Westward Journey Quilt Along (Click link to see all posts.)
Let’s make sure we’re sewing with an accurate scant ¼″ seam allowance. It will make our carefully cut block pieces go together so very smoothly. Kathy Patterson, our senior editor, has a great FREE video tutorial for accurate ¼″ quilting seam allowances on our website. I recently discovered the nifty Perfect Piecing Seam Guide by Perkins Dry Goods at my local quilt shop, and thought it was very helpful. It actually has a hole to lower your needle into, then you attach your tape or short stack of sticky notes onto your machine bed, butted up against the ruler edge.
After stitching each pair of strips to opposite sides, press the seams flat to set them, then press the seams away from the center of the block. I usually press the seams to the side from the top of the block so I can make sure there aren’t any little pleats along the seam line.I find my Steady Betty pressing board (reviewed in watcha-McCall’s-it, McCall’s Quick Quilts June/July 2012) especially helpful for this step because it keeps my pieces from distorting as I press. Taking the time to press the seams really helps these blocks go together smoothly. Beth Hayes, our editor-in-chief, has a very helpful FREE video tutorial on pressing basics for quilters.
For pressing your seams as you sew, I highly recommend using a travel-size iron (lighter weight & size is easier on wrists for repeated lifting and setting down), and a small tray table set up next to your sewing machine. Here’s my first sample block:
In the next Westward Journey Quilt Along post, I’ll talk about using pieced strips from scraps, show you how I set up my workspace for piecing several blocks at a time, and share pictures of some finished blocks. If you’d like to share pictures of your finished blocks, please email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org, with Attn: Valerie, Quilt Along in the subject line.
Here’s another sneak peek at one of the 21 fast quilt patterns featured in our upcoming special issue publication:
Make this soft, lovely throw from assorted fabric scraps, yardage, or precut 10″ squares.
America Makes Fast Quilts…coming soon to a quilt shop or newsstand near you!