Monday, September 22, 2014

Chaining Blocks Together

America is not like a blanket: one piece of unbroken cloth, the same color, the same texture, the same size. America is more like a quilt: many patches, many pieces, many colors, many sizes, all woven and held together by a common thread. 
Jesse Jackson

Want to see more green?  I should have shared these back in August but as I said in my last post I was distracted by other things happening in my life.  So here are some of my green blocks.

I can't say that 30s prints are my favorites but they do make me smile!  I have learned over all the years of quilting that I have under my belt that with blocks that have directional triangles that it is best to chain piece the blocks together after the smaller units are done.  If you do this the chances of getting the triangles turned wrong are much smaller.

Here is what I do:

First make all the smaller units

Next sew the first two units in each row of the block together.
If you look closely you can see the threads connecting the block rows.
(They would have gone through the machine sideways to what is pictured.)

Next add the last row still leaving the threads uncut.  The last thing to do is to sew the last two seams going across the block.  I made 48 blocks for this quilt and only twice did any of the triangles get turned in the wrong direction. I don't think any of the 4 patches did.   I usually work on a group of about 6 blocks at a time chaining through the same step on each of them.  When I work is small groups of blocks I always get a few finished blocks done even when I don't have a lot of time at the machine.  Nothing like a little immediate gratification!

Of course not all blocks are nine patches.  This method can be used no matter how many rows or pieces are needed.  I also use the same method for joining blocks into rows to complete the quilt top.

I hope this simple tip will save you some time and keep you from having to pick out things that get turned the wrong way.  If you have any hints that save you time leave them in the comments below.

Linking with: Anything Goes Mondays


  1. What pretty blocks. I like your process. That is what I usually do also.

  2. I think the blocks look wonderful in those prints.

  3. there is never too much green for me very nice

  4. Great blocks!! Do you wait to press your seams you have when joining the smaller units until after the whole block is put together?


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