How To Chain Sew Your Blocks To Keep Them Organized?


If you sew your blocks together following some kind of system, you are more likely to end up with the patches in the right place.

Of course, if you are anything like I am, you still might sew some upside down, but for the most part, all of the patches will be where you want them, facing the way you want them.

As I cut my fabric, I place the patch pieces in stacks arranged as I will sew them.
This helps keep me organized and knowing that I have cut all of the patches I need to make the blocks.
These are lying on my flannel board which makes them easy to move around and keep together as I need them sewn.
  
Generally it is easier to sew squares together. So whenever possible, I look for ways to turn the patches in my blocks into square patches that are the same size.In this case, by sewing the half-square triangles together, all of my patches will be squares. 
  
Once all of the patches are squares, it is time to start sewing them together.My first step is to sew columns of patches together.Starting with the two left columns, I sew the patches together, and keep the chain stitching threads together.For example, I will chain stitch the patches for all of the blocks together, and then cut them apart in sets. In this example, they are cut into sets of 3 since that is how many patches are in this block.
  
Once the first two columns are sewn, I add the third column on.I usually pin the patches onto each row to be sure that I am sewing the right patch onto the right row.After these are chain sewn, I cut them apart in sets of 3, keeping the chain sewing stitches between the rows in tact.This helps keep the blocks organized. It is a good idea to check to be sure that you have sewn them together correctly before goinf forward.
  
Once the columns are all sewn, fold two rows so they face right sides together.In this example, I folded the top row down onto the second (middle) row and sewed them together.Once all of the rows are chain sewn, I clip the stitching separating each of the blocks.
  
The final step is to sew the last rows together to complete the block 

This method works with any block that has square patches. In the picture below is a more complicated block. In this block, each patch has several pieces.

There are little 4 patches, patches that include isosceles triangles with triangles that will make them squares. And patches with half-square triangles.

You can use the chain sewing technique described above to sew some of the patches together, too. For example in the patches with the half-square triangles, you would:

  • chain sew the half-square triangles and cut them apart
  • chain sew pairs (the top two and then the bottom two) of half-square triangles, keep the threads between the top two and the bottom two together
  • fold the top row onto the bottom row and stitch, to complete the patch
Once you place your patches on the flannel board, you can separate them into squares.

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