Friday, February 25, 2011

Faster Piecing Part 3: Chain Piecing

Tailoring Thursdays™, Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers

Faster Piecing Part 3:
 Chain Piecing

When I sewed my first quilt I had no experience and no direction, other than the pattern that I bought.  I cut out each square individually... because I had no idea how to use my rotary cutter and mat. 

Next, I sewed each square and triangle set one at a time:
 'Place one under the presser foot, backstitch, sew, backstitch, remove from under foot, trim threads, repeat with each individual set.'

It took me much longer than it should have.

Then I talked to some quilting friends and discovered chain piecing! 
 I did not realize that you could actually do a few stitches on your machine without material being under the foot.  I thought this was only possible with a serger! 

Chain piecing makes quilting and sewing (especially "assembly line" like sewing) so much faster!

First, Make sure you have a full bobbin and a good amount of thread on your spool.  Especially if you have a lot to sew!

1. Get your items ready!  I tend to pile up my squares with the side that needs to be sewn on the right side. That way I can just grab one set at a time without having to think about it. 

2.  Place your first item under the presser foot and sew it as usual.  
When you get to the end of the item stop sewing, but leave everything as it is. 

 Grab your next item and while pressing down your sewing foot, guide this item right under and sew it. 

3.  Repeat step 2 until you get to the bottom of your pile, never stopping to trim or anything.   

You should have a nice long stream of your sewn items. 

4.  After you finish sewing the last item in your pile, lift your presser foot, cut the thread and remove your pile of items from behind the sewing machine. 

Cut the threads in between each item. 

Finished pile! 

The sets I sewed above opened and pressed. 

Then repeat as necessary:

I am sure a great majority of you already knew how to chain piece!  But for anyone that did not I hope this gives you a bit more time to accomplish more next time you sew! 

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