As quilters, we love intricate patterns, tiny pieces and impressive finishes. Even more so, we love the shortcuts that get us there. Sometimes, a paper piecing pattern has multiple templates such as the Teardrop Cut from the Cut Collection, which has 16 templates. Switching tasks a considerable amount of time. Cut, sew, press, cut, sew, press, cut, sew, press, cut, sew, press, cut, sew, press… For this pattern of 16 templates, that could mean upwards of 102 task changes!

The basic premise behind this technique is simple: Batch your tasks. In the photos you will see that I am piecing 8 templates at a time. Chain piecing is the answer when it comes to getting multiple templates done as efficiently as possible.

  1. Cut your templates and prefold all of seam lines (see, you’re already batching your tasks!).
  2. Lay out your fabrics.

  1. Place your templates on top of its corresponding first fabric, labeled with a “1”.
  2. For all templates, pin or glue (yes, glue with a gluestick!) your #1 section to the fabric. Cut around it with a 1/4” seam allowance. [This step is not pictured.]
  3. Lay out your fabrics again. Place your templates on the corresponding second fabric, labeled with a “2”.

  1. Gather all templates for one fabric and start piecing them to any available edge of your fabric, until you run out of templates for that colour.
  2. Proceed to the next grouping of templates, until all your templates have been used.

  1. Snip your threads to separate out all your fabrics.

  1. Press your seams.

  1. Cut around all piece #2s, remembering your seam allowances.

  1. Admire your work.
  2. Nose to the grindstone: Repeat steps #5-11 until all your piecing is complete.
  3. Assemble the templates as instructed by your pattern.