Set-In Seams: Tumbling Block

Kelly Ashton
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Duration:   8  mins

Set-in seams in quilting can be intimidating, and in the case of some patterns that require them, like a tumbling blocks design, some quilters may choose to avoid those designs altogether. Kelly Ashton shows how to tackle set-in seams in a straightforward, easy-to-understand way that will make them seem quick and easy.

Set-In Seams

Tumbling Blocks Pattern

The first step to set-in seams is to understand what they are, what they look like, and why they are necessary. Kelly shows a common pattern that uses set-in seams – the tumbling blocks pattern. She shows the three pieces that make up the block and lays them out the way they will be assembled. Because of the shape of the pieces, there is not a way to sew them together without a set inseam. She explains this and also shows why the seam is sometimes also referred to as a y-seam.

Marking & Sewing

Kelly then shows how to mark the fabric pieces and begin sewing them together. While there are three pieces being assembled, it doesn’t necessarily matter which pieces you start with, the method is still the same. Kelly shows how to stitch the first two pieces using a ¼” seam allowance, explaining where the begin and end the stitching.

While set-in seams and y-seams are slightly different than traditional piecing, they still use the same seam allowance. Watch this additional tutorial to learn all about ¼” seams.

Once the first two pieces have been stitched, Kelly shows how to press them and then add the third piece, again explaining where to begin and end the stitching. Once the last piece has been attached, Kelly shows how to finish off the block and explains about pressing all of the seams.

After you see how easy they can be, never feel the need to avoid set-in seams in quilting again!

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