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How do I line up the edges of diagonal strips



A reader asks...

I am making the White Birches tree quilt that has branches off the tree at a 45 degree angle.


Is there an easy way to line up the strip when adding in a different color fabric to they line up?

This is not on a border...I just can't seem to get it to line up with out sewing 4 or 5 times.

Julie replies...

It looks like the instructions have you do all the stitching first and then the trimming. I suggest that you change up the steps just a bit for more accuracy.
  1. Cut the 'tree branch' strips a bit longer. Center it on the short edge of A. Stitch.

    Press with the seam allowance to the dark. Now with your rotary cutter and a ruler, cut away the excess so that the sides of the branch are even with the long edges of the background fabric strip (A).

  2. Now join this pieced strip to the next background strip, B. At this point, it's much like joining the two ends of a binding strip.

    With right sides together, the two strips create a valley. The bottom of this valley should be 1/4" in from the short cut edge of the strip. Stitch your quarter inch seam. If it's easier for you, lightly mark the seam line with a pencil.

  3. Repeat for the next branch and background C. If it's easier to trim the edges, start with the B patch and add the branch fabrics to both ends and then trim the long edges straight with B.

Another option...

...is to draw the quarter inch seam line on each patch for the branches. Pin the patches together for sewing, with the pins piercing the marked lines from both sides.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to simplify the matching process. Sometimes an extra step or two is much faster than the frustration and ripping required to restitch.

Readers, we're looking for your feedback. Please share your experiences using the 'Comments' link below.

Piecefully,

Julie Baird
Generations Quilt Patterns

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