The pdq* Club [*PRETTY DARN QUICK] was so much fun last year that we asked Jill Finley of Jillily Studios to continue it this year. This year will be a little different though. Jill will still design some beautiful projects but she will also give us her best quilting tips. This month Jill gives us some of her great tips for piecing.
Before we get to the January Edition of the club though, we want to show off Jill's latest fabric collections. Twirl and Jams & Jellies are sweet collections with lots of ballerinas, ballerina flats and fresh basics. The collections should be hitting the quilt shop shelves sometime in February. Meanwhile, you can view the entire lines and also download the pretty quilt pattern on our website here.
Hello Quilters! This year I think I will use my PDQ Club to share some tips with you that I have learned through trial and (many) errors. Every once in a while I will give you a free pattern, and we will learn a lot through the year. Join me every month for my PDQ Club, and we will all be Pretty Darn Quick quilters!!!
Some Tips for Piecing Perfection
We all would love to have perfectly pieced blocks with no cut off points, and matching seams, but it doesn’t always work out that way! Since fabric is woven, it has “give” and can stretch and ease-- even when we don’t want it to. So here are a few tips you can use to make your piecing more accurate.
1. SCANT ¼” SEAM ALLOWANCE: Quilters usually use a ¼” presser foot on their machines. But even with this foot, and perfect ¼” seams, sometimes your block ends up a little small. That is because it takes a little bit of fabric to “turn over” the seam and that can make a difference. Make sure you use a SCANT ¼” seam allowance, following the 1/4” mark before your foot rather than the edge of the foot. (This is especially true if you are sewing with tiny pieces!)
2. PRESS AS YOU GO: Don’t wait until the block is done to press. Press after each seam, and give it a shot of steam to “block” it in place. If you use the long, side edge of your iron to open up the newly sewn piece, it won’t distort like using the point of the iron.
3. TRIM DOWN TO SIZE: If your block uses smaller sub units, like half–square-triangles, I like to make them a little larger, then trim them down to be exactly the right size, with the points exactly in the corners.
These are just a few little tips to give you more accuracy in your piecing. But don’t worry too much about it—after all, if you try this and still have less-than-perfect blocks, remember the galloping horse theorem:
“If you can’t see it from a galloping horse, it doesn’t matter.”
Thanks Jill! Great tips.Tell us your favorite tip by January 31, 2014 at 4 p.m. and we will pick a random winner to win a bundle of fabric [our choice] to get you inspired.
Have a great weekend.