Thursday, 26 April 2012

Scramble Net Patchwork Piecing

I wanted to show you how I put my blocks together, depending on the layout this method isn't always possible, but I like to get things done quickly when I can!

I'm sure some of you use this method already and it's nothing original but if anyone is new to quilting or wants to speed things up, you could give it a go and this is how I do it.

I started making a rug for the kitchen the other day and used what I'm calling the scramble net patchwork method, it's a great way to put blocks and quilt tops together...

Scramble Net Piecing Method

Please read all the way through first if you want to give this a go :)

For this tutorial I am using squares of fabric but it could apply to finished blocks too.

To start lay out your project in whatever arrangement you like. Take a picture, always useful for reference.

Put each square from column 1 right side down on top of the square next to it in column 2, put 3 onto 4, 5 onto 6 (etc. if you have more rows! ).
Perhaps this wasn't the best project to demonstrate because I have an odd number of rows but life isn't always perfect. I sewed column 7 together separately.

So excluding column 7, you should now have 3 columns (with the fabrics right sides facing). Collect up each column, rotating each pair of squares as you gather them so you know which ones to sew together. Make sure you work in one direction, i.e. take the pairs from the top and work down each column, that way it will stay in the layout you have chosen! Here's my pile:

Now you can go ahead and chain piece the pairs together, once you've finished only cut the threads between the original columns do not cut between each pair!! So you'll end up with 3 separate columns and each pair of squares is connecting by a little thread:

If you open your pairs out, you'll have this... (those of you who are highly observant will see that mine is upside down compared to my original layout, the rows are still the same though - this is because when I made my pile of pairs I started at the bottom!)

Now grab the tops of the newly created column 1 and 2 like so...

and chain piece them together (ignoring the threads connecting each column). I find this super easy because it's clear which fabrics to sew together, if you find yourself unsure I recommend referring back to the picture of your layout.

You will have now created the first part of your row. In the picture below on the left you can see that I have sewn the first four squares in each row together. Keep chain piecing your connected columns together:

So your rows are now finished and are connected with little threads. Don't cut the threads!!
There's really no need and I like that my quilt is already in the layout I want for sewing the rows together.

Keep your rows joined together and press the seams of each row in opposite directions (row one - press to the left, row two to the right, row three to the left and so on)

This allows you to butt your seams up against each other so they match up nicely.

To sew the rows together fold the top row over so it's lying fabric face down on the row below (right sides facing each other) - note I hadn't actually pressed my seams when I took this picture, yours should be by this stage!

Now you can butt those seams at the top and pin ready for sewing

You will have a little loop of thread from where the rows are connected (from the chain piecing) so just make sure this is sticking up out of the way when you pin and sew. Go ahead and sew the rows together. Once you've sewn rows one and two together fold them over onto row three (right sides facing), butt your seams, pin and sew the rows together. Continue this method until all your rows are joined!

I bet it'll take you about ten minutes to do this once you've done it a few times!!

This is also the method I used to sew together my Dead Simple Quilt top (amongst others!):

bad night time picture but you see the scramble net effect!
pretty finish
For me it sure beats sewing rows one by one!!

Linking up to the fabulous

Thursday Think Tank


  1. Oh, I've never thought of doing that before. I have always automatically cut my chain piecing apart. Cool method!

  2. That is really cool! Might have to try it on my next patchwork quilt :o)

  3. Im the same as Susan, I have always cut my chains up, then sometimes get them in the wrong order. Serves me right, if I had done it your way I wouldn't have gotten muddled up! Lucy's way from now on!

  4. You've got it! This method works great!

  5. nice to see the dead simple quilt again, love that one! thanks for the process shots :D

  6. Great tute L, and I love the scramble net effect. Jxo

  7. That has scrambled my brain a little!

  8. Excellent! Thanks, Lucy! As always.......

  9. Thanks for this! I only wish I'd seen it a long time ago. I figured out the method a while back but I couldn't suss out how to articulate it to other people. Now I can just direct them to this post!

  10. Hehehe thats what I do! Did that with my single girl ring sections cos its such a handy way to keep bits in order. Check out my post 13/03/11 for a really scary shot... lol

  11. I must give that a try! Any tip that makes things easier is always appreciated! Thanks!!

  12. It`s a great idea but I`m totally distracted by your DS quilt which is so gorgeous!!

  13. I too have done that method! So much quicker than cutting all the strings! Sometimes I don't even bother to take it away from the machine =D

  14. Neatly done here, and looks nice and quick. Like your rainbow effect too.

  15. Lucy I so want to do something rainbowed right seeing your rug is just making it even WORSE! Hahahaha...thank you for the tutorial. I adore your arrows in your photos. So cute. xo B

  16. oooh this is great! I love quicker ways to do things and haven't tried this yet so I will be giving it a go for sure! thank you and a great tutorial as well! x

  17. Love it, how did you know I was dreading keeping a bunch of blocks in oreder this weekend? Thanks!

  18. Thats a very cool technique, although I may have to read it a few times before I attmept it :)

  19. This is genius Lucy, it had never occurred to me not to cut all of the chains!

  20. What a great idea, I do chain piece but haven't thought of carrying it to the next level, I'm going to try it. It's so easy to mix the pieces up especially when you have 8 ragamuffin 4 legged helpers lol.

    Thank you
    Peg x