Precise piecing involves careful cutting, pinning, sewing, pressing and trimming. If each of these steps is successful, blocks will finish the correct size and fit together well. The quilt will lay flat and be squared-up well for quilting. I will address these topics individually.
Question: Do your blocks always finish the correct size?
The Perfect Points Sampler has several blocks of different sizes and many points to match! It is very important, that each block end up the correct size for this sampler to go together well. Most of the blocks are 8" or 4" finished. Some odd-sized blocks have "frames" to make them fit. Precise piecing is needed to make all those blocks fit and points match!
I tried summarizing my thoughts on this topic in a blog post but it was too long! Please download and read the attached PDF:Perfect Points Sampler: Ann's Thoughts on Precision Piecing. I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this subject - now and/or as you improve through the quilt-along.
For this week's topics, please check out the CT tutorials at:
There are tutorials (written and video) on sewing several topics. This week I recommend that you check out the following:
I don't think there is voice. Just click on the pdf above this discussion and print it out. The directions are pretty exact. The only thing I would ask is that Ann tell us which way to press our seams.
the diagrams show little arrows and the text says something like "press away from the center" ...
Thank you, Elizabeth. I'll go back and re-read the directions again. It's easy to miss one little thing.
Jenn- when you line up your fabric to begin to sew take a firm hold of the two threads - bobbin and needle, hold it and gently pull as you start to sew. That should keep your fabric from bunching under the needle. An old trick from doll making days when we had tiny fingers and toes to sew.
Ann, what a wonderful Quilt-Along you're doing. Was so excited to get started so I printed out the fabric sheets and cut all my fabric so I'd be ready for Week 1. I didn't realize I shouldn't have. Once I got the instructions for Week 1 and saw that you had tips for piecing and cutting, I realized I jumped the gun. I did the Flying Geese with little or no problems, but when it came to the Diamond-in-a-square my blocks were smaller then the size they were supposed to be. I had enough fabric to cut new ones and followed your tips. They turned out much better. I'm enjoying this Quilt-Along, can't wait for the next lesson. Thanks for suggesting all the tutorials, they really have helped out a great deal - even though I've been quilting for many years. They show things in different ways, or just firming what I've been taught. Looking forward to what you're going to show us next!
Thanks for your postitive feedback! I get so excited when my suggestions help. Your blocks and fabrics are beautiful. Look for your photo in the slide show today. Lesson 2 is going up in a few minutes. Enjoy!
These are my completed Lesson 1 blocks. I have to say that I'm less than enamered with Flying Geese which is something I was hoping to overcome by taking this class. These are better than I normally make but there still isn't any love there when a pattern calls for them. I don't mind using them in the process of making another block, i.e. a star block, but as a stand alone block they just don't grab me! Anyway here are blocks, and I'm off to sew Lesson 2 together. Jan
Got my fabric in the mail yesterday and finished week one tonight. Thank you so much Ann for hosting this! I am beginning to see where I can do some really neat quilting designs that won't emphasize my mistakes if I use them! My past corners quilt I had to do stippling, or I would have made my poor points look even worse! I found much success in using the second diamond in a square technique. The flying geese, were troublesome though. I made 25 to get 16 acceptable ones! I am looking forward to trying a new method of sewing them in the upcoming weeks. I am using "The Angler 2" by Pam Bono Designs to help me. Really, it is just helping me see where the middle of the needle position and 1/4" positions are. I find when I watch the needle, my eyes get REALLY tired, but with this, not so much. The flying geese and first square blocks cracked me up- trim if needed! Hah, I make mine too small, despite being one needle click over, and trying to keep the fabric at a scant 1/4". The trick of letting the fabric peek out over the edge when cutting is helping a lot though. I'm thinking I may take the plastic Angler 2 off though and try plain painters tape since I'm not using it as intended at this point in time. Once again, thanks Ann!