Star Patch Quilt Along: Week 4

Monday, November 19, 2018

Is "quilt-alonging" a thing?  Because it should be.
This quilt-alonging thing is fun, don't you think?
This is my first time EVER to be in a Quilt Along, let alone to host!
I hope you guys are having as much fun as I am.
Can you believe it's already week 4!?!  
You're going to start seeing your 9-Patch pile growing nicely this week!

This week you need to make another fifteen 9-Patches.
I've suggested chain piecing them in the past and recently had a few people ask how to do that.
So today I have a quick tutorial for you on how to chain piece.

First, a  definition of chain piecing from
"Chain Piecing is a method that joins many pieces of fabric together by inserting them through a sewing machine one after the other while continuing one's pressure on the presser foot and not cutting the threads between the pieces."  

Chain Piecing is an accurate and time-saving technique that every quilter should know how to do!

The following instructions are for chain piecing fifteen 9-Patches 
but you can adjust the numbers for any amount of blocks. 

First, make two piles of your background squares.  The first pile should have 45 squares in it (because three rows in each of the fifteen 9-Patches = 45).  The second pile should have 15 squares in it (because one of the rows in each of the fifteen 9-Patches has two background squares in it).  You should also have a pile of all your scrappy bright squares.

(I like to do the math ahead of time so I know how many pieces of each I should sew together so I don't end up with the wrong pieces at the end).

Set aside the pile of 15 background squares.  You will use those in the next step.

From the pile of 45 background squares, sew together 1 background square with 1 bright square to make 45 pairs.  Do not clip your threads between pairs.

(Viewpoint from behind my sewing machine.)

After you've made all 45 pairs remove the chain from your presser foot and clip the threads between each pair.  

Then, using the pile of fifteen background squares sew a second background square onto the end of fifteen of the pairs to make fifteen background-bright-background rows.  Then sew another bright square onto the remaining pairs to make thirty bright-background-bright rows.  Do all of this without clipping the threads in between each row.  

After all of the rows are sewn you can clip the threads between the rows and press the seam allowances toward the bright squares.

 Chain piece together one of each kind of row (a bright-background-bright row and a background-bright-background row) to make 15 pairs.  Remove the chain from your presser foot and clip all the threads between the pairs.  Then add on the remaining bright-background-bright rows to the pairs using the chain piecing method.  Remove the chain from your presser foot and clip all the threads between the blocks.  Press the seam allowances open.

You will now have fifteen 9-Patches.  
And, you will have saved time and thread during this process by using the chain piecing method.
I hope that helps any of you who have not heard of or tried the chain piecing method!

After you have made your 9-Patches for this week, post a picture on Instagram using the hashtag #starpatchqal.  For this weeks photo, please arrange your fifteen 9-Patch blocks on point (like this) to be entered into the weekly drawing:

Be sure to post your photo by Sunday 11/25/18 at noon MST.  I will draw a winner from the hashtag pool to win a tablemat centerpiece kit in Swell Christmas fabrics from Sweet Treasures Quilt Shop.  It's a really cute quilt shop in Keizer, Oregon but they also have an online store as well.  Be sure to check them out!  And thanks to Terri at Sweet Treasures for her generosity!

As for last week, Sharon Brennan (@sharonb54 on Instagram) won a set of darling pins from Susan (@quiltypie on IG).  I love Susan's pins!  Be sure to follow her on IG and give her some love!

Happy quilting friends!

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