I've struggled and struggled with Microsoft's freebie paint program (named, uh, Paint) because I can't afford PaintShop right now. I like Picasa for photos, but needed something for line drawing and styling as I plan quilts and create patterns.
This morning I was avoiding going to the gym (some of my most fruitful time), and I found Paint.NET - it's FREEware (the very best kind!) and it's so incredibly perfect for what I want to do. PhotoShop and the like have completely overwhelmed me in the past with all the bells and whistles, but Paint.NET is not loaded - and is therefore completely inadequate for anyone who knows what he/she is doing. But it is intuitive, and did have everything I needed to create this paper-piece foundation. I figured it out in no time flat, it has great rulers in different metrics, color choices (including hex code input), unlimited undo, multiple save formats. Can't beat the price.
If you're not familiar with paper-piecing, it's a way of using paper as a foundation (you remove the paper once the block is done) to help you keep seams straight and to keep you from having to cut perfect pieces before seaming. It's explained well here. I don't use the fancy papers they talk about, but I do have to put a little more time into pulling all the little bits of paper out of my seams. Tweezers come in handy.
You'll need at least two of each block to make the striped squares. To keep the golden ratio, you'll need to have the same number of blocks across as down (2 x 2, 3 x 3, etc.) Make sure you match up your colors as you do the piecing (unless, of course, you don't want to!)
These drawings are scaled to be 8 x 5 in blocks. You can scale them anyway you want, just make sure that both foundations are scaled exactly the same before printing them.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.