Joining quilt layers in 4 easy steps

With the right touch, even joining together the three quilting layers can give a decorative effect. Follow these steps for stronger, more elaborate layers.

Joining quilt layers in 4 easy steps

1. Combine the layers

Before basting all three layers together, make sure they're lying evenly on top of each other. Then, use a long running stitch to tack the three together in a square grid, working from the centre.

2. Join two blocks

  1. To join two blocks, place the right sides together, carefully matching the seams.
  2. Sew them together, making sure you preserve the seams' alignment.
  3. Continue adding blocks until a row is completed.
  4. Stitch the other blocks into rows in the same way.
  5. Press seam allowances in opposite directions and in alternate rows. They should butt together when the rows are joined.
  6. If you're using sashing strips, position them in each row as you work.

3. Join all the rows

  • When all the rows are completed, stitch them together to form the patchwork top, again carefully matching and pinning all seams.
  • Carefully press the seam allowances in one direction.
  • The machine can be used to join long rows and sashing strips to add strength to the quilt top.
  • If you're including borders in the quilt top, add the side borders first. Then, add the top and bottom borders.

4. Combine curved seams

  • Before stitching curved pieces together, make a series of snips in the seam allowance. This should be done every two centimetres (3/4 inch) just up to the seam line.
  • Place the concave piece on top of the convex piece, with right sides together.
  • Working from the centre out to the edges, match and pin pieces along seam lines. Place the pins perpendicular to the seam line.
  • With the concave piece uppermost, sew the seam from one edge to other.

Many patchwork quilts are put together with simple outline quilting. With a little practice, most quilters can judge the distance by eye. If you aren't sure, you can measure the lines first for accuracy. Then mark them lightly using a ruler and a pencil.

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