As I started piecing one of my last projects, I happened to think that some of my newer students haven’t heard of using an “anchor cloth” for chain piecing. So I thought I’d share it here in case it’s new to others. In fact, one of my students (Carol, you know who you are…) told me later “I’d heard about it before but thought I didn’t really need to do that. You emphasized it in class, so I tried it, and now I can’t imagine piecing without using the anchor cloth!”
You need four little scraps of fabric around 1” x 1” . They are used double, so you put two of them under your presser foot to start. Since I do a lot of piecing, I always have an anchor cloth under my presser foot, even when I’m not using my machine. Then it’s ready for me to start again.
You stitch first on the anchor cloth and then move on to your first pieces of the quilt. Continue feeding in your pieces, and when you get to the end, put your second pair of scraps under your presser foot and stitch onto them. You clip off the chain behind your anchor cloth, and remove the first one from the beginning, and it’s ready to be used the next time you end a chain. This keeps you from getting little birds’ nests at the beginning of your work, and saves thread between chains. Try it, if you haven’t.
Another tool I like is the “Purple Thang” but not just because it’s purple! You know how sometimes the end of your piece tries to move out to the left? The Purple Thang can fit where your finger doesn’t, and hold it in place. Happy Quilting!