I have just forked out some insane sum to save you from unwanted ads that I could not control, and to give this blog the vanity name of Pragmaticpatchwork.com. Plus I can, apparently, also post videos. So to celebrate this rather frivolous purchase, I am offering you my long-awaited tutorial on quick piecing squares quilts. Ok, only two people ever asked for this, but surely that qualifies for “by popular demand”, doesn’t it?
Because some of us are more visual than others, I will run throught this with a quick video, of abysmal quality (think hand-held 15-year-old camera in a badly lit room), then the same again with photos and written explanations. At least it will allow me to see whether I actually can post videos, before, should this ever become necessary, getting my hands onto some better equipement. If you cannot see the video in your browser, or if it is too large a file, do please tell me in the comments.
How to quick-piece a scrap quilt of squares:
If you want to assemble a grid of blocks, the usual technique is to first sew strips, carefully keep track of them (using numbered pins or whatever), then sew them together. This quick technique does this slightly faster by minimising the number of stops and starts, saving thread, time and making it impossible to sew the wrong bits together. It really comes into its own — as shown in the video — when you are randomly piecing scrap quilts. This totally avoids the need to lay out the top beforehand since you pick up pieces as you go along, yet never end up with two adjacent squares of the same fabric.
I always use this technique for quilts such as this:
If you are using blocks with a direction (i.e. not direction-less-plain-fabric-squares), first lay them all out on the floor / bed / table / design board. In these photos, this is going to be a large cushion made up of diagonal squares made using another quick piecing (I’ll show you how in another post if you want).
Carefully pick up the two top left ones, remember how they fit together and sew the seam between them, indicated here by my strangely-positioned selfie-hand-photo with very shiny golden nails (See that, dear Ms C?).
If you keep doing that, picking up pairs and sewing them together, you end up with a column of pairs, held together with the tread down the centre. Don’t cut it. Instead, go back to the top right-hand one and pick up the next unattached one in the line, shown here by my two fingers:
Then, without cutting any of the threads, and (ideally…) having ironed it, you sew the strips together. If you look at the picture below, you will see that I first start by sewing all my blocks along the red lines to make strips. Having irone them, I then sew the strips together along the yellow seams without first cutting all the threads.
Do please tell me if this makes sense, or if this is also how you do it. Or whether you have come up with a better way, of course!
Happy piecing! JJ