One of the things that helped me get these Tumalo Trail blocks together easily was “webbing” the blocks together. What I mean by that is that I kept the units together with the threads that I did the chain piecing with.
Let me explain it step by step.
First I arranged the units in the order that they need to be sewn:
I have them stacked up with all the nine patch units where they belong and all the HST facing the way that they belong.
Then I take the two units from the top left of the stack and sew them together. Next I take the two units from the middle left and sew them together. I don’t snip the threads between the units. Last I take the two left bottom and do the same thing:
Here is a close up of the threads:
At this point I would run a leader/ender unit through to get these units off the machine. I only clip the threads between the last unit and the leader/ender so that I can do the next step on this block.
Which is – make sure that you have the units aligned correctly to sew the third piece to each strip and then, without clipping threads sew them:
Here are the three rows of the block sewn together with threads connecting each section together. Now if, for some reason, I would drop the pieces and picked them back up, they would have all the pieces together, so that each block has the same 4 HSTs in it:
That is how you web a block. To finish the block, I press the seams in opposing directions:
Then I fold one side over the middle and sew that seam:
Do the same on the other seam:
And, ta-da!!!, a finished block!!
I resisted using this technique for a long time. I thought the pieces would twist and turn and I’d have a hard time keeping them straight. But I was wrong. Now, when I have to keep pieces in a certain order, I’m going to be doing this.