Paper Piecing Floating Points: Free Pattern & Tutorial

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Last Updated April 29, 2018

I have seen plenty of paper piecing patterns with spikes and star points. Paper piecing makes these points nice and sharp at the seam allowance. Even with the precision of paper piecing we can sometimes end up with cut off points when piecing the units together. What can we do to prevent ever cutting off our points? The answer is paper piecing floating points. Floating points mean the points do not end at the seam allowance. Instead, the points end in the interior of the unit.

paper piecing floating points

Although these red and blue star points are not paper pieced, they demonstrate how the points end right at the seam line. These are not floating points.

paper piecing floating points

The floating points for these spikes will never be cut off because the points do not end anywhere near the outer seam lines for the unit.

Free Tutorial and Pattern: For Paper Piecing Floating Points

I drew this pattern with Corel Draw Home and Student Software. I needed to make a quilt larger for a duvet cover. See the quilt pictures and piecing in the article, Amazon Star: The Biggest Quilt I've Ever Made!

Download the foundation papers and cutting templates. The finished unit is 8″ x 4″.

Floating Points Download

Printing and Trimming the Papers

After downloading, print the three pages. On each page there is a 1″ square in the upper right corner. Measure this square to check for scale.

paper piecing floating points

The first page is the foundation paper that makes one unit. You will need one copy for each unit in your quilt. The sections number 1 thru 9. The odd number sections are not shaded. These sections are for fabric #1. The even number sections are shaded. These sections are for fabric #2.

Choose your fabrics and decide which is fabric #1 and which is fabric #2.

The outside line for this unit should measure 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″. For each of the foundation papers, cut 1/8″ to 1/4″ away from the outside line as shown below.

paper piecing floating points

The next page is the cutting template for fabric #1.

paper piecing floating points

The section numbers here correspond to the unshaded section numbers on the foundation paper. The arrows show stacking direction. Cut this template along the outside line as shown below.

paper piecing floating points

The final page is for fabric #2.

paper piecing floating points

The section numbers here correspond to the shaded section numbers on the foundation paper. The arrows show stacking direction. Cut this template along the outside line as shown below.

paper piecing floating points

Fabric Requirements

One strip of each fabric makes four 8″ x 4″ finished units. One template copy is used to cut up to 8 layers of fabric. Use the chart below to determine fabric requirements and number of templates copies to make.

paper piecing floating points

 

Cutting the Fabric

Cut the fabrics next. In this example we cut 2 strips of each fabric. This is enough to make 8 units.

Cutting Fabric #1

Use Fabric #1 template to cut fabric #1. Open up the strips and stack them right sides up.

paper piecing floating points

Place the template on top and cut 8 rectangles.

paper piecing floating points

Stack the 8 rectangles right sides up. Place the template on top.

paper piecing floating points

Slice along the bold lines through all 8 layers of fabric.

Cutting Fabric #2

Use Fabric #2 Template to cut fabric #2. Repeat the the same steps from fabric #1 above.

paper piecing floating points

Stack the Sections

Stack the sections in order for piecing.

paper piecing floating points

Start by placing all the sections with the arrows pointing away from you.

paper piecing floating points

Next place Section 9 on the table. Then place Section 8 on top.

paper piecing floating points

Continue with Sections 7 and 6.

paper piecing floating points

End with Section 1 on top. Section 1 does not have an arrow.

paper piecing floating points

Straighten the stack by lining up the arrow sides. The fabric sections are now in sewing order. The arrows indicate which side of the fabric is sewn during piecing.

Repeat this process with the fabric #2 sections.

Piecing the Units

Now it's time to learn the paper piecing. Hop over to Foundation Paper Piecing Tutorial to see the tutorial and videos.

Piecing

When paper piecing floating points together, you might find it easier to match the fabric #1 points by leaving the paper on the unit. Remove the papers after the units are stitched together.

Once you see how easy paper piecing floating points can be you'll be looking for them everywhere!

Fabrics Used in This Tutorial

The fabrics used in this tutorial are:

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