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Chain piecing

Chain piecing

Old 07-10-2021, 06:56 AM
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Default Chain piecing

Just curious. What is your limit? How many units will you chain piece before breaking off to iron or whatever comes next?
I was doing five or six at a time, then upped my game to ten. That was okay for the first three rounds but on the fourth I started feeling like a critter on a hampster wheel. I'm talking paper piecing, fold and trim, pin, sew, iron. Each step done ten times before starting the next. Okay, please don't laugh. I just know somebody's gonna say fifty....and I'm gonna fall off my chair.
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Old 07-10-2021, 07:01 AM
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If I have a lot of the same unit, I chain piece until I am done.
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Old 07-10-2021, 07:34 AM
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For consistency, I typically like to do all of a step at one time and I work assembly line fashion. That starts with cutting. I might break it down into combinations, but I prefer to start with a huge stack of fabric. Then a slightly smaller stack of cut fabric which gets turned into strips. Then I start putting combinations together. And then I press each step. Put the next set of combinations together, etc.

I don't usually paper piece and I don't like one block at a time construction, but even still, I will connect all pieces I can in round 1, etc. In the last couple of Bonnie Hunter mysteries, although I was able to do original combines in large groups, when it came to putting the sets together into blocks I found I could only deal with about 4-5 blocks at a time without getting too confused or having to spend too much time matching things up. After two years, I've gotten much better on my organizational techniques (as well as clamps!).

But yes -- when I'm working on a queen sized project I might be doing 1k HST or something awful. I will go as long as my thread and prepared fabrics last. I am also a pinner so that gives me a stopping point. My current project has 32 fan blocks each with 8 fan blades. First round, all blades connected into what I call 2-fers, then the 2-fers connect into quarters (confusing because they are half the arc but have 4 parts), then the halves into wholes. All 32 being working on at the same time.

When I do have a huge slog of pieces, I try to break it up into 15 minute chunks which is actually quite a bit of sewing (and longer than my pins usualy last), then pressing, then pinning the next set and so forth.
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Old 07-10-2021, 07:45 AM
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It depends. Usually the more complicated the block is the shorter my
chain piecing. Some might not even call it chain piecing but who cares.
It's my way of sewing. We all have different ways. I usually cut my chain
before it falls on the floor or get tangled in a mess.
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Old 07-10-2021, 07:54 AM
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I'm constantly doing leaders and enders so that's always chain piecing. I mostly sew on my featherweight machine so it helps to not have any threads get clumpy on the back side of the sewing.

I've been known to chain stitch a whole quilt worth of 2 1/2" squares for a baby quilt before I go to the ironing board. But, I do cut the string of pieces before they hit the floor and stack them in a pile.
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Old 07-10-2021, 08:31 AM
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I do better when I get up frequently to press, so my max is about 24 pieces at a time.
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Old 07-10-2021, 03:16 PM
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Sometimes I do a lot, then I cut off the needed amount and sew them into other strips, then I sew them into strips. Like 6 strips of three, depends on how big a block I want for a pattern I make up. Finally I sew the blocks together after I decide how many blocks I need for the whole quilt top.
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Old 07-10-2021, 06:23 PM
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I'm doing a paper pieced patriotic quilt with 16 blocks that each have 61 pieces in them. I'm chain piecing 16 blocks at a time. My limit with paper piecing is probably 20.

For regular piecing, I will just do them all and let them pile up behind my sewing machine.

Good luck with your project!
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Old 07-10-2021, 08:31 PM
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I see one block at a time, I'd rather have a completed block then a lot of finished units.
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Old 07-11-2021, 03:57 AM
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I find I often work in numbers divisible by ten. I then keep combining groups and clip them together in tens. So, if I am making four-patches, I will make 50 two pieces, press then join to make 25 four-patches, press and repeat. I clip the four-patches together in groups of 10.. That way I don't waste time counting and recounting how many I have finished.

I had friends making the OMG quilt this spring and they would make "garlands" of 100 plus of those little pieces. It all depends on what works for you and how many pieces you need.
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