Week 4 of the 2021 Quilts & More Quilt-Along starts on 10/4. The assignment is to make dot blocks. Here are some helpful tips for piecing blocks. See more about the Quilt-Along here.

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Now we have three weeks left of sewing blocks, so each week, we'll share some tips that can applied to all the blocks, so you feel supported no matter what speed you're sewing at. In this video, we're s­haring tips for getting an accurate 1/4" seam, as well as chain-piecing.

To get an accurate 1/4" seam, we think it's easiest to use your machine's 1/4" foot with a guide if you have one. Or create your own seam guide in your machine by adding a bumper of layered tape to help guide the fabric. You may want to do a little test seam by sewing two pieces of scrap fabric together and then measuring to make sure that the needle position and guide you're using all measure 1/4" – if not, you'll need to make adjustments.

Pressing also makes a difference in your seams. Try setting your seams first by pressing on top of the stitching lines, which helps the thread sink into the fabric instead of adding bulk to the seam. And then press from the right side of the fabric, which helps eliminate any accidental folds or creases in your pieces and gives you a nice, straight seam line.

Next let's chat about chain-piecing. For those who don't know, chain piecing is the act of piecing multiples of the same units all in a row without cutting the thread. To chain piece, start sewing your units together. When you get close to the edge of your first pair, get the next units ready. Sew off the end of your first units and feed the next pair through without breaking the thread. No stopping is necessary, but you may want to slow down. If you do need to stop, stop with your needle in the down position. And if you're sewing units that already have seams like sewing the rows of the dot block together, pay attention to the seams as they feed through your machine, so you don't end up twisting them.

When you're done chain piecing units, you can either cut the threads with a scissors or use a small thread cutter. Or you can also leave the units pieced together, iron them, and then bring the chain back over to your machine to piece the next set of units together. It saves a step!