How To Sew Quilt Squares Together
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How To Sew Quilt Squares Together (step-by-step Easy tutorial 2024)

There are a lot of different quilts that can be built using squares, but stitching them together might be difficult. It is difficult for a great number of people. But it isn’t necessarily the case. If you follow the steps in this video, you will never have to worry about your seams not matching up again. I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step so that when you’re through, your quilt will look fantastic.

Contents

Essential Supplies for Sewing Quilt Squares

  1. Sewing Machine: A reliable sewing machine is key. It doesn’t have to be a high-end model, but it should be capable of handling the fabric and maintaining consistent stitch quality.
  2. Coordinating Thread: Choose thread that coordinates well with your fabric. It’s often best to use 100% cotton thread for quilting projects, as it offers durability and a consistent finish.
  3. Pins: Pins are essential for keeping your fabric squares aligned while sewing. Consider flat-head pins or quilting pins, as they are easier to work with and can hold layers of fabric securely.
  4. Iron: A good iron is crucial for pressing your quilt squares and seams. It helps in achieving a flat and crisp finish, which is essential for precise piecing.
  5. Ironing Board: An ironing board with a smooth, heat-resistant surface provides the ideal space for pressing quilt squares. If you have space constraints, a tabletop ironing board can also work well.
  6. Fabric Squares: Have your fabric squares pre-cut to the desired size. In your case, you’re using 3 1/4″ squares. Ensure they are accurately cut for uniformity. A rotary cutter, cutting mat, and quilting ruler can assist in this task for precision cutting.

Helpful Tools

  • Rotary Cutter and Cutting Mat: These tools help in achieving precise and straight cuts, which is crucial for uniform quilt squares.
  • Quilting Ruler: A clear quilting ruler aids in accurate measurement and cutting.
  • Seam Ripper: Handy for correcting any sewing mistakes.
  • Marking Tools: Fabric markers or chalk can be useful for marking seam allowances or quilting lines.
  • Starch or Pressing Spray: These can help in keeping your fabric squares crisp and easier to work with.
  • Measuring Tape or Ruler: For double-checking the size of your squares and the finished quilt top.

How to chain piece quilt squares

Sewing quilt squares together can seem daunting, especially for those new to quilting. However, with the right technique, such as chain piecing, this process can be both efficient and enjoyable. This step-by-step tutorial will guide you through sewing quilt squares together seamlessly, ensuring your quilt looks fantastic when completed.

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chain piece quilt squares

Step 1: Chain Piecing Quilt Squares

  1. Understanding Chain Piecing: This efficient technique involves sewing quilt squares together continuously, without cutting the thread between each piece. It’s a time-saver and helps maintain consistent seam allowances.
  2. Eliminating Backstitching: In chain piecing, backstitching at the start and end of each square isn’t necessary. When rows are sewn together, crossing each seam will secure them, thus preventing unraveling.
  3. Maintaining Seam Allowance: A uniform quarter-inch seam allowance is crucial. Using a quarter-inch presser foot can significantly aid in achieving accurate seams.
  4. Layout of Fabric Squares: Arrange your quilt squares according to your planned pattern. Start by pairing every other square in the first column, placing them right sides together, and ensuring all edges are aligned.
  5. To Pin or Not to Pin: While pinning might be optional for small squares, it can provide additional security and accuracy, especially for beginners or complex patterns.
  6. Sewing Process: Sew the paired squares together with a 1/4″ seam allowance, continuously adding squares to the chain without cutting the thread.

Step 2: Completing the Quilt Top

  1. Pressing Seams: After completing a row, snip the connecting threads and press the seams. This can be done either to one side or opened, based on the pattern’s requirements or personal preference.
  2. Joining Rows: Lay out the sewn rows and carefully align the seams. Pin the rows, if needed, to ensure precision, especially at the corners and intersections.
  3. Sewing Rows Together: Attach the rows with a consistent quarter-inch seam allowance. As you sew, make sure to cross over the previous seams to reinforce them and add stability to the quilt top.
  4. Final Pressing: Once all rows are sewn together, press the entire quilt top. This final pressing is vital for achieving a smooth and flat surface, which is essential for the next steps of quilting and binding.

Nesting Seams When Sewing Quilt Squares Together


Nesting seams are a key technique in quilting, especially when sewing quilt squares together. This method ensures that the seams of adjacent quilt squares align perfectly, creating crisp intersections and a professional finish. Here’s how to effectively nest seams for your quilt squares:

Pressing the Seams

  1. Initial Preparation: Start by pressing all your quilt squares. This step is crucial for ensuring that your squares are flat and ready for sewing.
  2. Directional Pressing: Press the seams of each quilt square in opposite directions. For example, if you press the seams to the right on one row of squares, press the seams to the left on the adjacent row. This opposite pressing allows the seams to interlock or ‘nest’ together neatly later.
  3. Consistency: Ensure that the direction of the seams is consistent for each row. This uniformity is key to achieving perfectly nested seams.

