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Monday, April 9, 2012

Piecing Rows and Columns

Here is how I keep track of the rows and columns when piecing the quilt top. In October of 2011 I purchased Cheryl Ann's Design Wall for laying out quilt blocks. It has been one of the best purchases I've made in a while.

I cut pieces of paper and number them starting with 1.

Here is a diagram showing four rows A-D with seven columns.

Once I have laid out the blocks how they will be pieced into the top I start with block 1 in row A. I pick up 1 and place it on top of 2 then pick up 1&2 and place them on top of 3. Continue stacking the blocks in row A until you have one stack with 1 on top and 7 on bottom.

Next I label this stack with the number 1.I pin the paper near the upper left of the top block and out of the way of any seam allowance. The picture below shows the number 6.

Next I sew these blocks together in the order they are stacked. I prefer to sew one block at a time, using my thread cutter between blocks. Now I have row A stitched together and I put it to the side. I stitch each row in the same way, making sure to pin the number before piecing. I don't press anything until all the rows are pieced.

The next picture shows several rows pieces together waiting to be pressed. I placed them like this for illustration purposes.

Here is a picture of the last few rows still on the design wall.

Once all the rows are pieced it is time to press. To alternate the direction of pressing the seams I press the odd numbered rows to the left and the even numbered rows to the right. To keep track of this, I write on my notepad "ODD - LEFT" because I always forget.

Finally, I sew the rows together. I don't always start with 1 but I make sure I keep the rows in order. Keep the numbers pinned to the blocks until all rows are finished. Remove the numbers and save them for next time.

Quilt top finished and ready to quilt.

Happy Quilting!
Carol Thelen

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