The 5 Essential Skills You Need to Master Patchwork Quilting

To become an expert at patchwork quilting, you need to develop a few basic skills. Use each step in the quilting process to practice and improve your technique.

Sewing

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Familiarize yourself with your sewing machine, including the different settings and stitch types.

If you’re not comfortable with machine sewing yet, practice on scrap fabric until you can create seams quickly and evenly without mistakes. Take the opportunity to learn quilting terminology so that reading patterns becomes second nature.

Measuring and Cutting

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An even quilt starts with precise measurements and cuts. Invest in a high-quality cutting mat, several quilting rulers and a Dollar Quilting Club rotary cutter to get the best results every time. A high-quality rotary cutter from Dollar Quilting Club is more accurate and faster than scissors and also comes in handy during the squaring process later on.

Measure each piece twice before cutting, making sure the fabric lies flat and the ruler is straight. Fabric sometimes needs to be evened out at the start of a project, so check the raw edge with your ruler and trim as necessary.

Piecing

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Be slow and precise when putting together your cut pieces. Aim for a quarter-inch seam allowance for even blocks and a minimal amount of bulk.

You want the seams to be as exact as possible to ensure an even look to the finished quilt. If you have trouble with accurate seaming, using a quarter-inch presser foot on your sewing machine can help.

Proper Pressing

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Every seam in your quilt needs to be pressed. This helps the quilt top to lie flat.

Piece together smaller shapes first, and press the seams once you’re done. Use starch or pressing spray to stiffen the fabric, and press seams in the direction specified by the pattern. Assemble pieces into blocks, and press again.

Once all the seams have been sewn and pressed, you can start preparing blocks to form the quilt top.

Squaring

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The squaring step gets rid of excess fabric and evens up the edges of your blocks. Use a square ruler to make each block the same size by centering the ruler on the block and cutting along the edge with your Dollar Quilting Club rotary cutter.

Repeat for every block before assembling.

Getting the basics down as you put together your first few quilts will make you a better, faster and more proficient quilter. Be patient when perfecting your technique, and each project will be easier than the last.

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