I LOVE learning from others too. She has been contributing to craft articles on wikiHow since 2007. I even have gotten to know the “quirks” of some of them. By the early 1900s many quilt makers were simply sewing the seams together much like they would piece anything else. If so, then get a load of this cool quilting method! Loving the Layer Cake Sampler as I am getting lots of practice is sewing these points! I thought I’d take pictures along the way to share. Staying consistent during the entire process, makes a huge difference in my accuracy. Press seams in same direction on each row. (For the sample I used in this 'ible, I used 27 different fabrics and 3 of each one. If you use the marking on your cutting mats, they may be marked differently on different mats and that can account for a difference in your sewing. Quilt as desired. By using our site, you agree to our. An array of stitches is passed through all layers of the fabric to create a three dimensional padded surface. If you are joining two seams that have been pressed open, you can still feel if the seams are matching up. Thanks Anjeanette! Take your desired finish quilt size ... QUILT SIZE GUIDE HOW MANY BLOCKS DO I NEED? I always match my intersections first then my ends. Also, your fabric should be lining up at about the same place on the top. 12-15) 🙂 I love how you describe things! Determine the block's midpoint, too. Maybe you already know how to do this. Once I have gone down the length, then I use the whole iron to press it straight down. Rulers and rotary cutters are the same way. I go about looking at all the intersections of all my rows and decide how to press them. Every dollar contributed enables us to keep providing high-quality how-to help to people like you. Then the horizontal rows will be attached together to finish the quilt. I go back to my sewing machine and I determine how many points are in each row. If I don’t starch before, and I decide to starch during the construction, I find that sometimes it can really mess with my sizing and that just isn’t fun when you end up with different sized blocks. And that makes me unhappy. For each row, start by lining up the first two blocks, with right sides together. I am trying your method and hope it works. If I starch before, I can usually successfully starch during the construction as well. If they are pressed in alternating ways, I hold my fingers right on the seam and make sure I can feel both the seams nestled tightly as I proceed to sew the rows. I have found that using the flower head pins you usually find in shops that are designated for quilting, to be really thick. I know when I first really took a real dive into quilting as I do now, my seams were not perfectly matched and my points were poo. Square off the denim quilt. Sew rows together and press. Thanks for such a fantastic and helpful post. Sew rows together and press seams all the same direction. Step 3 press and nest the quilt block. Cotton batting is best for this project. These uneven 9-patch quilt blocks are typically drawn on 5x5 or 7x7 grids making them easy to identify and categorize. I suggest reading through it all once before you try it, because peppered throughout is a lot of back story to why I do it the way I do. This is because when you got to the bulk of the intersection, you let the fabric drift away from your 1/4” mark too much to the left. a walking foot for your sewing machine (very helpful) Spring-loaded rag quilt scissors (a must if your quilt is larger than mini-size, trust me) Plan your rag quilt: 1. The starch or even steam can make the fabric shrink. > 1/8 of an inch or less difference here. If you don’t have it, and I didn’t for over 10 years of sewing, just try to leave your needle down if you stop during your sewing while the fabric is still under the presser foot and you are still working on that seam. I’m not pressing down enough to hold the fabric from moving. Avoid making embarrassing mistakes on Zoom! Some quilts only require a single shape cut from different color fabrics to build the quilt top. Don’t push your iron back and forth or you will get a mess under it. I planned 9 rows, each row with 8 squares. This will create nesting seams when you go to sew the rows together and make the assembly much easier as well as matching up points. It's called "batting buddy", but you can do the same thing for free at home without purchasing the expensive templates that quilt shops want you to buy. You will continue along in this manner and stitch the rows together. Pretty simple as there were four squares making this row. Sew together in two rows of two, then sew the rows together to complete your block. Ok so there is no doubt, I love making pretty points when sewing my blocks together. Maybe your seams and points are already perfect. Have you priced a long arm machine and found it to be way way out of your reach? Repeat the