Piecing on a serger? It's one of the hidden techniques that you can do with your Baby Lock Serger. Russell Conte of Sewpbox Productions shares how he used the Baby Lock Triumph to create this fun quilt.
If you don't have a serger, it is okay! Just follow the instructions for assembly and skip over the serger setup instructions.
Download the project instructions here.
Before you get started!
Why, yes... I pieced this quilt ENTIRELY on my Baby Lock Triumph using a 4-thread overlock stitch. And you can, too, on any serger with a 4-thread overlock. I know - it’s kind of naughty (which made it all the more fun to do...) If you don’t tell anyone, I won’t either. Here are the instructions. (And yes, if you must, you certainly can piece the quilt on your regular sewing machine.) Before sewing the quilt on your serger, see page 4 of these instructions on how to prepare your serger.
Finished Quilt Size: 56” x 56“
(Fabric Requirements based upon 43” useful fabric edge-to-edge)
- Light: 1 Yard (27.5“ S2S - Selvage to Selvage)
- Dark: 1 Yard (27.5” S2S)
- Color: 1 1/4 Yard (42.5” S2S)
- Binding: 1/2 Yard (6 strips S2S cut up to 2 3/4” wide)
- Backing: 60” x 60”
- Batting: 60” x 60”
This quilt is comprised of 49 blocks:
- Light & Dark Block (x25)
- Color Block (x24)
Light & Dark Block
Unit “A” & “B”
- 6 Dark Strips 2.5“ wide
- 6 Light Strips 2.5” wide
- 5 Dark Strips 2.5” wide
- 5 Ligth Strips 2.5” wide
- Baby Lock Serger
- 4 spools of serger thread
- basic sewing supplies
- Rotary Cutter
- Cutting Mat
- basic sewing supplies
See "serger set up' on page 4 of the project instructions before starting assembly. Download the complete project instructions here.
- For the Light & Dark Block, sew 1 Light Strip to 1 Dark Strip. Press toward Dark. (You need six strip sets.) From each Light and Dark Strip set, sub-cut:
- Unit “A”: 8 2.5” (this will net 48) Unit “B”: 4 4.5” (this will net 24)
- You will need 2 more Unit “A” pieces and 1 more Unit “B” piece to create the 25th block you’ll need. Use the fabric left over from cutting the 24 block sets for the 25th block.)
- To create Unit “AB”, sew Unit “A” to top and bottom of mirrored Unit “B”. Press away from center (Unit “B”).
- Before cutting Unit “C”, measure the height of Unit “AB”. If sewn with a scant 1/4“, it should measure 8.5”. However, if sewn with a 4-thread on a serger, it may be different. (I assembled the quilt top on my Baby Lock Triumph. The seam allowance was 5/16”. This shortened the height of my block by 1/4”. The length of my Unit “AB” was 8.25”.)
- Unit “C”: Using the length of your Unit “AB”, subcut 6 light and 6 dark strips to net 25 each of light and dark for Unit “C”.
- To complete the Light & Dark Block, sew 1 light and 1 dark Unit “C” to each side of Unit “AB” as shown. Press toward Unit “C” (away from center.
- Measure the width of the Light & Dark Block. If sewn with a scant 1/4” it should measure 8.5”. (My Light & Dark Blocks finished at 8.25” square sewn on the Baby Lock Triumph.) True to square if need be.
- From the Color fabric, cut 5 strips equal to the width of your Light ; Dark Block. From these strips, subcut 24 squares. If sewn with a scant 1/4”, these strips should be 8.5” wide, then subcut to 8.5” in length. (Based on my completed Light & Dark Blocks sewn on the Baby Lock Triumph, I cut strips 8.25” wide, then subcut at 8.25” to create 8.25” squares to match my Light and Dark Blocks.)
- Set up your serger with a standard 4-thread overlock stitch and a stitch length of 2.5. Leave the knife engaged. (Even though the knife is engaged, the goal is not to cut into the fabric. Small fibers and fiber dust are fine.) Set the differential feed to “N” (neutral).
- Using a couple swatches of your piecing fabric, do a test run: right sides together, sew the two fabrics keeping the edges aligned and just brushing the edge of the knife.
- Remove from the machine. Pull the fabrics apart, putting tension on the seam. If the seam is loose, tighten up the needle thread. (The thread most likely to be seen is the left needle thread. For my purposes, I thread the left needle with the dominant color of the quilt, and use gray for the other needles. (Or whatever other colors won’t read through the fabric.)
- You’ll need to check your stitch width once you’ve sewn. A 4-thread overlock stitch isn’t necessarily a scant 1/4”. You may need to make adjustments to some of your cutting as you move through the quilt. No worries! The corrections are not monumental, and are notated in the instructions.
*Special Note - Of course - you can chain piece! I actually find piecing on my serger gratifying - the feed is so precise. And don’t worry about cutting thread tails - you’ll cut them as you come past the serge knife. Your quilt front and back will be remarkably clean of errant threads!
Alas, for those of you who prefer to press your seam allowances open, you’ll need to make an exception (or just sew the quilt on your regular Baby Lock.) The seams are closed and must be directed to one side. My order of pressing preferences are:
- Toward the dark
- Toward the path of least resistance - the side with fewer seams (if it’s toward the light, path of least resistance wins
- If all things are equal, press away from center.
Piecing the Top
Following the illustrations as shown in the downloadable project instructions and assemble rows 1, 3, 5 & 7 as shown. Press seam allowances toward Color Block.
Finish and bind the quilt as desired.