Chain Piecing is another method of quickly assembling blocks and is another method that I used in making this quilt top for Fabric Café.
In my last post I demonstrated Strip Piecing and mentioned that I would be able to make 18 Nine-Patch Blocks using only 10 seams (sort-a).
While Strip Piecing, I used 8 (long) seams to assemble 4 strip-sets which were then sub-cut into smaller segments.
Now I have to assemble the 18 blocks using 18 of one segment and 36 of another.
Following the directions, I take one of the larger 3-piece segments and match it with one of the smaller 3-piece segments.
Using pins to help keep the seams matched, I start sewing. I always sew with the smaller segment (or block or row) on top.
When I get to the end of the segment, I do not remove what has been stitched. I just take another larger 3-piece segment, match it with one of the smaller 3-piece segments, pin, and continue stitching. Continue adding segments until all of the larger 3-piece segments have a smaller 3-piece segment stitched to the right side.
You will have something like this when you finish. (Sun was shining in the window and the picture didn’t turn out great, but you get the picture.)
Technically, you could call this all one ‘seam’ – you didn’t stop/start, waste thread pulling it out & cutting it between stitching segments.
Repeat the process. You don’t have to cut the stitches between the blocks, just start at the end and sew the second small 3-piece segment to the other side of the larger 3-piece segment (which actually now has 6 pieces). This will be your 10th long seam and you will now have 18 Nine-Patch Blocks completed!
Your choice – cut the blocks apart and then iron, or iron and then cut the blocks apart.
More Chain Piecing – There are now 18 Nine-Patch Blocks and 18 fabric rectangles and the rows are ready to assemble. Pair one Fabric Rectangle and one Nine-Patch and again Chain Piece the pairs until there are 18 pairs.
The pattern calls for 6 rows of 6 blocks each, so take 6 pairs of blocks and Chain Sew them to another pair making sure you are alternating the blocks (and if using directional fabric, keep the fabric going the right direction).
The rows are now almost done. Take the 6 rows of 4 blocks and Chain Piece the remaining 6 pairs to make 6 rows of 6 blocks each.
So, there you have it. Eighteen Nine-Patch Blocks stitched in only 10 (long) seams and 6 rows of 6 blocks each Chain Pieced.
Next comes the Borders & Corner Blocks.