Tuesday Tutor - Joining the blocks

Posted by Ruth on 8 March 2011 | 0 Comments

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We now have all the blocks made for your sample quilt. You should have a total of 35 blocks made up of 7 different blocks.

blocks for our sample quilt

7 different blocks - 35 in all

Lay them out on your design wall (or floor or table) in the order they should be in, making sure each block is facing the correct way. Did you want to change the layout? Go ahead, remember this is your quilt and you can make it the way you wish. Following is my layout:

sample quilt layout

This is my layout, you might choose a different one

Before we continue, you need to be sure you are happy with all your blocks. If you are not, you need to remake any that you're not happy with now so we can join them all together.

You will be joining the blocks into rows. There are 7 rows in total. Rows 1, 2 & 3 are identical to rows 7, 6 & 5 which are flipped unside down.

sample quilt rows

Join the blocks into rows - chain stitch to speed this up.

To speed up this process, you can chain stitch the blocks together. What does chain stitching mean? Chain stitching is when you work on the same section of each row until that section is completed for all rows, then you move onto the next section. Think of it as a car assembly line where all pieces are produced in one area, then they move onto the next area ready for the next section.

In our quilt sample, you can sew the first two blocks together in the first row and without cutting the thread, sew the first two blocks of the second row together. Again, don't cut the thread, sew the first two blocks of row three, row four, five, six and seven. Each set of blocks will be linked together with a thread. These can be cut when the line is complete and put back in their respective rows. Now you move onto the next two blocks and do the same thing.

You can choose to press the seams after all the sewing is complete or after each line of sewing is complete. I prefer the latter as it makes pressing easier to manage and I always have my iron right close to me so its no big deal to grab. Be sure to press the seams in opposite directions so they butt together when joining.

pressing in opposite directions

red arrows show pressing direction in row 1 
blue arrows show pressing direction in row 2

Now that your blocks are all joined together in rows, it's time to join the rows together. Remember to keep them in the right order. This time it doesn't matter which way the seams are pressed because there is no matching to be done.

sample quilt rows are joined

Join the rows together and press seams

Congratulations on piecing the blocks together. There is one more thing we will do this week and that is to remove any paper from the Flying Geese blocks if you foundation pieced them. This is easy to do, just fold along the seam lines and tear it out. Do so gently so as not to stretch the stitches out of shape.

Next we will be adding the borders, but that's a job for next week. See you then!

Did you miss any of the lessons? You can find them here...

Lesson 1: Requirements

Lesson 2: Rail Fence

Lesson 3: 9-patch

Lesson 4: Corner Flip

Lesson 5: Friendship Star

Lesson 6: Log Cabin

Lesson 7: Flying Geese

Lesson 8: Double Monkey Wrench

quilting classes available at the Academy of Quilting


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