Five Quilting Techniques to Practice During Your Next Project

five-quilting-techniques-to-practice-during-your-next-project.jpgBecoming an expert quilter takes a lot of time, more patience, and even more practice. Quilting requires a sewer to be knowledgeable of their machine and its capabilities as well as the fabric they are using and the techniques they employ when piecing, cutting, and joining a quilt. Each quilt is as unique in how it is put together as it is in what it’s made out of but you’ll find, the more you get into quilting, that there are certain quilting techniques that can be used again and again from project to project. Whether you are a new quilter or a seasoned veteran of the quilting world, here are five quilting techniques to be sure to practice during your next project.

1. Master How to Sew a Quarter Inch Seam Allowance
If you’re a seasoned sewer then it’s like you know what a seam allowance is and that you’re used to sewing a ⅝” seam allowance. This is especially true for those who enjoy creating garments on their sewing machine. However, with quilting, you’ll need to use a ¼” seam allowance and that transition can be more difficult for some than others. Be sure to practice sewing a quarter inch seam allowance on scrap fabric until it seems like second nature. A ¼” is necessary for quilt building so it’s recommended that you start with this basic and get it down.

2. Practice Your Rotary Cutting Skills with Each Quilt Build
While template building to cut quilting patterns is a tried and true method to build the quilting patterns you’ll need to complete a quilting project, learning to use a rotary cutter and practicing your rotary cutting skills will make quilting much faster. By practicing and perfecting your rotary cutting skills with each quilt build, you’ll not only be able to cut patterns with more speed but you’ll also discover that rotary cutting allows much more freedom in creating than sticking to quilting patterns.

3. Educate Yourself on Quick Piecing Techniques
Some of the best quilting techniques to learn that can make each quilting project much easier are quick piecing techniques. Quick piecing techniques include strip piecing which is a patchwork quilt-making technique achieved by sewing various fabrics together to make a "strip set" which ends up looking like a quilt block. When you use long strips, the strip set can then be cut into sections to yield segments that can be used to replace other pieces of fabric. You can also achieve quick piecing by creating half square triangle units. You create half square triangle units by sewing together two fabric patterns made of 90 degree angle triangles to create a square. These quilt squares can then be used in the same way as strip sets to replace other pieces of fabric on your quilt. Educating yourself on quick piecing techniques and learning to do them will ensure your quilting projects go smoothly and are completed quickly.

4. Learn to Correctly Measure and Sew Borders
While a quilt can be completed without a border, adding a border to your quilt will give it the artistic look that completes a quilt. Borders can also help to cover up any uneven edges that may result from the basic quilting itself. However, one border won’t achieve that even edging that gives a quilt that professional finish. Adding one border to an uneven edge will only result in an uneven border. But when you learn to correctly measure and sew borders then you’re able to compensate for uneven edges by using bordering techniques to even them out.

5. Incorporate Pressing Basics Into Your Quilting Routine
Quilting is made up of three steps which we call The Three Ps – planning, pressing, and piecing. While planning and piecing may take the most time, pressing will seem like the most tedious task. In the long run though, learning early on to incorporate pressing basics into your quilting routine will actually speed up your quilting process by making your piecing much more accurate. Pressing involves preparing the edges of your quilt squares to be pieced together and, when done correctly, allows you to sew your quilt blocks without having to worry about bunching, running, or ripping seams. The most basic thing to know about pressing is that you want the iron to do the work by simply sitting on the fabric. Moving the iron around will cause your squares to lose their shape whereas simply holding the iron on the fabric, lifting it from a pressed section and placing it on an unpressed section, will achieve clean edges and accurately shaped blocks.

At Quilt Quarters, located at 9840 N. Michigan Road in Carmel, Indiana, we understand that diving into the quilting world can be overwhelming and you may not be sure where to start. If you haven’t yet, we recommend reading about basic quilting practices for beginners that we have on our website and checking out our calendar of sewing and quilting events. We host different classes every month including open sew classes where you can meet with other local quilters and get help on any project you’re working on. Not local? We’re still here to help. Contact us at (317) 747-8340 and speak to a member of trusted team of quilters who are happy to answer any questions you may have.