Important Quilting Rules...

I'll show you which ones can be broken and which ones shouldn't.

It's important to develop good habits when you start quilting.

These quilting rules will assist you with the basics. 

1. Always sew a 1/4" seam when piecing a quilt.

The only times you don't sew a 1/4" seam is when you sew a "scant" 1/4" seam.  

This means you sew a seam that is one thread less than 1/4".

2. Never press seams open, always press to one side.

This is usually the case, however sometimes in order to reduce the bulk it is necessary to press a seam open.

3. Never press with steam.

I've learned that you don't get a sharp crease or a flat seam unless you press with steam. 

The key is to "press", rather than "iron" the piece.  

Ironing could stretch it out of shape.


4. Always press towards the darker fabric.

This is a great quilting rule!

However sometimes this is not feasible and we have to press towards the lighter fabric.  

We can stop the darker fabric from showing through by "grading" the seams.  

Holding your scissors on a 45 angle, with the darker fabric on the top, carefully cut off the very edge of the seam allowance.

5. Always wash your fabrics before using.

There are two schools of thought regarding prewashing.

One school says yes, always wash your fabric before using.  

The other school says no because it is easier to cut and sew with the sizing still in it.  

If you do not wash your fabrics, you should at least check colorfastness of dark fabrics by wetting one corner and pressing it between two layers of a white paper towel.

If you see color on the paper towel, the fabric needs to be prewashed or further treated to fix the dye.

If you do decide to prewash, you could use spray starch to "crisp" up the fabrics again and make them easier to cut and sew.

6. Always close your rotary cutter.

This is one of the quilting rules that must not be broken!!

 Rotary cutters are as sharp as razors and very dangerous.  

ALWAYS close your cutter every time you set it down!  

It's a great habit to get into.

7. Always straighten your fabric before cutting.

This is SO important! Otherwise your strips will not be straight -

  • they'll have a sideways V in the center.  

Holding fabric in the air with selvedges together, look to see if it hangs straight or has a bulge.  

If there is a bulge, then you must "walk" the front half sideways with your fingers until fabric hangs straight.

This takes some practice but is well worth the effort.

Straightening fabric step 1
Straightening fabric step 2
Straightening fabric step 3
Quilter at Patchwork

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