Perfect Quilt Blocks versus Imperfect Quilt Blocks

I see quilters get really frustrated by under or oversized block, pucker-y blocks that won’t line up correctly, and points that are really far off. The bottom line is to have fun and enjoy your creativity. But, if wonky blocks are getting in the way of your enjoyment, there are some solutions.

These are issues that generally are caused by one of two mistakes.

The first thing to go wrong in sewing perfect blocks is in cutting perfect pieces. If your cutting is not very exact, your results won’t be satisfactory. A 3 inch width of fabric can’t range from 2 ¾ to 3 1/8 and expect that the blocks you sew the in to will be consistent. 3 inches really means 3 inches. If my ruler slips and the is a 1/16th inch problem for a little bit, I will not throw out the strip and start over, but for the most part, I am really careful about my cuts.

The second problem to come up is with the sewing. Again, measurements matter. A ¼ inch seam allowance should actually be a ¼ of an inch. There are a number of tricks and tips and tools to help you achieve that ¼ inch, however, being careful and practice are the most effective strategies.

As far as tools, there are ¼ inch sewing machine feet that will be very helpful. There are guides galore and there is always the option of placing tape on the machine bed at ¼ inch.

One important tip I use is that I don’t look directly at the needle going up and down, but rather at the fabric about an inch before it goes under the foot. If I keep that lined up well, the seam allowance will take care of itself.

Again, the best solution for wonky quilt blocks is to carefully cut and carefully sew. Measurements do matter.

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