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Newbie Question

Old 10-24-2008, 05:59 PM
  #11  
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I was wondering about the 4 1/4 inch blocks.

There's no law that says you have to cut multiple layers of fabric, either.

There is a lot of flexibility -

If the blade of your rotary cutter doesn't automatically retract when you put it down, be SURE to do so. Those blades are sharp and blood is so annoying to try to remove from fabric. Also, the cuts tend to bleed profusely.

I strongly recommend prewashing ALL of your fabrics before cutting.
And if you use warm and natural batting, wash and dry that before using, also.

There are others that feel as strongly that you are good to go with the materials straight from the store.

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Old 10-24-2008, 06:01 PM
  #12  
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Quilters Rule (I think) did have a 4 1/2 inch wide ruler that was about 14 inches long.

It's the ruler brand with the ridges on the bottom.
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Old 10-24-2008, 06:02 PM
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Olfa also has a 4 1/2 inch square template if you are cutting squares from scraps.


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Old 10-25-2008, 04:57 AM
  #14  
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Personally, I like to cut strips 4 1/2 inches across the grain of the fabric (selvege to selvege [sp?]). If you're a beginner, sew two strips together. Later you can tackle more. Press the seams toward the dark. Then cut those sewn strips in 4 1/2 inch cuts. That will give you 2-block pieces. I love the June Tailor Short Cuts. It's a clear vinyl square that has slits at 1/2 inch increments. Just be sure to mark off with tape or something on the slits you will be using to cut. That way you won't be wasting fabric by making the wrong cuts. You can use this same technique with any size strip you wish to cut. Just cut the sewn strips the same width that you cut the original strips. I love the book THE IT'S OKAY IF YOU SIT ON MY QUILT BOOK by Mary Ellen Hopkins.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:15 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by mary quite contrary
Also, if you have already sewn clothes you don't need to backstitch when quilting. You put one set of blocks in and sew then run the next set right behind it without a break.
Oh that's very helpful. I have not sewn clothes before. When I was small, I hand stitched quilting blocks with my great aunt. But until last week I'd never touched a sewing machine. I've self taught myself everything so far. In reading about using the machine I learned about back stitching and just assumed I had to do while quilting.

In practicing my 1/4 " seams on some square blocks, I thought it was annoying to back stitch! LOL :mrgreen:

Thank you all so much for the helpful tips. I am starting with a simple baby quilt. Hopefully I won't get too bogged down.
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Old 10-25-2008, 05:51 AM
  #16  
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Good girl, practice is the key. And don't be afraid to make a mistake. Your mistakes will teach you. A trick I used to help students make the right size seam (if you don't have a quarter-inch presser foot): take a little post-it pad and split it in thirds. That is about the right thickness. Measure 1/4 inch from the needle (put the needle down and put the ruler or tape measure against the needle). Place the post-it pad on the 1/4 inch mark. Press it down as hard as you can. That will give you a good guide. Keep your eye on the edge of the fabric hitting the pad...not the needle. If/When the pad wiggles itself loose, just remove the last sheet and stick it down again. I taught beginner's sewing (garments) and they found this very helpful. I still use it for some things. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:01 AM
  #17  
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one easy thing regarding 1/4" seame, invest in a 1/4" foot for your sewing machine if you don't have one already. They are made two different ways - both are perfectly accurate it just depends on which machine you have. Here are two pictures PURELY of examples of the two different feet - you will need to purchase the 1/4" foot specifically for your machine.

Sorry about hte double post - not quite sure what happened!
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Old 10-25-2008, 11:06 AM
  #18  
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one easy thing regarding 1/4" seame, invest in a 1/4" foot for your sewing machine if you don't have one already. They are made two different ways - both are perfectly accurate it just depends on which machine you have. Here are two pictures PURELY of examples of the two different feet - you will need to purchase the 1/4" foot specifically for your machine.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Janome-Kenmore-H...QQcmdZViewItem

I can't find a picture of the 1/4" foot without the black guide, but they are around - I have one for my janome. Good luck!


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Old 10-27-2008, 07:13 PM
  #19  
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the library is also a great place to start when it comes to books on quilting... welcome aboard the best board...
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:47 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Away2me
Originally Posted by mary quite contrary
Also, if you have already sewn clothes you don't need to backstitch when quilting. You put one set of blocks in and sew then run the next set right behind it without a break.
Oh that's very helpful. I have not sewn clothes before. When I was small, I hand stitched quilting blocks with my great aunt. But until last week I'd never touched a sewing machine. I've self taught myself everything so far. In reading about using the machine I learned about back stitching and just assumed I had to do while quilting.

In practicing my 1/4 " seams on some square blocks, I thought it was annoying to back stitch! LOL :mrgreen:

Thank you all so much for the helpful tips. I am starting with a simple baby quilt. Hopefully I won't get too bogged down.
1/4 inch seams are a snap.

Take your new ruler there.. put it under the needle. Slowly lower the needle down so it hits the 1/4inch mark from the right edge of the ruler. swing the ruler around so it is parallel to the presser foot. put the presser foot down to hold the ruler in place. Take three or four strips of masking tape and tape alongside the ruler, one piece on top of the the other. You now have a mark for 1/4 inch from the needle. At this point, raise the presser foot, back off the needle, pull the ruler out. You now have an edge to run your fabric against, exactly 1/4 inch from the needle. Don't remove the tape until the top is finished.

we were (are?) beginners once. And terrified.

Good luck,

tim in san jose
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