|Sewing Information, Advice, How-to
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Free Quilt Block Patterns - Over 1000 designs!
When constructing a quilt block, accuracy and precision are essential, especially if
the design is particularly intricate or made up of very small fabric pieces. If your
fabric cuts or seams are off even by just a little bit, your fabric pieces may not line
up correctly and your blocks and finished quilt may come out too small or too large.
So for a finished quilt block that comes out well, start by pressing your fabric. Then
square your fabric so that you'll be starting off with straight fabric edges and right
angles (you can find an excellent tutorial for squaring fabric here). And when using
a rotary cutter and ruler, place your measurement line on top of your fabric edge
instead of slightly off its edge. Tiny discrepancies of only a few threads can really
add up and make your finished block (and finished quilt) come out too small or too
To sew accurate quarter-inch seams, try marking a quarter-inch seam allowance
with colored tape on the bed of your sewing machine. And using a longer guide like
this can also help you align your fabric before it reaches the needle (as opposed to
simply using the edge of your presser foot as a guide).
Also, before starting to construct your blocks, test your seam allowance for
accuracy (you can find a great tutorial for doing this here). And if you find your
fabric measurements are slightly too small, you may want to try sewing a “scant”
quarter-inch seam which is slightly smaller than a true quarter-inch seam. This will
allow for the slight loss of fabric that can occur through stitching and pressing the
seam allowance to one side.
You can choose to press your seam allowances to the side or press them open.
And remember to press your fabric pieces, don't iron them. Ironing (moving the
iron back and forth along the fabric) can cause distortion of your fabric pieces.
Sew quilts with this collection of links to over one thousand free quilt block patterns
gathered from all over the web!