Friday, August 23, 2013

The Arrow Tail Quilt Tutorial - Piecing Instructions

Hi there, how are things going?  If anyone is joining in the quilt-a-long (it's still pretty quiet out there), please pop over to the flickr group and introduce yourself, and share any photos you have - fabric stacks, cutting...would love to see it all!  

This is the second part of my tutorial (the first can be found here, supplies and other info here).  Now, you've cut your quilt top, let's piece it!  This portion of the tutorial should be very straightforward and simple.  There are really no variations in the method for the different quilt sizes. So, let's get going, shall we?

At the end of the cutting instructions, I recommended stacking your pieces into piles by column (from left to right).  We will be piecing the shapes into columns and then sewing the columns together to form the quilt top.  I recommend chain piecing any number of columns that you're comfortable with.  For anyone unfamiliar, chain piecing involves sewing similar units of fabric together one after the other without cutting the thread.  For example, you would sew the first two units on each column together without clipping threads (needle down).  I prefer to chain piece 4 columns at a time - any more than that and I inevitably get mixed up.  You can press seams as you go, but I prefer to wait until all of my columns are pieced.  As standard in quilting, all seams are 1/4" for piecing.  


1) Start with the leftmost column.  Take the top row piece and align it with the next piece in the column as shown below.   The shapes should be easy to align since you have clipped 1/4" off the pointy ends.  Stitch along the angled edge.


Repeat for the next column, but notice that the direction of the shapes is opposite.


When you're finished, your pieces should look like this.


Now, continue chain piecing with the next piece in each column.  The pieces for the first column should align as shown below.  


And, the second column should align in the opposite direction.  


Repeat for all pieces in your column and all columns.  Then, press all of your seams open.  Check that all of your adjacent columns match up and directional pairs look good.  Also, this is your last easy opportunity to rearrange columns if you'd like. : )  


2) Once all of your columns are pressed and ready, I recommend trimming to make sure you have nice, even finished edges.  If you are sewing a larger twin size quilt, you will have a pretty long column and this can be a challenge.  For those cases, I recommend folding the column in half lengthwise to trim.  If you are wondering what my fancy shmancy quilting tool is in the picture below, it's a metal framing square ruler I got from Home Depot (something like this).  It is one of those random, invaluable tools that I use all.the.time...especially for cutting long pieces of fabric.  Anyway, trim your columns, and let's move along. 


Once trimmed, I like to sew the adjacent columns into pairs and them sew those pairs together to form the quilt top.  Align two adjacent columns as shown.  


Place the right column on top of the left column and pin the two together along the right edge.  Piecing accurately is definitely not my forte, but I pin at each seam (making sure the seams are aligned) and in between.  Stitch the two columns together along the right edge.  


Repeat for all columns and press your seams open. 


You're done!!  Yay!!!  Sit back and smile at your quilt top for a while.  Mine is still hanging on my wall since I took this photo.  As I said, I plan to tie this quilt instead of machine quilting.  Next week I'll pop in with a quick post to share some of my favorite quilting and binding tutorials available online.  I taught myself how to quilt using these wonderful resources, so I thought I'd pass them along to any new quilters following along here.  Happy Weekending everyone!  

Arrow Tail Quilt Top

19 comments:

  1. I love this pattern!! I want to make a car quilt for myself when we are travelling and this would be perfect!!

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  2. so awesome. I'm really feeling like making quilts lately, just need my Juki back so I can cruise through them!

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  3. Laurel, this is fantastic! I love it (and the tutorial!) and I've pinned it to my "Quilty Goodness" board on Pinterest (with proper credit, of course!). Feel free to follow me if you'd like: http://pinterest.com/lipglass/quilty-goodness/

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  4. What fabric is it that has the orange and teal flowers? I love it!

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  5. Thank you all for your sweet comments! Kelsey, all of the fabrics in this quilt are from the Rosette collection by Juliana Horner available at JoAnn stores. It is a gorgeous line!!

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  6. I am in love with this quilt pattern! I am making one for my cousin who is having a baby girl in August. So far, I'm loving how it's coming together. Thank you so much for this pattern!

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  7. Thanks for posting the instructions for this quilt. They are very easy to understand and I live how notebook inspiration. I saw it on pinterest a couple of months ago and I want to make one.

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  8. * that should have read... I loved how the notebook was your inspiration. :)

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  9. Just came across this! What a lovely quilt you made last summer. I remember you saying you had a tutorial for it when you saw my version. Fantastic!

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  10. Just beautiful. I hope you won't mind if I share it on my blog.

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  11. I loved this pattern the first time I saw it. However, I need one to fit a queen or king sized bed. Therefore, I will just add some on the width and the length. I also needed a smaller version to used as a frame of the centerpiece of another quilt I am making. I ended up with a template about 1/2 the size of the original...perfect. I will have one round going one way and another round going the other to frame the quilt insert. I have no college experience, but it sure did help being a math whiz!! When I was making the smaller version I made two different sizes to see which would fit and look proper on the quilt. Glad I did because the first one I made was too small. Hope everyone is having as much fun with this pattern as I am! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  12. Great tutorial! I'm having trouble lining the columns up though. I pinned at the seams but then I'm left with one side longer then the other. Any tips when piecing together? Thank you!!

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    1. about how much longer? It might be helpful to see a picture. You can email to me at lwkrynock@gmail.com . Generally, I would just suggest pinning lots and easing in any excess fabric as you sew.

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    2. Might have to use a walking foot

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  13. I'm new to quilting and I'm wondering if this could be made with the Super Side Kick ruler from Jaybird Quilts?? If so, that may be easier for me to cut with rather than a cardboard template. Thanks in advance for your advice!

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    1. Yes, that ruler came out around the same time I was making my first version of this quilt. I don't have one, but I think it's a similar shape, but not the exact size and angles of my template. If you were to use her ruler for this quilt, I couldn't tell you how big it would turn out, how many pieces you'd need, etc. She has a pattern called "Giggles" that is quite similar to my tutorial, so you could just try that as well. Good luck!

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  14. I just finished cutting all the pairs, but I feel they are not all exactly 4.5 in wide. What can I do to help keep conformity while I sew them together?

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  15. I want to make this but I'm afraid the pieces won't match up. I am terrible at that! Anyone find it didn't happen that way, or it did? Could you make a strip set and then cut "slices" of it at each angle needed?

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