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Video:How to Nest Patchwork Quilt Seams

with Linda Warren

To achieve a neat and tidy quilt with less bumps in the patches, here's an insider's trick. Watch how to nest the quilt's patchwork seams in order to get a point that matches perfectly.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Nest Patchwork Quilt Seams

Hi, my name is Linda Warren at Valley Fabrics in Northampton, MA and we are going to go over nesting your seams when you're doing patchwork in order to get a nice point that matches.

Decide Which Seam Side to Press Toward

I have a strip set here that I have already sewn. If the pattern doesn't specify which direction to press it, press it towards the dark - if it does specify then, press towards whatever the pattern tells you to. Whichever I am pressing towards, I put it on the top and I put the seam on the side that's the farthest away from me.

So when I fold that top piece back, my seam allowance is then going in the direction of that fabric, and I am just going to press, I do use the tip of the iron a little to move that top piece back away from the seam line, but I am also using my fingers ahead of the iron.

There's my seam allowance it's going toward the darker fabric and it's nice and straight and nice and flat.

Line Up the Seam Allowances

So I've got this nice and pressed now, I'm going to cut two segments - one... two... So I turn one around and like magic my seam allowances are now going in opposite directions because I pressed the whole strip set towards the dark when I turn one unit around its seam allowance will be going in the opposite direction of its partner there.

What I want to do is feel for those seam allowances with my fingers. I'm going to just rub it back and forth a little, until it feels flat and feels like there abutting each other.

You can also see the edges are lined up, this edge and, this edge line up, you can pull this back to check, see what it looks like. To see that there lined up but you will be able to feel it also, if they are too far apart for instance like that, you will actually feel a little divot a little space. If there overlapping too much, you'll feel it's very bulky and bumpy. So what you will want it to feel like is very even and flat.

Sew the Fabric Together

You're going to take that to your sewing machine and you're going to sew that with your 1/4 inch seam allowance. Then when you press this open your points match very nicely.

Sew Opposite Seam Allowances

Now here a lot people just press one way or the other, probably wouldn't matter for the pattern which way but I have another little trick, which is to press these two halves of the seam allowance opposite, so I am going to have all four of these seam allowances, going in the same rotation.

Then I am going to nudge that with my fingers, sometimes it is harder than others, you might want to use your fingernails, sometimes I use the seam ripper in there, take out a stitch or two. It will come apart and you will see this little mini four patch in there, that's your cue that you did it right.

Press Seams in Opposite Direction

You can then press those seams in opposite directions, turn over press it from the right side. The reason I did that is the seam will lie flatter. Then if you had just pressed this all in one direction, it will lay flatter and be less bumpy and bulky in your quilt.

Also these seam allowances going in a clockwise direction here, and if you do all units the same, means that when you piece two together, notice these seam allowances are in opposite directions, you can nest this seam as well, even you wanted to change your design and turn your unit this way, look like magic your seam allowances are still going in opposite directions and your points with nest perfectly. You will get nice crisp sharp points just like that.

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