Home » Tips & Tutorials » How to Organise and Piece a Quilt Block Successfully

How to Organise and Piece a Quilt Block Successfully

When making projects (of any size) I try to keep my pieces and blocks as organised as possible to minimise mistakes and help me sew them together as quickly and efficiently as possible….and with minimal seam ripping if possible!

Tips for how to organise and piece a quilt block and quilt layout together successfully, whilst minimising mistakes, to make a Christmas Cushion.

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links and you can read my full disclosure privacy policy here. Thank you.

This week I’ve made a Christmas Cushion – ‘cos Christmas is all about finding extra places for people to sit!

I used the Christmas Joy Wreath pattern by The Crafty Nomad which comes together surprisingly quickly. There are lots of pieces to keep a track of though, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show you some of my tips!


Join fabric & flowers newsletter for a free Quilt Tabs download


1. Label Pieces

When working with patterned blocks such as the Christmas Joy Wreath, I find it helpful to cut and label the pieces as I go to limit the amount of confusion later over “What is this piece and where does it go?” (or maybe that’s just me?!)

I used the alphabet Quilt Tabs (which I offer as a free printable for newsletter subscribers) and a tub of Wonder Clips to attach the correct label to each piece, ticking them off as I went along.

With this pattern, many of the pieces were the same size/colour but had a different label depending on their position within the block.

Tips for how to organise and piece a quilt block and quilt layout together successfully, whilst minimising mistakes, whilst using free downloadable Quilt Tabs

To keep it manageable (and because I was starting to run out of wonder clips at this point!) I clipped the same sized pieces together, separated by the appropriate letter.

2. Use a Design Board/Wall/Floor!

For piecing blocks

Depending on the size of the block, when there are lots of pieces to one section – for example, with this pattern it was piecing the stars – I arrange my pieces on a design board to keep them in position.

This allows me to carry them to my sewing machine without them flying off everywhere, and remove the pieces that need sewing as and when I need them (find free design board tutorials here and here to make your own!).

Always make sure, if you’re using directional fabric, to have a think about which way you will need to position your pieces before sewing, especially if using a directional print (hint: I didn’t on the stars and had to do a bit of unpicking. Oops!).

For finalising a quilt layout

For arranging a quilt, I tend to work on the floor which is the biggest area I have. When laid out, I take a few photos and review them in colour and black & white – for some reason looking at the blocks on a screen is always easier than when they’re laying on the floor in front of me?!

3. Label rows/columns

Once the layout is achieved, I stack each of the blocks on top of each other in the same direction eg. left to right.

Printable for a set of 5 Quilt Tab designs. These little marker tabs help with the organization and planning of quilt, sewing and dressmaking projects.

I use a Quilt Tab with an arrow indicating which way I need to sew the blocks together. For example, if I stacked my blocks left to right, I will use an arrow pointing to the right (as pictured above) to indicate that I must sew the right side seam of the block.

In order to make sure that I am working from the correct side, I will often wonder clip the row number to the top, opposite corner to the side I want to sew.


Join fabric & flowers newsletter for a free Quilt Tabs download


4. Chain Piecing

For pieced blocks, I often sew the bigger sections together first. I pair pieces up, placing them Right Sides Together, and use a wonder clip on the edge that needs sewing to keep them together before taking them to the sewing machine.

When it comes to sewing smaller pieces together into a bigger section, I chain piece them together.

Chain piecing blocks together to keep them organised

To do this, I set up my stacks of blocks (as pictured above, to the right of the sewing machine needle) or have them laid out a design board and sew the rows together column by column.

As well as being a quick and easy way of sewing blocks together and minimising mistakes, chain-piecing also helps to reduce the amount of thread that is wasted. Win-Win!

Tips for how to organise and piece a quilt block and quilt layout together successfully, whilst minimising mistakes, to make a Christmas Cushion.

Overall, the Christmas Joy Wreath is a great pattern to make, and I found that if you want to, you can largely work from just the layout diagram and cutting instructions.

The only change I made was with the font style and words used in the phrase (if anyone would like to do something similar, I used the Modern Love font, size 145) and I finished it off by making it into a cushion using my hidden zipper cushion tutorial.

Tips for how to organise and piece a quilt block and quilt layout together successfully, whilst minimising mistakes, to make a Christmas Cushion.

I hope you’ve found some of these piecing tips helpful and that if you’re doing any Christmas stitching it’s all going well!

Speak soon,

S x

Today’s sky::: quite sunny and bright but cold!

If you would like monthly news and updates, please sign-up to my newsletter.
To check out my quilt and accessories patterns, visit my Pattern shop.

For my favourite sewing equipment and tools, visit my Amazon store.

Tips for how to organise and piece a quilt block and quilt layout together successfully, whilst minimising mistakes, to make a Christmas Cushion.

2 Comments

  1. Bonnie Nyquist
    November 9, 2019 / 3:02 am

    You may want to spell check you spelling on the swords organiZing,and finaliZing,your spelling is wrong.

    • Sonia
      Author
      November 18, 2019 / 10:42 am

      Hey Bonnie. Thanks for your comment – being in the UK, I’ve gone for the British spelling, rather than American!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

shares