Oriental quilt – and quick “chain-piecing” tutorial

I’ve made quite a bit of progress cutting out the Oriental quilt, and I’ve started stitching the pieces.  It is a pattern from a jelly roll book although I haven’t used a jelly roll so I had to cut the 2.5 inch strips from the fabric we had chosen.  There are 28 strips of patterned fabric and nine strips of solid colours.  I have cut all of these and stitched the patterned strips together.  The cream background fabric still needs to be cut – I need 27 strips of this so that will probably take me two nights to get that cut.

IMG_2663

IMG_2690I have been reading up a bit on quilting techniques and discovered how to properly chain piece – that is, stitch several pieces together in a row without lifting the machine foot and cutting threads in between each piece.  When you get to the end of the first two pieces you have stitched together, stop stitching but DON’T lift the foot – keep it under there and pick up the next two pieces to be stitched together.  Place these next two pieces ready to start stitching, leaving a tiny gap between them so that when you’re finished, you can snip the “tail” of stitches between the pieces.IMG_2679 IMG_2681 IMG_2682 IMG_2687This saves both time (stopping, lifting your foot, cutting the threads, starting again) and thread (longer “tails” at the start and end of your stitching).  I chain pieced 28 strips together, so I wound up with a mega-long row of fabric strips which I snipped the threads in between as I was ironing the seams.  Ironing the seams flat after each row of stitching is really important to evenly distribute the bulk of the seam allowances overall on your quilt.

IMG_2693Hopefully there will be a little more progress this afternoon to show you.  I’ve been working on some embroidery designs for my book but will keep that under wraps for now!  I will dig out an embroidery UFO tomorrow to get stuck into and get through my UFO list.  Happy stitching!

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