Recently I saw a quilt WIP (btw, that means a Work In Progress) from the 1970’s or 80’s. Well, maybe it wasn’t actually in progress, but I don’t know what the acronym for an Abandoned Project would be. It was a box of patchwork pieces, rusted pins holding together rusty holes in every square. Possibly that was how you prepared to sew. What a difference from today, when many quilters claim to “never pin”! Sometimes it’s just necessary if you want square blocks, perfect points, and flat borders. Here are some tips:
Accurate pinning is essential for producing accurate quilt blocks. Before sewing pieces together, you should pin on both ends of the unit as well as any intersections in between. Pin pieces right sides together. The pins should be at right angles to the raw edge of the piece, which will keep the pins out of the way of your hand while sewing.
Never sew over pins! A snapped needle or damaged machine will be an interruption. Stop sewing, remove the pin and place it in a pin cushion. A pile of loose pins will only lead to disaster – kids, dogs and especially husbands are all magnets for a stray pin.
When pinning two pieces together, if you find that one piece is slightly longer than the other, measure to find out which one is the correct length. Sometimes, you just can’t take out the stitches and resew. Repin to distribute the fullness evenly along the length of the seam. Sew the unit, placing the longer piece on the bottom against the machine so the machine’s feed dogs help ease the fullness.
When sewing long sashing or borders, fold in half and quarters, crease, then pin matching the creases.
Pin this way, and you’ll have square corners and flat borders with no waves.
There are many pins to choose from. Look for fine pins, so you won’t have big holes in your fabric. Fine pins will also keep the raw edges together better than a thick pin. So pick up a new pack and pin, pin, pin!