Quilting basics: piecing

Prepare sewing machine and fabric

  • Calibrate a scant 1/4″ seam allowance guide (e.g. masking tape on your sewing machine, presser foot)
  • This allows for the fold of the fabric when seam is pressed
  • Check stitch quality on a scrap
  • Check needle for nicks or bends
  • Use quality thread to avoid issues with fuzzing and pilling
  • Ensure fabric is pressed and starched

Plan layout

  1. Lay out blocks in an order that looks pleasing to you
  2. For each row of blocks, create a pile that is in order and label it (e.g. row 1, row 2)

Begin sewing

  1. Sew the first row
    1. From the Row 1 pile, take first two squares and line them with the right side of the fabric together, and stitch a seam 1/4″ from the edge
    2. Take the third square from the pile and do the same against the second square, then repeat with the remainder of the squares in the row
    3. Repeat the above with the remaining rows
  2. Place rows right-side down and trim thread tails
  3. Press seams to oneside for each row, alternating directions per row
  4. Sew rows together
    1. Put Row 1 and Row 2 face-to-face with the seams aligned and pin them together
    2. Sew rows together with a 1/4″ seam
    3. Repeat with remaining rows
  5. Press quilt top with starch

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