Quicker Quilting tip: How to chain piece

I’ve always considered quilting and sewing quilt tops to be a leisurely activity.

I don’t mind taking my time to sew them, and never particularly feel the urge to rush to finish.

But it doesn’t hurt to learn a few tips for making your quilt-making a more efficient process, right?

When I was a beginner, I think one of the biggest pieces of advice someone gave me was how to chain piece.

How to chain piece for quicker quilt tops on sewmccool.com

For some reason, I thought this would cause me to lose my perfect quarter-inch seam. (don’t have one yet? See these tips).

Or that the machine would act funny when it was stitching on air.

No, and no.

It simple sped up my sewing and made the process more fun!

First, get your blocks of the same type ready to sew. I’m using the new organic line from Birch Fabrics, Feather River, sent to me by my sponsor, Fabricworm.com.

chain piecing 1 by sewmccool.com

Now, stitch one block on the machine. As you’re approaching the end of the block, have the next one handy and slide it under the presser foot. You might have to stop for a second to adjust it and make sure it’s set up properly.

Usually you’ll have a couple of stitches between the blocks before the machine starts to stitch the next block, and this is what you want!
chain piecing 2 on sewmccool.com


Keep chain stitching all of your blocks until you have a long row of blocks all stitched in a row. They’ll look like a flag banner!

Just clip them apart between the blocks.

chain piecing 3 on sewmccool.com


Now they’re free!

chain piecing 4 on sewmccool.com

Stack them up and get ready for the next step in your quilt!

chain piecing 5 on sewmccool.com


Below is the finished quilt from these speedy blocks. You can see the tutorial I wrote for Fabricworm/Birch Fabrics here – and make your own!


Lazy halfsies quilt on bench 1


Deanna McCool writes for sewmccool.com. To make sure you don’t miss a fun tutorial, please follow SewMcCool by e-mail (the link is at the top of the right-hand column) or join me on BlogLovin’ – the button is just below the e-mail feed box! :)



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  1. bella winslet says

    Quilting and sewing are time consuming tasks and you need to be very patient while working at it. It’s advisable that you go slow and execute your technique correctly. These speedy blocks are beautiful and the final outcome is amazing. I love the above quilt and will try to make one just like yours by following the tips. I am a beginner at quilting but I am learning very quickly because of quilting tips like these on the internet. I am following so many quilting blogs to gather quilting tips. I have bookmarked yours for future reference. Here is another good link for more quilting tips and information at http://www.warpandweft.ca/blog/. I hope you like this.


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