Have you pieced all your blocks?! I sure hope so. Because now it is time to piece the quilt top! And if you like free jelly rolls, read on about how you can win one from Fat Quarter Shop with little or no effort!
For the sake of being able to take pictures that are easy to see detail on, I am going to be using a mini size quilt for this post. The same concepts will all apply to the larger 16 block quilt.
When I piece a quilt top, I make a point to use the least number of long seams possible. The longer the seam, the more likely you are to have trouble with wonkiness. Not that you will necessarily; short seams are just a great precautionary measure, and much easier to manhandle. Below is a roadmap of how I pieced this particular quilt.
Start with 16 blocks
Sew them into 4 quadrants
Sew each quadrant to the one next to it (into hemispheres)
And then sew the hemispheres together. This way, I only have 1 long seam rather than 3
If you are doing 20 blocks, you could consider making your quadrants as shown above. Getting creative with your geometry helps maintain the over all structure of your quilt.
Some people prefer to piece their blocks in rows, and then sew those rows together. That is another great piecing option. There are many different ways to do it, and it all just depends on what is most comfortable for you, your machine, the space you have to work with, and what you are accustomed to.
Regardless of your piecing geometry, it is a good idea to place pins at your seams to make sure they match up correctly. I like to drop two pins in at every seam, one on each side (as shown above). This allows me to be sure that the seams will not be tugged away from each other in either direction.
Since the seams on this quilt are approximately every three inches, you might not necessarily need pins in any other areas. Again, it is all about your level of comfort and control of the fabric.
Once you have pieced the first two blocks in your row or quadrant, you want to press the seams open as you did when piecing your block. This helps remove bulk and looks very crisp on the right side of the quilt.
Again, when you piece the longer seam in your quadrant or start sewing rows together, you don't want to forget the pins. They are so essential to having your seams match up perfectly.
Here is my first pieced quadrant. I really liked how it looked hanging in the window with the sun shining through it. If you are working in quadrants, you will now have 4 of them, each with 4 retro flowers. These get pieced together in the exact same method as each single quadrant was pieced. And then your quilt top is done!! Easy peasy.
Now for the giveaway! I am sure many of you saw Bianca's friday giveaway post. If you didn't win that one, now is your chance to try again! It is sooooooo easy. All you have to do is become a follower (by email or as a google reader). On Friday, I will randomly draw from the people listed as followers and some lucky winner will receive a jelly roll of their choice from Fat Quarter Shop!!!
These are just a few that caught my eye! Again, the winner will be announced on Friday! Good luck and happy piecing!!