Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Perfect 4 Patches with Pinwheel Pressing!

When I teach workshops, I often find that this little tip is one that most people get excited about. If you already know how to "pinwheel press" your four patch seams, then you can move along to the next blog, if not here's what I do:

After I have sewn my two strip sets together, and pressed toward the dark, I layer them right sides together, before cross cutting them. That way, they are ready to be fed into the machine without fiddling with them any further.
 The trick is to always have the seam on the upper unit pointing toward the need as it goes into the machine, and the seam on the lower unit, pointing toward you.
See the photo above.

I just feed those units through one after the other, this is called chain piecing for those unfamiliar with the term.

 I use my stiletto to snug the seams together. Doing it this way helps ensure that the seams will line up right next to each other, and will allow for the pinwheel pressing of the seam allowances.

Another little tip. See that dotted tape on my machine. I use that as my quarter inch guide. It is called washi tape and comes in lots of colors and designs, but the important part is that it is removable and leaves no sticky residue. I apply it to the bobbin cover only, so I can replace bobbins without having to move it.

Then I snip the threads connecting the units.

When I open the unit, it is perfectly lined up every time!
Finger press the seams so that they "spin" creating a very flat smooth intersection. The threads connecting the seam allowance will easily pull apart allowing you to do this. No stitches need to be picked out.

Then press with a hot iron.

Admire your perfect four patch...every time.
This unit will be easy to quilt through because there will be no lump in the middle.
The intersection will be so flat you won't believe it!
Enjoy every stitch!

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