Treadle On 1999 Summer Mystery Quilt
You now have all of your rows finished. We will assemble them into sets of three.
Assembling Rows into Sets of Three
Having made the number of rows you want, we will now assemble them into sets of three rows, staggering each row by one-third of a block.
First, lay them out. Put the dark horizontal strip at the top of each row, but stagger each row, as shown below:
Here you see the "row sets" for my miniature which is going to be a dresser runner. They are just laid out, not yet sewn, so all the blocks don't offset just right, but you can see what we're after, especially at the top. Study the offset process. If your blocks were made properly, when you sew the rows, the corners of the dark strips will meet perfectly.
It is at this point that you can iron the seams you made in assembling the rows. On the first and third row of each set, iron the seams upward toward the top of the row. On the middle row, iron the seams downward toward the bottom. This means that the on the middle row, you will be ironing the seam toward the lighter material, normally not desirable, but in this case the lesser of two evils.
We'll sew one complete "row set" at a time.
Before starting, I will digress a moment to discuss seam joints and pinning. You need to know the difference between lap joints and butt joints. A "butt joint" is one in which when you look at the two pieces being joined, any seams that align with each other have the ironed down seam edges pointing away from each other- they "butt" together. A "lap seam" is one in which when you look at the two pieces, the seams overlap, with the ironed down seam edges lieing on top of each other. It should be obvious that a lap seam is going to be twice as thick as a butt seam. This means higher spots for the sewing machine foot to go over, inviting skipped or irregular stitchs, and also make lumps in the quilt. In order to get butt joints on our pieces we ironed the seam allowances in opposite directions on each row.
Turn the right hand row over on top of the middle row, maintaining the staggered alignment. Study the edge and identify where seams will align. For each block, there will be one seam that actually aligns with the a seam on the other row, and two that do not. The seams that align should be butt joints, one seam pointing in each direction, and the seams aligned with each other. Align the first joint and pin it. Proceed down the row, aligning more seams and pinning them. Periodically, go back and pin the two seams per block that don't align with anything. You may need to do a little easing or stretching to get a nice smooth line. When you're done, open the up gently and make sure that you did it right, so that the two dark strips at the top are staggered. Sew the seam, carefully removing pins as you go.
Lay this joined assembly of two rows back down in the "row set" as it was when you picked the rows up. Line the joined piece and the remaining row (the left hand one) so that the stagger is maintained, turn the joined piece over face down on the remaining row, align and pin as you did the first two, then sew the seam.
At this point, you should have a "row set" that looks like one of these:
The three row sets that will make up my dresser runner, sewn together
This is how your corner joints should look. Note that if you laid a ruler on the top edge of a left hand dark rectangle, it would line up with the bottom edge of a right hand rectangle. Ain't geometry fun?
Finish sewing your sets of rows.
Ironing the Row Set Seams
Turn the row sets over with the dark strips (top) to the left. Very carefully iron all the seams upwards. You will probably find there is a tendency to disturb previously ironed seams. Move the iron in small increments and be careful. When you are satisfied, turn the piece over and iron again from the top. Try to iron it into squareness if you see hollows in the edges or other problems.
Here is the back of a row set, showing the ironed seams
Assuming you are ready to do so, you may progress to Part Seven via the link below. Remember, you are on your honor not to proceed until you have finished the current part!
Go to Part Seven