Quilting is a creative hobby that’s very satisfying and a lot of fun; however, it can also be frustrating to no end when things just aren’t going right and your project is not turning out right.
No matter what kind of quilt you’re making or the type of quilting machine you’re working with, frustration-free quilting involves knowing a few common errors that can cause you to second-guess your love of the hobby.
Don't make these common mistakes and you’ll have a more enjoyable time stitching your beautiful quilt!
1. Failure to Prewash and Prepare Fabric
Because many quilts are made with cotton fabric and we all know that cotton shrinks, it’s essential to prepare the fabric correctly or you could end up with shrinkage problems after quilting it on your Q’nique quilting machine and washing it for the first time.
Wash the fabric first, dry and press it, and finish with some spray starch to make it easier to work with when cutting out all those small pieces and stitching them together to make the top.
2. Failure to Understand Fabric Grain
Fabric cut on the bias grain tends to stretch, which is desirable in some instances, but not in others, so learn how to find the grain in order to cut your pieces correctly.
Binding tape should be cut on the bias, but quilt top pieces should be cut on the straight grain.
3. Failure to Use the Right Thread and Needle
If you want great results, you’ve got to use a high-quality thread in both the spool and the bobbin on your quilting machine because inexpensive thread breaks more, creates more lint, and just doesn’t look as nice.
Similarly, always use a topstitch needle, a jeans needle, or a needle designed specifically for use in a machine like the Grace Q'nique 15R Midarm, especially if you want to do free-motion quilting.
4. Too Much Pressing
Though it’s good to crease the seams as you’re stitching the top quilt together, too much hot pressing can stretch those small fabric pieces, making it harder to stitch them together straight.
It would be better to just finger press while seaming those small pieces and gently press once larger blocks or sections are completed so that they only get pressed once.
5. Failure to Square Up Individual Blocks
Keeping things square is essential if you want all the parts and pieces to match up when constructing the quilt top.
If you’re making a pattern that consists of lots of smaller blocks to make up one larger block, each smaller block must be squared up to ensure they all come together properly to form a squared top.
6. Failure to Piece Binding the Right Way
If making your own quilt binding, it’s important to use bias cut fabric and piece it on an angle.
By piecing the tape on an angle, it will have a hint of stretch to it should that be necessary for binding around slight curves plus it makes a neater folded corner.
7. Failure to Measure for Precise Borders
Adding the border to a quilt involves more than just sewing on a strip of fabric.
It’s critical to measure and square up the whole quilt when it comes off the quilting machine so it’s trimmed squarely, then measure the binding as well.
By being careful about side lengths, you’ll avoid having a wavy border because the binding ended up too long.
Avoid These Top Errors and Enjoy Frustration-Free Quilting
As small as some of these little details may be such as finger pressing and not hot pressing, it’s sometimes the littlest things that can cause the biggest headaches.
The next time you sit to work on your project, remember these little tips so that by the time you get it to the quilting machine, everything should go very smoothly.
When your project is finished with greater precision, you’ll be happy you took the effort to learn them!