Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another helpful quilting tip

Sewing your quilt together involves many steps. Cutting, pressing, and sewing. Have any errors in these steps can cause you frustration when assembling the final product. One sure way to prevent problems is to double check your work along the way. Here are some places to keep checking as you work.

Cutting

  1. When you fold your fabric for long strips, feel the fold line to be sure there are no spaces or gaps. If there are, you will have a wavy strip. Unfold the fabric and press it. Then refold the fabric and check again. Make your first cut to get a clean edge. Now cut your first strip. Unfold it and see if it is straight. It is important to check every few strips to see if you have any waves. Sometimes you need to re-fold the fabric and re-do the clean cut again. As the fabric can slip,or your fold can shift causing a crooked strip.
  2. If you have lots of strips to cut the same size, put a piece of tape on the ruler to mark you line for cutting. Trust me this helps!


Sewing

  1. When sewing strips it is important to keep your eyes focused on one spot. (I usually look at the point where my fabric meets the foot). If you look away or move your eyes around you tend to move the fabric too causing wobbles or wavy seams. So keep focused on one spot and you will sew straighter lines.
  2. Square up your blocks. After joining two fabrics, press, and then double check the measurement. Sometimes you need to trim, or re-sew if it is too small (although minor adjustments can be made with pressing). I find that my quarter inch seams are varied. Some are exact, some are scant, and some tend to be generous. This can lead to uneven blocks as you add more pieces to them. If you sew a seam, press and check the size. If you get in the habit of this your blocks will always fit. And you will eliminate frustrations when you join your rows.
  3. Make sure you match your intersections when joining block segments or rows to help keep things lined up. One sure way to do this is place a pin in the seam, making sure it goes directly into the seam on both fabrics. Let this pin hang straight between your fingers, and place a pin on the left and then right side of the first pin as close to the pin as you can. Then remove the first center pin.


Pressing

  1. Press to the darker fabric in most cases.
  2. Lift and set the iron down, do not slide the iron as this can cause stretching
  3. Do not press bias edges until they are sewn to another patch. Especially with steam! They will stretch. If you need to press them for any reason, try finger pressing.


I hope this helps you increase your accuracy with your projects and eliminate some of the frustration in assembling your quilt tops.

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