process for next 7 rows – laying out 9 rows total. Press. The block should measure 12-1/2" square. Using a small ruler, position its edge along the short sashing strip (between the blocks) and mark the edge of the long sashing strip on both seams. An individual quilt block is easy to navigate underneath your standard sewing machine. I just make sure not to starch or steam unless I started with it before I cut my fabric. Borders. Yay for not poo points! In this instance, I would opt to press that seam of that row, open on both rows. Because of the way the seams are pressed, the seam allowances will nest together. Keep in mind that if you are making the “Crib Quilt” design, the boarder rows of 3” squares and diamonds can be any colors that you choose. Wait! The idea is to sew each quilt square as if you were foundation piecing. Quilt blocks can then be sewn together with sashing strips as when adding a simple sashing — remember to press seams toward the sashing strips. This is four fabrics that are going to compete at the intersection from just that one row. You can transform any quilt block into quilt-as-you-go by simply quilting the finished block to a matching square of batting. Please feel free to tell me if you found something that works better for you. There are lots of tutorials on how to do this. I would never starch after I’ve cut…until I get to the end. Also, remember to watch your fabric feeding into the sewing machine. This is a matter of preference. Repeat for each set of sashing seams. You can play around with this part until it works best for you, but as a general rule, I always sew about two threads to the right of the points. No poo for you. This almost always screws up my points by moving the bottom layer of fabric out of line. Still Sewing Rows Another section of the puss in the corner quilt has been sewn together, just the 3 center rows to go. If they are off or different sizes now, they are going to make your quilt off. Layer quilt top with batting and backing and baste together. Do not attach backing at this time. You are going to be doing this one row at a time, and then attaching all the rows together afterward. I used to use my wheel on the right of my machine more than anything else before I got my current machine with the needle down feature. I am giving this a try as I always sew my points first and then the rest of the block. I have a thing for pins too, and I appreciate this post. 'Uneven' 9-patch quilt blocks have center rows and columns that are either smaller or bigger than the side patches/units. Mark for quilting if necessary. And frankly, I don’t always succeed. Please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. When I am pressing my seams open, I use the front part of my iron down the length of the seam. Remember not to push the fabric because you don’t want to distort it. I like to lay out my rows to be sewn and make sure I can see the tips of the points. If the bottom layer moves, you are going to have a wavy seam. Love this feature. % of people told us that this article helped them. Holding your fingers over the intersecting seams just helps ensure your seams stay pressed the correct way as you are sewing your rows together. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 106,753 times. All of my blocks are still chain pieced together, and the chain piecing helps to keep them nice and tidy and in order. As long as you weren’t moving your fabric around when you were putting the pins in, this should be good. If you have issues with a bulky intersection, it may help to sew to the intersection from one direction and then turn the whole piece around and sew the rest from the other direction and through the intersection. I press my rows first with the right side facing up on the pressing board. Do you just spray it all down and iron it before starting cutting? Your blocks may look different but this is the basic method I use each time I am sewing blocks and even quilt tops together. The more fabrics at each intersection, the bulkier it is going to be. So lets start with a row of four half square triangles put together. When all your quilt blocks are already sewn together in rows, then it's time for you to put together all these rows. As you are sewing the entire length of the seam, make sure the right side of the fabric is moving at the same point under the presser foot. These sashing rows can then be sewn between the quilt block rows. Quilt Size Size AA Finished Block ~ 8.5”* Size A Finished Block ~ 7 3/8”* ... 