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SEW SATURDAY: Struggling to Make that Perfect Quilt Block? A Few Tips to Help Ease the Frustration

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Selecting your Fabric


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100% cotton works best. There is much debate on wheather to pre-wash your fabric first--I pesonally do not. I like to work with really crisp fabric when cutting and piecing. My method for selecting fabric is find the one piece that catches my eye and build around that one piece. I am not much for themed or brand collections but love the hunt to find the perfect pieces that go nicely together.




Since COVID my method for purchasing is online--even fabric. I have had good luck with a few companies such as NYDesignerFabrics even Amazon has a large selection including bundles in fat quarters, 8" x 8", 10" x 10", 20" x20", and I found this fun 60 piece 5" x5" Dr. Seuss collection--Amazon really has a huge selection at your fingers tips without ever leaving your house. Don't get me wrong I still love going to Jo Anns and Hobby Lobby sometimes but I get up soooo early in the morning--like 3am--that when I do my best brainstorming and buying. Internet is always open.


Choosing you Method of Cutting


  1. Need a really sharp rotary blade (new), rotary cutter, rotary mat. LIST OF MY FAVORITE STUFF

  2. Or you can use an ACCUQUILT to do all your cutting. I have learned to let go and let this machine do some of the work--plus it really does make extremely accurrate cuts--so easy to use! Most of all it is FUN.



ACCUQUILT has O% financing for one year and comes in various sizes with a large selection of bundles--better news it is on sale with free shipping. Never have to replace the blades, mats last a very long time--I havent had to replace mine yet--starting to look a little rough but still works.


Go! Me Fabric Cutter is the smallest size comes with 2 dies (3" half triangle and 3" finished square), 6" x 6" cutting mat and 5 free patterns.


Go! Fabric Cutter has three different starter bundles to get you up and going in no time.


Accuquilt Studio 2 Fabric Cutter has a three kinds to choose from: Best Sellers Starter Set, Studio 2 Precuts Starter Set, and Studio Rag Quilt Started Set.


Then there is the GO! Big Electric Fabric Cutter Starter Set: This really is the ultimate machine. I finally broke down and bought one. I spend a small fortune in rotary blades, not to mention the carple tunnel pain after hours of cutting. These machines do your cutting in the fraction of time so you can get to the fun part--sewing.


So I purchased the GO! Big Just Add Fabric-12" Block Started Pack--wanted the GO Big Qubed Ultimate Starter Pack but....

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Threads, Sewing Machine, & Iron


Choosing a quality thread will keep your frustations down. For instance, I can stand when my thread is breaking or if it easily gets tangles--grrrr. I use a high quality thread like Sulky Brand. Most of my thread is Sulky: Vibrant, high quality, comes in wide selection of colors, types, & weights. I use only 100% cotton thread and 30wt to 40wt for quilting.


Now you are ready to sew. Almost any machine can sew a quilt block: all you need is a 1/4" pressor foot. Most all quilt block are sewn with a 1/4" seam allowance. However, if you are in the market of a new machine--SewingMachinePlus is a great place with a wide selection to choose from with financing options available. Or you can go through Amazon, especially if you have Amazon Prime for free shipping.

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

I use my Vintage Singer Feather Weight I bought off of Market Place--I paid >$500 for this little machine. I love sewing quilt blocks with this little machine. These machines are hard to find and a bit pricy.


If you can find one these are absolutely the best little machine for quilt piecing.






Choosing an iron--I like an iron that gets really hot--if you have to roam all over your fabric this can distort your shape--thus creating a headache later on. I have two kinds of irons I use for quilting: my Cricut Mini Heat Press and Rowenta.


The Cricut Mini I keep by my sewing machine along with the cricut heat press mat so when I sew my seams I can press them as I go--this really helps keep your quilt block in better alignment. Remember dont iron you material--just press.


The Rowenta I take my quilt top to the ironing board when the quilt block is finished. I do this for two reasons: it makes me get out of my chair once in a while or I will sit there for hours sewing which is unhealthy and the Rowenta has a larger iron surface.


I sometimes will get out my big Cricut Press--when i remember I have one--just remember this one gets really hot--so turn down the heat setting before pressing. But this works great on large surfaces.


Now another debate--press open all seams or press in one direction. I personally like to press my seams open. Creates less bulk. I like less bulk for when I go to quilt it together. If the seams are bulky the Long Arm Quilting machine gets hung up in that area causing my smooth motion to not be so smooth grrrr. Of course this is just an opinion and what I have encountered.


Well I have hit the highlights--next week we dive a little deeper into different quilt blocks and how to design your quilt masterpiece.


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