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Machine Minute - Chain Piecing

Save time by chain piecing your quilt pieces. Jennifer Keltner demonstrates two different methods.

Hi, I'm Jennifer with today's Machine Minute brought to you by Baby Lock and the Symphony machine. Today's topic is chain piecing. It's a great way to save time when you're piecing together different quilt blocks in units. Let me show you a couple of different techniques. In the first method you want to align all your pieces in pairs and set them next to your sewing surface. Then you're going to sew without lifting the presser foot or cutting your threads in between pieces. Let me show you how. To begin with this method, put your first piece in position beneath the presser foot and begin to sew. As you reach the end of your first piece, pick up the second one and continue on. You don't have to lift the presser foot or clip any threads; you just keep sewing your pieces together. When you get to the last pair, then you can cut your thread, and you'll see what you end up with. Then you'll go back and snip your pieces apart, or you can keep them together if you're going to take a break from now and when you're going to sew these units together. The second method of chain piecing involves a little bit more cutting but can still save you time, and its great when you're using smaller pieces. For this method, you'll want to start with a strip of fabric. For example, here I'm going to sewing pairs of 2-inch squares, but rather than cutting them all to begin with, I cut one set of 2-inch squares from one of the fabrics, and for the other fabric I simply cut a 2-inch strip. Now let me show you how this will go together. For the second method of chain piecing, I'm starting with a 42-inch strip cut two inches wide, because my squares are also cut 2 inches. For this method I'm just going to align one of the squares with my strip and start sewing down the edge. As I come close to the end, I'll pick up another square and set it down again, just aligning that raw edge and continue sewing. Now using this method you do have more cutting than you would if you started with just pairs of 2-inch squares, but if accuracy is important to you and you have a hard time when you're sewing little pieces getting them to match up at the start and the finish this is a way for doing just a little extra cutting you can make sure that your pieces come out perfect. So here are all my 2-inch squares sewn end to end on the 2-inch strip. No matter which method you prefer for chain piecing, it is a great time-saver, and I always say the time you save is time you could spend quilting, so have fun!