In Jinny’s class for Craftsy’s 2015 Block of the Month quilt, some of her students have questioned whether or not the Perfect Piecer is useful for those who prefer to piece by machine. Since Jinny does all of her quilts by hand, she decided to let one of us on staff address this.
As a confirmed machine piecer, I made the mistake one day of saying to Jinny, “I think I can be more accurate piecing by machine than by hand.” Jinny, of course, disagreed and I decided to give hand piecing a try. I cut 60-degree diamonds from border print fat quarters and scraps. The Border Blocks quilt became my carry around project for the next year. Loaded with inset seams, I soon found that marking the seam intersection with a ruler to be quite cumbersome. I bought my first Perfect Piecer (after working for Jinny for 4 years!) and couldn’t believe how easy it was to mark the intersections and sewing lines.
My next hand project came along while on a trip to New York City with fellow staffers to see the famous “Infinite Variety” exhibit of red and white quilts. In addition to being wowed by the display of red and white quilts, we fell in love with this humble Jack’s Chain quilt at the American Folk Art Museum. We soon planned to do our interpretations of this quilt starting with an exchange of red and white nine patches.
With all of the inset seams, it did make a great hand project but I soon found I wanted to work on it at home on my machine. My Perfect Piecer helped me with both.
Check out Jinny’s video of Sewing Inset or Y-Seams here.
Here are the 3 components of the Jack’s Chain quilt. Each needs to be set in so all stitching lines need to stop at the seam intersections. When hand piecing, I mark my sewing lines. For machine piecing, I only need to mark the intersections which can be done very quickly with the Perfect Piecer.
Since I have four sewing machines, I like to make sure I give each attention. Going from one machine to another can wreak havoc on your “perfect” quarter-inch seam allowance. Here’s what I do to be consistent.
The Perfect Piecer makes a great seam guide for finding that perfect quarter-inch on your machine. By hand, lower your needle through one of the holes that run along the 1/4″ mark. Mark your exact 1/4″ along the edge of the Piecer with tape, post-it notes, removable adhesive strips, etc. The will give you the same quarter-inch on each machine.
Check out Jinny’s video and guide on using the Perfect Piecer here.