Wanda's Tips and Tricks
Every effort is made to utilize your fabric in the best way possible. I add 4" to fabric requirements just in case that first edge is not straight or you happen to have an "oops".
Cutting is listed from the largest pieces to the smallest. Sometimes those cut-offs from a large piece can be used for a smaller one.
WOF means "Width of Fabric" which is from selvage to selvage.
LOF means "Length of Fabric" which is cutting parallel to the selvage (going down the length of the fabric you have purchased).
Other frequently used short forms by quilters are: HST - half square triangle, QST - quarter square triangle and the often used UFO - unfinished object!
Let's not forget to keep those rotary blades sharp...it keeps the cutting so much easier.
Many patterns now feature panels and why not? Some of them are absolutely beautiful. Panels are also a means for making up a little quilt quickly.
Before cutting your panel to the required size, hold the diagonally opposite corners and give a light tug. Do it again on the other 2 corners. This will straighten the fabric and make your cutting more accurate.
Most pattern designers have you add a small border around the panel and then instruct you to cut it to a specific size. This will ensure that the rest of your quilt will go together properly.
Love the pattern but not the panel? You can substitute any panel with the same orientation as long as you cut it to the size the designer requires.....Here is where you can add those borders mentioned above.
There are so many fusibles we can use and it would be unfair for me to single out any one product. It is best if you explore and find the one that you like to work with and which is available in your area.
These are the ones that are the best fit for me.
Steam-A-Seam 2 Lite® - This one has paper on both sides of the glue and is easy to trace patterns through. It is tacky enough to be able to re position pieces easily...before pressing with an iron of course! Speaking of irons....always have a sheet of parchment paper between your project and the iron. This traps the heat so fusing is more efficient and keeps your iron clean.
Misty Fuse® - This product has no paper, just a fine net of glue. It is ideal for those projects where there will be multiple layers or if you plan to do some hand stitching. Fabrics fused with Misty Fuse remain very soft.
Soft Fuse® - This one has paper only on one side and is easy to trace through. There is no tackiness so positioning small pieces can be a challenge but as the name suggests fabric remains very soft.
Now that the fabric pieces have been arranged and pressed down what do we do? Well, you have 4 choices:
1 - Leave it as it is. A project that is not going to be handled too much should be fine.
2 - Machine outline stitch each piece with a straight stitch. This will leave a tiny raw edge which should be fine for a wall hanging. Keep in mind that sometimes it is desirable to have that raw edge lift, to give the project character or dimension.
3 - Machine outline stitch each piece with a small zigzag stitch. This is good for projects that will be handled or washed such as a bed quilt.
4 - Machine outline stitch each piece with a small blanket stitch. This is my personal favourite as it leaves a very nice edge and helps define the picture. Also great for bed quilts.
Be sure to use a new Microtex or Universal 80/12 needle when beginning a machine applique project.