There’s always plenty of room for improvement as you learn your hobby and get more familiar with the terminology and the techniques you need to know to get it just right. Here are five more of the best top quilting tips for beginners.
Leading on for first part of this series - Part 1
Learn How to Piece Properly
Piecing is a technique that lets you learn how to sew big chunks of fabric together, then cut off those sections to create ‘pre sewn’ units. It’s very easy to learn how to do this, and as you become more adept, you’ll gain confidence quickly. Once you’ve read up on how to do this and practiced it a little, you’ll be able to create quick and easy versions of just about any quilt block you come across.
Popular piecing techniques to read up on are:
Quick Pieced Quarter Square Triangle Units
No-Waste Flying Geese
Magic Eight Half Square Triangle Units
Quick Pieced Half Square Triangle Units
Make Half Square Triangle Units
Get Pressing Basics Down Pat
Pressing your quilt blocks will help to improve how accurate your piecing is, over time. Get into the habit of doing this as soon as you start learning and it’ll become second nature. Learning to set seams before pressing allowances to one side is an excellent way to quickly improve the quality of your patchwork and your overall techniques.
Some people will worry that extra pressing might slow them down, but in the long run it will save time. Properly pressed quilt blocks will fit together properly and won’t grab the seam ripper!
If you make a mess of a quilt block, don’t throw it away!
All of us, when learning to quilt have made errors and perhaps in a fit of pique, immediately thrown our work away. Try not to do this. Don’t feel disheartened if you make a quilt block and it doesn’t turn out quite right. Two of the most common errors are to not press your fabric adequately, or to make the quarter inch seam a bit on the large side. Don’t panic - or throw away. Often times work can be rescued - or reused at some point in the future.
Measure your quilt blocks accurately from the off
Problem quilt blocks can always be rescued. For instance, adding one or more borders to the edges of a quilt can do a lot more than simply offer a pretty frame for your quilt. Learning to fix problem quilt blocks quickly and effectively can also mean that if it does happen (and it will) from time to time you can also learn how to straighten slightly wonky edges.
When learning to quilt, many people will try to determine the length of the border by measuring along the outside edges. If your measurements are slightly off, the quilt will end up ‘skewed’. If you learn how to measure and sew quilt blocks properly, from the off it will ensure that the finished product will look professional and have an improved structure. does more than provide an attractive frame for your work... the process offers an excellent opportunity to square up slightly skewed edges.
If you make mistakes - don’t stress!
Everyone, no matter how experienced still makes errors from time to time. As a beginner, you’ll be no different. Accept this and recognise it’s all part of the fun process of learning - and often, as we’ve mentioned before, pieces can be unpicked and salvaged at a later date if need be.
We can also make mistakes with our choice of threads and fabrics - finding colours or patterns that looked OK in the shop, but clash when you come to put them together. Again, don’t worry. You can always unpick and leave the work for a later date, or reuse at some point.
Mistakes are learning experiences. Learn to love them!