11 Rows = 88 Blocks Total 9 Columns x 12 Rows = 108 Blocks Total 10 Columns x 14 Rows = 130 Blocks Total Create your blank quilt "Canvas" My quilt is made up of 5 columns of 12 " quilt blocks, x 7 rows of 12" quilt blocks (I'll add the border later), so I will create a canvas that is in a 5x7 scale. Step 3: Create the sashing rows by alternating sashing strips and sashing post blocks. Step 6: Sew the rows together. On a design wall or other flat surface, arrange the blocks, quarter-square (edge) setting triangles, and half-square (corner) setting triangles in diagonal rows for the quilt center (Photo A). I like to starch/steam or use sizing (whatever your preference is here) BEFORE I cut my fabric out. You know they are going to match up nicely. Step 1: Arrange your blocks and HSTs in correct layout (pictured below). Sew the lower 2 pieces together. Since I learned to sew clothing first, I always set my seams by pressing them closed first. Minds far superior to mine figured this stuff out and have shared it before. I think shoving something big like that into my fabric can distort the fabric and therefore make my sewing off. At that point I may use some starch to coerce them to do what I want. Just adjust for your specific pattern. Had I had some solid squares for example, in one of the rows instead of HST, that would make me put that row on the bottom. Lois Wade has 45 years of experience in crafts including sewing, crochet, needlepoint, cross-stitch, drawing, and paper crafts. After sewing and quilting all the blocks, they are trimmed to the same size. This week for the Exploding Heart quilt along, we're sewing the blocks into rows! It isn’t that I’ve always been able to do this. I don’t just shove a pin into the intersection points, fold it back and push it back out the bottom.  Instead push a pin straight through and then stabilize on both sided because when you put a pin into two layers of fabric, you kind of bend the fabric around the pin to get the pin to run in the top and out again at the bottom of the pin. Repeat all steps to assemble the second House quilt block. Using a quarter inch seam allowance, sew together in rows. Seam Ripper. For a quilt with five rows of four blocks each, you will need a total of 15 vertical strips. My 33’’ Gnome Forest Mini Quilt above contains four 12’’ blocks plus sashing and a border. For other blocks, like Courthouse Steps, you can do the same process on the other side without stopping to iron first. If your seams were open, you are going to want to make sure the pin goes directly through both the seams.  I usually pin before the intersection and sometimes after depending. This will help seams to nest when you sew the three rows together to finish the block. If you don’t, learn how to get that accurate 1/4” seam. I press it after starch. They are just things that I trial and error have taught me. I am going to press my seams open since they were kinda bulky.  I don’t want to burn my fingers and have found the wood piece that accompanied my Dresden plate template works well for pressing seams open. Nicely done! You make a large quilt by piecing and quilting supersized quilt blocks. I think I’m going to use thin white sashing between my blocks (1.5″ strips for 1″ finished sashing). I am so glad you liked it Becky. The second intersection both layers have two HST coming together at the intersection. Don’t forget to press the seams in between and match the seams as you sew. But I am using the seams being locked and guiding it together with my fingers. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. But for some reason, it makes my insides all a flutter when I make a nice point and match my seams. Open Photoshop 6.0 Elements 1. Of course, sometimes you just have to change out your blade during the process. These first blocks are uneven 9-patch blocks … Rulers, Mats and  Rotary Cutters. Remember that while you are pressing the seams open, you don’t want to make the rest of your seams all folded and wonky.  You want them to stay where they are so that they lay nicely while you quilt your quilt. If I have just sewn something and I see a big mistake, I don’t understand pressing on. Both ways though, I’m pinning fairly close to the intersection. Now run the pin through the tip of the other row. Sew borders to the quilt (5-1/2" wide strips) if desired. Feel carefully to ensure that the batting edges line up. It makes for a fun little game to play with the baby as he/she grows. Sometimes you have two HST blocks that come together at the same intersection in one row, for example. Sew a seam down the inch (2.5cm) wide flap(s) just barely outside of the batting. Quilt Center. Then I press based on what I’ve decided about my intersections and priorities. Make sure your points are present (not cut off) and your intersections are matching up nicely. I like pretty, heart fluttering, practically perfect points. Wow, I’ve bookmarked this to refer to later! Just adjust for your specific pattern. I do this before I press my seams for each row. Dressmaker Shears offer a longer cut ideal for cutting patterns, trimming seams or cutting long swaths of fabric. Now that you have these parts pinned, you will want to secure the intersections. A quilt is made up of quilt blocks, which are in turn