Sewing Set-in Seams: 9 Easy Steps For Adding Squares, Triangles, Or Diamonds For Quilting

Do you find that you avoid sewing diamonds and certain triangles because you believe that sewing the set-in seams, also known as Y seams, will be too difficult and that the corners of the diamonds and triangles you sew will be a mess?

Using the set-in seam method, the large squares that are located in the gaps between the star points were stitched together.
Despite the fact that there were certain quilts that I had a strong desire to create, I avoided anything in my quilting that did not involve a straight seam for many years.

Then came the day when I saw a picture of a quilt that I had always wanted to make, and I was inspired to finally get started. After that, the willpower to avoid the set-in seams was overcome by a stronger desire to actually deal with them.

After some trial and error, as well as receiving some helpful pointers from a colleague, I was able to determine that they aren’t actually all that challenging; the only requirement is some amount of patience. Anyone who cracks the code on how to quickly sew set-in seams will be hailed as a hero among quilters everywhere.

My technique for setting in seams, also known as Y seams, is outlined in the following paragraphs. Obviously, I have not yet devised a quick method for piecing these together, but I have mastered setting in seams.

If you click on each picture, you will be able to view a larger version of it, allowing you to examine it in greater detail.

This is the square I will add between the points of two diamonds. 
The procedure is the same whether you are sewing diamonds, adding squares, or sewing triangles into a pattern. The first thing that you need to do is check to see that the end of your stitching is approximately one quarter of an inch away from the unfinished edge of the fabric at the location where you will be adding the square or triangle. The seam that connects the two diamonds that are shown sewed together in the picture that can be found to the left ends about a quarter of an inch away from the point that would be the center of a star. Some quilters complete their projects with a final backstitch because there will be no subsequent stitches that cross over the seam. In most cases, I don’t do that; instead, I just let the tails of my threads hang long.
Next, take the new piece that you will be adding – in this case, I will be adding a square – and align it with your diamond. In this example, I will be adding a square. A quarter of an inch should be left on the square after it has been cut so that it extends beyond the seam that connects the diamonds. In addition to this, the point of your diamond ought to extend beyond the confines of the square (assuming you have not trimmed the tips of your diamonds).

Stitching should be done with pins. You can see how the point of the diamond extends outside of the confines of the square in this picture. I take great care when pinning. In my opinion, the most important aspect of setting in seams successfully is ensuring that all of the individual patches are aligned properly and have the appropriate amount of room.
When sewing their set-in seam, a lot of quilters like to start at the point of the diamond. My experience has taught me that beginning in the middle and working my way outward results in a greater degree of accuracy. I am aware that there will be additional bulk at that seam, but if you begin at the edge, it should be possible to avoid it. But because I can insert my needle right into the gap left by the previous stitch, I find that beginning in the center is the best option for me. When I sew, I find it easiest to position the diamond so that it is on top. This allows me to easily identify the point at which one seam meets another. If you pin the fabric carefully, it will be less likely to stretch, and the patch that you create will have a greater chance of being flat.
After you have completed stitching one side of the square or triangle, the center will look like the image shown here. You can see that I have allowed the threads to hang a little longer than is customary, and I have also avoided doing the majority of the backstitching.
At this point, you are able to move on to the next step of attaching the second side of your square. If you want the sides of the diamonds in the center to line up with each other, you will need to fold the diamonds in some very unusual ways. It is important that the corner of the square is aligned with the second diamond (the one you will be attaching the square too). As it did when you sewed the other side, the point of that diamond will extend beyond the end of your square when it is finished being sewed. As soon as you have successfully pinned the square and the diamond to one another, you can begin stitching.
When I add this website, the square will be located in the most prominent position. Even though I won’t be distracted by any other stitching, I can still see where the seam finishes, which tells me where to place my needle so I can sew this side. As a result of my careful pinning, I will know for certain that the square and the diamond will be able to fit together correctly without either of them being stretched.
This is how the corner seam will look once all of the stitching has been completed, before any pressing has been done. You might have noticed that the tails on the threads are unusually long. I have not completed any of these seams with backstitching. In addition, they will be pressed with the folded sides facing in the same direction on both sides before being pressed. I have had success in keeping these corners sewn together thanks to any quilting that is done, in addition to the added security that comes from having them folded inside the seam. Backstitching is done in order to reinforce the stitching and make it less likely that it will unravel.
This is the appearance of the seam after it has been subjected to the pressing process. You will notice that I press the seams so that they face the new square (or triangle, depending on your preference). Additionally, the seam that connects the two diamonds is folded to the side of one of the diamonds. For additional information, it is recommended that you read the article that is titled “Sewing Diamonds for Star Quilts.” In that piece of writing, the joints between the diamonds are opened up by pressing, which is another possibility. You will press the squares with the seam allowances facing toward the square. This is true regardless of whether you choose to press your seams open or to one side as you sew your star (or triangle).

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