Fourth: There are no Quilt Police!
If you don't have a 1/4" foot and adjust your needle so it stitched at the 1/4" line, create a way to mark your machine at the 1/4" line. Then sew ALL your pieces with the same seam allowance.
And don't feel bad if you look at your finished block and see that it is wrong. Even seasoned quilters make blocks backwards, upside down, sideways, too small or too large or just plan wrong sometimes. This is why so many quilters buy more fabric then the pattern calls for in the first place. We all make mistakes. That is also why our best friend is sometimes our seam ripper. I've named mine "Jack".
I spent part of my day quilting. I am working on a quilt that I have designed. While the previous designs I've created have been geared for the beginner this one seemed like it was too. I am realizing that while it looks simple it is one that the quilter needs to pay attention to the layout of the quilt block and the lay out of all the blocks. The quilt is made up on just one block design. It can be assembled in random ways for a different look, or have various fabrics used for a total different look. However, I designed it to have specific tones of single colors used and the placement has to be exact.
So the tips for today are just that -
Follow the photo of the quilt design if you want the same look as the pattern. Any change in size of block, how you assemble, matching seams, corners etc will change the overall look of a pattern. (Sometimes this is for the good and makes for an interesting quilt.)
This may require extra time with your seam ripper. Have I mentioned your seam ripper will become your best friend? lol
The best thing to do to assure accurate placement of your blocks in comparison to the pattern photo is to lay out your blocks, take a photo of them and look at your photo. It's surprising what you will notice in the photo that you will not see with just your eyes looking at your lay out.
When sewing the pieces together to make your squares and them to make your blocks you can get better matched seams if you take the time to pin the pieces at each intersection of seams. Guide your piece carefully through your sewing machine and adjust the seam allowance which may tend to fold over the wrong way while you sew.
SEAM ALLOWANCE DIRECTION
When you are pressing your squares, and blocks there is a general 'rule' to press to the dark fabric. At times you will wonder which fabric is the 'dark' fabric so this 'rule' is hard to follow.
Unlike in sewing clothes where you press the seams open, you will want to press the seams to one side or the other. And to alternate which direction they go so when you attach one piece to the other they will as flat as possible.
As always - take your time, enjoy the process. Some quilts will take no time at all to complete. Others will take years. Don't get discouraged. Keep going. Also, don't worry that you have to finish one quilt before you start another. Just ask any quilter how many quilt projects they have going at one time! Rarely do we have just one!
For further Tips and Tricks and some tutorials check out other areas on this blog:
For Tutorial on cutting your fabric: http://quilterspantrytn.blogspot.com/search/label/TIPS%20%20and%20HINTS
For ideas on how to store your patterns: