Week 2 of the 2020 American Patchwork & Quilting Quilt-Along starts on 2/24. The assignment is: Assemble A and B strips. Below you'll find some helpful tips for sewing strips sets, and some answers to questions we've been getting. See more about the Quilt-Along here.

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Getting a 1/4" seam is important for this quilt. How do I get consistent seams?

Maintaining an accurate seam allowance is essential to assembling this quilt properly. If your seams aren't accurate, the pieces may not line up correctly. See 10 tips for getting a perfect 1/4" seam here. If you have a 1/4" presser foot, this is a great time to use it. If you don't have a 1/4" presser foot, you can make your own 1/4" guide with masking or washi tape. See the process of making your own seam guide here.

How can I save time and thread while piecing all these strip sets?

Try chain piecing! It's the process of feeding pairs of pieces under the machine needle without lifting the presser foot or breaking thread. You can see a video of this technique here.

There are so many different colors of fabric in this quilt. Do I need to change my thread color out often?

Pick a neutral thread color like cream or gray for this quilt -- it will blend in with all colors of fabric. Any thread color too dark may show through your cream prints, so be careful.

What's the trick to pressing the strip sets without distorting the fabric?

1. Set Your Seams: Before pressing a seam open or to one side, first just press the seam as it was sewn, without opening up the fabric pieces. Doing so helps meld or sink the stitches into the fabric, leaving you with a less bulky seam allowance after you press it open or to one side.

2. Keep It Straight: Straight seams should be pressed from the right side of the fabric with the iron parallel to the straight of grain. This helps avoid pressing tucks and pleats into the seam.

3. Don't Drag: Make sure you're pressing (setting the iron down then lifting it up completely before moving it to the next section) instead of ironing. If you drag the iron across the strips sets, it may cause distorted fabrics.

Whoops! We made a pressing mistake in the pattern.

In the pattern, Diagram 2 should have the seams being pressed toward the medium/dark fabric. See the updated diagram below and make sure it mark it on your pattern. If you press toward the cream prints like we originally showed, you'll experience a lot of bulk when making your Nine-Patch units.