QUILT#86 – Partial Seams

By Deborah Hearn for QUILT, Issue #86.

Click “Download PDF” to obtain a printable copy, including diagrams.

A partial seam is a great way to frame a block to emphasize a focus fabric or to create a woven design. On this page is an example of a quilt using a stripe fabric with the partial seam technique. This quilt uses the alphabet, but any novelty print such as animals or flowers can be placed in the center with a fussy cut stripe around the square to create a woven look. (ABC Quilt is featured in the book Cuddle-up Quilts by Deborah Hearn.) It may look difficult, but it really isn’t when following the simple steps below.

Partial Seams

1 Place a large square on a rectangle strip, right sides together. Sew, starting at the top corner and stopping 1″ from the bottom corner of the square, as shown. Press the seam allowance toward the strip.

2 Stitch a second rectangle strip to the left side of the unit. Press seam allowance toward the strip.

3 Sew a third rectangle strip to the top of the unit and press, as before. 

4 Stitch a fourth rectangle strip to the right side of the unit and press.

5 Complete the block by sewing the open portion of the first seam and press.

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