How to Spin Your Butterfly Waltz Quilt Seams to Reduce Bulk

Cristina De Miranda

I initially learned the spinning seams technique while participating in the Summer Sampler 2019 Piecing Bootcamp. Designer Lynn Carson Harris shared her tips on reducing bulky seams when sewing four patches. The technique helps to disperse the seam allowances so that the bulk is shared, rather than congested in a single area of the seam intersection. 

I've shared how to apply this technique to the Butterfly Waltz blocks below. It will be particularly useful when assembling Columns B1 and B2 (the assembly of Unit 3, Column B1 is used in the demonstration).

1) Place your two top squares RST with your bottom squares, and sew a 1/4in seam.


2) Press the seam allowances in opposite directions to allow for nesting. Pin in place.


3) Sew the sets together. Ensure that the bottom seam allowance doesn't get caught in the feed dogs as you sew. 

4) With the new seam allowance parallel to you. Unpick the vertical seam on both sides within the seam allowance only.


5) Finger press the centre of seam allowances open. They should naturally spin into place. Press well with an iron. 


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