We break down some of the most common quilting mistakes and how to fix them!
Inaccurate Seam Allowances
When you’ve followed the instructions of how to make a particular quilt to a T, and still end up with blocks that are too small, it may be due to inaccurate seam allowances. A general rule of thumb for most patterns is to allow a quarter-inch for seams. There are a few ways to achieve this quarter inch seam allowance. The foot of your sewing machine might have a metal ridge to mark a precise quarter inch, but if not, you can always place a masking tape or a sticky not at the base of your sewing machine to mark the correct distance. Pressing the seams is also highly recommended, as long as you iron up and down, not side to side.
The main cause for mismatched rows is stretchy fabric. While pinning can help alleviate a lot of these issues, it probably won’t be enough. Here’s one method we’ve tried that actually doesn’t involve pinning at all: hold together the first two seams, and place under presser foot. Sew a few stitches back and forth at this intersections. After backstitching, cut the thread and repeat at the next intersection. Open up joined rows to see if seams are off. If they are incorrect, you’ll only have to rip out a few stitches and try again.
Before adding a border, you’ll need to measure your quilt and make sure the quilt top is even both length and widthwise. Trim off any excess. Instead of measuring and cutting the exact boarder length, sew a longer piece of fabric to the side of the quilt, and trim the excess off there. This will eliminate the extra fabric that often causes wavy borders. An alternative method is to measure the length and width of your quilt by placing a tape measure in the center the the quilt instead of the edges. But the borders to these dimensions and pin the exact center of your border to the exact center of your quilt side. Pin outward from the center, and stitch in place.