Tuesday Tip – Measure Twice, Cut Once

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‘Measure twice, cut once’ is a phrase I originally heard watching woodworking and home improvement shows like ‘This Old House’. But the same adage applies to quilting.

To save yourself a lot of heartache (not to mention fabric), never, Never, NEVER assume a quilting pattern is 100% correct! EVERYONE makes mistakes, and especially in the case of FREE patterns you find online, there are often errors. Sometimes it’s a simple typo, other times the math has not been checked carefully and you may find yourself short of fabric or having cut some pieces the wrong size.

So I offer TWO tips today –

1) ALWAYS purchase a little more fabric than the pattern says. Sometimes fabric is not a full 44″ wide; sometimes it shrinks when you prewash; sometime YOU make a mistake in cutting; sometime the yardage in the pattern is barely enough to cut all the pieces. Especially if you will not finish the project right away, and it’s now a year or two later and you can no longer find that fabric to finish your quilt – you don’t want that to happen.

2) ALWAYS cut and sew one or two test blocks before cutting all your fabric. This will allow you to see if all the pieces go together correctly, or if the measurement that said to cut the squares 2″ was actually a typo and you really needed to cut them 2-1/2″. Just today I heard of someone who cut ALL the triangles for her quilt, and then realized she had cut them the wrong size – ACCCKKKK!

And here’s a THIRD tip for today – when sewing the test block, choose a theme or color-scheme, and always make your test blocks from those fabrics. Let’s say you decide to do Christmas fabrics. After sewing 12 or 20 test blocks, you’ll have enough for another quilt – BONUS!!

And since every good quilting blog post should have a photo of a pretty quilt, here’s one I finished for a customer yesterday:

Freehand swirls quilted on a pretty little table topper

Freehand swirls quilted on a pretty little table topper

Like what you see here? You can view more of my quilting in the Quilting Gallery, and please subscribe to my blog on the top right of the page, so you won’t miss out on any of my posts. Thanks for coming to visit me today!


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