Partial Seam vs Y Seam

A lot of quilters get confused by the difference between a partial seam and a Y seam.  They aren’t the same thing.  Partial seams are pretty easy to do whereas Y seams are just a bit trickier.

A partial seam means you don’t sew the whole seam joining one piece to another right away – you just sew part of it.  Then, when you finish the other seams, you go back and finish the part of the seam you left undone.  This is useful when you want to rotate pieces around a center square.

My Turnstile pattern and class include this technique.  It is a lot simpler than it sounds at first 🙂

A Y seam is used when joining three shapes together such as the diamonds in Tumbling Blocks (diagram), an 8 pointed star or hexagons (to name a few).  To sew a Y seam correctly, you don’t sew into the seam allowances, you sew along the quarter inch seam starting  1/4″ away from the first edge and sewing to 1/4″ away from the other edge.

Faith of Fresh Lemons Quilts has great tutorials for both partial seams and Y seams.

Do you use either of these techniques?

1 Comment
  • Jayne
    Posted at 13:09h, 18 August Reply

    They use to freak me out and I was sure I would never attempt those pesky seams! When I finally decided it was time, they were much easier than I thought they would be!

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