Hello friends! I’m checking in today to share with you one of my favorite FAST quilting tips–because my lovely friend Amy Smart from Diary of a Quilter asked me to! And well, when someone that sweet asks you to do something, you just do it! Plus, she has a super fun book that’s just come out, and I wanted to share it. I had the fun of quilting two of the quilts in the book, and one of them even made the cover (so cool!).
Her book is called Fabulously Fast Quilts, and so she wanted all of us to share our secrets for faster quilting! So here’s my tip:
Super Speedy Quilt Borders Quilting Hack
Let me tell you–this little gem saves me SO. MUCH. TIME. Of course, it may be a little controversial for those of you who have been quilting for years and years, but hear me out. This just might change your life.
Here’s my confession: I don’t measure or pin my borders. Ever. At all. True story. No math, no measuring, no pins.
HOLD ON! Before you picture super bad borders with waves and puckers and stretching and all that horrible-ness, let me state for the record that my borders are square, and the perfect length. No waves.
So here’s how it goes: I sew all my border strips together lengthwise to make one. long. strip.
Then, I attach my
best friend walking foot to my sewing machine.
Then, I sew my border on. I give myself an inch or so of extra at the top, and when I get to the bottom, I give myself an inch or so there, too.
I cut off the rest of the long strip, and set it aside for the rest of the border.
I press my border, and trim it using my ruler and rotary cutter to make sure it’s square. Then, I attach the other borders. Usually I will do both sides before pressing and trimming, and then do the top and bottom.
None of this crazytown measuring and fussing with pins, and averaging, dividing, and yuck.
Just quick, easy, square, FAST borders. Every time.
You should really get a walking foot. I mean it. (A walking foot is a presser foot for your sewing machine, that allows the top and bottom fabrics to feed evenly. It’s like magic.)
Also, you should really get Amy’s book. (It’s available here, here, and here.) She’s a doll, and her quilts and fun, and easy, and FAST! Win, win, win!
I mean really, check out these quilts! (I also got to longarm the pretty green one!)
So head on over and say hi to Amy, and tell her congrats and good job on her book–because hey, you’ll have lots of time to read blogs now that the borders on every quilt you make will be done in like 10 seconds.
PS This post is just one of a bunch of fast quilting tips being shared by a bunch of awesome chickadees. You should really go follow along–your quilting speed will increase exponentially, I’m sure!
Monday April 28
Tuesday April 29
Wednesday April 30
Thursday May 1
Friday May 2
The other day (or like, two months ago) on QuiltCast, Amy and I were talking about shortcuts and tools we use in our studio. I mentioned blue painter’s tape, and how I use it for making Half Square Triangles (HST) quick and easy. WITHOUT MARKING. Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t mark the back of my half square triangles. I’m a quilting rebel, what can I say. (By the way, have you been listening to QuiltCast? It’s a podcast for quilters that I’m doing with Amy Ellis of Amy’s Creative Side. We’re getting some great feedback on it, and I’d love yours. Head on over and download it and let me know what you think? xoxo)
Anyway, I figured you’d want to see this awesome little hack, because hey, it saves me a ton of time…and who really loves marking the back of HSTs anyway? *crickets*
That’s what I thought.
So get yourself some blue painter’s tape, and let’s do this thing.
Mark one line right down the middle of the tape, and another line 1/4″ away on either side, for a total of 3 lines.
Put the tape on your extension table, lining up the middle line with your needle. Be sure not to place the tape over the feed dogs.
To sew a standard HST, line up the top corner with your needle and place under your presser foot. Align the other corner with the middle line.
keeping the bottom corner on the middle line as you sew.
Sew all the way to the other corner…
set your seam, trim your excess,
press toward the dark, and VOILA!
To make 2 HSTs, simply align your top corner with your 1/4″ seam allowance (I use the edge of my patchwork foot) and the right or left line.
then rotate and repeat…
on the other side of the diagonal.
Cut between the two seams…
Set seams, press toward dark, trim up, and check it out! Two HSTs and NO marking!
Seriously people, it’s like magic. (However, it is not magic taking photos in the basement.)
On my table, the biggest HSTs I can do with this method is 3″ square–but for those of you lucky ducks who have a custom table where your machine is inset, you may be able to go even bigger. Just make sure your tape is straight out from the needle.
What do you think? Will you try my Half Square Triangle Hack? Do you have any fast and easy methods of your own? I’d love to hear them!
Also. YOU GUYS. New Patterns and a Black Friday coupon code coming tomorrow!! I’m crossing my fingers you love these new ones as much as I do.