Pumpkin Picking Quilt-Along: Weeks 7-8 Tips
Weeks 7-8 of the 2020 Quilts & More Quilt-Along start on 9/28. The assignment is to assemble the quilt center and add borders. Below you'll find some helpful tips. See more about the Quilt-Along here.
How do I make sure my blocks are in the correct layout before sewing them together?
If you have a design wall or large open space on the floor, this is a great time to use it to lay all your blocks out. We suggest taking a picture of the layout to help see if any of the blocks are turned the wrong way (it's easier to tell in a photo than in person). The photo may also help you see if any specific colors or fabrics are unbalanced in your quilt top.
My quilt center isn't completely rectangular. How do I handle adding borders?
We like to wait until we're done piecing our top before we cut our border strips, and here's why: no matter how perfectly you piece your quilt, with so many seams, it's probable that one or more of the sides of your quilt may be a little larger or smaller that it's supposed to be. If this is the case, measure each side of the quilt and then also measure down the center. Take the average of those three numbers and cut your two side borders strips to that average length. Then match the ends and the center of the border strips to the quilt. When you sew the borders on, put whichever piece is longer down toward the feed dogs, which helps take care of small differences in length.
When I'm done adding my borders, what else do I need to do before quilting?
- Clip all loose threads and fabric, and trim dog-ears. Any of these can cause a shadow behind lighter fabrics if not removed. Loose fabric can bulk up in a quilt sandwich and make it look bumpy.
- Make sure the quilt top lays flat by using consistent 1/4" seams, pressing seams to one side and watching for seams that twist and cause a bump. Give a finished quilt top a final press to ensure it is ready to be quilted.