Color Outside the Lines Quilt-Along: Piecing Tips
We've been getting some questions on how to get consistent and accurate blocks while piecing this project. Below you'll find some helpful tips for piecing that should help you get great results. See more about the Quilt-Along here.
1. If you're printing the template from our website, make sure you're printing at 100%. (You can check the accuracy by measuring the box on the printed page -- it should measure 1"). If this box isn't the correct size, check your printer's settings, and try again.
2. Double-check that your template is accurate. After copying it multiple times, you may find you've altered it slightly. If using a ruler instead of the template, make sure your ruler isn't slipping as you cut. It's also helpful to mark what line on the ruler you should be using with washi tape.
3. The cutting instructions give an option to cut pieces for the triangle-squares larger, then trim down to size after they're pieced. If you're having trouble with your triangle squares coming out too small, this is a great option.
4. Sew with an accurate 1/4" seam. If your seams aren't accurate, the pieces may not line up correctly. See a video of 4 tips for getting perfect 1/4" seams here. If you have a 1/4" presser foot, this is a great time to use it. If you don't have a 1/4" presser foot, you can make your own 1/4" guide with masking or washi tape. See the process of making your own seam guide here.
5. Your hourglass blocks can easily become too large when sewing, because the bias edges can be stretched and warped. If you're having trouble with bias edges, try using a starch to keep bias edges from moving and avoid stretching fabric as you sew. Finger-press seams before pressing with an iron. Be careful to press and not iron, as ironing will drag and stretch the bias edges.
6. Check the size of each unit as you finish it. You may need to trim unit to the sizes specified in the pattern.
7. If your units are consistently too small and you've checked your 1/4" seam allowance, try a scant 1/4" instead. Sometimes the small differences from pressing can add up to make a big difference. A scant seam allowance will help make up for that.