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Topic: seeking advice for my first patchwork cushion  (Read 535 times)
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« on: November 04, 2009 01:39:46 PM »

I'm planning to make some patchwork cushions for christmas presents. I am a fairly competant sewer and was planning on just sewing together 4" squares of fabric to make the front and back of the cushions. However I have 2 questions:

Does it matter if I sew the vertical columns or horizontal rows first?
How should I finish the seams, should I just iron them open, or should I zigzag and press to one side?

I'd really appreciate any advice.
Diane B.
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2009 12:17:49 PM »

1.  It doesn't matter at all if you sew the columns or the rows together first.  (I tend to do the columns first just because I started doing them that way and can visualize the process easier.)  
You can even do them in sub-sections like squares of 4x4 or rectangles of 4/2, or whatever, though it may be easier to make the seams go the right directions if you do the columns/rows way.

2. Generally, the seams for pieced quilts (or pillows, or whatever) are 1/4" wide, and they are pressed to one side (using a straight stitch, not a zigzag).  They're often pressed to the dark side (so no dark fabric will show up under a light one) but not always because it can be good to have all seams going the same direction, or even two seams "toward the middle" of a focal block, or some other arrangement.  For simple squares, just do anything that keeps them easy to press.
Occasionally though there will be patterns where many seams come together creating a lot of bulk so then the seams may be pressed open.  And some people always press all seams open, though not the majority, because it's thought that the to-one-side seams will create a stronger join--especially if there isn't to be a lot of quilting done on the quilt later.

OOPS... just noticed that you said the pieces were 4" square, so you may only have 4 or 16 squares... this could still be done, but it's most helpful when there are many squares to connect, like 16 or more:

P.S.  Re sewing the columns and rows together, do you know about the "assembly line" method (aka "chain piecing").  It can make putting all those squares together much quicker and easier if you're not already familiar with it.

In this case, it would mean sewing the first two pieces together (which would be the column1-row1 piece one sewed to the  column2-row1 piece --ack, that sounds really complicated!).  
Then when the stitching has almost reached the bottom of that unit, the next unsewn unit (column1-row2 plus column2-row2) would be butted right up against the bottom of the first unit, and stitching would continue....That technique would repeat for each set of pieces till the first column is done (which now includes the second column), at which point the string of units would be taken from the machine with their little "thread" bridges intact, and the seams would be pressed open.
The 3rd column would be attached in a similar way, one square at a time, sewn onto the pieces of the 2nd column.  
Repeat for as many columns as you have.

FINALLY, sew the (thread-connected) rows together (one row at a time).

I'm sure they'll look great!  Be sure and post pics when you're done.


Diane B.

« Last Edit: November 07, 2009 12:25:31 PM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

few of my photos
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2009 01:26:08 PM »

Hi Diane - thanks for your reply and pm, I have replied  Smiley
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