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Tips


Please check this page from time to time for tips on my latest designs.

 

My pattern instructions are detailed. Please read all instructions prior to cutting your fabric. If the yardage allows me to cut border strips from the length of fabric (LOF) prior to making any other cuts, that is my preference. Whenever I ask that you to cut fabric from the LOF first, the LOF symbol will be noted in red. Additional cuts made after that from the width of fabric (WOF) will take into consideration that you will no longer have 40" of fabric to work with.

I cannot stress enough to test your machine
for sewing an accurate 1/4" seam as instructed prior to sewing your quilt. A 1/4" sewing foot does not mean you have an accurate 1/4" seam. Why? When a 1/4" seam is sewn and pressed, some space is taken up by the weight of your piecing thread and some space is taken up by the fabric when pressing. You need to allow for this and most 1/4" seams are actually "scant" 1/4" seams. I love my Janome 6500 because the needle can be moved left or right in 1/10th increments giving incredible accuracy to machine piecing a quilt.

I pre-wash all fabrics.
Why? The biggest reason is to keep the fabric from shrinking when pressing with a hot iron. I use a Rowenta Professional Iron and they are hot. If the fabric is not pre-shrunk, blocks with lots of pieces or diagonals will often shrink in places I'm not expecting and will not be the size they were intended upon completion of the blocks.

When I say pre-wash, that means lukewarm water and a low dryer. Do not wash with HOT water or dry on a HOT setting. Treat the fabric the way you would treat your most prized possession after creating it.

Creating Templates
- I personally prefer to use 11 x 17" heavy duty mylar for my templates. I trace the template onto the mylar with an extra fine black Pilot pen. I cut the template on the traced lines. You can either cut around the template with a rotary cutter, or trace around the template and cut the fabric on the traced lines with an applique scissor or with a ruler and rotary cutter.

When creating Crimson Roses and Nosegay, I decided to stay stitch the edges of the triangles and polygons and it was the best decision I ever made. The quilt went together in no time and with very careful pressing with a dry iron, as instructed, I had a beautiful quilt center that laid flat.

Happy Quilting, Jan
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