Quilt Piecing Techniques

I have found that the quilt piecing process is my favorite part of making a quilt. Of course, I love the look of my finished quilt once I have gone through with all of the other steps, but quilt piecing techniques are my favorite!

This page has wonderful links below to quilt piecing, including paper piecing, English paper piecing, curved piecing, and even specific directions for hand piecing a quilt block. There are many tips and tricks to make quilt piecing easy and accurate.

What is a pieced block?

Piecing is done on the top layer of the quilt. It is assembling and stitching all of the smaller pieces of the fabric together to form a block, which will be joined with other blocks to form the top layer of the quilt.

Quilt piecing can be as simple or as complex as the quilter is inspired to make.  Piecing same-sized squares together to make a quilt top is a simple quilt piecing technique.

On the other hand, smaller pieces can be sewn together to form a block that will be attached to other quilt blocks.  Examples are the log cabin block, the Texas star block, and the nine patch block. This is where you can find free patterns for quilt blocks.

Quilters enjoy choosing different yet coordinating fabrics to piece together to make their quilt blocks.

I began by hand piecing quilt blocks and loved the meditative act of sewing by hand.  I now use a machine to assemble the quilt blocks, which makes it faster and more accurate. 

It took a lot of time for me to accept that the machine quilt piecing technique still counted as making a quilt.  The quilting is also done by machine for my quilts, and there is now inner acceptance that this is still counted as making a quilt. LOL

I had to get out of the black and white thinking and into the gray!

What are the common techniques of quilt piecing?

Quilters can use many different quilt piecing techniques to form their quilt blocks.  Paper piecing, English paper piecing, strip piecing and curved piecing are all examples of quilt piecing techniques used.

For more complex quilt piecing, there are piecing tools and templates, along with many other tools to be sure the piecing is accurate.

What is the best stitch length for quilt piecing?

Most quilters choose to use shorter stitches for piecing their quilts.  The most common choice for quilt piecing stitch length is 2.0mm, or 13 stitches per inch. Sewing machine default settings are larger than this stitch length, so it will be necessary to adjust the stitch length on the machine. 

Using shorter stitch lengths will improve the quilt piecing dramatically.  Changing the stitch length changes how the feed dogs pull the fabric under the sewing machine.  With shorter stitches per inch, the fabric is fed more slowly between the stitches.

Shorter stitches means less distance of fabric movement and less time that the needle is not in touch with the fabric.  This ensures much more accurate stitching lines and seams. It also provides solid and secure stitching to hold the fabric pieces together.  

Do you backstitch when piecing a quilt?

It is not necessary to backstitch when piecing a quilt top.  Because there are several pieces to the quilt block, there will be stitching done across the seams which will lock them in place.

However, I do choose to backstitch when sewing on the last two borders of a quilt.  In my opinion, it is helpful to hold those final seams until the quilting is done.

Scroll down on this page to learn more tips and tricks to quilt piecing a quilt top. You may find that the piecing is your favorite part of making a quilt too!

Quilt Piecing Techniques

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10 Tips to Get the Perfect 1/4" Seam

Having a precise 1/4" seam is the key to success when assembling blocks and quilts. Follow these tips to straight, even, accurate seams. All People Quilt

9 Quilt Piecing Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks Melissa from Polkadot Chair wants to share with you that she has learned over her years of quilting. Polkadot Chair

A Perfect 1/4" Quilting Seam

A Perfect 1/4" Quilting Seam #ad

How to sew an accurate 1/4" seam. Affiliate Link to Connecting Threads

Backstitch Knot

Learn two knots that can be used when hand piecing - the two-loop backstitch knot and the one-loop backstitch knot.

Beginners Guide to Crazy Patchwork Block

Learn how to make a crazy patchwork block with this free tutorial. Felt Magnet

Blocks - Assembling Blocks

Blocks - Assembling Blocks

Learn how to arrange quilt blocks or square and how to sew them together.

Chain Piecing

Chain Piecing

Get organized by learning how to use the quilt piecing technique called chain piecing when piecing together a quilt to save on time and thread. Associate

Crazy Patchwork Tutorial

A crazy quilting tutorial starts here. Carli The Quilter

Curve Piecing (Video)

This video shows how easy it is to sew inside curves without the need for pinning at all! You Tube

Curved Piecing

Curved Piecing #ad

A tutorial on how to curved-piecing in quilting. Affiliate Link to Connecting Threads

Dresden Plate Block

A tutorial on how to make a Dresden plate block. The Crafty Quilter

Dresden Plate Block Tutorial

Dresden plates are so good for using your scraps up. Here is a step-by-step tutorial on sewing this block. Coral + Co

Easy Quilt Block Tutorials for Beginners

Most of these quilt blocks begin with half-square triangles. Assembled in different ways produces different block designs. Seasoned Homemaker

English Paper Piecing

With these step-by-step instructions, you can see how to English paper piece.

