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Friday, 25 March 2016

Beginner's Guide To Sewing Y-Seams


Earlier this month at our March NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild meeting we introduced quick demos - 20-minute sessions with members teaching members techniques, tips, and tricks.  An email requesting volunteers was sent out and our VP, Bernadette, requested someone demo Y-Seams, more specifically me!

To demo Y-seams I've used an 8 point star (45° points) and I've put together some info here about working with angles around a centre point:

The centre of anything has 360° around it - you can add as many pieces as you want around a point and they'll all join up perfectly as long as the angles of each all add up to 360°, English Paper Piecing works in the same way.  Your quilting ruler often has basic quilting angles marked on it - 45°/60°/90° or you can use a protractor to really start playing with your angles.  Check out large sized protractors in your local DIY store, they're often cheaper than identical tools sold specifically for quilters and artists.


Moving on now to a step-by-step photo version of my Guild demo - 
created for our guild members to refer back to and shared here so you can use it too.

Beginner's Guide To Sewing Y-Seams





Rather than marking your fabrics as above it's so useful if you can simply use the markings on your sewing machine foot to tell you when to stop sewing.  Sewing machine manufacturers know how much quilters love their 1/4 inches so most add markings or grooves to their patchwork/1/4" feet to make life easier for us.  


Take a look at your 1/4" foot - does yours have markings?  If it doesn't you might want to treat yourself to a new foot for your machine that does, it saves you so much time and improves accuracy so could be a worthwhile investment.


Aren't those Y-seams easy after all?  I hope my beginner's guide makes you want to give Y-seams a go if you do let me know how you go on and share your work too I'd love to see it - Chris :D

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28 comments:

  1. Well, if anybody is going to convince me to make a block with Y seams, that will be Chris! This tutorial is amazing, the next best thing to have her teaching you in person. Thanks for posting, Chris! Maybe one day you will see my Y seams. Maybe. LOL

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    1. Hehehe, I'm tickled that you like it Maria x :D

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  2. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  3. Brilliant Chris - how could anyone go wrong, so beautifully laid out. Happy Easter! xx

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  4. Whew - great tutorial!

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  5. Wow! Really great tutorial! I'm saving this one for future reference!

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  6. Great tutorial!! Thanks for the tips!

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  7. Chris ~ This is an awesome tutorial! This took time to create on your part, but having the written instruction along with such clear pictures as you've done, really helps those of us who are visual learners. This technique is definitely one which really helps to have such a well created tutorial such as this one. Thank you so much for posting it for your readers!

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    1. It means a lot to me that it's appreciated Vicki. You're absolutely right it's a lot of work to create tutorials but I hope that by doing it I can help others to share my passion and get pleasure from sewing too :D - Chris

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  8. Chris, I have NEVR seen a tutorial so detailed and so very clear. And I troll the internet a lot :-) Your pictures are sharp. Your notes are appropriate and your direction leave nothing to be desired. Starting from the inside, back stitch and then sew outwards - excellent tip, indeed!!! Thank you, Chris!!!
    I also want to say THANK YOU for your darling comment on my blogpost (Honorary Indian + Dozen Finishes).
    Hugs,
    Preeti.
    http://sewpreetiquilts.blogspot.com

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    1. Gee thanks Preeti, it's hard to explain in even in words and pics, probably a video would be the way to go but there's a lot of turning the fabric. I hope the arrows are helpful for people to understand. I think once someone's added one triangle or corner successfully then they'll have the confidence to continue because it's not actually difficult it's just lots of steps but if you take your time and don't try to skip anything it works! I hope my tip about all the stitches coming from the same point helps most of all, it's seems obvious to me and I can't understand why you'd try to stitch towards a stitch praying you hit it accurately when you can just stitch away from the exact stitch in the first place?!!! Thanks for your wonderful comment, you've brightened my evening :D - Chris

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  9. Thank-you for the very detailed instructions. I've always avoided those angles and just made HST when possible.

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    1. Pleasure Joy and I hope you might be tempted to give diamonds a try next time ;D - Chris

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  10. this is so amazing, Chris! What a great collection of tips and instructions. btw- LOVE my number 37 foot for sure!

    :) Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

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  11. A really good tutorial Chris. You always add something extra, and your instructions are very clear. Thank you.
    Smiles
    Kate

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  12. Fabulous tutorial! I appreciate all of the detailed photos. I'm pinning this one so I can find it when I need it!

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  13. Not so scary after all! Thanks for sharing! I can do this!

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  14. Pinned, becasue you just never know when you might need to know this - thanks for removing the mystery.

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  15. Wow another stunning tutorial, I'm going to share this with a quilting friend on Facebook.

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  16. Great tutorial, thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party this week! Pinned!

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  17. Great tutorial Chrissie and I really like that foot! Y-seams are still not my favorite thing to do.

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  18. Thanks so much for sharing. I should give Y seams another try. Thanks for linking up with TGIFF!

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  19. What an awesome tutorial! Thank you for the details and labels and pictures! I know this will be a valuable reference for me to use in the future.
    Susie

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  20. Das ist ja mal eine tolle Anleitung, ich bin total begeistert! Vielen Dank dafür!
    Liebe Grüße
    Steffi

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    1. Vergnügen Steffi , ich hoffe, dass Sie es in Zukunft nutzen kann :D - Chris

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  21. I never made Y seams. They look like to be a lot of trouble. lol If I ever do, I'll use your tutorial. Which is why I pinned it. Thank you!

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  22. Brilliant!!! May I ask what the metal attachment is that you have next to your presser foot? Some sort of guide? Thanks so much for the amazing tutorial!

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    1. Absolutely - it's my seam guide attachment, it slides and I can set it to whatever width I want my seam to be. It only works though when the seam is for two layers of fabric directly on top of each other and as I'm working on projects I'm taking it on and off the machine all the time but this only takes seconds and I still think it's amazing and worth it. They're available as an extra for most sewing machines, if your machine has a screw hole in the machine bed between the needle and the upright on the right then yours probably has one available too. Here's a link to mine for a Bernina so you can see exactly how it works. If your machine doesn't have one made for it then there are also magnetic seam guides on the market. I haven't used them myself so can't personally recommend one and I don't know how strong the magnet is and if they stay in place, also I get a bit nervous using magnets close to computerised machines. Hope this is useful :D - Chris

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Chris Dodsley