Scenario: The idea of piecing squares into larger square units oftentimes seem as a no-brainer. Just how hard is it to just sew a bunch of squares together, say 16-1 1/2″ squares into a larger square unit?
Utter Frustration: That was usually the state of my mind quite quickly into the piecing process because the pieced square unit looks NOTHING square-ish! I ended having to try to trim to square up the block, but then find that there’s really nothing to trim because the whole unit was wonky etc… and then, I have to spend hair-pulling moments trying to think of a way to fudge… and the list goes on.
However, I had a totally different experience this last time because….[assuming your piecing is generally pretty accurate at a scant 1/4″]
and all because, I did not immediately press open my 1 1/2″ strips after piecing them, I think that’s what fixed the wonkiness… read on to see what I mean.
1. This is what my two 1 1/2″ strips looked like fresh off the sewing machine after being pieced together. Can you say “wonky”?
2. I carefully pressed the strips on both sides without pulling on/stretching the strips. Now you don’t see the waviness anymore.
3. In the past, I would go ahead and press open the strips. I didn’t do it this time. I went and cut out my pieced strips at 1 1/2″ interval as is (because I wanted my squares to finish at 1″), shown in the following picture.
4. Next I finger pressed the pieced square units open. I feel the heat from the iron would distort the weave somewhat at this point. Though that distortion might not be much when we are talking about squares that are 4″, it would make a difference where 1″ finished squares are concerned.
5. Then, I just pieced as usual. With a 4 x 4 matrix, I went ahead and made four 2 x2 units, and then sewed the units together. Below you see a 2 x 2 unit — and you can see that it is quite squared up. I would go ahead and square the 2 x 2 units at this point, and found that there might just be a thread or so that I have to trim away.
You can also see that my 2×2 unit is centered right where it’s supposed to be, at the 1 1/4″ markings on my ruler.
6. Here you see I have sewn four 2 x 2 units together to make my 4 x 4 square unit. I did go ahead and square up the 4 x 4 units after assembly, and found that there was very little to be trimmed off, and the unit centered right where it should.
This is no joke — the below unit, measuring right at 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ for a finished 4″ patch, is what went into a larger pieced block.
I made 25 of these units to go into 25 blocks for my newly finished quilt, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. No wonkiness, only happiness! :)
NOW, I would like you to try it out to see if my little trick works for you to chase away the wonkiness. I dearly would like to know.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have had a good week so far. Hugs to you all.