Just This & That on the Minnesota quilt designers blog hop!
Designers Day Out!

Organize yourself for efficient piecing!


I worry about myself sometimes ... when I'm working on quilting projects I sort of get obsessive/compulsive about the work process. I stack the pieces in the order they need to be sewn ... I stack piles turned so that when I pick them up to sew they're facing the right way ... things like that. I think ... I hope ... I do it so that I work more efficiently but mostly I think I do it because I don't want to make mistakes. But even then that isn't a guarantee! I was thinking of this the other day as I was working on a quilt ... thought I'd share with you two things I do to make it all go smoother.


When I'm sewing half square triangles, I layer them in a stack so that the pieces are facing the way they will need to go under the presser foot. It keeps me from having to twist them around each time I pick up a set and makes it easier and faster to sew together.


Same thing goes for pressing. I layer the stack in the way the seam will eventually be pressed ... in this case to the darker fabric so that one is facing the top of the pile. I pull one set on to the ironing board and set the seam ... then I open it up and use the tip of my iron to make sure the seam is going the right way. Then I press the seam with an up and down motion ... I'm not ironing a shirt after all! When I'm done, I put the finished one on a pile so the pieces are all laying the same way.

Also ... because these blocks will be sewn again to make quarter square triangles ... I count out half of the pile and separate the stacks. I need to draw a line across from corner to corner and I sure don't want to do more than I have to! Plus ... this makes sure I've cut enough pieces to make the final number of blocks I need. (Little sneak peek ... these blocks are part of a quilt for Quilts and More using Neutral Territory by Red Rooster. Love this Popsicle orange color!)

Here are some pix from one of my quilt retreats showing how others organize their work. It's always great to pick up tips from other quilters!



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Carol Radcliffe

Thank you for the tutorial! I have Rosebuds Cottage on my desktop because I am always looking for ways to keep my stash organized. All those scraps need to be used wisely. Thanks again!

Kristy Z

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I needed this tutorial. I am the most disorganized quilter. I beigin by organizing my material and when I begin piecing them together I get all messed up. I will try your method to try to get my things straight! I'll let you know how it goes.


thanks for being on the blog hop! your tips are great!

Sherry R

I try to organize, then drop manage to drop something. Or have to get up to cook something when husband sticks his head in my room and looks at his watch. ;o) Thanks for your hints!

Joyce Valley

I love your store...and nice to see all the ideas you have on your blog.


If you guys only knew ... on this particular quilt it seems like I've ripped (or miscut) as much as I've sewn straightforward. I am going to be so relieved to have the rows up off my floor with the borders sewn on. Whew!!

Kathy Wagner

Love these photographs of quilt projects in the making!


It's great to see quilting techniques can be used with paper!

Jennifer Grady

That's a whole lot of sewing going on! Looks like fun.


Your tips are great and really work. Being organized means more stitching and less time wasted and more quilts! June

Covered Porches

Great organization!!!! I'm going to give it a shot this week.


Your tips are great...I'm sort of organized1!? One disaster was NOT taking the advice of a friend after I had blocks done for quilt top...she said to number them as I took them off the layout so I would know how to sew them together. I thought I could just pick them up and put them in the right order...WRONG I still haven't put the top together!


I agree with you about being organized - it really does make for less ripping out of stitches!!

Diane Cannon

Oh how hard I work to organize and stack my sewing--yet--this chick always manages to pick a set or two up wrong--good thing they invented seam rippers!!!!! Thanks for the help--I promise as a quilter to keep trying to do it right the first time!!!! Hugs, just, Di


You are so organized! I have learned to keep all in the correct direction or -- mistakes happen. The other thing is to check your first one against the instructions or you will have all 48 or whaterer wrong!


I do that TOO! Right now I'm chaining 32 log cabin blocks that have 19 logs in each. If I didn't have it all set up to just grab and sew, I don't know how many mistakes I'd make. As it is, I've made a couple anyway.

Anything to make this repetitive stuff go faster is my motto. *S*

Shelley Dionne

I am also an OC when it comes to my quilting!LOL Is there any other way to be! That is quite a tease preview for the Quilts and More!


Great tips!!! Thanks for posting.


Thank you very much for your tips. I think I am anorganised. I like to see what others do!

Greeting Guilitta


I try so hard to be more organized.. but in the end I loose it anyway...lol

Rafael's mum

Thank you for that! I thought I was the only one making piles the right way up for the machine so I could just keep going! It is nice to see how you are doing it!

Nancy Wieler

Love the tips - many thanks!

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