Jackson, there are lots of good free tutorials on foundation paper piecing out there. There are a few here on Connecting Threads. Click on Freebies in the banner at the top of this page, go to tutorials and type paper piecing into the tutorial search box. You'll find both videos and instructions. A friend and I taught ourselves using Carol Doak's booklet "Show Me How to Paper Piece". It focused on a simple stripped heart block but really got the concept across. The best advice I can give is to begin by cutting the fabric pieces bigger than you think you will need. Sounds wasteful but as you get the hang of it, you will be able to judge what size you need and won't need to overcut the pieces. Good luck. I really like your Quilts for Kids quilts; I've made a few of those myself -- such a good cause. You did a beautiful job on your Sampler quilt too.
I love foundation piecing! You should join Carol Doak's Yahoo group! She started a free Mystery BOM in May so you still have time to get in on that! Plus she gives us other free patterns fairly often. You can find great tutorials on youtube for almost any technique too.
I have never personally done machine applique yet but it's at the tip top of my to-learn list! I have some patterns that I am dying to try by Cleo's Designs....using the shading in batiks to get a most wonderful effect with flowers!