Tips & Techniques
Improve Your Quiltmaking!
Accuracy counts! Beautiful quilts are the result of accurate cutting and stitching. Try these tips to ensure more accurately pieced blocks.
Do it the same day. Plan to cut all the pieces for your quilt blocks on the same day and use the same acrylic ruler(s) for all cuts. Rulers do vary. Also, your cutting technique can vary from day to day, strange as that may sound.
Allow enough time to stitch the pieces for the blocks together in one sitting, too, and do all the stitching for a quilt on the same sewing machine. The more things remain constant, the more accurate your work will be.
Stitch carefully. If you don't have a 1/4-inch presser foot, cut a
1/4" x 1" strip of Dr. Scholl's moleskin (from your pharmacy) to place precisely 1/4" inch to the right of the lowered sewing machine needle. As you stitch, the moleskin provides an easy-to-see ridge against which to guide the fabric edges for perfect 1/4"-wide seams.
Avoid lumps in the finished quilt top and make it easier to stitch accurate joining seams by trimming away any seam ears on joined patches before sewing them to other patches.
Take the time to clip unwanted threads on each block when you do the final pressing so they won't shadow through your quilt and detract from its appearance. This is especially important when your quilt has white or light-colored patches through which dark threads can show. After joining patches or blocks into sections or rows, take the time to clip stray threads--and again after you have joined all the sections.