no class

My quilting class was cancelled yesterday because of all the snow. Very disappointing. But it gives me a chance to press open all my seams, which I think might just take forever.


I’ve been a busy quilting bee. First cutting out 200+ pieces. I think the cutting is the most difficult part. Even with my new awesome work space it is so hard to get the mat, rotary cutter and fabric to work in harmony. Then I chain pieced the quilt together. We learned that technique in class. Why don’t I know of these things?! Such a time saver. Here’s a definition I found online…  "Chain-Piecing is a technique that is commonly used to speed up the process of machine piecing. Chain-piecing is feeding pairs of fabric pieces through the sewing machine, one right after another, without stopping to cut the threads, creating a chain of sewn pieces. The pieces are cut apart once the chain is finished." Like I said, super handy. But I did have some trouble with my seams coming open a bit at the edge because there was no backstitching to anchor them in place. Maybe I did it wrong. See this is why I need class! Darn snow.

Now that I finished this top I want to start on a bazillion baby quilts. But since my fabric budget is bust, and my month of softies deadline is looming. It’s kitty town for me.

11 thoughts on “no class

  1. carolyn says:

    Chain piecing is the greatest. That was the single greatest benefit of taking a quilting class. I don’t usually press my seams open, I press them to one side (usually to the dark side) so when I stitch a few more pieces across that first line of stitching it takes care of anchoring the stitches so that you don’t have to backstitch at all. Does that make sense?
    Love your colour choices!

  2. hannah says:

    they said at work yesterday that all the chicago paper source stores were closed because of the snow. hope you and your family are doing well!!
    i cant wait to see your quilt finished. do you have any words of wisodom on how batting works? i dont really know anything about quilting, but i just bought some 2-D zoo fabric for collette! for that quilt i will make some day…

  3. Claire says:

    Hi, Like Carolyn I usually press to one side (the dark side) this also helps you get your corners lined up together since the seams can ‘butt up’ against each other. It’s a personal choice thing though.
    A shorter stitch length will reduce the effect of the pieces coming apart.
    Your quilt looks great so far 🙂

  4. heather says:

    I just must say that I both link to and adore your website. I am reminded of all the things I want to do and don’t have time to do (or don’t make time to do). I am always inspired and constantly forwarding the link to others.
    You make me smile … oh so weeeeelly wonderful!

  5. carolyn says:

    hi from a different carolyn. if they’re coming apart at the edge, i think you can avoid that by just making your stitches smaller. i found that i was machine piecing a similar size stitch to how i’d be hand piecing. but since it’s machine, you can use a much smaller/shorter stitch.
    does seem kinda odd that they’re having you press open instead of to one side – while in some ways it doesn’t matter, it does make a difference to what you can do with the end product – as you cannot “stitch in the ditch” as part of the quilting when you’ve pressed the seams open.
    maybe i will finally finish the email i started writing you two weeks ago…

  6. Melly says:

    I don’t cut my chain pieces apart before sewing in the perpedicular direction. This way the pieces are where I want them to be and the sewn edges do not separate. Does that make any sense?

  7. Brandy says:

    Yep – chain piecing is the best! I say that quilting is 1/3 sewing, 1/3 math and 1/3 project management. The 1/3 project management, is breaking things apart into chunks and doing strip piecing and chain piecing. The best.
    Wait, 1/3 is design too…

  8. hillary says:

    Weeks mentioned in class that seams are traditionally pressed to the side in quilting. I think, if I remember correctly, they press them open to line up the squares better? I’ll have to ask again in class. I think it would have worked better for me if I’d pressed them to the side.
    Melly – that’s crazy talk! I’d have to see that in action. sounds so hard!
    I also think a smaller stitch would have been helpful. I tried at one point to use a smaller stitch and overdid it. My sewing machine was actually cutting through the fabric! So I overcompensated back the other way. There seems to be no time for clear calm rational thought when I’m in the middle of something. I’m all go go GO!

  9. brit says:

    Hey cute quilt, the difference in pressing the seams open or to the side have to do with the type of quilting you want to do. If you want to hand quilt it is easier to get through the fabric if the seams are pressed open, if you are machine quilting to the side is fine.
    to keep from having those gaps in the chain quilting I usually start just before the fabric and run off the end to elimnate the backstitching
    Isn’t quilting fun?

  10. Lily says:

    Beautiful fabric choices! Can’t wait to see it all done. I love all the quilting tips too, I’m going to finish my baby quilt one of these days too! 😉 I know you mentioned before about a walking foot, what applications would you use it for? I don’t have one, but do I need one to do quilting? Thanks Hillary, keep up the great work!

  11. Dallas says:

    Heh, I just discovered how to chain-piece for log cabin blocks this weekend, except I didn’t know it had a name. I’ll have to go modify my blog entry about it now.
    Your quilt looks great from the backside. I hope you post a photo when you’re done.

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