Piecing & Applique

machine piecing

It is important to cut accurately and to sew exact 1⁄4\" seams.

Templates Trace the patterns on template plastic and cut out accurately.


Measure, mark and cut the binding and border strips before cutting patches from the same fabric. Cut larger patches before smaller ones. For best use of the fabric, arrange patches with cutting lines close or touching.


One or more straight sides of the patch should follow the lengthwise (parallel to the selvages) or crosswise (perpendicular to the selvages) grain of fabric, especially the sides that will be on the outside edges of the quilt block. We indicate lengthwise or crosswise grain with an arrow on the pattern piece.




To find the grainline of your fabric for rotary cutting, hold the fabric with selvages parallel in front of you. Keeping the selvages together, slide the edge closest to you to one side or the other until the fabric hangs straight, without wrinkles or folds. Then lay the fabric down on your cutting mat and cut perpendicular to the fold line. Use this cut edge as your straight-of-grain line.

Many patches can be cut from strips of fabric by rotary cutting. First, cut a strip of fabric the width needed. Then, cross-cut strips into patches.


To cut from a template, place the template face down on the wrong side of the fabric and trace with a sharp pencil. Reverse (r) templates should be placed face up on the wrong side of the fabric before tracing.


Align the cut edges of fabric with the edge of the presser foot if it is 1⁄4" wide. If not, place masking tape on the throat plate of your machine 1⁄4" away from the needle to guide you. Sew all the way to the cut edge unless you are inserting a patch into an angle (set-in patch).



A set-in patch is inserted in an angle formed by two other patches. First, mark the seam lines on all three patches so you’ll know exactly where to stitch. Align the edges of two patches and pin along the marked lines. Sew the seam, stopping the stitches at the end of the marked seam line; backstitch. Pivot the set-in patch so the adjacent edge aligns with the edge of the third patch. Matching seams, pin in place. Starting exactly where the previous seam ended, sew two stitches, then backstitch, taking care not to stitch into seam allowance. Stitch to the outer edge.



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