Monday, April 26, 2010

1st Quilt Ever -- Assembling Rows

You've come up with a layout for your quilt that you're happy with -- now it's time to sew those blocks into rows!

I prefer to chain piece this step. It may seem a little bit daunting to keep track of all those squares without mixing up your perfect layout -- so I will show you the method I use to keep track of everything.

We will sew two rows together at a time. Place your row 1 stack and your row 2 stack to the side of your machine, with the row 1 stack closest to you. Orient the stacks so that the bottom edge of the stacks are closest to you.

Remove your #1 paper and pin it in the top left corner of just the first block in your row. (I moved my stack to take this photo, but you should keep yours to the left of your machine.)

Take the first block from the top of your pile and place it in front of you. Then take the second block and place it to the right of the first.

Fold the second over the top of the first, like you are shutting a book. Line up the edges carefully and sew the right hand side with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Once you've sewn all the way to the end of your seam, leave your first two squares under the presser foot, as shown. Take the top block from your stack and place it in front of you. Take the next block and place it to the right. (Keep those blocks oriented the same way they were in your stack!)

Fold the right side over the left side, again like you are shutting a book. Sew the seam on the right hand side, stopping after you finish the seam and leaving the blocks under your machine.

Now you are left with one block -- #5 in the row. Place it carefully out of the way, keeping the bottom edge closest to you. I push mine to the back of my sewing table.

You will start the process again for your row 2 stack, sewing your blocks together the exact same way.

Push your row two #5 block out of the way -- be sure to mentally keep track of which one is your row 1 #5 block and which is your row 2 #5 block!

You now have four pairs of blocks trailing out the back of your sewing machine.

Take the pair furthest from you and snip the threads. Open the pair of blocks, keeping the end you just snipped towards yourself. Snip the second pair and open it, again keeping the end you snipped towards yourself, and place it to the right of your first pair.

Once again you will shut your blocks like a book and sew the right hand side.

Repeat for the next two pairs.

You will now snip off the row from the back of your machine, keeping the edge you just snipped closest to you, bring it to the front and open it. Lay your row 1 #5 block to the right of your row, close it like shutting a book, and sew. Repeat for row #2.

If all of this made sense, you have now survived sewing two rows of your quilt together!!
Continue this method with all other rows.

After each of your rows are together you will press the seam allowances between the blocks. Note that there are other seams in your blocks -- those are already pressed. You only need to press the seams you just sewed.

Here's what you will do: Alternate the direction you press your seam allowances for each row. I press all my odd-numbered rows' seam allowances to the left, and all my even-numbered rows' seam allowances to the right.

Rows! Done! We're nearing the end of the piecing!!


rhinsey said...

I want to make sure I've got this right. We sew in columns (two rows at a time), then sew each two column row together. I feel like I am making it more complicated than it needs to be. Is there a reason you dont sew each piece in the row together first, then sew the 7 rows together??

Care said...

Hoo boy, I am already confusing people!!

We are sewing each row together separately in this step -- just doing two at the same time so we can chain piece. By the time you get to the end of my explanation, your row 1 will be all sewn together, and your row 2 will be all sewn together.

If it is easier for you to do it a different way, or without trying to chain piece, then by all means -- do it whichever way makes most sense to you!! Even if it means you will label every square to keep track! :o)

rhinsey said...

Thank you Care - I think I've got it. :D

Wendy said...

Would you tell me what you think about your sewing machine? I'm researching new bernina's and would love to hear your thoughts.

Garilyn S said...

Thanks for the post! I'm sooo ready to sew the rows, but I think I'd better do some cleaning first! Yikes!

Samina said...

I love, love love the pink & brown quilt that you show on your 4/14 post. I'm trying to figure out how to set up my blocks to get something similar to that, but I'm in over my head! Help & thanks for this great tutorial.

Ben and Amanda said...

So when we stacked the blocks in the last step, I think I stacked them wrong. Does it matter? I put the blocks on the right side on top, and the left side on bottom of my stack, but then when I went to sew them it my layout didn't work out. That is the only thing I can think of that I would have done wrong.

Care said...


Lay out your rows again and have a look, and see if you are happy with the way it is. If you really don't like it, you may have to bust out your seam ripper... It all depends on if you like how it looks! :o)

Good luck!

Care said...

Hi Samina,

Would you send me an email? Then I can hopefully help you out with your quilt!


Megan said...

Okay Care--my head is spinning! (:O)
It's probably easier than it sounds but I think I'll stick with the old fashioned sloooow method this first time. LOL!!!
Was hoping to get my 1/4" piecing foot today but it wasn't in the mail. Might just go ahead anyways.
I'm having fun doing this and I'm already planning my next quilt.
Thanks for the great instructions!!

Christine said...

Got it! I must think like you because this made perfect sense to me. My rows are sewn together, yeah!

Heather said...

Awesome! I finally found this (seems EASY) pattern.. first I've been happy with the layout that I could actually do (I'm a newbie) I don't know if I've missed it somewhere, but how did you finish the edges? Do you have a pic of how you finished the back? Also (sorry for all the questions) having a shop machine quilt is $$$. Do you- if so and how- free-hand quilt on your home machine? my mom's has the capabilities, I just can't imagine how to get all that thick, big quilt in the middle to go through?? what tricks are there? Thanks so much for this well done site! You rock!

Care said...

Hi Heather!

We're getting there, we're getting there! :o) I do use my home machine for quilting -- and I will give all the tips and tricks I know so you can do it too -- as soon as we get to that step in the series! said...

I just jumped in and started a quilt this morning :) I only used 2 patterns because I fell in love with some material before I completely read the directions and it's nice, have to go back tomorrow for a little more of one color. I have all my rows put together and am so pleased with not only the directions bout how the quilt is looking. I even got my quilting foot today. I'm glad I've got the next two days off because I don't think I want to stop until I'm finished, besides the shower is next Saturday! Thanks for the great instructions.

Lynette @ My Craft Discovery said...

Yay! Got the rows sewn together! I'm still making progress! :)

Unknown said...

I've been sewing my first quilt ever using your great tutorial, I just finished this step minus the pressing. I plan on doing that tomorrow night. Thanks so much for putting this together, I was wanting to take the leap into quilting and was thinking of doing this pattern when I found your tutorial. Love it!

Care said...

Nicole! I am so excited for you!! I would LOVE to see your quilt when it's all finished -- and let me know if you have any questions! :oD

Angie said...

I made it to this step yesterday. (And the back of my quilt is finished) I only had intentions of cutting my fabric! :) this stuff gets addicting! Thanks for the wonderful tutorials! I hope the quilting part goes as smoothly/quickly. I better get that quilting foot ordered for my machine!

lauren said...

love this tutorial...this is my next step...going to wait it out till tomorrow. Thanks for keeping this up though. Cant wait to complete my first quilt!

Blogger said...

If you want your ex-girlfriend or ex-boyfriend to come crawling back to you on their knees (no matter why you broke up) you gotta watch this video
right away...

(VIDEO) Want your ex CRAWLING back to you...?