How to Join Crossway Strips

All joins made in crossway strips should be made on the straight grain of the fabric. If several joins are made, they must all face in the same direction.

Place the right sides of the crossway strips together with the short, straight edges level allowing each end to protrude to create a seam allowance of 1.5cm. Pin and tack on this line which runs along the straight of grain, placing the pins in a vertical position. By placing pins in vertically, it prevents the fabric moving. As you gain more experience, you will be able to omit the tacking and machine carefully over the pins in this position.

You will notice that points of fabric protrude at either side. The line through the middle (i.e. parallel to the cut edges) is your stitching line. The distance between these two parallel lines should be exactly 1.5cm. If this is not correct, the strips will not join together accurately.

As this is a short seam and the stitches must be firm, do not be tempted to do this by hand. Use a short stitch on your machine and machine accurately along this line. Carefully finish off both ends of your machining.

It is important to finish off all ends of your machine stitching. This is a small line of stitching. If you find it difficult to use the reverse mechanism of your machine, tie off your ends remembering to leave long ends. Tie them close to the stitching with two firm knots.

Continue joining until sufficient crossway is made. Finger press the seams open by running your thumbnail firmly against the line of stitches. The seams must now be trimmed down to 6mm. Do this carefully. Finger press the scam again and cut off the protruding points of fabric.

Approximately 0.5m of material will give you about 9m of joined crossway strips. This amount can vary depending on the width of the measuring card. It is better to use long strips to minimize the number of joins.

When using stripes, checks, or certain patterns, adjust the joins to match the pattern. This may not always be possible. For example, where you want to join a crossway onto itself to create a continuous circle of strips, the final join will probably not match but try to make the join as inconspicuous as possible.

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