Wednesday, March 13, 2013

March Sew Along - Quilting Your Squares

So last week, we cut all of our flannel and batting squares.  If you need some extra time to catch up cutting out all of your pieces, no worries....just catch up when you can!

This week we are quilting each 9" square for our quilt.  Let's first get our squares ready to be quilted.

Take two flannel squares of the same fabric and one batting square and make a sandwich with the batting centered in the middle.

Next, pin the edges together on all four sides of the square.  I think it is pretty important to hold the edges together while your sewing otherwise you can end up with a lopsided square.  Here is how I pinned my squares:

I typically don't pin ALL of the squares at once as I don't have enough pins to do that.  I try to do each color/fabric in groups.  
Next we will be quilting the squares.  Now, if you have a walking foot to help in quilting, you can use it now.  If you don't, that is okay...I have had students make these quilts without one and they were fine.  If you are not sure what a quilting foot looks like, HERE is a picture of one. 
Go ahead and thread your machine with the color thread that blends in the best with your fabric.  For my brown squares, I used brown thread and for my pink squares I used light pink thread. 
Next, you will be sewing from corner to corner on each quilted square (and don't forget to reverse stitch at the beginning and the end of ALL your seams - very important in this project).  If this is your first time doing this, I would suggest putting a pin in the opposite corner so you have something to aim for.  I have had other students actually draw a line with a washable fabric pencil but that seems like a lot of work.
As you sew, make sure your fabric pieces don't shift which they will try to do.  You will only be sewing one diagonal line on the square right now.  You may also wanted to increase your stitch length since you are going through three layers of fabric.  I set mine close to a 3 stitch length.
I would also suggest doing what they call "chain piecing".  This is a technique for when you have a lot of the same type of pieces to sew together.  Chain piecing in this quilt means sewing across one square, lifting the presser foot and then feeding the next square through without cutting the threads.  You will need up with several squares on a chain of thread and when you have sewn 10 or so, take the last square out and begin cutting your threads. 

  Once you are done sewing one diagonal line across all of your quilted squares, next put your squares back in and chain piece the crossing diagonal line.
You will end up with all of your squares quilted with two diagonal lines (an X) across each square. 
 So that is our goal for this week!  Get all of your squares quilted and then next week we will be laying them out and begin sewing them into a quilt!  And as always, if you have any questions, please let me know!

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