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What is Backstitching on a Sewing Machine?

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Just like the meaning of the term “the right side of fabric” eluded me when I began sewing, I was also being unsure about backstitching on a sewing machine. And I’m guessing that if I didn’t know how to backstitch, there are probably a few other people that are trying to figure it out, too.

So, backstitching, as the name suggests, is really just sewing backwards. You backstitch to secure the seam you just sewed. If you don’t backstitch, then your seam will unravel.

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Disappearing Nine Patch Quilt Pattern

I love it when you make something that looks complicated and like it took forever when in reality it was super simple. The disappearing nine patch quilt pattern is that way.

Wanna make one? Well, you came to the right place! Here we go…

First, make a plain ol’ nine patch block. (directions here!)

After you’ve made your nine patch, find the middle of the block and use your quilt ruler to help you cut a straight line down the middle.

disappearing 9 patch

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Cutting Squares for My Next Quilt

fabric squares cut for hourglass quilt

Last week, I posted about how I found some fabric I love to make a quilt for my son’s twin bed. I spent the weekend cutting it into 5.5 inch squares….. 384 squares to be exact.

I don’t know what got into me, in the past it would have taken me a month to cut that many squares. I did it in a weekend! Whoo hoo! Improvement.

I’m about to start sewing my squares. (My favorite part!) I’m going to explain step by step what I’m doing, and I think this quilt will be a good one for a beginner, so check back soon!

 

A Few Quilting Tips

I wrote this post planning on using it to go along with the pinwheel quilt tutorial I’ll be posting soon. But after I was done, I realized it applies to any quilt you might make.

This post might or might not seem like common sense. Either way, I’ve listed some things I do to speed up the quilting process a bit.  It’s nothing earth-shattering, but when I started quilting, I didn’t do them. Now I do, and quilting is even better than it used to be!

First, I usually cut all my fabric at the same time.

cutting several fabric pieces at once

I make stacks of cut fabric and stacks of blocks waiting to be sewn. There’s usually no reason to completely finish one block at a time. This is a stack of small blocks waiting to be sewn together.

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How to Square Up a Quilt Block (Part of The Beginner Sewing Series)

Squaring up quilt blocks was a step that I used to skip altogether. But then I just I drove myself crazy trying to stretch, pull and creatively iron 🙂 my squares to make them work and ended up with some really wonky quilts. (Which is really fine, after all, this is supposed to be a fun hobby!) But, the more I quilt, the more I want my quilts to look really good, so I’ve started squaring up my blocks most of the time.

Here’s how I square up my quilt blocks. As with most things quilty, there are probably 3000 different ways to do this, but this is the way that works for me. And, a little heads up, you’re probably going to want to rely on my pictures more than my writing! (This was much harder to explain than I anticipated.)

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Chain Piecing Quilt Blocks: The Beginner Sewing Series

Chain piecing is a great way to speed up the quilting process and it saves a little thread, so it also saves money. (Granted, not a lot of money, but still.)

I quilted for several months before I even heard of chain piecing. And when I learned about it, I was scared to try it. I don’t know idea why. It’s very simple.

So, what is chain piecing?

Well, it’s kind of like an assembly line for quilt squares. Your chain is your thread and you’re connecting your quilt blocks with that thread.

Here’e how to do it.

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How to Make a Nine Patch Quilt Block

If you’re new to quilting and want to make a quilt block without using a pattern, a good one to start with is a nine patch. They’re very simple to make.

Here are some 9 patch quilt block instructions using just 2 fabrics. I chose 2 coordinating fabrics, one light and one darker.

Cut 5 squares of your lighter fabric and 4 squares of your darker fabric. (You can reverse this and cut 4 lighter squares and 5 dark ones, I just used more of my lighter fabric because I have more of it.)

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How To Attach a Walking Foot to a Sewing Machine

A walking foot is a sewing machine foot that helps feed multiple layers of fabric through a sewing machine more easily.

Quilting with a walking foot will make your quilting life much easier, trust me. The fabric will lay flatter, your quilting will look much better and it’s just so much easier.

It’s super easy to sew with one, the only trouble I’ve ever had, was attaching it to my machine, so I’m putting up this little tutorial in case anyone else has the same problem.

***Little disclaimer here. This is how you attach it to my machine. (I have a Janome.) I think the process is pretty much the same on most sewing machines, but some of these steps might vary a little depending on your machine.***

To Attach Your Walking Foot:

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What is a Raw Edge in Sewing?

This post is part of my Beginner Sewing Series.

So, what is a raw edge?

A raw edge is, basically, the edge of the fabric that hasn’t had anything done to it and it will probably have at least a few little strings coming off if it.

Here’s a picture of a raw edge.

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One Way to Back a Quilt: Pieced Quilt Backing

When I first started quilting, I would occasionally see the term, “pieced backing,” and have no idea what it was referring to. I eventually figured it out, and now I make pieced backings for most of my quilts.

I piece my backings mainly because I love the way it looks, but also because it saves me a  little money.

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