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Beginning Piecing: Add the binding

beginning piecing beginning quilting quilting for beginners quilting tutorial

Beginning Piecing: Add the binding

Once the quilt has been quilted, the edges need to be bound. The binding can either frame the quilt or fade into it by using the same or similar fabric to the outside border of the quilt. It is your choice. Before adding the binding, cut off any excess batting and backing and square up the quilt one final time. Your sides should be of equal length and your top and bottom should be of equal length. Cutting your binding requires an upfront decision. Some people cut their binding at a width of 2-1/2". I cut mine at 2-1/4". I...

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Beginning Piecing: Adding borders

beginning piecing beginning quilting quilting for beginners quilting tutorial

Beginning Piecing: Adding borders

When I first started quilting, I didn't understand the function of borders. Sure they look great and add to the overall beauty of the quilt, but there are also a couple specific reasons for adding them. When all the pieces have been sewn together in the center of the quilt top, most designers add one or more borders. The first border is the most important because it can keep the edges of the quilt top from stretching. Structurally, its main purpose is the secure the edges of the quilt.  Square up the quilt before adding any borders. Make sure the...

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Beginning Piecing: A word about pressing

beginning piecing beginning quilting quilting for beginners quilting tutorial

Beginning Piecing: A word about pressing

OK, so it's going to be more than a word.... There is a difference between ironing and pressing. You iron clothes. Ironing is moving the iron to and fro across the fabric to straighten it. You can iron fabric when you are prepping it for cutting. Once you start piecing, you press. Pressing is an up/down motion. There is no dragging because any dragging could distort your pieces.  If you watch quilting shows, you will hear them say to set the seam before pressing. Setting the seam is taking the fabric as it has been sewn together to the ironing...

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Beginning Piecing: Sewing the pieces

beginning piecing beginning quilting quilting for beginners quilting tutorial

Beginning Piecing: Sewing the pieces

Believe it or not, but the hard part is over. The prep work and cutting your fabric sets the stage for a successful quilt or other project. The hardest part of this stage is getting that perfect 1/4" stitch. As with just about everything, there is more than one way to achieve that goal. Experiment with them all and decide which one works best for you. Most machines have a 1/4" foot. These feet have a flange on the right side. The raw edge of the fabric glides along that flange keeping the fabric straight and at that perfect 1/4"....

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Beginning Piecing: Cutting your fabric

beginning piecing beginning quilting quilting for beginners

Beginning Piecing: Cutting your fabric

Now that you have your straight of grain, cutting your fabric will be a piece of cake--almost. There are a few tips I'd like to share about actually cutting your fabric. Be sure your fabric has some stiffness to it and that you have ironed out all the kinks and creases. Overtime, you will develop a sense of what you like in terms of how stiff you want your fabric. Using the right tools can make all the difference. Using a rotary cutter is a great option for cutting fabric. Some traditionalists, though, continue to use scissors. The choice is...

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