When Henry Ford developed the assembly line, production became so much faster and more precise.
This tutorial shows how to chain piece, a quilt piecing technique that is much like Henry Ford's assembly line.
What is chain piecing?
Chain piecing is an assembly line style of sewing together quilt blocks or pieces. The pieces are sewn together in one long line, one right after the other without cutting the thread or lifting the presser foot between piecings.
Chain piecing saves a lot of time when piecing a quilt together. Learn more about sewing quilt squares together on our page devoted to many ways to do so.
Why should I chain piece?
Piecing the quilt blocks together is very time consuming, and chain piecing is one of the best ways to save some of that precious time when piecing together quilt blocks.
Instead of starting and stopping the sewing machine while threads are cut between every block, the paired piecings are fed through the machine in an assembly line manner.
When piecing together a quilt, the chain piecing technique keeps things organized as the quilt block is assembled because the pieces of the blocks are organized into stacks that are ready to feed through the machine without stops and starts. The finished product is a stack of neatly sewn pieces in record time.
Another great advantage is that a lot of thread is saved using this method.
In addition to sharing the full written photo tutorial below, we've created a YouTube video showing how to chain piece. Simply click on the link below to go to our YouTube video tutorial.
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WHAT YOU NEED for chain piecing
- Fabric quilt pieces to sew together
- Threaded sewing machine
- Scissors or cutting tool
INSTRUCTIONS to chain piece
STEP 1: organize the pieces to be sewn
Match up each of the pieces that are to be sewn together with right sides facing each other. Line the stacks up to prepare for chain piecing.
step 2: Begin sewing the sets together
First, take a small piece of fabric to begin the string of sewn pieces. This is called a scrap leader fabric. Learn more about leaders and enders.
Sew through the small piece of fabric, which will prevent the pieces from getting caught in the feed dogs or going down the well.
For this tutorial, a 1/4" foot is used, since most seams in quilting are sewn to this size.
As soon as the scrap fabric has been sewn through, sew a few stitches and then place the first set of fabric pieces to be sewn together just in front of the presser foot. Continue stitching and the feed dogs will pull the set under the presser foot. Continue sewing down the side using a 1/4" seam allowance.
step 3: continue chain sewing
When the stitching ends on the first set of pieces, get ready to add the next set to be sewn. Sew a few stitches off the edge of the first set and then place the next set under the front of the presser foot.
There should be only a few stitches between each pieced set. Sew the second set together.
Continue to sew in this manner until all of the pieces are sewn together.
When complete, there will be a string of pieced fabrics down one line of stitching.
step 4: clip the threads between the chain sewing
Once all of the fabric pieces are sewn together, cut the thread to remove the chain from the sewing machine. Next, simply use scissors to clip the threads between each piece to separate the sewn pieces from one another.
You can also use this Blade Saver Thread Cutter as shown above. A used rotary blade is put inside the cutter and it can be used to quickly and easily cut the threads between the chain pieced quilt blocks.
Be sure to clip off the scrap feeder fabric to be used again when chain piecing.
The fabric has all been pieced and done in a jiffy with very little extra thread!
I hope you enjoyed learning how to chain piece with this sewing 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.
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for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate
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