When piecing a quilt, many times there will be a lot of the same size and shape of pieces that need to be pieced, or multiples of the same type of unit that need to be pieced. While a pattern may tell you to do one at a time and make each block individually, chain piecing multiple pieces at the same time can help speed up the process.
Expert Sewer and Quilter, Ashley Hough shows you how to chain piece several different types of units.
How to Chain Piece
Ashley begins by explaining what chain piecing is; essentially creating a long chain of pieces or units that can then be cut apart when finished. She shares that while the chain piecing technique is commonly thought of as something for only squares and rectangles, the chain piecing technique can be used on a variety of different units as well.
Ashley begins by showing how to chain piece on basic shapes like squares and rectangles, showing how to sew right off of the edge of one piece of fabric directly onto the other. Not only does this save time, rather than cutting the thread and sewing each piece individually, but you are also saving small amounts of thread by sewing them together into a chain and not having thread tails at the beginning and end of each piece.
Ashley then shows how you can chain piece when making other units as well, like half square triangles and square in a square units. Both of these units require two lines of stitching, and Ashley demonstrates how you can do both lines of stitching before having to cut the chain apart.
Chain piecing can also be used when sewing something like a Dresden plate.
Once you’ve mastered the chain piecing technique and want to learn more fun ways to make different units, learn how to make half square triangles with jelly rolls.