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Chain Piecing Quilt Blocks: The Beginner Sewing Series

Chain piecing is a great way to speed up the quilting process and it saves a little thread, so it also saves money. (Granted, not a lot of money, but still.)

I quilted for several months before I even heard of chain piecing. And when I learned about it, I was scared to try it. I don’t know idea why. It’s very simple.

So, what is chain piecing?

Well, it’s kind of like an assembly line for quilt squares. Your chain is your thread and you’re connecting your quilt blocks with that thread.

Here’e how to do it.

First, sew a block exactly like you’d normally sew it.

When the block is sewn, do NOT clip the thread.  Just pop your foot up just like you normally would.

Place the block between your thumb and finger and gently pull back.

And now start sewing your next block exactly the same way as you would if you weren’t chain piecing.  I’m not sure exactly, but I guess I leave a little less than an inch of thread between blocks.

Another view.

You can do this as many times as want. I usually chain together about 25 or so, clip and start over. I don’t like them getting too piled up behind my machine.

To separate, just clip with scissors.

This really will save a lot of time because you’re not having to stop and clip your thread every few seconds.

And now you have another little sewing trick to use!




  1. I have a question and it is a bit of a dumb question but I’m a beginner. When you sew the blocks together, do you backstitch between the ends or just keep going?

    • Hey! That’s so not a dumb question. No, you don’t need to backstitch. There’s no reason to b/c when you sew your blocks together to make your strips, you’re going to sew right over those ends, which will hold them together. And then, of course, you’ll be sewing your strips together to make your quilt top, reinforcing them again. Then you’ll quilt your quilt sandwich, reinforcing them again, so there’s rarely a need to backstitch your quilts. Does that make sense?

      Hmm, you just gave me a post idea! Thanks. 🙂 ~Mary

  2. Ok so I am possibly an idiot but why are you sewing diagonally across the quilt blocks before you piece them together? What is this accomplishing? Please excuse my ignorance! I’m really new at this! 🙂


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