"First, learn to be accurate with your cutting and seam allowances. This is the starting point and foundation for your quilt. If you are off by even 1/8”, by the time you sew that block 8 times your quilt is going to be off by one inch! It’s the same as the foundation for your house: if the foundation and framing is not square nothing else is going to fit right. It just makes the process so much more enjoyable when each block and each row fits together properly. So take a class or get a book from the library, but learn accuracy.
My second tip is STARCH! Lots and lots of starch! When I press my fabric prior to cutting, I use starch and also give my blocks a light mist when pressing them. This is especially helpful when piecing triangles, as the starch stabilizes the fabric and helps prevent distortion on bias edges. And when I finish my quilt top, I press and starch again prior to layering and basting. By the time I am finished, the quilt top is VERY stiff. If you do your own quilting you will be amazed how much easier it is to layer with the backing and batting. The seam allowances stay where they are supposed to be, and the fabric is very stable. And if you take your tops to a long arm quilter for finishing, they will LOVE you because they won’t have to waste valuable time trying to square it up and smooth it out; it will load beautifully.
|Available in Lavender, Mint, Peach, Cherry Blossom and Unscented.|
We carry Mary Ellen's Best Press Spray Starch at Fabric Center in lots of great scents. If, however, you anticipate using lots of starch like I do, go to the grocery store and in the laundry products section you can find ½ gallons of liquid starch. (Don’t use aerosol starch in the spray cans). Follow the directions on the bottle, and mix it for extra heavy or extra stiff. Store any extra mixture in the fridge. Put your starch mixture in a spray bottle, and use it every time you press your fabric or quilt block.
Finally, Use GOOD quality fabric and the best tools you can afford to buy. You will spend many hours making your quilt, and you want the quilt to hold up and continue to look nice during all the love it will get. Good tools such as good scissors, fine sharp pins, proper lighting all will go a long way to the quilting process even more enjoyable."
|Using the right tools helps make your quilting experience more enjoyable. Using a cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter not only makes it go faster, but ensures more accurate cuts!|
Thank you Deb! If there is a question you'd like to have answered about quilting or sewing or would like to see a tutorial done on it, submit your request to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll feature it on our blog!