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Tumbler Time - Sewing Tips

Hi Friends!

So your tumbler blocks are all cut and ready to sew right? Great! I think that people think they might be hard to put together, but they really aren't. I have a few tips to help you make quick work of sewing them into rows for the My Cup Runneth Over quilt.

I like to start by laying them out, you need 14 blocks to make one row. This is a good time to check any directional prints and the overall color/pattern placement. I have an idiosyncrasy where I prefer for similar patterns not to touch and for directional fabrics to all face the same way. You can lay out one row or all of the rows before you sew, just remember there will be 6" of strips between your tumbler rows, so the proximity of colors and patterns between rows is not as important.

Now time to sew! So the trickiest part is putting your edges together in a way that they will stay in line after you sew. These blocks go in different directions and the edges are offset just a little. The offset should be equal on the top and bottom edges AND look for where they meet up and measure it. THIS is where it should measure 1/4" from the edge. When you go from block pair to block pair this offset might change a tad, but you want to start stitching were the little 'V" is and your fabrics meet up. You will quickly be able to eyeball this spacing and you can stich these rows up really fast!

I always take a picture of my layout and then pair them up to stitch. Then before stitching my pairs to each other, I can check my photo to make sure I am keeping them in the right order, and continue until all 14 are put together.

As long as they are pretty closely aligned they will work fine - remember these edges are enclosed in your 1/4" seam between rows. If your two tumbler edges are too offset I recommend "un-sewing" and re-sewing - it would be terrible for your seam to weaken and not hold after your strips are attached.

After I make all of my rows, then I lay them out to put on the ends - the half tumblers. I wait until the end so I can see the color and pattern placement. If this doesn't matter to you, you can put them on as you sew each row. There isn't any trick to adding the ends except to make sure each row begins and ends with a straight edge.

Since these rows do not have any seams that match up, I press mine all in the same direction. I press the seam from the bottom first to set the stitches and then press from the top to put it in the direction I want. I use gentle pressure because I don't want to stretch the fabric.

I hope this helps quell any fears you may have about sewing tumblers. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments. I will be posting about the strip sewing next, and then it's on to the finish line!

Happy Sewing & Be Blessed - Tara

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