How to join pin loom squares together is a puzzle that plagues us all. This post is an attempt to ameliorate the struggle.

As Count Rugen said, “Remember, this is for posterity so be honest.” I would amend that statement to “be thorough.” To be honest, I’ve been as thorough as I can stand (up to now). So if this tutorial isn’t something future, as well as present, generations can use, at least it’s helpful to me. I’ve assembled what I’ve learned by experience. If it helps someone else, great. There are many useful sites Out There, so this one may not be the last word in how to join those little squares we’re all getting so fond of making.

Part One focuses on joining squares that have been finished with a crochet edging. See my former post on how to make a Slip Stitch border:

I’ll also preface this post by saying I haven’t actually joined any squares using these techniques yet, but this is a living blog and it grows with me. Before I start joining my precious creations, I want to decide which method works and looks best. So, technically speaking, this is . . .

Part One of Part One: Choosing Your Joining Method.

***Remember to click on the photo to see a larger version. Click the back arrow to return to these instructions.

Sample of 4 different joining methods.

Sample of 4 different joining methods–front.

4 different joining methods--reverse.

4 different joining methods–reverse.

Straight-on edge view showing how flat the piece does, or doesn't, lie.

Straight-on edge view showing how flat the piece does, or doesn’t, lie.

Pictures say a lot, but words help too.

Oh look, here’s that photo again, this time with helpful words.

Four different types of stitches--labeled.

Four different types of stitches–labeled.

The Stitches I used to experiment:

Mattress Stitch (needle)
Double Loop Whip Stitch (needle)
Crocheted Slip Stitch (crochet hook)
Single Loop Whip Stitch (needle)

You’ll notice the Mattress Stitch appears twice. This is my preferred joining method and, as luck would have it, you can see both the front and reverse views on the same photo. On one side the stitches look straight and on the other they look angled.

I don’t recommend the Double Loop Whip Stitch or the Crocheted Slip Stitch. Both create a ridge along the seam and keep the piece from lying flat. Also, it was hard to catch all fibers when using the needle. The maroon/pink seam looks messy, though it’s hard to see in the photo. You can see the green trail on the pink yarn in the photo–the result of crocheted slip stitching the seam.

So, we’re left to choose between Single Loop Whip Stitch and Mattress Stitch. If you can’t see the difference in the comparison photos, you may have to take my word on it.

On the right we see that the Single Loop Running Stitch and the Mattress Stitch look great on one side. In the left picture we see that only the Mattress Stitch looks great from both sides.

On the left we see that the Single Loop Running Stitch and the Mattress Stitch look great on one side. In the right picture we see that only the Mattress Stitch looks great from both sides.

The Single Loop Whip Stitch is made by placing Right Sides together and sewing a whip stitch that catches only the inner loops. (The Double Loop Whip Stitch catches both loops and creates a ridge.) The Right Side of your work will look great with this stitch, and the piece will lie flat, but between all the squares on the Wrong Side, you’ll have a little trench. It doesn’t look bad, but it also doesn’t look great (unless that’s the look you want). This stitch is a little easier to do than the Mattress Stitch; it’s easy to remember, harder to make mistakes. Like the Mattress Stitch, if your colors don’t match from square to square, you’ll be able to see the stitching.

The Mattress Stitch isn’t difficult, but you have to learn how to do it correctly. I recommend making some swatches like I did.

Here’s a photo of my first attempt.

First attempt joining square. Didn't catch both loops, so the Mattress Stitch looks like a Single Loop Running Stitch gone awry. This experience prompted this blog post!

First attempt joining squares with Mattress Stitch. Didn’t catch both loops, so the Mattress Stitch looks like a Single Loop Whip Stitch gone awry. This experience prompted this blog post!

Here’s a link to a terrific video (and written instructions) demonstrating how to do the Mattress Stitch: 

Now that I’ve written these preliminary instructions and learned all this great stuff, I can go join some of my squares together.

Part Two of Part One: Using Your Joining Method on Weave-it Squares

After all that gab about how wonderful the Mattress Stitch is, I’m not sure I’m as in love with it now as I was before.

First of all, it’s difficult to get the needle through those steeply-angled slip stitches. They’re especially hard to see on dark blue.

I didn’t take the time to count all my stitches to make sure I had the same amount on every side, so that can make matching up the stitches difficult.

I’m not sure it’s worth all the trouble, before starting to join squares, to have straight edges (instead of scallops) on the squares.

Here are my Mattress Stitched practice squares. Maybe there’s always going to be imprecision (especially when I’m involved), but I’m used to quilting, where I can match stuff up more readily or easily. I’m not wildly pleased with the result and was disappointed that I ended up with a ridged seam after all.

Mattress Stitch joined squares--front.

Mattress Stitch joined squares–front.

Mattress Stitch joined squares--reverse (untrimmed threads).

Mattress Stitch joined squares–reverse (untrimmed threads).

Last night, while I stitched these together, I wasn’t enjoying it, but I think it’s because I was trying to do something new and not-native to my usual way of doing things. I am not anti-work, but I prefer to enjoy my work. I’ll probably try this out a few more times until I get used to it or decide it and I should part brass rags.

In the meantime, I have some other squares I’ll crochet around and try joining them with the Single Loop Whip Stitch. I’m not really concerned about how the back looks anymore, but understand the ridged effect can be used as a bonus feature–a sort of picture frame effect.

To be continued . . .

(But if I don’t like the results of my continued experiments I’ll probably go back to my original Running Stitch method of joining. Running Stitch–yet another option!)

Running Stitch. It leaves a ridge, but apparently the easier methods do.

Running Stitch. It also leaves a ridge.

It’s quite possible joining squares isn’t my strong point.

Oh well, there’s plenty of other stuff to do.

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