Sit back, relax, this is NOT the Quilt Police knocking on your device’s screen!
I’m on a gentle mission to reassess my piecing techniques and figure out where inaccuracies have crept into my process. My mission is NOT to create a perfect quilt but to increase the sense of satisfaction I gain from the piecing of quilt blocks and quilt tops. In this mini series I’m going to share what I’ve learned about accurate piecing, share how I apply the knowledge and, of course, share the results 🙂
Take this 10½ block for instance:
I’m not not ripping into myself – or the patchwork block for that matter – just of a mind to consider why these inaccuracies creep into my patchworking and to (re)discover techniques to reduce their occurrence.
Here’s what I knew already and what I’ve added to my knowledge through research using dear old wwwdotsearch.
Accurate Patchwork Piecing requires well maintained equipment:
- Rotary cutting kit – sharp blade, smooth mat, ruler with anti-slip markings/grips.
- Sewing machine – new needle (sharps size 75/11 or 80/12) , good quality 50wt thread in top and bobbin, tension correctly balanced.
- Before starting a new project- clean out lint from the bobbin race and under the stitch plate.
Accurate Patchwork Piecing requires careful stitching:
- Consistent scant ¼” seams. There are various methods to test for accurate seams and a choice of tools to use.
- Use of ‘thread savers’/scrap chargers.
- Short stitch length.
Accurate Patchwork Piecing requires careful pressing:
- Careful pressing of fabrics, before rotary cutting, and during piecing.
- Pressing tools that may help include wool pressing mat and a tailor’s clapper.
I’ve searched for and read/watched quite a selection of posts and tutorials that deal with the multi-faceted issue of accurate patchwork piecing. Listed below are the ones I found most helpful – of course some of the advice will be contradictory but that just gives us options if one method doesn’t work for our machine, fabrics or ‘sewing style’:
- Precision piecing your patchwork with Valerie Nesbitt.
- Beginner Quilt Piecing Tips -Quilting Basics Tutorial #2 with Leah Day.
- I regularly read the Rebecca Grace Quilting blog. She revels in super-accurate piecing and recently published this post detailing some of the techniques she’s been using to produce blocks for her version of the Moda Building Blocks quilt.
- Piecing Accuracy 101 – Quilting tutorial from GE Designs.
- 10 Quilt Piecing Tips & Tricks to Improve Piecing Accuracy by Sherri McConnell.
- The Science of Getting Flat Seams Using a Tailors Clapper at Suzy Quilts.
Phew! That’s a lot to take on board. I’m going to apply a selection of the tips given in those tutorials to my latest patchwork project. I will post the results shortly and share any further tips and recommendations I find along the way 🙂