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How to Chain Piece Rows

How to Chain Piece Rows

Have you ever heard of chain piecing? What about chain piecing your rows? This is probably my BEST tip for quilting, especially for my Vintage Lace Quilt pattern or really any other pattern that has vertical and horizontal rows. It makes things super organized and efficient, which lets you have quicker finish. It leaves less room for error, since you are creating the same row over and over again and overall, I think it's a lot of fun. I think you'll like this method, too! Let's jump in!

 

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VINTAGE LACE

Like I said, I originally wrote this tutorial for my Vintage Lace (seen above), because the construction is so much more efficient than sewing each panel together one at a time. If you are looking to use this method for Vintage Lace, then instead of chain piecing the rows of your panels (Rows 1-6) x 8 , you'll chain piece all of your Row 1s, then all of your Row 2s, then so on. Keep reading and it'll make a little more sense!

 

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VIDEO TUTORIAL

Here's a video of the entire process. Keep scrolling for written instructions!


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HOW TO CHAIN PIECE ROWS:

I'm revisiting this tutorial to adapt it to my FREE Patchwork Squares quilt pattern which will be available next week! This pattern is just squares, so it's super beginner friendly and easy to sew together. It get's even quicker and easier if you use this method! So here's what you'll do:

1. Layout all of your pieces in the segment that you are creating. Make sure that there is an even mix of your fabrics, or if you are using a specific pattern, make sure that everything is in it's proper position and rotated correctly.

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2. Place your first and second pieces of the beginning of each row right sides together. Then, starting with the first two pieces, stack them on the next two pieces and then so on to create a pile. Set that beside your sewing machine.
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3. Then create a second pile of the remaining squares in this segment. Starting in the top left corner again, place the first square on top of the square directly below it. Then place those two squares on top of the third square directly below them. Continue to stack that column until you get to the bottom, then bring them up to the top of the next column and continue to stack them. NOTE: it's very important that they stay in the correct order and do not accidentally become rotated (if direction matters in the quilt that you are creating).
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4. So now you have 2 different piles. Starting with the first pile, sew the first two squares together using a 1/4" seam.
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Then without snipping your threads, sew the second two squares together, followed by the third set of squares and so on.
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Once you get to the last set of squares, it should look like this. Do not snip the connecting threads until the very end!
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5. Then starting with your second pile of squares, place the square on top right sides together with the square at the top right. Sew 1/4" seam and then without snipping your threads, sew the next square to the following row and so on. 
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6. Continue to add squares to your rows until they are all complete.
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Then trim the threads connecting the rows.
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Press your seams and you're ready to sew them together! NOTE: Alternate the direction that you press your seams from row to row to create nesting seams. If you are making Vintage Lace, I recommend pressing ALL Row 1 seams to the left, then all Row 2 seams to the right and so on. 
Alternating the direction that you press your seams will allow them to "nest" as seen in the photo below. This helps with aligning your blocks as you feed them through your sewing machine. It'll also cut down on bulk when you press your row seam open. 
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Normally, when I sew rows together, I like to press that seam open so that everything lays nice and flat. This is personal preference, you could certainly press that row seam to one side if you wish! Looking for more tips for flat seams? Check out my "6 Tips for Flat Seams" blog post!
This is such a quick and fun method that saves a lot of time! I hope you found this helpful!
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Happy chain piecing!
Brittany