Friday, March 4, 2016

Tutorial - How to Seam Two End to End Strips - The No Pins or Notches Method

For years I have struggled to seam two end to end strips together at any angle so that when I opened the seam I could guarantee that I would have one continuous strip versus one strip higher than the other. Recently I stumbled upon a way to do this that is so simple I am surprised I haven't seen it anywhere else. 

Two strips end to end before seaming them together.
Place one strip on top of the other with both right sides up.
Note how the two ends are even on the left side.
You could line up the fabric on the right side. It is the same principle.

Place a straight edge or ruler at any, yes that is ANY angle
that you want the seam to be. You waste the least amount of
fabric if the ruler/cut begins either at the lower or upper
corner. Once again this is your preference as to which
direction (climbing up a mountain or climbing down a mountain)
you want to achieve.

Cut alongside the ruler. You can save the trim for snippets or
even for joining later if you choose.

Now rotate the top fabric 180 degrees. This gives you a sneak
peek of how the fabrics will look seamed together.

It doesn't matter which of the two fabrics you mark. Personally,
I  select the fabric I can see the marking on. Turn that
fabric upside down so that the wrong side is facing up. Line up
the ruler at the 1/4" mark. This is the seam line.

You can mark the whole seam line or just a dash where the seam
starts and ends as I have done. However, if you don't mark the full
seam line you do need a 1/4" foot or guide on your sewing machine
to ensure an accurate seam.

Here is the magic. Lay the strips together, right side to right
side so that the cut edges line up, BUT don't forget to slide
them to create "ears" at each end. You know you have positioned
everything correctly if the seam line mark is exactly at the two notches
where the top fabric meets the lower fabric.

Use a 1/4" seam to sew the two fabrics together.

I always press my seams open. This produces a flatter
quilt and makes free motion quilting easier.

Turn the fabric over so that the right side is up.
Press one more time for good measure. Then admire your work!


  1. It's very generous of you to provide this tutorial.....esp. knowing how much time it took documenting each step!

  2. This is awesome! I never would have come up with this way to do it and I've struggled with the same thing. thanks for sharing!

  3. Great approach, Gwyned. And, excellent tutorial!

  4. Very clear and useful tutorial IMO , thank you :-).
    I'm relatively new in patchwork and quilting. I've just found you on the Leah Day's blog and I'm glad to meet you.
    Greetings from Poland, Europe.

    1. Thank you, Beata, for taking the time to check out my post and give me feedback. I am grateful you found my tutorial useful.