How to: Partial Seaming


Machine piecing a quilt is easiest when there is a clear working order, where one seam clearly needs  to be stitched first, before a nearby seam can be stitched, and so on.

Don’t be put off, though, when there is no obvious ‘next’ seam to tackle. The simplest example of this is shown in diagram A.

Cases such as this can be tackled easily enough by stitching one of the seams in two parts as follows:

  1. Pin pieces  1 and 2 right sides together (diagram B). Starting at the beginning of the seam (where pieces 1 and 2 meet piece 3) stitch till 1 or 2cm before the end of piece 1 (see diagram C).
  2. Open the pieces and finger-press the seam.
  3. The next two seams are straight forward. Stitch piece 3 to pieces  1 and 2 as per diagram A, and piece 4 to pieces 1 and 3.
  4. Now we can complete the seam we started in step 1. Starting from where we left off in step 1, stitch piece 2 to pieces 1 and 4.

Easy peasy!

(Let me know if you have any questions, though, or if I haven’t been clear enough. I would love to edit these instructions to make sure that they are clear to everyone!)

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