Quilting Tips & Techniques 230 – How to sew long strips of fabric together

hi so I thought I'd share with you today a little bit about sewing some long strips together so I've already joined some strips here just to give you a bit of an idea sometimes when we sew long strips together things get a little bit wonky or a little bit out of hand and so I just thought I'd just give you some couple of tips I guess on how that you can prevent prevent some of the little problems that might happen now when you're sewing strips together the machine's going to feed them in and it's going to it's got the little feed teeth and it's going to feed things through at its own pace on a regular machine that doesn't have a walking foot or a dual feed it's feeding from the underneath with the little feed teeth so the top is allowed to slide through but the bottom is actually feeding so sometimes you get a little bit of slippage happening which isn't helpful because it means that seams go a little bit out of kilter so if you have a drill feed on your machine that is really handy to use for most of your piecing and particularly long piecing if you have a walking foot and not a dual feed that's another option if you don't have either of those things I'll show you in a minute but I'll just give you an example here so I've got a couple of the strips here that have been sewn this one didn't use a dual feed and when I just let it relax onto the board here you might be able to see because of the lines on the board that in actual fact when it's sitting nice and flat here it just starts curving around a little bit now this is not dramatic and probably with an iron particularly some steam pressing you could probably manage for that piece fine this one here with the narrower strips has been stitched and when I let that one relax you can see that that's curved quite a bit so if I try and straighten it with a line on the board it doesn't particularly want to and then it starts getting quite bubbly here well that's not a helpful thing and I also know that when I started joining these strips I started at this end I came all the way down I didn't use any sort of jaw feed or any sort of assistance I just let the machine sew it and this this blue strip was actually longer sorry this blue strip the dotty one who was longer than this other blue strip and now by the end of the scene it's around the other way so this is not a good thing it means there's too much of one fabric on in there which is causing this shaping to happen so probably a little bit more than you want to have happen it would be harder to press this one out you're going to get things just a little bit wonky so I just thought I'd show you a couple of the possible problems so that we can achieve a nice straight seam something like this hopefully I've got two strips here now one of the reasons you might want to do long strips up just before we go any further is you might want to be wanting to slice them to make blocks maybe even something like this block here would be one that you could have a strip of a narrow narrow with a wide in the middle and you might slice them to get your parts of your block and then in Reverse for the center parts or you might be joining long strips for bindings you might be going to do some mitering there's any number of reasons why you might want to join long strips so it's just one of those little candy things so I've got two strips here that I'm going to join now you can see these two strips are just with their selvage is still on when I laid in one of them is just a fraction longer than the other so I would recommend to make sure that things are feeding correctly that you start off with strips the same length so I will trim those to the same length so if you were doing something that was a specific length you might trim to that size or you might over have them a bit longer so that you could trim them afterwards but either way I would have them the same length whatever that length is and that will help a little bit with how things go through so we can start at this end now in order to keep things the same length and evenly fed through the Machine I would suggest using some of the little bits or you might prefer pins and there's and I are not friends I often use Clips I would put some at the beginning so have your raw edges even and I'd put one at the other end again with all the raw edges even and then I would find the center point and I put another one there and that's the very least I would do there's every chance I would do but more than that I might go one in between so you turn a quarter pointing so again match up more or less the centers this doesn't have to be absolutely exact but it's so that you've got something holding the fabrics in between so that you're keeping those edges nicely together and the same length in each segment clip in here so keeping everything nice in there ball it's worth getting these things right because in your blocks your borders whatever it is it's very nice to have things that just sit nicely so if you take a little bit of time with the preparation in general that's going to happen so I'm going to go to the sewing machine now this sewing machine does have a dual fee so I'm going to fit that off using the dual feed so what the drawer fee does in Ex a little bit like the teeth underneath and it helps feed through from the top so we should get a nice even flow of how that was going through and then up that way through I'll take the dual feed off so that you can see the difference of how it feeds so this is not meant to tell you that you have to have a dual feed it's so that I can show you how to manage if you don't have one so we're just going to go on to my favorite strip here covering a quarter inch seam and I'm just going to let the Machine feed that through and it's feeding through as you would expect nicely even laid I'm coming up to the personal clip there's no sign of any movement it's not bunching or any of those sorts of things so I'm going to take that drawer feed off now so that's just a little clip on the back of this machine and other than that I haven't made any other changes and I'm going to so now and just going to let the Machine feed itself through so that you can see whether it's making any difference they're not putting any pressure on what I am seeing is a little bubble starting to occur on that top fabric and it's wanting to move across a little bit so this is not helpful so I'm going to in the next segment I'm going to show you how we can compensate for that so we'll get here I'm fairly flat here now all right Candice Lee so if it's going to do this one your machine and you want to know how to to deal with that I would be holding it that and one of the reasons for things like the pins and clips is that you've got a little point to hold from and I'm going to hold it back in front now I'm not adding any particular pressure I'm not trying to pull the fabric through I'm just holding it still letting the machine do the feeding but by holding it it's allowing it to just feed more evenly so you're almost almost but not quite putting some tension on the bottom fabric so that the as the top one wants to bunch a little bit the bottom one is just holding enough to allow the top one to ease through nicely so I'll do that so I'm holding back in front and if you can see all that hopefully you can and I'm just going to knit that so so I'm not pulling it I'm just allowing it and look to find just a small amount of tension on the actual fabric and that's been in earlier three now no bunching happening so it was really just to show you how you can feed the fabric through your machine on particularly on longer pieces when you're adding borders anything like that that you do this sort of pinning marking that you cuts up to a length make it fit rather than just trusting that it's going to fit because sometimes it doesn't sometimes it works they say that's coming through beautifully now and again just even that last bit I'm just holding it pulling not pulling so we've done that we had a little patch in here and even just laying this piece down you can see that this is sitting nice and flat it sitting pipe straight along the lines here this was the last bit that I've just stitched this little wonky bit in the middle that I allowed to have its own little way has just current started curving and wrinkling a little bit the first bit here where I had the dual feed on that is also sitting flat so this effect here is the same as this effect here this one here may may occur and will cause you some sort of problems at times so I just thought I'd go through that show you how you put so long strips together without having too many problems so it's kind of ready for pressing and whatever it is that you're going to do with it now but it was all about the stitching so thank you you


