When appliqué patches overlap, the sewing order is important. Pieces that go underneath others must be stitched first; pieces that go on top need to be added last. So how would you order the patches in this section of the border on my quilt about time?
Patch F goes under and over patch A. Patch C goes over patch B but patch D goes over C and under B. Patch D goes under patch E and patch E goes under patch F, but patch D goes over patch A and F goes under it! How on earth do we sew these six pieces? The answer is partial seams.
Sew the part of patch A that goes under patch F but leave the rest unstitched. Pin it out of the way.
Sew the part of patch B that goes under patch C but leave the rest unstitched.
Add patch C.
Sew the part of patch D that goes under patch E but leave the rest unstitched.
Add patch E.
Sew the part of patch F that goes under patch A but leave the rest unstitched.
Pin patch D out of the way and finish sewing patch A.
Finish sewing patch F.
Pin patch B out of the way and finish sewing patch D.
There are more patches that will go under patch B, so it will remain unstitched for now. To keep it in place, I just tacked the end to the background.
Partial seams are a helpful strategy for a variety of tricky situations. You can read about another example here. When all the repetitions of these patches have been stitched, the border will be 84% complete. Just seven more to go!
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