Has this ever happened to you?
Shortly after I laid out these blocks and took the picture on Monday morning, my cats came tearing through the family room and wrecked the layout. What is it about cats and fabric? Any fabric I have out anywhere in the house is like a cat magnet.
Fortunately, I use a simple system for sewing blocks together and it was very easy to straighten this out. These blocks were already sewn into rows so I only had to get the rows back in the correct order.
Once I have a layout I like I put a safety pin in the upper left hand corner of the first block in the first row (upper left hand block).
In the second row I place the head of a pin in the 2 o’clock position like this:
Then continue down the rows placing pins like the face of the clock. Here are rows 3 and 4:
It was easy to put the rows in the correct order and now the top is sewn together!
This method also works when sewing blocks into rows. These are blocks from a shop sample that I’m piecing. I laid them out at the shop on Monday then brought them home to sew together. I didn’t want to turn the blocks before I had them sewn so I pinned them to keep them straight.
Row 1: pinned with a safety pin in the upper left hand corner. Pick up all the blocks in the row in order and safety pin them together. When you are ready to sew the rows together re-pin the safety pin in the upper left hand corner of the first block. Make sure to keep the pin here until your entire top is sewn together. That way you always know which way is up!
Row 2 (and subsequent rows): Pick up the blocks in order from left to right (the first block on the left will be on top). Place a pin with the head in the 2 o’clock position. When you start sewing the blocks together, place the pin back in the left block so you don’t flip the row. Keep the pin in place until you have row 2 sewn to row 1.
Continue with all the rows:
I know you can buy pins that have rows and columns marked, but you have to keep track of those pins and store them in order or search through them to find the correct one. That’s more trouble than it’s worth for me and this method works great with any pins. If you have to keep columns in order, use the same method, but place the pins in the center of the top of the block (instead of the left hand corner).
Hope this easy tip helps you stay organized when sewing your blocks into tops!