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How to Sew Rows of Diamonds in Quilting

Updated June 13, 2017

Create quilts with fabric patches stitched together to form specific patterns. The quilter cuts fabric patches in various shapes to make the overall quilt pattern. Traditional patchwork quilts typically combine three or fewer shapes into a single quilt top. Some quilts only require a single shape cut from different colour fabrics to build the quilt top. The diamond shape is the basis for many quilts. Sew fabric strips together; then cut to form the diamond.

Iron all fabric pieces. Use the rotary cutter and mat. Cut each colour of fabric into 2 ½- x 44-inch strips. Place a number on each strip with quilter's chalk, labelling the strips one through five.

Place strip one on a flat surface and measure 2 1/2 inches from the left end and place a mark with the quilter's chalk.

Align the left end of strip two with the quilter's mark on strip one. Place strip two on top of strip one with the right sides together. Pin in place.

Stitch strip two to strip one with the sewing machine. Use a ¼-inch seam allowance.

Place the sewn strips on a flat surface, opened with the right side up.

Measure 2 1/2 inches from the left end of strip two and place a mark with the quilter's chalk.

Align the left end of strip three with the quilter's mark on strip two. Place strip three on top of strip two with the right sides together. Pin in place.

Stitch strip three to strip two with the sewing machine. Use a ¼-inch seam allowance. Join strips four and five in the same manner.

Place the fabric assembly on a flat surface with the right side down. Iron all the seams to lie toward the same direction. Turn the fabric assembly right side up and place on the cutting mat.

Position the right edge of the yardstick on the quilter's chalk marks of each strip. Cut along the edge of the yardstick with the rotary cutter. This makes a straight diagonal edge.

Measure 2 ½ inches from the diagonal edge and position the yardstick along this new mark. Cut along the edge of the yardstick with the rotary cutter. This creates a sewn row of diamonds.

Continue to cut the full length of the fabric assemblage. These diamonds are for arrangement in the quilter's desired quilt pattern.

Tip

Calico prints give diamond rows a more textured appearance.

Warning

Do not press the seams open or the quilter will have to stitch through an extra layer on both sides of the seam. Seams are pressed open in clothing but closed and to one side in quilt piecing.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 pieces 44-inch fabric in different colours
  • Fabric ruler
  • Rotary mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilter's chalk
  • Pins
  • Iron
  • Yardstick
  • Sewing machine
  • Sewing machine thread
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About the Author

Jennifer Terry is program director for TriCounty Agency for Intellectual Disabilities. As a University of Alabama graduate, she holds a Masters in rehabilitation counseling and a Bachelor in psychology with an emphasis in child development. She also earned an Associate in business management and second Associate in computer information systems from Bevill State Community College. She holds a grant writing certificate from North Georgia College and State University.