Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Beginners Unite! Strips and Squares

Sewing strips and piecing squares together is our next topic. 

When sewing strips I  like to work with smaller pieces. While my patterns call to cut the strips by the width of fabric, if I am going to be strip piecing I will cut the strips in half by trimming off the fold.

When piecing I have my stitch length set at 2.5, the needle is set to stop in the down position and my speed is set right in the middle. Sewing at the highest speed can end with wavy stitching lines. 


I always piece with grey. It's a neutral color that shows up well in all colors. you know, in case I should ever need to rip out some stitching. Ha!

When stitching strips it's important to keep that scant 1/4" seam allowance. I show you in this post how I sew a scant 1/4" seam.

Pressing the strips is important, you don't want to stretch the fabric and end up warping it. I give you a quick look at how I press my strips.

To sub-cut the strips I first trim off one end. I line up a line on my ruler along the seam, not along the edge of the fabric.

Then I flip it and align the ruler mark for the width as well as along the seam. After I make the cut I move that unit off to the side and repeat. 

After awhile I flip the strip again and trim. If you look closely you can see it's off just a bit, and while it doesn't seem like a lot, just that little bit of an angle can through off your accuracy.


When sewing squares/units together, I am a firm believer in pinning.

I pin with the head of the pin on the right side so I can pull it out easily. I will sew one or two stitches over the seam and then pull the pin. That way I'm not sewing right over the pin, but I am also locking that seam exactly where I want it and I'm not risking it shifting out of alignment. 

I prefer to sew with my bottom seam going with the movement of the fabric, however that isn't always possible. When the bottom seam is gong against the flow that is when you get flipped seams, to prevent that I make sure to check underneath just before the needle is going to go over the seam and push it back the way it should be facing. I also hold it down with my fingers, that way I can feel if it flips again. 

When sewing rows together I do the same thing, pin all the seams, keep my fingers over the seams to feel for flips, sew at medium speed and press carefully.  Share your tips in the comments below.

Happy Stitching!

1) Intro - May 2
6) Sewing strips and squares - You are here
7) HST - Half Square Triangles (My one true love) - June 13
8) Flying Geese - June 20
12) Adding Borders - July 18
13) Sandwich that top - July 25
14) Quilting - August 1
15) Binding - August 8
16) Labels  - August 15

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