Chunking It – For Frances

If you haven’t started listening to the Off Kilter Quilter podcast, I suggest that you go over and start right away!

TFQ taught me this method of putting quilts together. I have adopted it as my own and use it for block quilts. Very occasionally I’ll put a long border on after the center of the quilt is complete, but otherwise I try to avoid the long seams required to put quilts together in rows.

Step 1

Step 1

The basic idea is to put the quilt together as you would a block. Sew smaller pieces together to make larger pieces. I avoid sewing in rows as I think the quilt gets out of square if you sew it together in rows.

Step 2

Step 2

This step makes a larger piece.

Step 2A

Step 2A

This will be for the bottom of Block 1 in the drawing in Step 2.

Step 3

Step 3

This way of sewing a quilt together makes the pieces much easier to manage, because you are mostly handling smaller pieces.

Optional Step 3A

Optional Step 3A

You can also divide the border into blocks (plan it that way as you make your quilt) so you can include border pieces as chunks.

Optional Step 3B

Optional Step 3B

You have to pay attention to what you do with the corners if you choose to add the borders this way. This technique works better if you are making a self bordering design.

Step 4

Step 4

Refer to the drawing of your pieces in Step 1.

Step 5

Step 5

Step 5A

Step 5A

Step 5B

Step 5B

You have to sew the bottom sashing + cornerstone to Block 3 and Block 4.

 Step 6

Step 6

Step 7

Step 7

You really need to do the two steps above before Step 5B2 even though my numbering is off. Sorry about that.

Step 5B2

Step 5B2

I got a little ahead of myself in my drawing. Sew the sashing and the cornerstone to Block 2 and then sew Block 2 (with side and bottom sashing and one cornerstone) to Block 1 with all of it’s sashing.

 Step 7A

Step 7A

The above step will make your next chunk.

Step 8

Step 8

After this first chunk, do the same things for the rest of the blocks in your quilt and keep putting chunks together into larger and larger pieces.

Let me know if you have questions.

About Jaye

Quiltmaker who enjoys writing and frozen chocolate covered bananas.
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16 Responses to Chunking It – For Frances

  1. Jen says:

    I totally agree! I try to use this method, rather than rows or strips, whenever possible. I just can’t keep it all lined up with long pieces.

    So glad I’m not the only one. Great post!

  2. Sandy says:

    This is basically the method taught by the great quilter, Mary Ellen Hopkins. Sew twosies, then foursies, and so on. I always make my quilts that way! Short seams are easier and more accurately sewn than long ones.

    • Jaye says:

      I haven’t ever taken a class from Mary Ellen Hopkins, but perhaps my friend, who taught me, did? I didn’t think it was new. Rows seem to be so much more popular as a construction technique when I just find it frustrating. Thanks for chiming in!

  3. frances says:

    Thanks, Jaye–This is so helpful! I’m printing out the notes so I can have them nearby when I start constructing “Simply Amy/Simply Frances.”

    frances

    • Jaye says:

      Hi Frances,
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate and hope the directions will be helpful. Let me know if something is unclear or if you have any questions. ;-)

  4. Sharon says:

    Thanks for posting this – I took a Mary Ellen Hopkins class years ago, and I am guessing that is where I picked up this method. It works for almost any “straight set” quilt. The only time I really use strips is in things that are on the diagonal, and even those can be done in sections.

  5. TFQ says:

    I’m definitely not claiming to have invented a technique that no one else has ever done — but no, I never took a class with Mary Ellen Hopkins. I wish I had. I went to a trunk show presentation that she gave once and I can still remember how much I hurt after all the laughing!

  6. Nancy Riffle says:

    Can’t recall what post it was but the Little Wallet was a hit with me! I made it for my business cards, That served to link up the fiber side and the nursing side of me.

  7. I listen to Frances, too. I googled this and what a great tutorial I found. Going to chunk my sister’s wedding quilt right now!

  8. Katie R. says:

    I’m gonna try this method for Orca Bay when I start putting everything together. HATE sewing long seams.

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