By Dawn Wade
While I still consider myself a novice quilter, I have learned a few piecing tricks along the way that I wish I knew as a beginner. Some may be no brainers but others only come with experience.
To pin or not to pin, that is the question. Believe it or not some people are so good that they do need to pin. I, am not one of those people nor do I think that not pinning can create as accurate piecing as pinning. So pin to your heart's content and revel at your accuracy. Is there really such a thing as too many pins??
2. Accurate Seams
I never knew how important an accurate ¼” seam was until I was working on a tiny pieced coaster and well, let’s just say that it was nowhere NEAR square when it was finished. All that work down the drain just because I thought I could cut a few corners. So, yes, it is VERY important to use an accurate ¼” seam! Even an 1/8” off of a seam allowance can really compound and add up quickly making your quilt either too big or too small.
Nobody wants a little thing like seam allowance to ruin their project. The easy solution? Use a ¼” presser foot. Nowadays most sewing machines come with one but if yours did not, you can easily purchase one separately for a few bucks. Don’t have the time to wait for your new ¼” presser foot to ship?? No problem, use washi tape to mark where your ¼” seam is directly on your machine! While I recommend splurging for the presser foot, washi tape can work when you are in a bind. Plus it’ll add a little color to your sewing machine.
Once you have sewn your accurate ¼” seams, iron the fabric in the way the pattern calls for and press as you go. It might seem like a lot of work but it’s totally worth the effort. Not only will your seams fit together better but it will make your quilt top nice and flat. Whether you are a press seams to one side or open kind of person, there is nothing like having perfectly aligned pieces.
4. Seam Ripper
Aaahh, the seam ripper. The tool in your sewing arsenal that you will love to hate. After all the work of sewing something together only to have the points not match is super frustrating. Raise your hand if you are a perfectionist. If we worked until everything was perfect, we would never get anything done. Now raise your hand if you want to get stuff done. Sometimes sewn corners that are just a millimeter or two off are not worth unpicking. Embrace the imperfection or shall I say uniqueness of your quilt and move on. Trust me, nobody is getting a ruler out measuring every corner of every quilt you have ever made. Just remember that using your seam ripper is not a bad thing, it’s a chance to do it better.
5. Chain Piecing
Chain piecing has literally saved me hours of work on a quilt top. So what exactly is Chain Piecing? Chain piecing is a sewing technique that is basically an assembly line for your quilt top. It will not only save you time , but thread as well!! Click the link to check out how easy it is to chain piece your quilt top and get your quilt done in no time!!
Now go out and conquer that next piecing project with confidence!!!