QT Black & White Quilt #2

Here is some information to help you get started on your quilting:

Basic Quilting Supplies:
Sewing Machine (unless you like to hand-piece)
Thread for General Sewing ( I like 100% cotton, white, cream, or beige)
Quilting Thread for hand quilting
Scissors for cutting fabric and threads
Needles ( I like between's 9-10)
Rotary Cutter
Rotary Mat
Acrylic Rules
Iron and Ironing Board
Marking Pencils/Pens
Quilting Frames or Hoop

Fabric Preparation: Wash or don't wash, that is the question. I like the look of the winkled quilt if I wash the first time after quilting. Some colors bleed and you can check it with a clean white cloth that has water on it, rub the fabric and if the color comes off then prewash or use Retayne to stop the bleed, or both. I find that some reds and blues bleed the most.

Cutting Fabric: The rotary cutting supplies will help you be more accurate, but be careful the blades are VERY SHARP! Always include 1/4" seam allowance. (less if you are appliqueing.) Just remember to be accurate and careful. When you buy fabric you can buy a quarter of a yard which is 9" by 40/42" or a fat quarter which is a half of a yard cut in half again, it's 18" by 20/21". Some pieces will cut better from one over the other one.

Pressing: I all way press my fabric before I start cutting and I always use Mary Ellen's Best Press, The clear starch alternative. I have not found a build up of starch with it. I find that Mary Ellen's Press will set the fabric and I can cut easier, sew easier and repress easier and my blocks look so much nicer after I have made them. Remember to press which is an up and down motion and not ironing which is a side to side motion.

Piecing: Pin if you need too, but always align the raw edges and don't stretch the bias edges. Take the time to set your seam allowance with your machine:
I use graph paper, cutting the edge on one of the lines..putting under the machine with the needle a scant under the quarter inch line...put mole skin on your machine if you need help or use your sewing foot as a guide.

Test your seam allowance by cutting 3 pieces of fabric 1 1/2" by 3 1/2" and sew them together. After you are done the middle piece should be 1" and the 2 outsides should be 1 1/4". You should have a square that is 3 1/2", if not do this again until you have it right. I have more than 1 brand of sewing machines, so I just write down on a piece of post paper and put it on my machine. That way I don't have to remember what the # is for each machine and I can double check it every time I quilt.

OK, I think you have enough information to start. I will be giving more helpful hints along the way, but if you have any question just leave me a post and I will try to answer them for you. Remember to save all of your scraps for another lesson later and enjoy what you are doing. Next week you will be getting 2 more blocks.

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