I’m just popping in with a quick How To on spinning seams. This is a helpful technique to use in a block where there are lots of seams coming together in one place – it can help to flatten the block and reduce bulk.

I was in quilt class last night when one of the students asked about it, so I thought it would be a good idea to snap some pictures and share with you today.

My sample block is an easy four patch.

So first, here is my four patch all sewn together. The seams need to be nested to make this work. I used a dark thread to make it easier for you to see the seams.

Spinning Seams

After putting together your block, and before pressing the seam, we will be picking out a few stitches. Whaaat??? It’s okay. Trust me.

In the picture below, the seam ripper is under the first stitch that we will unpick. Remove the stitches only to the horizontal seam. In this case, I have three stitches to take out.

Spinning Seam Unpicking Stitches

Now, flip your block and do the same thing to the other side. Be sure to only remove the stitches that are above the horizontal seam.

Now, unfold the block and press the seams in opposite directions. See how the center of those seams naturally want to separate and “spin” or twirl”? You know you’ve done it right when it looks like there is another teeny tiny four patch at the intersection.

Spinning Seams

That’s it! Flip the block, give it a good pressing from the top side, and you’ll have a much flatter intersection and great looking block.

Four Patch with spinning seams

This method works particularly well when making a block with lots of HST’s, such as a pinwheel block. Now you won’t have to worry so much about hitting those intersections when free motion quilting and maybe breaking a needle. 🙂

Great Visual How-To on 'Spinning' a Seam