made up of quilt squares. I have one that the blue bead head was put on crooked. Once you have the SIX (6) disappearing 9-patch blocks, start building the quilt top in only 2 rows. The good news is that if you have done all I have spelled out, you are usually only going to have one place where the alignment is off. Not so fast. Sew each block with backing materials facing each other and denim side facing out. Now let’s admire your block. See the diagram below for the arrangement. Yay! Matching Intersecting Seams Sometimes feeding the fabric through a lowered foot will move one of the layers just enough that it makes the ends out of alignment. Pressing each seam open is essential for a good looking quilt. I use the thinnest pins I can find. Yes, the Layer Cake Sampler is a good excuse to practice all these points. Now it is time to start sewing the rows together! There are a few things you want to remember as you sew. I spread out the quilt on the ground again, then measured and marked an even rectangle using string that I taped to the floor. 🙂. But if you have just stitched something wrong, say your end is totally wonky, it isn’t going to get better. Step Two: Cutting and Tying the Front of the Quilt. The front sashing piece is 1" wide x the height of the block. The blocks are overlapped and then pinned with a straight pin. If your whole row is off, take the whole row out and try it again. And there you go! As you pick up blocks to sew together, match right sides of blocks together but leave a small point (less than 1/4″) hanging off the end of the bottom fabrics and a small point of … Layout the rows to be certain they are in the right order. I love my thin pins. This article has been viewed 106,753 times. I love this tutorial. These versatile shears feature long, precision-ground, knife-edge blades that cut multiple layers of fabric easily, all the way to the tip. Pin the binding in place and use a whip stitch on the edge using quilting thread. I’m not kidding. We've been helping billions of people around the world continue to learn, adapt, grow, and thrive for over a decade. This is something I’ve needed for a long time. This photo shows all of my “Crib Quilt” squares pinned to my quilt wall. Make 12 sashing rows. When you open up your two or more layers of fabric, you are adding a little bit of bulk to your seam. We suggest test sewing a few blocks together for a more accurate measurement. These blocks will make a great scrappy quilt. Unstitch that one intersection enough that you can make any adjustment needed, pin it again the way I’ve described, taking note of how it was off before and making an adjustment to correct that, and sew that seam once again. 1/4” foot. This is all of the rows stitched together separately. Seriously only two because they are so incredibly large. I look at how many points they each have and place a priority on each intersection. Sew about two threads over to the right of the pen marking. In the next photo, I am sewing strips on the opposite side of my squares. When the seams of each row come together, they nestle nicely and almost lock into place. I like to put a pin in the middle to start, then adjust as needed to get the farthest left and farthest right square to line up. This is where it is helpful to have a pen marking to make sure you know exactly where the tip is. What a blessing it is! But it really is just keeping most of these things in your mind as you sew. I’m talking about where the rows are going to be sewn together now. Yes, the thinner pins do give and bend more, but they seem to work better for me. I believe that your seam ripper should be your best friend. FINISHING YOUR QUILT We will start with the first 2 blocks. As a general rule, if the size of the squares are more than say 4 or 5 inches wide, I would secure a pin in the middle. But really, nothing can be further from the truth. *I’m going to say this again and again. This did contain a lot of detail and tons of words. Repeat so all rows of the quilt are sewn with sashing and corner stones. When I was a little girl, my quilting mostly consisted of making plain patchwork and then tying them off. I have been cussing and pulling my hair out, pledging never to sew again because of my seams. Wonderful post Anjeanette! Thanks Regina! Sew squares into rows, pressing seams toward the 8 1/2″ square blocks. Just straight in. I decided to pin on the left side along the HST line but you could run your pin straight if that works for you. Now take your left ends of the rows. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Sew the final seam. Sew the smallest block to the one next to it, and continue this until all the blocks are joined: Step 4: Press seams If you didn’t use starch before you started cutting your blocks, I would not use it now. You could also just move from intersection to intersection and hold the fabric taught while you sew.