Getting Started: A Line Quilt, Part 2
Part 1, here!
Last we left this, we were piecing our rows together. At this point we have 10 finished rows, 40+ inches long. Fantastic! The next step is really important:
Pressing a piece of patchwork is different than ironing-- you don't want to move or stretch the fabric around under your pressing tool. You want to lift your iron, literally press it down on your seam, then lift it up again to move it. I almost always press my seams open when doing patchwork. The conventional wisdom has always been to press ones seams to one side of the other, and in some complicated patchwork this is advisable. Pressing your seams open cuts down on bulk, makes it a little easier to match points, and makes pressing a snap. So. Get your iron hot (but turn off the steam), use your finger to open up the seam and press it flat slightly ("finger pressing"), and then follow it up with the hot iron. I keep a pair of snips on my ironing board to clip off thread tails which will get in the way of nice seams.
Press all your seams open.
True and Trim
Now you can see what you have. This is the right time to measure the width of your rows and make sure they are lined up correctly and trim accordingly. If you started with an accurate measurement (in our case 5 1/4"), you can probably skip this step. Lay out the all the rows in order and make sure they are all more or less around the same length. It doesn't have to be exactly the same, since we'll do one more trim. If you have a row coming up way too short, go ahead and sew on an extra strip.
Taking row one and two, place them right sides together and sew them together, keeping a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seam open flat. Take row three and four and repeat. Piece them together in twos until you've finished all 10 rows. Now, those rows together in order, pressing each seam open.
Flip the top over and behold! (Trim up any misfit too-long rows and do a final right side up pressing. This is also a good time to snip away fly away threads.)
YOU HAVE A QUILT TOP!
You are pretty close now, but we still have a bit of work to do... Part Three is going to wrap this little project up.