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First patchwork quilt

(12 Posts)
catwithflowers Wed 08-May-13 07:59:30

Inspired by this thread and the current fashion for all things home made! My quilt is going fairly well so far (even though not all of my seams meet exactly as they should grin) and I'm really enjoying myself. I have a question regarding pressing the seams-do I open them out and press them flat or press them to one side. I have googled and both are suggested. Which is better and will look neater?

Thank you smile

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Wed 08-May-13 10:34:05

Since your seams aren't quite perfect, I would press to the side. It will be easier to get a flat finish that way...opening them out will cause some little bumps in the centres of where the blocks meet.

Twobuttonsaway Wed 08-May-13 17:51:50

Press to the side else you will weaken the seam smile

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 08-May-13 22:22:59

Yes press them to one side. Make sure you alternate the direction in which you press so you spread the thickness especially if you have several points coming together.

You should press to the dark side if you are joining light and dark fabrics too.

catwithflowers Thu 09-May-13 05:35:51

Thank you everyone. Very helpful smile

LittleBells Thu 09-May-13 21:08:32

A little cut out and keep guide to easy quilt-top making (if not for this quilt then for future reference smile)

1.Cut all your pieces to the same size using a stiff cardboard template. Accuracy is important for squares lining up.

2.Sew squares together in strips until each strip reaches the required width of the quilt you require. Make sure you have exactly the same seam allowance for each square you join, again, for accuracy in squares lining up at the end.

3. Put your strips on a large flat surface and arrange them so the pattern is pleasing to the eye.

4. Starting from the top strip, iron each strip's seams flat in turn. Do it so that the first strip's seams face to the left, the second strip's seams face to the right, the third strip's seams face to the left, etc, alternating all the way to the bottom. That way, when you join the strips together you won't get bulk where the seams meet smile as the flattened seams face alternate ways.

5. Sew the long strips together in their pre-arranged order.

6. Admire your amazing quilt top!

Next week: the quilt sandwich. (only joking!) but if you need any tips I can offer them!

You should magically find the squares do a far better job of lining up when you do it as above.


catwithflowers Fri 10-May-13 06:05:53

Thank you for all the advice smile The quilt looks really nice and I am chuffed. I can't believe how quickly it has come together and the top is almost finished. Will shop for the batting at the weekend so will probably be back here for more tips! I did use a stiff cardboard square as a template and think my squares which don't meet exactly are the result of the seam allowance being off (first time using a sewing machine in over 20 years) rather than the cutting of the squares themselves.

This is my practice quilt and next one will be much better and gift worthy grin

BigBoobiedBertha Fri 10-May-13 22:46:21

Well done on your speedy work catwithflowers! It would be good to see the pics when you are done. <<nosy>>

If you are going to be doing a lot of patchwork in the future, it really is worth investing in a quilters' ruler or two or more. Cardboard templates are fine for your practice quilt but a proper ruler is much more versatile and crucially it will be consistently more accurate.

It is also worth getting a 1/4" foot for your sewing machine. They are worth their weight in gold and they will save you from many a slightly wonky seam.

catwithflowers Sun 12-May-13 19:12:48

BBB smilesmile

Tallyra Sun 12-May-13 19:36:23

If you are really serious, I'd advise getting a cutting mat and rotary cutter for greatest accuracy and spray starch, ironing fabric before you start cutting....

catwithflowers Wed 15-May-13 06:59:57

Hurray! The top of the quilt is finished grin. It is huge (king size) and looks very pretty. Now I need to measure it and buy and sew together fabric for the back and choose the wadding.

It has been really fun so far and I've made several mistakes (like sewing the fabric of some squares the wrong way up blush) and done a fair bit of unpicking. Tallyra and others, I will definitely invest in a proper cutting mat and rotary cutter for the next one. Thanks for all the advice. Any tips on the next stage gratefully received smile

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 15-May-13 10:08:18

How huge is huge? You can get backing fabric up to 108" which would save you sewing together bits of fabric and having lumps and bumps everywhere when you are trying to quilt. It is doable but easier, for your first attempt to make the quilting as simple as possible.

Lady Sew and Sew does some extra wide backing as does Cotton Patch. Others do it too but those are the 2 I know about off the top of my head.

Basting the quilt together before you quilt it is a whole other story. I have to go out (quilting class actually grin) but if you want help or a good book reference let us know.

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