Practice makes perfect is the age-old adage. But what if you didn’t have the time to practice? If you are looking for ways to take your quilting game to the next level, why not try some of these simple tricks that not only save time but will also help you improve your accuracy and finishing.
The primary rule of quick quilting is to have all your pieces cut ahead of time. If a project calls for a more intricate piece, that can be cut at the beginning of the project an kept separately. Generally speaking, fabric can be cut into more accommodating shapes like squares that can later be trimmed. They can also be stacked according to size, shape or color to make it easier to pick out the pieces you need for the quilt.
A quilter is only as good as their machines, so remember to take good care of the sewing machine by servicing it regularly. This can be as simple as running the machine with a few drops of oil or as complex as taking it apart and giving it a deep clean, though it is recommended that the machine is sent to the company for servicing yearly rather than taking it apart at home.
One of the easiest ways to save time is to prewind your bobbins with neutral color thread. If you are working exclusively on a single colour, then this step just got easier. Not only does this save time winding bobbins before each quilting session, it is especially helpful when you are attending a class or taking your quilt along with you on a journey.
Lastly, when stitching, make sure that to leave a seam allowance. This prevents the cloth from ripping when pulled. You can also opt to stitch the pieces together using a chain piecing method (feeding fabric pieces for stitching without a break) as this saves thread and the time taken to stop and start each time.
Read also – Picking the Best Design For Your New Quilt
The fundamentals of hand and machine quilting remain the same, though the process is slightly different. For one, quilting by hand is extremely time consuming when compared to quilting by machine. However, beginner quilters will find it more difficult to maneuver the machine’s needle over a more complex path. In order to quilt efficiently, it is imperative to have as much space as possible, such as a large dining table, to spread your quilt across when working. This leads to less likeliness of overstitching the fabric. Using coordinating threads and bobbins will also lend your finished product a more polished look. Every sewing machine performs differently, so a trial run may be in order to find the right tension setting for your particular machine.
Half of the quilting process lies in getting the details right. Make sure you have a quilting plan and stick to it. It might seem unnecessary for a simple design but drawing out the final design will help keep the goal within sight. It may also seem reasonable to start on smaller projects first before working your way up to a full sized quilt. The secret is to never give up in the middle, even if the project looks like it may be a failure. A splendid idea is to gift your failed quilting projects; the recipient will be too touched to notice the flaws.
Ever wondered what a finished quilt would look like in a specific design but lack the brain power to fully envision it? Or have you ever finished a quilting project and wondered why it didn’t look like the image in your mind? If your answer is yes, there is a solution to that particular conundrum. By using Photoshop or a similar image manipulation tool and a scanner, you can literally stitch a quilt digitally.
The first thing to do is to decide on a pattern and recreate it to scale on the imaging software. This requires a little knowhow on how the pattern stamping tool and resizing works on Photoshop and there are dozens of tutorials online to cover these topics. Make sure you save each piece of the quilt to a different layer, so that they can be filled in later. The next step is to scan all the fabric you will be using for the project. Save them as high quality JPG files. Once that is done, convert them to scale on Photoshop, decide where each fabric will go and use them to fill in each ‘piece’ layer of the quilt. Not only is this an easy way to recreate the image in your mind, it will also save the time and heartache caused when the final product does not look the way you want it to.