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What is chain piecing and why should you do it


Quilters are all about saving time and sewing efficiently. Chain piecing is a definite go-to for every quilter to be as efficient in our sewing time and with our resources. You may be asking – what is chain piecing? In the quilting world, chain piecing is essentially the continuous sewing of fabric units without cutting your thread between each unit. To be successful in using this trick, it takes a bit of planning, but soon you’ll be sewing faster and more efficiently! So let’s get started!

Why chain piece?

Saves time – Having all of your units there at the machine is such a time saver. Plus, you don’t have to worry about starting and stopping each time! Think about the times you need to make several of the same blocks, say half-square triangles or flying geese. When I’m working on a project, I will chain piece anything and everything I can! It is a REAL time saver!

Saves thread – If you think about each time you start and stop sewing your blocks together, you are using more and more thread each time. The small amount of thread used between blocks when chain piecing makes a massive difference over the course of an entire project.

Keeps you organized – No more getting your block order confused!

Preparing yourself for chain piecing

The first important tip I can give you is to get organized before heading to your sewing machine. You will want to have your block pieces cut and ready to sew. The goal is to have several pieces ready to sew. I cut all of the sections of my project and stack them according to how they will be sewn. I pin these sections together to avoid getting confused once I’m at my machine.

Let’s get sewing

Place your first unit under your pressure foot and sew. Continue stitching off of the fabric for several stitches. Here’s the key…don’t cut your thread! Simply place the next unit under your pressure foot and sew units the next together. Repeat until all of the units you have are sewn together.

The result

You are then left with a pretty row of units connected by a small section of thread. Simply cut these threads to separate your units, and you’re done!

I recently discovered a fun sewing notion – the Clover Pink Quick Cut Thread Cutter! There is a small blade on the unit. You simply place the thread over the blade, and it’s cut! It’s so handy because I set it on my workstation and just slide each section of thread that needs to be cut! No repetitive motions using scissors to cut each section!

Tell me…do you like to chain piece? Are you like me and you’d chain piece your entire quilt if you could? YES PLEASE!


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I'm the caffeinated quilting extraordinaire, who loves to share quilty educational content for quilters of all skill levels! 

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