Aligning the Quilt Squares

  1. Right Sides Together: Lay two quilt squares or rows right sides facing each other. This positioning is essential for clean and hidden seams in the final quilt.
  2. Matching Seams: Carefully align the seams of the two pieces. The seams that have been pressed in opposite directions should meet each other exactly at the seam line.

Feeling the ‘Lock’

  1. Interlocking Seams: With gentle finger pressure, slide the seams against each other until they interlock or ‘lock’ into place. You will feel this as a small ‘click’ or snug fit where the seams meet.
  2. Checking Alignment: There should be no gaps at the seam line, and the intersections should meet precisely. This perfect alignment is what creates crisp and clean intersections in your quilt.

Securing the Seams

  1. Pinning: Once the seams are nested and aligned, pin them in place. Insert pins perpendicular to the seam, right at the nested point, to prevent the fabric from shifting as you sew.
  2. Avoiding Bulk: By nesting seams, you also distribute the bulk of the fabric on either side of the seam, which is crucial for reducing lumpiness and bulk in the finished quilt.

Sewing the Rows Together

  1. Seam Allowance: Sew the pieces together using a consistent seam allowance, usually 1/4 inch for quilting.
  2. Sewing Over Nested Seams: Sew straight over the nested seams without altering your seam allowance. This consistency ensures uniformity in the size and shape of your quilt squares.

Final Pressing

  1. Pressing the Sewn Seams: After sewing, press the seams again. Depending on your quilt pattern and preference, you can either press the seam open or to one side.
  2. Achieving Flatness: Proper pressing after sewing helps to flatten the seam and ensures that the quilt top lies smooth.
  3. Final Touches: Check the front of the quilt top to ensure all seams and intersections look neat and aligned.

How to sew quilt squares fast using row-by-row piecing

Fast and Precise: Sewing Quilt Squares Together Row-by-Row

Sewing quilt squares together can sometimes be a challenge, especially when striving for perfectly aligned corners and uniform size. However, with a straightforward and effective method involving fusible interfacing, you can achieve precisely aligned quilt squares with ease. Here’s a step-by-step guide to sewing quilt squares together quickly and accurately using the row-by-row piecing technique.

Step 1: Preparing and Arranging Quilt Squares on Fusible Interfacing

  1. Gather Materials: Besides your quilt squares, you’ll need lightweight fusible interfacing, a hot iron, and a suitable pressing surface.
  2. Cutting Interfacing: Measure and cut a piece of fusible interfacing slightly larger than the total size of your quilt layout.
  3. Laying Out the Squares: On a flat surface, lay the interfacing with its adhesive side facing up. Carefully arrange your quilt squares on the interfacing, following your quilt pattern. Ensure that the squares are placed edge-to-edge without overlapping. This precision is crucial for maintaining the pattern’s integrity.
  4. Checking Alignment: It’s vital to double-check that all squares are perfectly aligned and smooth. Any misalignment here will reflect in the final quilt.

Step 2: Fusing the Quilt Squares to the Interfacing

  1. Pressing the Squares: Using a hot iron, gently press down on the fabric squares. The heat from the iron activates the adhesive on the interfacing, bonding it to the fabric. Be sure to cover all areas evenly, applying slight pressure to ensure a secure bond.
  2. Cooling Time: Allow the interfaced fabric to cool completely. This step solidifies the bond and prepares the fabric for sewing.

Step 3: Sewing the Rows

  1. First Row Sewing: Fold the first row of squares over the second row (right sides facing together) along the interfacing line. Sew using a consistent 1/4″ seam allowance. This seam allowance is key for accuracy in quilt squares.
  2. Continuing Row-by-Row: Proceed down the length of the interfacing, folding and sewing each subsequent row. Ensure each seam is straight and consistent for a uniform look.

Step 4: Opening and Pressing Seams

  1. Seam Opening: Use a seam ripper or small scissors to carefully cut the interfacing along the sewn seams. This allows you to open up the seams without distorting the fabric.
  2. Pressing the Seams: Press the seams open or to one side, depending on your preference. This step is crucial for achieving flat, crisp quilt squares.

Step 5: Completing the Quilt Top

  1. Sewing Perpendicular Rows: Now, fold and sew the rows in the direction perpendicular to your initial seams. This step starts to bring the quilt top together, showing the pattern you’ve designed.
  2. Consistent Seam Allowances: It’s important to maintain the 1/4″ seam allowance for these seams as well. This consistency in seam allowances is what brings the entire piece together seamlessly.

Step 6: Final Pressing

  1. Directional Pressing: Press all seams in one direction for a smooth finish. Starting with a finger presser can help set the seams before ironing.
  2. Frontal Pressing: For a polished look, give the front of the quilt top a final press. This helps in flattening any remaining puckers or folds.

