Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Set in seams

I am doing  a lot of set-in seams in this scrappy project of mine. The 'background' for my star, is all set-in seams (vs. appliquing the star on a big background piece) and then I will be doing some more 8 pointed stars in the border corners, so there will be even more set-in seams.

But they have never bothered me. I know some people struggle with them, and some people are just learning. So I thought I'd do a quick tutorial to show you how easy it can be.

Piece A is the star that I am working on, Piece B is the pieces I am setting-in.

 The first thing you want to remember is, when sewing piece 1 and piece 2 together (the two pieces that make up piece A), make sure you STOP a 1/4" before the edge, and take a few back stitches.

Then take your piece B, and pin it right sides together with piece A.  Sew down your seam, making sure to STOP 1/4" before the edge, taking a back stitch (the pin in this picture shows were I pinned piece 2 out of the way, so I wouldn't sew over it).

 Now take your pin out of piece 2, and match it with the other side of piece B. Making sure you keep piece A out of the way.

 Here is what the pieces look like in the middle, where all the seams are meeting.

 Here's the part that is tricky. You want your needle to go directly in front of and as close as possible to, the seam you just stitched. If you go in front too far you get a small hole in your piece, if you go back to far or on top of the seam stitches, then you get a small pucker.

I took the foot off my machine for a minute, to show you exactly where your needle should go, when sewing this seam.

 Now just sew down that seam, you don't have to stop before the edge this way, just when you are coming to the middle where all the seams meet.

Turn your piece over, and TA-DA, a perfect ..or near perfect :) ..set-in seam.

Hope this was helpful to you!

Thanks for stopping by, Dorian
©Copyright D. Lucas, 2011 This is my tutorial. You are welcome to use any of my tutorials for personal use. You are not permitted to use my pictures or my words without linking back to the original and giving me credit for them.


  1. That looks really hard. Thanks for the help for when I attempt one! Thanks for linking up to Quiltstory!

  2. Thanks, Dorian! That is just what I needed ... you know I am working on my son's Lonestar quilt ... ;) Looks like you press your seams open for the diamonds ... yes? I found an old quilt magazine today with detailed instructions on this pattern and it said to press to the side ... still trying to decide what to do ????? ... hmmm ... best make a sample star using each method and see what works for me ... :) Pat

  3. Hi, just wondering what degree line do you use on the strips once you've sewn them together to get the diamonds please? ie do you use the 60' line on your ruler to cut the strips up? Hope I made sense. Hugs Naomi

  4. Excellent tutorial for set in seams.


  5. I will be referring back to this when I get my itty bitty lonestar finished. Thank you.

  6. Thankyou thankyou. I trawled the 'nets forever to find a tute that i could understand! lonestar complete (my first ever), now to do the set-in-seams...

  7. Thanks for the tutorial! I found a quilt pattern I wanted to try in a magazine and it said "knowledge of set in seams required". I had no idea what they were talking about. After looking at several sites and still not knowing how to do it, I came upon your tutorial. I was able to get the seam done the first time without having to rip it out! (I probably won't get that lucky again!) Thanks again for your wonderful tutorial!

  8. Great pair of tutorials for the Lone Star - Christmas tree skirt here I come. Thanks so much!


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