There is always room for improvement.
And that has always been my motto for life. And I am always trying to simply improve little by little. Including my sewing skill.
In this post, I am going to be sharing with you 6 tips to improve accuracy for patchwork quilt making, so that you can be happily sewing blocks together into rows, and have those blocks all the same exact size.
Let me know if you have more tips to share. The comment box is always open for new input.
There are affiliate links within this post. Please find my full disclosure here.
1. Cut it right
Measure twice. Always.
Otherwise, you might have to cut twice and make a waste too 🙂
Hold your rotary cutter right and tight.
Hold your rotary cutter perpendicular to the ruler. straight against the side of the ruler.
Cut away from the body and apply even pressure across the whole fabric until it is off the blades.
Cut along/against grain wisely
For long thin pieces, I recommend cutting along the lengthwise In this direction, the fabric is strongest and will stretch the least.
Cutting along folded pieces
When cutting along folded pieces, make sure the grains are aligned with the ruler or the grid on the mat. You want to make sure that the folds are exactly perpendicular or in parallel to the cutting line.
2. know your 1/4″ seam
Measure it right.
I usually use a washi tape to mark my 1/4″ inch on the machine. I found this makes a good guide for me.
Simply measure 1/4″ from the point of the needle to the right side of the needles and put a tape as straight as possible along the machine.
You can use the Perfect Piecing Seam guide and you can place the needle in through one of the holes and simply put the tape along the edge of the ruler.
Or you can also use a 1/4″ foot made for patchworking.
click the image to check the universal 1/4″ quilting foot
or use this premade template for guidance. So cute too.
click the image to check Seams sew easy Guide
Use the right thread.
There is a difference when you use different threads each time you sew. I personally love 50Wt threads for piecing and I can’t rave enough about this thread. I use it for both piecing and quilting.
If you change threads, make sure you remeasure your 1/4″ seam. The thicker the thread, the less accurate as the threads do take a tiny bit off.
You can use the seams gauge after sewing a test piece to make sure your guideline is accurate. You can use a sewing gauge to do so, a very handy tool. Otherwise, a basic ruler would do too.
3. Sew straight
Obviously right? but get those corner end right! Use sewing stilleto or awls to help – or pick up the foot everytime you feed a new piece in.
It is easy for the fabrics to take its own way and you’ll end up with seams that are slightly larger or smaller at the end and the start.
Which in turn will be affecting the overall accuracy of the patchwork piece.
Sewing diagonally? Draw a line even if you are lazy or use guides like this and put it on the machine.
click the image to check out Sew Straight guide.
4. Press the seam right on the bone, and press well.
Finger press first. Feel the bone (ie the stitches) against the fold. Make sure you are folding it out right at the seams.
Use a hot iron, then place a heavy book on top of the seams. Wait a while till it cools and tadaa … perfectly flat seam.
This may seem like a tedious job, but I recently took the plunge to do so and it makes a whole lot of difference.
Seams are way flatter and the patchwork piece looks so much crispier and not bouncing back to their original condition.
the flattter the better
5. Trim smaller pieces to correct size
Trim each patchwork block to correct size.
I am a fan of making my smaller pieced slightly larger than needed and trimming it off. No matter how accurate and how careful you are with the initial cut and sewing, it is bound to not be so perfect.
If you hate trimming – it can be tedious to do so many pieces of them, you can opt for other methods such as paper piecing like this one I made for HSTs.
Or you can also try templates. Pieces that are cut using templates usually are easier to be sewn to the exact size.
6. Pin, nest the seams
Want to be more accurate? Use the pins. And nest those seams.
Stacking seams can cause tiny inaccuracies due to the thicker seams which are harder to be flattened. One of the solutions is to think ahead before sewing and plan how to nest the seams.
Do you have any tips to share? Please do share them with us, it is always so lovely to hear all fun tips from quilters like you.
Comment down below.
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