Spinning Seams

In my last post I talked about spinning the seams on the billion and one four patches I’d made as part of Bonnie Hunter’s 2016 En Provence mystery quilt. I’ve watched other quilters do this and it does make for a much flatter intersection. I just don’t do it with the flair that they do. 

 What I’ve seen is a flick of the wrists in opposing directions resulting in a few popped stitches and a spun seam. Easy, right?Except when your ‘flick of the wrist’ results in wrecked seams and distorted fabric. 

Apparently I don’t know my own strength. So I spin seams the way I do lots of things…at a snail’s pace. 🐌 
You can YouTube videos ’til the cows come home, but here’s my pictorial version of spinning seams.
Here’s the back of my four patch. Notice three of those seams spin in a clockwise rotation while the fourth is playing the rebel.

Here, let me point ’em out to you.
Clockwise…

Clockwise…

Clockwise…

And the weisenheimer…obviously not clockwise.


You want the rebel seam to flip the other way. If you have your own four patch, take a moment and feel it up dead center where those seams meet. It’s lumpy. It’s the muffin top of quilting. Muffin tops (unless they’re blueberry) are bad.
Take hold of that knotty seam allowance and pull it over to the opposite side.


You’ll notice that the stitches start to pop loose. That’s okay, this isn’t a facelift. This is what you want. You’ll wind up popping two, maybe three stitches. Nothing’s going to fall apart.

Keep pulling in the opposite direction until the seam allowance is fully pulled to the other side…like this. See the tiny four patch in the center? That’s what you want.


Now it’s time for some heat.


And voila!


Check out Bonnie Hunter’s Quiltville site.  She has an awesome tutorial there.  YouTube is another good source if you like videos instead of still shots.

Happy quilting!

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20 thoughts on “Spinning Seams

  1. Stephanie! Marvelous step-by-step photos of how to do this . . . you have help so many!! I wish I known this early on. You are right, watched video until the cows came knocking and still didn’t get the “slight of hand” magic that was happening. You are friggin’ awesome!!! Hugs, Allison C. Bayer, Plano, Texas

  2. I completely understand the spinning seam (great tut by the way and never quite figured out how they do it until now), flatter block, easier to quilt quilt. But doesn’t this compromise the piecing in the wash later on?

    1. No, it doesn’t because it’s only a couple of stitches within the seam allowance and the other fully stitched seams are there holding everything in place. To put it another way, I can shuck my blue jeans, but as long as the underpinnings (undergarments) are in place, nothing’s heading south.

  3. thanks for the tute- ditto to all the other comments. Just read your blog for 1st time- linked from My Quilty World. OMG, I was hooked. I just kept reading til I had read the meltdown post.When I started working for a certain trucking company(you know the one with the cuties in brown shorts) I didn’t even think many of those grown up words. 40 yrs later(yes I said that #) , I knew and used all those words proficiently. I’m detail oriented(love that PP),dream of scrappy but just can’t,don’t even think about string piecing,sarcastic, & frugal-others might say the c-word. But I do love a bargain. Those $1 fat qtrs wouldn’t have been missed for sure. I’m glad you all had a great day.I’m a follower now.

    1. I’m glad you found me! Don’t you just love Deb and My Quilty World? She’s one awesome lady and a fantastic quilter.

      Obviously the meltdown post isn’t a frequent topic, but occasionally I’ll cut loose and it looks and sounds all kinds of ugly.

      I’d like to know something. Where did all the cuties in browns shorts go? Did they all leave Texas, because I’m feeling slighted here!

      I’m trying scrappy with this new Bonnie Hunter quilt and it’s giving me the hives. I’m determined to see it through, but it may send me over the edge! And I don’t save every minuscule scrap. There’s no space for that in this house.

      I like to support LQS whenever possible, but there’s nothing wrong with discount store fabric either. I go by feel. If it feels like crap, I don’t buy it. $1 fat quarters?! Unheard of! I scooped up a few, but I’m mostly about yardage.

      Thanks for following along. Have a great Wednesday and a happy new year!🎊

      1. The cuties can’t all be in So Cal!! Just look for those brown trucks. I did try the scrappy with those BH classes but really it was an exercise in “panic mode”, never finished them in scrappy. When I do her mysteries I use selected fabrics. Sorry, too frugal to waste time or fabric on what I know won’t work for me. Thanks for the answer,I just found it!

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