The Making of a Quilt (ballerina) – Piecing

by Kate on April 4, 2011

Thanks for stopping by for the fourth installment, previous posts in the series are:

Monday 14th March: Making of a Quilt – Planning
Monday 21st March: Making of a Quilt – Fabric
Monday 28th March: Making of a Quilt – Cutting

I’m no expert and let’s face it, the sort of piecing I do is hardly complicated but these are the things I do that you may or may not find useful when piecing quilts.

Making of a Quilt (ballerina) - Piecing

  • I invested in a quarter inch foot and love it.
  • I use a stitch length of 2.00mm but when I am piecing linen I like decrease the stitch length to 1.5mm. Now, I never pre-wash cotton fabrics and I very rarely pre-wash linen *shock-horror*. Linen has a tendency to shrink so I find that by decreasing the stitch length to 1.5mm, your seams will remain strong, even with a bit of shrinkage.
  • My thread preference is cotton and I use either Gutterman or Aurifil.
  • No pinning unless absolutely necessary.
  • I press seams to one side (which side depends on what is required for seams to match).
  • I like to chain piece when possible.
  • Chain Piecing is a quick way to piece identical blocks simultaneously. For example: If you needed to piece 10 log cabin blocks you would start with the center square and strip A (right sides together) and feed through the machine. Instead of cutting the thread take the next center square and strip A and feed through, repeat this until all center squares have their strip A attached. Trim thread between each block, press and then grab strip B and repeat the process.

    Making of a Quilt (ballerina) - Piecing

    You can see chain piecing here:  Chain Piecing on YouTube

    Next week I will wrap up the series with basting, quilting and binding.

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    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Ruth April 4, 2011 at 7:35 am

    Oh I love this quilt already. As I’m watching it grow I feel as though my projects should also be growing a bit faster…but I’ll get there. :-)

    Can’t wait to see it finished!


    2 Lynn April 4, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Looking divine Kate, what a perfect way to use that vintage fabric.


    3 Baa-me Kniits April 4, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Thank you I am learning a lot :-)


    4 gret April 4, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Heya, no washing huh? Sounds like my kind of quilt-making! Question – do you then wash your quilt after you’re finished? I’m just about done with mine, and am wondering whether I should wash it now. I did was my fabrics before starting (thought I had to). Good tip on the linen too, thanks!


    5 Kate April 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    My favourite part is seeing how crinkly the quilt gets after a good wash. So yes, straight to the machine you go!

    Can’t wait to see it Gret x


    6 ingrid April 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    It is looking so lovely. Each little glimpse makes me want to see more and more. I can’t wait until it is finished!


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