When it comes to quilting, even the smallest details can have a big impact on a finished quilt top. Here are twelve small, yet essential quilting tips that can help quilters of all skill levels make gorgeous quilts quickly and easily.
1. Read instructions thoroughly before you begin. Understanding where a pattern is headed and what supplies you will need before you begin will help you get through each step with ease.
2. Use an accurate ¼" seam allowance. Accuracy is key in quilting, so always double check that your seam allowances accurately measure ¼". Investing in a ¼" foot on your sewing machine can help. When all of the seams are the same, correct size, fabric pieces will fit together easily and seams will match up neatly.
3. Always pin before you sew. Pinning will help you align seams properly, which will help you avoid having to rip them out later, a time-saver any quilter can appreciate!
4. Always set seams. To achieve a straighter seam, press the sewn seam flat, then press it in the direction you need it to lay. The finished top will be worth any extra effort.
5. Replace sewing machine needles regularly. Change your needle every 8 hours of sewing time or for every new quilt top. Using a nice sharp needle will ensure it moves smoothly through fabric and helps prevent snagging, skipping, and pulling.
6. Get organized before beginning a project. Make sure you have all the notions you need on hand, pre-wind your bobbins, iron your fabric before cutting, and so on. Paying attention to these details will help keep you moving through a project rather than having to keep stopping and starting.
7. Keep scissors handy. For convenience, store a small pair of scissors near your sewing machine for snipping loose threads.
8. Buy the best your budget allows. Choosing good quality fabrics and notions will help you enjoy making projects so much more. It will also help you avoid the frustrations that can arise from using inferior fabrics, notions, or equipment.
9. Start small. If you're new to quilting, making smaller projects, such as pillows, mini quilts, and runners, is a great way to build confidence and skills.
10. Make oversized blocks. When making classic blocks, such as Half-Square Triangles or Flying Geese, sew slightly oversized blocks (if the pattern doesn't already account for it) so that you can trim them down accurately to the correct size. The finished look is worth the effort!
11. Save leftover batting. Scraps from larger projects are often a good size for pillows, pot holders, runners and mini quilts. Keeping those leftovers in your stash can save you from having to run out and buy more batting for future projects.
12. Take a class. Check out your local quilting store like QP!! Getting some help and advice is a great way to hone your skills as well as meet other creative, like-minded people who share your interests.
Happy quilting from QP!!