English Paper Piecing How-To

English paper piecing is a hand sewing technique where fabric is wrapped around a paper template to create a precise design. These pieces are then hand-stitched together into a pattern that can be used in quilts, crafts, or decorating any sewing project you like! Wonderfil

English Paper Piecing Introduction

English Paper Piecing Introduction

A two part article - Part 1 Amy shares her thoughts about choosing fabric and supplies. Part 2 goes into more detail about English Paper Piecing sewing techniques. Diary of a Quilter

Five Quilt Piecing Tips for Beginners

Leah Day shares some piecing tips for anyone learning to quilt in this post. Leah Day

Flying Geese

Flying Geese #ad

Super simple method for making a Flying Geese block Affiliate Link to Connecting Threads

Flying Geese

Flying Geese #ad

More methods for making the Flying Geese block. Affiliate Link to Connecting Threads

Foundation Paper Piecing Tip

Foundation Paper Piecing Tip

Do you have trouble keeping track of the colors when paper piecing? Know which fabric to use with this quick tip. Associate

Half Rectangle Triangles

All About Half Rectangle Triangles! After reading this article you will be a half rectangle triangle pro. Alderwood Studio

Half Rectangle Triangles Tutorial

A comprehensive guide to making half rectangle triangles. Treasurie

Half Square Triangle (HST)

Half Square Triangle (HST)

How to sew half square triangle units for a quilt block.

Hand Piecing Curved Pieces

Hand sewing curved pieces. Jinny Beyer

How to Prevent Shadowing with Applique

How to Prevent Shadowing with Applique

Appliqueing a light fabric on top of a dark fabric can cause shadowing. Lining the applique fabric with a second fabric to create a bonded fabric is a solution. Learn how here! Associate

Nine Patch - How to Make a Nine Patch Block

Nine Patch - How to Make a Nine Patch Block #ad

The Nine Patch Block is an excellent beginner block. Learn how. Affiliate Link to Connecting Threads

Paper Piecing (Foundation Piecing)

Paper Piecing (Foundation Piecing)

How to paper piece. This tutorial will explain how to do paper piecing which is also known an foundation paper piecing. Perfect points and angles are easier which using this quilting technique.

Quarter Square Triangle

Learn how to make perfect quarter square triangle units with these detailed instructions. A cutting chart that you can download and print out is also included in the tutorial. The Crafty Quilter

Quick Quarter-Square Triangles (QST)

Step-by-step instructions on making quarter square triangles the fast and easy way. Quilting Daily

Quilt Triangles

Learn how to make quick and easy quilt triangles. Fiber Images

Quilter's Triangles How-to

How to make triangles from squares. The Quilt Ladies

Quilters Knot

Quilters Knot

A video on how to make a quilters knot. This knot is used for quilting, hand sewing and hand quilting.

Resizing a pattern - Drafting

Sooner or later you will want to resize a pattern! To do this, you need a long ruler, a Triangle, paper and something to write with. Click the link to learn more. Quilter's Cache

Set-In Seams

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to sew set-in seams by machine and by hand.

Setting Triangles for an On-Point Layouts

Learn how to calculate and cut setting and corner triangles. Generations Quilt Patterns

Setting Triangles On-Point

This calculator determines the size of a square to cut to create both unfinished Set In Triangles and unfinished Corner Triangles given the size of the finished square Quilter's Paradise

Setting Triangles On-Point

A chart of the size of squares to cut for side triangles and corner triangles. Quilters Cache

Setting Triangles On-Point

Chart for square size to cut for side triangles and corner triangles on a quilt set on-point. St. Croix Quilters

Small and Mini Quilt Blocks

Piecing small quilt blocks can be challenging. Here are some tips for piecing these blocks. Quilter Digest

Small Quilt Blocks

Here are some useful tips for piecing small quilt blocks. A Bright Corner

Square in a Square Block

Two ways to make a square in a square.

Square in a Square Tutorial

A free tutorial. Quiltville

Squaring - Squaring Quilt Block

Here you will find easy ways to square a quilt block. Spruce Crafts

String Piecing with Foundation Paper (String Quilting)

String Piecing with Foundation Paper (String Quilting)

How to make a sting quilt block using paper as the foundation. This technique is so easy and fun and a great way to use scrap fabric.

Strip Piecing

Strip Piecing #ad

Learn how to strip piece a quilt. Affiliate Link to Connecting Threads

Strip Piecing

Strip Piecing

Learn the quilting technique of strip piecing with this video.

Triangle in a Square

This Tri-Rec quilt block tutorial will show you how to make these fun triangle quilt blocks using rulers to cut out your Triangle fabric pieces. Homemade Emily Jane

Triangle in a Square Block

Here are step-by-step instructions on constructing the triangle in a square block. Seasoned Homemaker

Trim-Lock Quilt Block Trimming Tool

Trim-Lock Quilt Block Trimming Tool

Best tool for trimming half-square triangles! Trim quilt blocks with ease & precision using this Trim-Lock quilt block trimming tool. Once you try this Trim-Lock tool, you won't use any other rulers! Associate

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