Tuesday, May 28, 2019

A Tip for Tuesday

a/k/a How to eat an elephant ...

Our local guild here in the Glade -- Fan-Tastic Quilt Guild -- has an open sew day on the 4th Friday of most every month.  When we're lucky, one of our members will share her knowledge and experience by teaching a technique or a special project to those who are interested.  (Otherwise, where 2 or 3 are gathered, we sit and sew ... and chat ... and eat ...)

This past Friday we had a special class with Sharon N. who LOVES small piecing.  She led the group through the Ins and Outs of piecing a 2" (finished) 9-patch, from the importance of an accurate 1/4" seam allowance to taking advantage of strip piecing.

The project had the 9Ps set on point with alternate 2" (finished) plain squares.  If you've ever made a large quilt with blocks set on point, you know those corner-to-corner rows can get pretty long.  Imagine if your blocks are 2 inches how many teeny blocks are in one of those long rows.  So Sharon came up with a way to organize the final piecing into sub-units that are not only easier to sew and press, but in the end will improve the overall accuracy.

For demonstration purposes I drew out 3" (finished) 4-patches with 3" setting squares.  The size isn't important; organizing your process is the objective.

The red lines indicate my sub-units.  I looked for a combination of blocks that could be repeated several times.  You will notice that all A units are 5x5; the A units have 4-Ps in the corners, and the
A-1 units have plain squares in the corners.  The B units are identical, as are the C and D units.  Again, the size of the blocks OR the size of the sub-units is not critical.  The objective is to break the final assembly into something that is easy to manage and easy to press.  In the end you will improve your accuracy!

I hope this is as eye-opening to you as it was to me!  And I thank Sharon for letting me share her technique with my readers.


  1. Where were you when I was previously my B9P?!?! Thanks for taking the time to write up Sharon's tips! I'm glad she allowed you to share with is.

  2. What a great idea! Bigger chunks are so much easier than smaller units sewn into row after row after row. Thanks for sharing, Libbie!

  3. Makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing.


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