Saturday, January 29, 2011

Patchwork is EASY


Tailoring Thursdays™; Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers:

PATCHWORK



I know a lot of people who think patchwork is difficult and so they have never even attempted it! 

I am here to say, that patchwork is easy!

The only tricky part can be getting your corners lined up, but there are a few tricks to this! 

Here are 2 of my favorite:

The first is 

Nesting 

To practice, let's make a 4 square block.  

Take 4,  3" squares 
(or larger, the ones in the pictures are 5" from charm packs).
Lay the squares out in your desired, 4-patch arrangement (see below picture). 


Lay the top squares on the bottom squares or the left squares on the right squares, right sides together. 


Sew along the meeting side with a 1/4" seam allowance.


Iron the seam with one quick press to set the stitches. 

Open the squares and press the seam toward the darker side. 
Making the seam flat. 


There is a slight "bump" or raise on the front of the seams you just sewed.  

Placing the pieces on top of each other right sides together.
Line up these raises, so that they almost "connect", kind of like puzzle pieces.  



Hold this nested bump together with your fingers and then sew the edge with a 1/4" seam allowance. 
You can pin this as well, if you prefer.  
I usually do not pin when I quilt.  


Press the seam to set your stitches.
Open the seam and press it to one side. 

And Tada!  Look at those points!  

And such pretty patchwork! :) 


Another way, frowned upon by many a professional, is opening your seams.

I actually think this is a good way to learn about matching your seams when quilting.  

If you have never attempted patchwork before, I think practicing like this will actually show you a few things about lining up seams and help you to figure out nesting easier.  

If anything, I think it shows you how much easier nesting is! :) 

***in case you were wondering, this was not a recommended method in the past because seams were not as strong as they are today.  With today's machines, this method of patchwork will hold up just as well as pressing your seams to one side.*** 


To practice, let's make a 4 square block.  

Take 4,  3" squares 
(or larger, the ones in the pictures are 5" from charm packs).
Lay the squares out in your desired, 4-patch arrangement (see below picture). 



Lay the top squares on the bottom squares or the left squares on the right squares, right sides together. 


Sew one side with a 1/4" seam allowance.


Press your seam, to set the stitches. 
OPEN the seam and press.


Line up your two pieces and lay one on top of the other, right sides together.

Match up the seams you previously sewed. 


and pin the pieces together, exactly through the seam.



Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance:


Set your stitches.  
Then open the pieces and press the seam Open again. 


And tada! 


So those are two methods.  I do have one other teaching method, but it is only for the extremely patch-worked challenged. :) 


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