Partial Seams Tutorial

Last week I picked back up on my Plus Quilt and pieced together block 2. I photographed my way through it to write up a tutorial for you showing my process and in the back of my mind I was holding on to the idea of an easier way… Luckily, I decided to take one more look at Partial Seams on the web. With my mind refreshed, I read through Partial Seams by Jinny Beyer and then it dawned on me…My block is the exact same layout, it’s just going in a different direction! All of the Partial Seam tutorials piece their blocks clockwise and if I pieced my block this way, I’d have 3 partial seams! However, if I piece my block counter-clockwise I only have 1 partial seam — YAY! Ideas always come to me like this 😉 With this new realization, I photographed my way through Block 3 and here’s my tutorial:

1. Here’s my block, laid out as shown on my pattern’s diagram

block 3 laid out2. I’m going to begin with my top rectangle and start the partial seam here. The red butterfly pins indicate where my stitch will be made. Beyer advises starting this stitch in the center of the middle square. Begin by locking your stitch and sewing off the end as you normally would.

beginning parial seamstarting partial seam starting partial seam 23. Here is the block now with the top rectangle and a partial seam. I went ahead and pressed this partial seam away from the center square (tutorials will suggest finger pressing) and laid out my next rectangle on the design board. I’ve pinned my hanging, un-sewn portion up for visual reference. My rectangles are a little longer so I ensure sewing with the tail on the outer edge. This way I can easily trim these off at the end.

Now sew this next rectangle on as you would normally, right sides together, seam pressed away from the center square.

adding rectangle 24. Now I have my top and left side rectangles in place. Next, I’ve laid out the bottom rectangle. With right sides together, sew this rectangle on next. Press seam away from center block.

adding rectangle 35. Now we have top, left, and bottom rectangles in place. You’re ready to add the last rectangle! With right sides together, sew the right rectangle in place. Press seam away from the center block.

Be sure to move the top, un-sewn portion of the rectangle away as you sew the right seam.

adding rectangle 4sewing rectangle 46. Almost done! Now let’s complete the partial seam that was sewn in step 2. You will fold the top rectangle down so right sides are together.

top rectangle down partial seam markedThe butterfly pin above is to show you where my partial seam began in step 2 and where I will start again to complete this seam. Begin sewing by locking your stitch (just one back-stitch to avoid bulk where we’ve back-stitched previously) and sew off the end. Press the last seam away from center block.

completing partial seamIf your rectangles are long like mine, trim these ends to square up the block and you’ve completed a block using the Partial Seam technique!

complete before trimming

block 3Now I can continue making the rest of my blocks. I’m really loving the color combination of Block 3. Looking forward to showing you the completed quilt top…stay tuned!


3 thoughts on “Partial Seams Tutorial

    • Thanks! I have all the blocks sewn now! Just piece the top together and I’ll be ready to get the backing fabric. I just may be ready to quilt on your Handi Quilter when we get together!


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