Today, during Pretty, Pretty Patchwork Week, we take a short break from projects to review some of the tips and tools that make the process easier. The biggest tip: PRACTICE! The more you do, the better you get. No surprises there, but with patchwork, there are a number of repetitive tasks you only get better at over time. It's like a giant fabric puzzle, fitting together all those beautiful shapes into a field of color and design. If you know the basics and use the right tools, there's a much better chance of a frustration-free experience and a result you'll be proud to show off.
It was quite difficult to narrow down our topics to just five for today's article. It's worth your time to spend a few extra minutes browsing through our Tips & Resources section, especially the Sewing Tips & Techniques and the Buying Guide topics.
1. Quilting Basics: Tools, Cutting & Piecing
The intricacy possible in quilting is limitless, but the basics you need to get started are, well... basic. Here we outline cutting tools, how to square-up fabric, making strips and triangles from a square, and introduce a must-have tool: the quarter inch foot.
2. How To Fussy Cut
I included this article in our band of five, because often you want to feature a particular motif within one or more of the pieces to be patchworked. That's the job of the fussy cut: to center your designs exactly where you want them for the most dramatic results.
3. Products We Love: The Gypsy Gripper™Cutting Tools
For quilting, most people prefer to use a rotary cutter. Once you do any rotary cutting at all, you'll prefer the Gypsy Gripper™tools. They suction, I mean really suction, onto your ruler or template so you can hold it securely and safely while you cut.
4. Products We Love: Clover Fabric Folding Pen
Create more exact folds for patchwork or anywhere a small fold line is required. The pen draws a liquid line, and the special solution slightly weakens the fabric's fibers along that line. Not enough to damage the fabric; just enough to allow it to easily crease.
5. Accessories We Love: The Janome Clear View Quilting Foot and Guide Set
One cool accessory that does many things. It comes with two guides: a Quarter Inch Guide and a Ditch Stitch Guide. The foot is clearly marked with lines for 1/8" and 1/4" seam allowances, plus cornering marks both in front and behind the needle drop.