Have you ever worked on a project only to find that your block did not come out to the size required? We have ALL been there – whether we are Newbies just learning how to sew quilts, like Sophie, or Experienced Quilters. There is nothing more frustrating than to get those blocks completed only to find that they do not match in size. Here are a few tips that will hopefully help you to obtain and maintain a quarter inch seam. Do you cut accurately? It is advised that you use the same rotary cutting mat and ruler throughout your entire project – they have different width lines so you need to be consistent using these quilter supplies. [youtube]http://youtu.be/qvmX8hBbgug[/youtube]What can you use for a quarter inch seam guide? Three suggested methods are: a quarter inch foot that is available for your particular sewing machine; many layers of tape which would provide a ridge as a guide; and a particular marking on your throat plate that gives you a quarter inch measure. Be consistent with whatever method you use. Does your machine needle move? Sometimes our machine needle will get a tiny bit out of alignment, or we intentionally move it for another project - be consistent with the alignment of your needle. Are you Shy, Precise, or Generous? In learning how to sew quilts, we are sometimes told to sew a “shy” quarter inch seam. Other times we are told to sew a “generous” quarter inch seam - be consistent – that is the key to our sewing. It sometimes helps to sew a needle-width less than a quarter inch to come up with a precise quarter inch seam. When learning how to sew quilts, it is suggested that you make one block and measure it for accuracy before sewing the remaining blocks. Do you use the same type of thread throughout your entire project? I have found that when I foundation piece, I like Aurifil thread because it is much thinner and eliminates some bulk when pressing the seam to one side. This light weight thread would also help in eliminating thread bulk when machine piecing your blocks. Whatever weight thread you use, be consistent. Check out the video library at www.QuiltAddict.com. Marti Michell has a good tip for maintaining that quarter inch seam, which also helps you in creating a secondary quilt top. Have you noticed that one word has been used quite often? It is the word “consistent”. Always be consistent in whatever steps you are taking throughout your project. That should help you to obtain and maintain a quarter inch seam.
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May 29, 2013
April 3, 2012 What a memorable day I had with the Lake Gogebic Community Quilters. They sure got me excited about learning how to sew quilts, and were so helpful with others who were having a rough time learning the process. On Thursday when I got back to work, I was thrilled to tell my co-workers about these amazing women who showed me how to sew quilts, and have a good time doing it. Most of them are retired and spend the winter in the U.P., but a few travel south to get out of the snow. I only spent 5 hours with them but it feels like I now have a bunch of new friends. Friday came quickly …I wish every week was only two days long. That night I made plans to have supper with my good friend Barb. It had been a long time since we had seen each other so we spent hours catching up on what has been going on in our lives. Barb was telling me that now that her kids are older, she has been taking some quilt lessons and learning how to sew quilts at a shop not far from her home. She was really excited about it and it was rubbing off on me. I told her that taking quilt lessons and learning how to sew quilts were on my Bucket List. When we departed that night, she encouraged me to start taking time to do those things I have always wanted to do. Saturday, while I was out grocery shopping, I stopped at a quilt shop just down the road. Of course, when I went in I was totally overwhelmed by all the colors that are in the fabrics for quilting that were on display. I browsed around the store waiting for the clerk to finish with her customer. When she was done I asked her if they offered beginner quilting classes. She found her list of classes and I was amazed at how many different classes were offered - from learning how to sew quilts to learning machine embroidery. We figured out what class I should take since I'm a "Newbie" who needs to start from the beginning. I left the store excited that I had taken the first step in starting a new adventure by signing up for quilt lessons, plus crossing one thing off my Bucket List! That night while trying to fall asleep, I realized that I never asked about what supplies I needed to get started. We were so busy talking that both of us forgot about it. I called the quilt shop on Monday to check, and she recommended that to begin with, a sewing machine, mat, ruler and rotary cutter would do. I guess it never dawned on me that I don't have a sewing machine and I would need one. I guess another day of shopping is in store for me ...love it! I am so excited to learn how to sew quilts and get going on my other dreams. Are you taking the time to fulfill your dreams?