Quilting Tips: Sewing and Matching Perfect Points

Sewing and matching points is a quilter’s dream. Sometimes it can seem more of a nightmare! But this technique makes it quite manageable. Here’s an idea from many of our best-selling authors: use an alignment or positioning pin. The alignment pin does not secure an area for sewing. It correctly aligns (positions) the points that need to match. Pins inserted after the alignment pins secure together the fabric pieces.

Begin by placing the two pieces to be sewn right sides together. Push a pin through the wrong side of the top piece at the exact point that is to be matched. Double check from the right side of the piece that the pin is inserted correctly. Next push the pin through the right side of the bottom piece; again at the exact point that is to be matched. The following photo shows an alignment pin properly positioned.

Push the alignment pin through both points. (Photo from Piecing the Piece O' Cake Way by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.)

Hold the alignment pin perpendicular to the fabric and bring the two points together on the shaft of the pin. Hold the two pieces to be matched and the alignment pin straight with one hand and insert another pin slightly to the right of the alignment pin. If desired, insert another pin slightly to the left of the alignment pin.

While holding alignment pin straight, insert pin to its right. (Photo from Piecing the Piece O' Cake Way by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins.)

Pin more, as desired, and sew the seam with a 1/4″ seam allowance. When sewing, let the alignment pin “ride” perpendicular to the fabric as close to the needle as safely possible. Remove it at the last minute. Be careful, when passing the point, that your new seam is just to the right (1/32″) of the point. This will protect the point from getting cut of by the new seam.

Seam correctly sewn to protect point. (Photo from Mastering Precision Piecing by Sally Collins.)

Press the seam allowance, open your block, and check. Are the points sharp and pointy? If not, re-do the seam with a scant 1/4″ seam allowance. Do the points meet? If not, place the alignment pin more carefully. Be sure to keep it perpendicular to the fabric when inserting the additional pins, not allowing the fabric pieces to shift in any direction.

Happy stitching!

The Tech Editors

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