Learn how to arrange and sew Quilt squares together!
This is the second part of our Beginner Quilt Series showing how to make a simple quilt for a beginner. The first video showed how to cut the fabric into 5" squares for the quilt top.
In this video, we will show how to arrange the fabric squares and how to sew the quilt squares together.
In our example, three different types of fabrics were chosen for the quilt squares.
The next step is to decide in what order to put them together to be sewn into the quilt top.
How do you arrange quilt squares?
How the various quilt squares are arranged will completely change the entire look of the finished quilt.
Begin by laying out the quilt squares on a table or floor in an arrangement that has the colors alternating, or lined up in rows, or in columns.
There are many other ways to lay out the quilt squares. The fabrics could be the same across each row, the same fabric could be placed in each corner and the placement worked around the corners, etc.
When the squares are laid out on a table or floor, it is possible to step back and look at the arrangement from a distance. This allows the quilter to see the design in a more complete way than seeing the blocks up close.
Experienced quilters may have what is called a design board for this purpose, but for those just starting, using a table or the floor is adequate.
Rearrange the squares to make different designs. Be sure to take a picture of each of the ways the quilt squares have been arranged in order to have a reference.
Mill House Quilts has a very helpful video tutorial showing the many different quilt tops that can be made by simply arranging the squares in different ways.
The example found here on this page is an easy quilt pattern for beginners. There will be five squares across the top of the quilt and 6 squares in the vertical rows.
A simple way to arrange the quilt squares is to alternate the fabric patterns in order. This would be A B C A B for the first row of squares. The second row will continue with the fabric order, so it will be C A B C A.
This tutorial shows the very simple quilt pattern of alternating the fabrics, which is perfect for the beginning quilter.
Once the pattern is established, the blocks need to be sewn into rows and pressed. The rows will need to be sewn together and pressed as well.
Watch this video and follow the written directions below to learn how to assemble and sew quilt squares together.
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Instructions for Sewing quilt blocks together
What you need to sew quilt blocks together into a quilt top
- 5" x 5" fabric squares in three different designs
- Sewing machine
- Coordinating thread
- Ironing board
STEP: 1: ARRANGING THE FABRIC SQUARES
For this quilt, there are five square units across and six square units down. It is important that the blocks are squared up before sewing them together.
How do you fix uneven quilt squares?
It is possible, and it is easiest, to purchase the 5 inch blocks in a set. These precut blocks are usually squared off, are in coordinating colors, and are ready to sew together.
However, if squares are cut from larger fabric or are made up of two or more pieces, it is necessary to square up the blocks so that the corners are at a 90 degree angle and the sides are straight and even.
This is important to ensure that the pieces are sewn together evenly.
Keep this tutorial showing how to square up a quilt in mind when it is necessary to square up a block. The squaring up method is the same for both.
When ready to start sewing the squared up blocks together, lay the blocks out so you can visually see how the pieces look together.
Play with the pieces until you like the look or pattern.
In this example, each of the fabric patterns were alternated. The pattern is A B C A B for the first row. Continue the pattern into the second row, which will be C A B C A. Continue in this fashion until the quilt top is complete.
STEP 2: how to SEW Quilt SQUARES together INTO ROWS
First, the squares must be sewn together to make rows.
To sew the first row, bring the first row of fabric squares to the sewing machine in the order to be sewn.
NOTE: When sewing quilt squares and blocks together, you almost always use a 1/4" seam. Using a quilter quarter-inch foot makes this task easy.
Just position the edge of the fabric along the edge of the presser foot and you create a 1/4" seam.
Take the first two squares and put them right sides together, aligning all sides. Pin them in place.
NOTE: When piecing these squares, there is no need to back tack because you will be crossing over each seam when sewing rows together which will prevent the seams from unraveling and coming apart.
Sew the squares together with a 1/4" seam allowance. Remember to remove the pins as you sew.
Then, open the piece just sewn and pin the next square in place. Sew together.
Continue sewing the squares together making the first row.
The first row of the quilt top is complete!
STEP 3: PRESSING
Pressing the seams and blocks is essential for a nice looking finished quilt.
After you have completed sewing the first row, with the wrong side of the row facing up, press all the seams in one direction.
STEP 4: SEWING AND PRESSING REMAINING ROWS
Continue sewing squares into rows.
The only difference will be in the pressing. Press the seams in each row in alternating directions. This will help when matching up the corners as the rows are sewn together and also reduce bulk at the intersections.
Example: If the first row seam allowance is pressed to the right, press the seam in the the second row to the left. Four to right, fifth to left, sixth to right, etc.
STEP 5: how to SEW quilting ROWS TOGETHER
Once all the rows are sewn and the strips are in order, the rows can be sewn to each other.
Starting either at the top or the bottom of the quilt, flip the first two rows with right sides together.
Since each row has alternating pressing of seam allowances, the seams can be neatly nested together.
Pin each intersection together matching up the seams and raw edges. (Pinning will help the square points to match up.)
Sew the row together using a 1/4" seam allowance.
After the two rows are sewn together, press the seam to one side, being sure to pull gently to ensure that the seam is fully pressed open.
The back should look neatly pressed.
Turn the sewn rows over and press the top, making a smooth quilt top.
Continue sewing the rows together.
After all the rows are sewn together, press the seams in one direction. All the row seams can be pressed in the same direction.
Once all of the rows are sewn together, press the entire quilt again with the top facing up.
There is the beautiful completed quilt top, with the seams on the back pressed neatly!
This quilt used 5" square blocks. If you are interested in other block techniques, feel free to check out our page on How to make Half Square Triangles.
Paper piecing and string piecing are two other ways to construct the blocks. These are more complicated but are a wonderful next technique to try. Check out How to Paper Piece a Quilt Block and Learn String Piecing on Foundation Paper.
For the next step in creating your quilt, look below for the "Next Post" tutorial.
If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video
comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.
LEARN TO QUILT SERIES
OTHER QUILTING TECHNIQUES
Half Square Triangles: How to make Half Square Triangles
Paper Piecing: How to Paper Piece a Quilt Block
Binding A Quilt: How to Add Binding to A Quilt (No Hand Sewing)
String Piecing: Learn String Piecing on Foundation Paper
Tying A Quilt: Learn How to Hand Tie A Quilt
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