  1. I have a question….should you sew 1 strip in one direction and then the one the other way. Alternate the strips….

  2. Great. Video. I'm a self taught sewer. And I always do it this way. (Learned it the hard way lol). Have a peaceful day.๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. After about 50 years of the habit of holding long pieces, I always imagined that by bending each held end upwards, it caused the bottom piece to ever so lightly have more tension then the top piece. Also, I always felt that with long pieces that the strip wants to curl and the back end (the just stitched area) tends to curl outwards away from the machine causing the top piece to stop being lined up with the bottom and causing the top to be wider. I learned to baste long pieces when I was young which help solve both problems but of course as soon as I was out of my mothers home I went to pins, I hate basting. The lesson you are teaching is so important and perhaps one of the most important whether you are sewing quilts or a long seam on the side of a skirt. I have often seen that uninlining problem on factory made dresses that are bargins apparently. These days with my arthritic hands, I use a walking foot with wonderful success and no worries. Extra steps make the difference on the final work and people learning can be extra proud of their results by making the finished product look professional. Plus it makes it easier to view your art then your mistakes.

  4. Thank you this tip is very helpful. I'm certainly going to use it. Often my long strips are very"friendly" they are so wavey. ๐Ÿ˜Ši usually just work with half strips. You've given me hope.

  5. very helpful tips – i like to make the long strips for making patterns like what you are showing on your beautiful quilt – thank you

  6. I didnโ€™t know Bernina made a duel feed machine. I donโ€™t like the walking foot while piecing because it hinders my 1/4 inch seam allowance. What is the model # on your machine please?! That duel feed system is awesome. Thanks for the tutorial.

  7. Thank you for your video. . . I always have issues with the two fabrics not feeding evenly. . . so I have never wanted to try quilting anything large or piece work.

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