The Christmas clock is counting down, with gift giving time almost upon us. Quilters everywhere are spending extra time at their sewing machines, working hard to get gifts finished. If this sounds like you, there is a great time-saving technique you can use to help ensure you get things together in time.
What Is Chain Piecing?
Chain piecing, or assembly piecing, is a method of stitching multiple quilt pieces together at the same time to make the quilt assembly process faster and easier. It is done by arranging multiple pieces, then stitching them together with a sewing machine to make one long and continuous line of pieces attached by the same thread.
Afterward, the thread between these pieces is clipped, leaving sets of two pieces that have been quickly stitched together and are now ready to be combined with more pieces. Chain piecing works best with block patterns that involve stitching together squares and triangles.
Save Time With These Chain Piecing Tips
The beauty of chain piecing when working on quilts that require you to make multiple blocks using many smaller pieces is that it reduces the time it takes to assemble all of the segments. With an assembly line approach, you can get the monotonous stitching done quickly on your Juki HZL F600 and watch blocks take shape. Following are some tips that can help speed up this process:
- Read Your Pattern First - Not all quilts can be stitched using chain piecing. Always begin by carefully reading your pattern to determine if there are areas where you can use this technique to save time and effort when you are in a hurry.
- Keep Your Pieces Organized - To ensure that piecing is done right, you must properly plan so all the same pieces are put together at the same time and then organized for stitching. Pair the squares that will be stitched together. Next make a stack of the paired pieces, separating them a bit so you only grab one pair at a time. Keep your stack of pieces close to your machine so you can easily reach for them and keep on stitching.
- Finish One Task Before Moving to the Next - To prevent problems when chain piecing with quilting machines, always finish one set of pieces before you begin another. You can either sew all the lines of pieces, then move on to the next step in your process; or you can assemble the blocks after chain piecing all of its parts. Remember not to stop part of the way through a chain or you may get the pieces mixed up. After all the blocks are finished, they can then be pressed.
- Be Consistent - When planning your chain piecing, decide how you will arrange and sew your pieces together and use this method consistently for each chain. This is especially important if you are making half triangles from square pieces since you must leave the same seam allowance on either side of the center of your line.
While chain piecing is not a revolutionary concept, it is a useful technique for anyone who needs to sew many squares of the same pattern on sewing machines. It is especially great when working on quilting machines to get the hundreds of fabric pieces sewn together faster than doing them individually. Now that you know all of this, don't worry about getting your holiday quilts done in time. Speed up this process by using chain stitching on your Juki HZL F600!