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5 Quilting Rules To Never Break

Summary

Have you been a rush on quilting project and wonder what rules you can break and no one will notice?  Well, here are five quilting rules to never break.

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5 Quilting Rules To Never Break

Have you ever been tempted to break the quilting "rules"? Here are a few rules you really should abide by to save yourself time, money, and aggravation.

5 Quilting Rules To Never Break

 

True Quarter Inch Seams

Quarter inch seams - don’t cheat them. Trying to make that "just a little too small" piece of fabric work by stitching a smaller seam will result in seams that open up and fray away when your quilt is washed. Believe me – I learned the hard way!

Not True Quarter Inch Seam

 

Quality Batting is Essential

Use quality batting or a quality filler layer. Cheap polyester batting can beard through your quilt top and ruin the look and feel of the whole quilt and who wants to put all of the time and effort into making a quilt only to have white balls of itchy polyester batting poke through the quilt top (and It will be the top, not the back). Another option for the filler layer is good quality prewashed flannel. Inexpensive flannel used as a filler can shrink horribly and make your quilt pucker instead of pouf. This is not a good place to "save money".

Quality Batting

 

Quality Thread is Essential

Thread will either make or break your quilt – literally! Make sure that your thread is fresh and strong and compatible with the job you are asking it to do. If you use old thread it will break prematurely and all of your work will be for nothing. If you use a thread that is incompatible with your fabrics it can cut your fabric over time, or break and make your quilt fall apart. Similarly, trying to use a thread that is not made for the job can have saddening and maddening results. Silk thread is a wonderful feeling product that is great for applique because it hides so well, but be forewarned, it is not a good thread to use to hand quilt. Over a washing or two it will seemingly "disappear". I have already made that mistake for you!

Good Thread

 

Quilt With Even Density

Quilt with even density and as close together as your batting manufacturer recommends. If you heavily quilt one section of the quilt and lightly quilt another your quilt will never hang straight and the borders will likely turn out very wavy. If you do not follow the manufacturers instructions on how closely to quilt you will also likely end up with a shrunk-up lumpy batting after the first washing or two and that certainly is not comfortable to snuggle with.

 

Prewash Your Fabrics

Yes, I know that a lot of quilters use their fabric without pre washing, but all it takes is one nasty bleeding fabric to ruin all of your hard work. Have you ever mixed fabric types? If you use a prewashed cotton along with an unwashed flannel be ready to cry! Fabrics can shrink by different percentages and flannel is a known heavy shrinker! So, thou shall prewash your fabrics prior to cutting or stitching and use Color Catchers in each wash thereafter to keep your beautiful quilt beautiful. I know, it is a pain to have to wait for your fabric to go through the washer and dryer before you get started making your quilt, but it is oh so much more painful to wash your quilt for the first time and have your fabrics bleed all over one another or shrink at different rates that make your quilt bunch up.

I hope following this little group of "rules" will help you be a happy stitcher!

Washing Aid

 

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Glossary

Applique
Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué


See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
Batting
The layer in the middle of a quilt sandwich between the Top and Backing layers consisting of wool, polyester, blends, silk, or cotton.

Same As: Stuffing, Filling, Wadding, Filler
Bleeding
The effect when there is excess dye in fabric or dye that has not been properly set. The wash water will take on the color of the dye and it will set on other fabric.
Filler
The layer in the middle of a quilt sandwich between the Top and Backing layers consisting of wool, polyester, blends, silk, or cotton.

Same As: Stuffing, Batting, Filling, Wadding
Flannel
A soft fabric which can be made from cotton, wool or synthetic fibers. It is usually loosely woven and slightly furry and is very warm. It's tendency to ravel makes it a very good fabric to use for rag quilt.
Quilt Top
The top layer of a quilt Sandwich.
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Quilting Contessa
Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.
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