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7 tips for becoming an A-grade quilter

Quilting is a fun and rewarding hobby for people all over the world. But if you’re new to quilting it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the process. This is partly because there are hundreds of techniques and terms to use when making a quilt. What’s more, each quilt-making job has its own way of doing it, and this can further add to the difficulty of starting out.

But don’t despair, as you will become more confident as you learn and gain a better understanding of what works for you. But before you find that top quality quilting fabric online and begin patching, there are some fundamentals you have to learn in order to become a top class quilter.

1. Know your quilting terms

You want to quickly familiarise yourself with the common abbreviations and required skills before starting your first quilt. You may want to pick up a basic quilting book and have it at the ready when starting out. Reading different online articles is also a great way to gain a better understanding of the myriad of techniques associated with quilting.

2. Sew a quarter inch seam allowance

Novice quilters, especially those who are used to sewing garments with ⅝” seam allowances, occasionally find it difficult to visualise and sew  ¼” seam allowance to make quilts. There are a few handy tricks and tips you can use to create the perfect seam, but make sure you undertake a few tests before you begin sewing patches for your quilt as you want to ensure the seams are accurate.

3. Master the art of rotary cutting

Rotary cutting is a skill that newcomer quilters should quickly learn. Why? Because it allows them to skip the laborious method of making templates to cut and mark individual pieces of fabric. Rotary tools are an easy tool to use and they make for speedy cutting methods.

4.There are different fabric qualities

Fabrics are what your quilt is based on, but newcomers often make the mistake of forgetting fabric characteristics when making their first quilt. It’s so much easier to make a quilt once you understand the different quilting patches and know how to care for your fabrics. You don’t have to buy the most expensive fabrics to make a good quilt, but you don’t want to get the cheapest, either, as they often fray in the wash.

5. Understand quick piecing methods

Strip piecing and other quick piecing techniques allow quilters to sew large fabric pieces together, then create pre-sewn units with the sliced off sections. This is an easy way to create a beautiful quilt block.

6. Make sure you measure & sew borders correctly

Adding extra borders to your quilt’ edges does wonders for the frame of your work. But it also provides an amazing opportunity to fix up skewed edges. Beginner quilters often define their border length by measuring the quilt’s outside edges. But if the quilt is skewed it will remain skewed. Understand how to measure and sew borders – it will ultimately improve the quilt’s structure.

7. Pressing basics are essential

Pressing accuracy is important to quilting, and your accuracy will improve dramatically when you take the time to press your quilt blocks as you go. Setting your seams before pressing allowances over to one side is the best way to improve your patchwork without putting in the hours. Extra pressing isn’t a hindrance, as you will actually save time when properly pressed quilt blocks fit together perfectly – no need for seam rippers here.

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