Thursday, 14 January 2016

Y-Seam tutorial Pt. 2

Part 2 of the Y-seam tutorial is about how to sew the baby blocks together to make the quilt top. If you missed the post about the construction of the individual baby blocks please head over to Part 1

Ok, so you have your completed baby blocks in front of you
Tackling the rows (cut off the dog ears as you go)
 ...flip them on top of each other and align them carefully. As per normal you can feel with your fingers where the seams meet and nestle together.
Flip on top of each other
Once you are sure that the seams are nestled against each other, insert the pin right on the seam line and take the units over to your machine.
Inserting a pin close to the aligned seam lines
This looks dangerous...align your foot for stitching a 1/4in seam allowance and by turning your hand wheel insert your needle as close as you can get to the seam line with the pin still in place. The needle from your sewing machine now acts like the pin, so you can take it out and start sewing your 1/4in seam allowance.
Turn the hand wheel and insert your needle right on or closest to seam line
Like before, I stitch a few stitches into the seam with a small stitch length, then reverse back to my starting point and continue down the seam increasing my stitch length as I go. Do not stitch into your seam allowance as your Y-seam will not be sharp or lie flat. As you approach the bottom you will see your blue dot on the wide angle, slow down, decrease your stitch length and stop exactly on the blue dot (reverse a few stitches to secure, stitch forward again exactly to the blue dot).
Continue sewing the blocks together in this manner until you complete your rows
Now the fun begins...putting the rows together! I sewed the rows together in a zig-zag manner, starting from the middle (I felt that the alignment was easier from the middle out). Flip the second row over the first in a diagonal manner.
Flip the second row onto the first in a diagonal manner
My little red writing on the seam says 'Align this seam' as it was hard to see on the photo which seam I was actually pointing out. Again feel the intersections where the seams meet and also look at the blue dot that you placed on the wide angles. At this point I placed a couple of pins to hold my alignment in place however then flipped it over as I found it easier to stitch from one seam line to the next (rather than stitching towards the solitary blue dot with no indication whether the blue dot was right on the mark or had shifted slightly (in which case you would have a mismatch which in this pattern is very obvious).
Once aligned, flip over to insert your pin on the seam line
I followed the same process as above when stitching the rows together, i.e. aligned my seams which at this point involved six seams so you are going to deal with some bulk and the alignment is fairly tricky. Again I inserted a pin directly on the seam line and took it over to the machine, aligned the 1/4in seam allowance and used the sewing machine needle to hold the arrangement in place...then got rid of the needle and started sewing (decreased stitch length, stitched down and up again to secure the stitching)
You need to be fairly vigilant at this stage as you need to make sure that all the seams underneath are out of the way so you don't catch one of the seams in your stitching. Also, a word of warning on re-doing your seams. While I certainly have undone some seams that did not match, there is only a few times that you can do this before the seams become distorted or frazzled and it will become impossible to get a sharp point (yes, lesson learnt the hard way...had to re-do 2 entire rows as the seams of two blocks were completely distorted - remember the bias edges!). So spending a little bit of extra time on this step will save you from a lot of grief.
Perfect point
This was lucky...not all points turn out as nice as this one and with some you will just have to let go...I won't lie, the construction of this quilt top required a lot of patience, however once I had worked out how I was going about it in a bit of a systematic way, I managed my way through it with an appropriate amount of cursing and carry-on.
Press the point in a circular way
The seams will be pressed in a circular manner once the entire quilt top is finished.

Well, and this is it...not easy, but also not impossible if you go slowly and take your time with aligning your pieces.


1 comment:

  1. And yours comes together perfectly! Not sure I would have the patience to do a whole quilt. But at least now I have an tute to follow if I need it. Thank you Karin.


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