Saturday, November 22, 2014

Getting your blocks the right size...

As a quilter, we all know that having a finished quilt turn out square starts with great cuts.  When your cuts are right, your seam allowance is right, your block goes together right and the finish quilt turns out.... You guessed it, RIGHT!

AccuQuilt GO! Is a great way to make sure your cuts are right on the money, but if you don't have that luxury just be extra cautious with your rotary cutter.  You can do this.

Now, in this example I have two half square triangles which need to finish at 3" + .25" seam allowance on each side.  So once they are sewn together, the square unit should be 3.5".
If for some reason it measures differently, STOP right there and figure out why!  If it is a seam allowance issues, and more than likely it is, we could end up with out final block being .5" off and that is not good.
Next I want to share a board that I use often.    It is just a piece of foam board from the school supply section with a piece of spare batting glued to it.  I have these in many sizes and at least two per size.  It's like a mini design wall.
I lay out my pieces as the finished block will look.  This saves me so much time at the sewing machine.  When I get to my machine, I don't have to think about how the block goes together.
Once laid out on the board, I can determine which way I need to see my parts so that I can chain piece as much as possible.
In this example, I need to construct the center block first, the. Add the flying geese and remaining half square triangles.
Once the center is sewn, it is time to measure again.  Since this finish size is 12", I know that the outside rows should be 3" each and the center should be 6" + .5" total seam allowance (.25" each side).
Again, if the measurement is off, STOP and correct the problem before moving forward.  You can see below that the block as finished at 12.5" (12" block + .5" seam allowance).  That is exactly what we want to see.
When you get in the habit of checking your measurements, you will see a huge difference in how your quilts turn out.

If you have any questions or if you are interested in purchasing your own AccuQuilt cutter to help you start strong, please let me know.

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