing as well. When it's used for foundaiton piecing, there's no need to tear it away in the end. The foundation can stay in! Once quilted and washed, the foundation paper loosens up and becomes small fibers in the body of the quilt, adding softness. You can learn more about using the foundation for quilt blocks in my String Block tutorial.
To use the foundation for the Tiny Geese Keychain, I cut the foundation to 8.5"x11" to make it easy to run through my printer and print the pattern. The foundation is really fabulous to print on! In the picture you'll see a piece of foundation cut to 8" for use in foundation piecing, as a reference. In addition to printing on the foundation, you can also draw on it with pencil. Another wonderful feature of the foundation paper is that it doesn't shrink as you sew on it. Often when foundation piecing with other foundations or muslin, you can experience some shrinkage as the stitching and pressing distorts and pulls in the fibers of the foundation. With Sharon's Secret Foundation you'll experience much more accuracy. In the end, the foundation can stay in and acutally replace the need for adding interfacing to the keychain.
After printing, you can follow Michael Ann's instructions for piecing together your own keychain.
Here are a few of my own tips and tricks for foundation piecing with the foundation paper:
1. Apply a bit of a glue stick to anchor piece #1 in place. Heat set with your iron to secure it in place.
2. To help achieve accurate placement of the pattern pieces, fold the piece along the first seam line to create a crease.
4. Place piece two in its place and heat set. This glue basting and heat setting will keep piece #2 from shifting around as you move to sew at your machine. Don't worry, you're not sewing through the glue. And even if you did, the heat setting dries the glue and removes any gumminess. It's safer for your needle and machine than any fusible webbing.
5. Sew along the first seam line. I prefer to backstitch at the beginning and end of my seam.
6. Trim the seam allowance. This pattern is pretty tiny, so I trimmed my seam allowance to less than 1/4" to help alleviate bulk.
7. Press piece #2 over. Repeat each step for piece #3.
8. Fold along the long seam for the "geese" piece to create a crease.
9. Again, draw a fine line of glue below the crease.
10. Place the "geese" piece in its place and heat set.
11. Sew, trim and press the piece in place.
12. Continue glue basting and sewing each piece in its place until the pattern is completely filled in. Once sewn, there are no papers to tear away. Isn't that wonderful!! Simply trim the keychain according to Michael Ann's instructions, then add the backing and finish the ends as you like. If you use the foundation paper, you won't need to add any interfacing or batting. The foundation will make the keychain stable, but not overly stiff. It will feel wonderful in your hand.
I'm in love with my new keychain. Honestly, I don't make things for myself often enough, and I'll definitely be keeping my new purple Tiny Geese Keychain. I gave away the first one that I made, but I like it so much that I may need to make a duplicate.