This video is now more useful on how to sew quilt squares together:

This video is taken from Needlepointers YOUTUBE channel

FAQs on Sewing Quilt Squares Together

What is the Best Way to Align Quilt Squares?

For precise alignment, use the row-by-row piecing method with fusible interfacing. This method allows you to lay out your quilt squares on the interfacing, ensuring each square aligns correctly before sewing.

How Do I Ensure My Quilt Squares Are Uniform in Size?

Consistent cutting is key. Use a rotary cutter and a quilting ruler. Additionally, maintaining a consistent seam allowance, typically 1/4 inch, is crucial for uniformity

Can I Sew Quilt Squares Together Without Fusible Interfacing?

Yes, you can sew quilt squares together without interfacing by carefully pinning and sewing each square. However, interfacing helps maintain alignment and saves time.

What is Fusible Interfacing and Why is it Used in Quilting?

Fusible interfacing is a material that can be ironed onto fabric to provide stability. In quilting, it’s used to hold quilt squares in place, ensuring accurate piecing.

Is the Row-by-Row Method with Interfacing Suitable for Beginners?

Absolutely! This method is great for beginners because it simplifies the process of aligning and sewing quilt squares together.

How Do I Avoid Warping or Distortion in My Quilt?

Ensure your quilt squares are accurately cut, use fusible interfacing for stability, and avoid stretching the fabric while sewing. Pressing seams properly also helps prevent warping.

Can I Use Any Type of Fabric for Quilt Squares?

While you can use various fabrics, 100% cotton is typically preferred for its ease of sewing and durability. Ensure all your fabrics are similar in weight and quality.

How Do I Choose the Right Fusible Interfacing?

Select a lightweight fusible interfacing that won’t add too much stiffness to your quilt. Ensure it’s compatible with the weight of your fabric.

What is the Best Way to Press Seams When Piecing Quilt Squares?

Press seams to the side for strength or open for a flat finish. Consistency in pressing direction is key for a uniform appearance.

How Can I Make Piecing Quilt Squares Faster?

Pre-cut your fabric accurately, use chain piecing where appropriate, and consider techniques like sewing with fusible interfacing to speed up the process.

How Do I Choose Colors and Patterns for My Quilt Squares?

Consider the overall theme and where the quilt will be used. Use a color wheel to find complementary colors, and mix patterns with solids for balance. Pre-made quilt kits can also provide coordinated color schemes.

What’s the Difference Between Chain Piecing and Row-by-Row Piecing?

Chain piecing involves sewing pieces together continuously without cutting the thread between each piece, which is efficient for joining individual squares. Row-by-row piecing with interfacing involves laying out an entire row or section on interfacing before sewing, which helps with alignment.

How Can I Prevent My Fabric from Fraying?

Use a shorter stitch length, as this makes the seam stronger and less prone to fraying. Also, avoid handling the raw edges too much. Some quilters use a small amount of fray check on the edges.

Can I Mix Hand Sewing and Machine Sewing in Quilting?

Absolutely! Hand sewing can be used for intricate details or for attaching pieces where more control is needed, while machine sewing is great for long, straight seams.

What Should I Do if My Quilt Squares Don’t Align Perfectly?

First, check if your squares are cut accurately. If misalignment is minor, it can often be eased in during the sewing process. For larger issues, it might be necessary to re-cut or adjust some squares.

How Important is Ironing in Quilt Making?

Ironing is crucial. It helps to keep fabric flat and seams crisp, which in turn ensures accurate piecing and a professional-looking finish.

Is Pre-Washing Fabric Necessary Before Quilting?

Pre-washing fabric can prevent color bleeding and shrinkage after the quilt is made. It’s especially recommended for fabrics with deep or bright colors.

How Do I Manage Bulky Seams?

To reduce bulk, you can ‘nest’ seams by pressing adjoining seams in opposite directions. For very thick fabrics, consider pressing seams open.

Can I Quilt with Different Types of Fabric in One Quilt?

Mixing fabrics can add texture and interest, but be aware of different shrinkage rates and care requirements. It’s generally recommended to stick to similar weights and qualities for consistency.

What’s the Best Way to Store Cut Quilt Squares?

Store them flat in a dry place, away from direct sunlight. If you need to stack them, use acid-free paper between layers to prevent colors from transferring.

Conclusion

sewing quilt squares together, whether through traditional piecing, chain piecing, or innovative methods like using fusible interfacing, can be a fulfilling and creative process. The key to success lies in accurate cutting, consistent seam allowances, and careful pressing. Techniques like chain piecing and interfacing can significantly streamline the process, making it more efficient and enjoyable, especially for larger projects. Remember, each method offers its unique advantages and can be chosen based on the quilter’s skill level, the project’s complexity, and personal preference. With practice and patience, anyone can master the art of piecing together quilt squares, leading to beautifully crafted quilts that showcase both skill and creativity.

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