Monday, March 25, 2013

March Sew Along - Part 2 - Sewing Your Quilt Together

This post is the Part 2 to last Wednesday's blog post.  You were to lay out the quilted squares to your quilt so that it looks the way you would like.

Now comes the fun part.....sewing all of those quilted squares together!

If you have a "walking foot" on your machine from quilting the squares, leave it on as it will help in this step as well. 

We will be sewing our squares together using a 1/2" seam allowance so go now and find on your machine where the 1/2" mark would be and use either a magnetic seam guide, piece of weather stripping, or a piece of blue painter's tape to mark that spot.  It will be very important to be consistent with all of your seam allowances.

In terms of where to begin in sewing our pieces together, I would recommend NOT sewing them in rows and then sewing the rows together.  If you do that, it will be harder to match up seams with each other.

I recommend sewing rag quilt together in sections.  In this quilt, I sewed 6 to 9 squares together into sections and sewed them together.  This will make for shorter seams that you are trying to match up.  Here is how I did that:

I started in one corner as pictured below.

Then I placed two of my squares with the right sides together (the sides facing up on the table are considered the "right side" in this quilt) and placed a pin along the edges that I need to sew.  Make sure you do that or else you will get confused very quickly! I only pin 3-4 sets of squares together and sew them to also not get confused.

Here you can see the pins in the edges that I will be sewing with a 1/2" seam allowance.
You can also chain piece in this step as well so that you are not constantly cutting threads.  Here I am using a piece of weather stripping to help guide my seam allowance.
Here are my three sets of two squares sewn together.  Lay them back out they way they should look in the quilt using a picture or your layout guide that we talked about last week.

Next, I am taking the square above each strip and sewing that onto the strip with the right sides together. Remember to use your pins to mark the edges to be sewn! 

Here are my three strips of three squares sewn togther. 
 Next, I placed two of the strips together with the right sides facing (the wrong side will be the side of the strip with the seam allowance edges).  In a rag quilt, all of the seam allowance edges are on one side of the quilt and the other side is very flat with just seams showing.

Match up your seams and pin WELL!

Now do the same with the third strip and then.......

You will have a 9 square section all sewn together! 
Continue to sew together the rest of your quilt in sections while keeping your design in tact.  I find that pinning the edges that need to be sewn together helps A LOT!

Once you sewn together a few sections, then sew those sections together until the whole quilt is sewn together!  You will have one long seam to sew at the end but that should be all.

Here are all of my squares sewn together!
The last step in this segment will also be to topstitch around the perimeter of your quilt with a straight stitch using a 1/2" seam allowance.  This stitching is needed for our next step: making the fringe cuts in the fabric.

So that is how to sew your quilt together!  If you have ANY questions, please let me know! Later this week, we will go over how to cut fringes in your quilt to get ready to do the "ragging" effect!

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