Learning new techniques and ways to improve our sewing skills is such a great activity to do together. We meet throughout the year to be challenged as a group. This year ladies could choose classes on a fun quilted bag or art quilting.
Sewing & Quilting Tips
Use and Care for your wool pressing mats: For information about the do’s and don’ts, check out this link~ Wool Pressing Mat 21-5/8in Wide x 58-5/8in Long x 3/8in Thick (checkerdist.com) Under the description, you need to click on the Product Video link.
Wool Mat Use and Care Instructions
You can use any setting on your iron including the wool setting when ironing. We do not recommend using starch, however alternatives such as Best Press can be used.
Your mat can be placed on any surface for ironing. However, we do not recommend using steam when ironing as wool is a porous material so heavy steam might go through. For best results use a dry iron. Do not put your wool mat on top of a cutting mat due to the extreme sensitivity cutting mats have to heat.
If it is necessary to clean your wool mat, you can rinse the mat out in your sink or bathtub with cold water, blot it with several towels, and then hang it up to dry. A gentle rinse should do the trick. Be careful not to rough up the material.
Spinning Intersections: When sewing four-patch squares, the fabric can easily become bulky instead of laying flat. To remedy this, you can make a spinning intersection. Break the thread in the middle seam of the square and fold up. Press so that the seams are all rotating around the square in the same direction.
Practice pressing, not ironing: Your piecing accuracy will improve immediately when you take a bit of time to press your quilt blocks as you make them. And setting seams before pressing allowances to one side is an excellent way to instantly improve your patchwork.
Measure and Sew Borders the Correct Way
Adding one or more borders to the edges of a quilt does more than provide an attractive frame for your work … the process offers an excellent opportunity to square up slightly skewed edges.
Borders are usually sewn to the two longest sides of the quilt first and then to the remaining two sides with the final two extending straight across the ends of the first borders. The steps are:
- Measure the quilt from top to bottom through its vertical midpoint.
2. Cut two border strips that match the measurement exactly, using the width you’ve already determined looks best with the quilt. Borders made with crosswise grain strips are somewhat more stretchy than lengthwise grain border strips, but either type is suitable.
3. Piece border strips end-to-end to achieve length. Strips lose 1/4 inch for each seam it takes to stitch them together, so allow a little extra length when cutting. Sew the strips together along their ends, press seam allowances open to reduce bulk, then trim the strip so that its length matches the measurement in Step 1. Some quilters use 1/2 inch seams.
You could also opt to place a diagonal seam between pieced border strips instead of a seam that runs across each strip’s width.
*Some quilters prefer to measure a quilt’s length and width in multiple spots, add those lengths together, and then divide the total by the number of measurements taken to determine an average. Borders are then cut to match the average length.
*Sometimes you will find that it’s best to add top and bottom borders first to avoid the need for piecing those border strips. Use the same method, but measure horizontally first and start at the Short sides.
Determine which borders to sew first to make the best use of your fabric.