Thursday 11 August 2011

Swirly Seams

I first came across this technique a couple of years ago - it was on an Eleanor Burns tv show and it is brilliant. Any time you have a 4 patch you can achieve this really flat intersection without having to open up your seams. And of course that makes for easier quilting.............
I have quite hurriedly put together this little tute with some orphan HSTs I had lying about - please excuse the horrid fabric, and the photo quality......
So here we have 4 HSTs waiting to be joined in pairs.

I have chained pieced these two pairs but you don't have to for this technique.
Fuzzy pic to show the chain link thread, in red.
Push the bottom seam of one pair towards the right and the top seam from the other pair to the left, you can feel them interlock and you might like to pop a pin in to secure until stitched.
Now, normally you would press up or down or in dismay, maybe even open.........
Another blurry pic, but can you see the stitches in the seam allowance? Unpick these and the wee linky loop if you chain pieced.
Now you want to swirl your seams in a clockwise direction and the centre point should just open out. (you might need to help it along) Now I always, always do my pressing on the right side. If you press on the wrong side you sometimes create tiny pleats that just won't iron out.
Once you have pressed it nicely, turn back and have a look at the intersection - you will have a teeny, tiny pinwheel if you have used HSTs in this formation. If you just try it out with a 4 patch of squares, you will produce a teeny, tiny 4 patch.

Go on, try it, it's a magic moment!! (I don't get out much)


  1. Great wee tip, thanks S. And yes, with these ridiculously gorgeous hexies you're churning out, you DO need to get out more! LOL! Jxo

  2. Thank you for the tutorial it is exactly what I need. I will try it tonight!

  3. You explained this really well -- thank you!!

  4. If you grasp the seams correctly and jiggle them a bit, you can often swirl the seams without unpicking. Pinch the right side seam to hold it down, and push upwards on the left hand seam and pinch it to hold it up, then jiggle. This loosens the stitches enough to allow the clockwise swirl.



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