Lumps and Bumps In Your Quilts

Have you ever carefully measured, cut, sewn that perfect 1/4 inch seam and when you press the pieces you have joined together, Mt McKinley has sprouted up at the intersection.  As a longarm quilter, I see this alot and, whether you quilt your own tops or you hired longarm quilter, you will find it much easier to quilt if you do something to make those intersections flat.  Sometimes just some more steam will solve the problem.  Other times, it may take more. 

If you have sewn a 4-patch, there is a quick and easy fix if steam won’t do the job.  I sewed this 4-patch with dark thread so you could see the stitching.

4patch1Just pick out the stitches that run vertically above the 1/4 inch seam.


Separate the top 2 seam allowances from the bottom 2 seam allowances.


You know you’ve done it correctly if you have a little 4-patch at the intersection.


The pinwheel block really makes a lumpy intersection.  Look at all those seams coming together in the center.

pinwheel1I’ve used by photo editing program to change the color of the block so you can see the stitching easier.  This is part of a quilt top of mine, so the thread is a light color.

You pick out the same vertical seam that you did on the 4-patch.


This time you will have to pick out the corresponding seam on the reverse of the seam allowances.

pinwheel3Separate the top 2 seam allowances from the bottom 2 as in the 4-patch.  You will have a perfect little pinwheel at the intersection.  Do this before you join the blocks to other pieces and then you will have your seams in the correct direction so you don’t have to press them going half way in one direction and 1/2 way in the other like I did.

pinwheel4Now the center of my pinwheel block lies nice and flat and I can do whatever quilting I want, even a design that radiates from the center of the block.

I hope this piecing tutorial was helpful.  I plan on doing more on piecing, pressing, and on longarm quilting.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.