I pieced together some bigger blocks/slabs last night and made some notes to myself on a few things to keep in mind. I hope you find these helpful in your scrap quilt journey.
- If you are cutting into yardage, cut to a standard width. 1.5″, 2.5″ or 3.5″ strips and squares piece well together. I cut some random size widths and although it is interesting to the overall scrappiness of the quilt, they take more time to sew and trim.
- Thread! I was trying to use up what I had on hand and became so frustrated with it breaking that I went to our local quilt shop and bought a spool of light grey Auriful. Oh my gosh what a difference. This is 100% cotton thread, very strong and minimal lint in the machine. Side note: Grey is a great color to use when piecing as it is invisible on most fabrics.
- Use a small stitch length on your machine for more accurate seams. On my machine I have the length set to a 3 which produces 12 stitches to the inch.
- Always press the seams after you sew. Press to the darker side of the piece if possible.
- Take time to trim/square up the pairs, blocks and slabs before you sew on the next piece. This has made all the difference in my piecing. I have a very old sewing machine that does not have a quarter inch seam guide on the throat plate and my sewing foot is not accurate either so I use a piece of artists tape on the throat plate to guide the fabric through for a 1/4″ seam allowance.
- Add more dark colors. Looking at my blocks overall, I am missing the pop of a dark color (black, navy, charcoal). I think that 25% of the quilt should be dark fabrics, 25% should be light (aka low volume) and the balance in the mid tone range.
- I love remnants but these can be difficult to wash prior to sewing. I put mine into a nylon mesh zippered bag and then put that in the washing machine on delicate cycle. The pieces will still fray but not as much. These pieces I don’t put into the dryer but use my iron on a hot setting to help dry them. I will lay them out or hang them to dry completely if the iron doesn’t do it.
What are some other tips/tricks that you have discovered?
Keep it simple!