Thursday, May 9, 2024

Accuracy in Quilting - Piecing

Next in our Accuracy in Quilting series we're going to get into the piecing of our quilt tops.

Accurate piecing can be the most frustrating for quilters. While it does take practice there are steps you can take while you are learning to help.

Sewing Speed

Many machines have the ability to change the speed you use when stitching. If you are just starting out, a slower speed will give you more control over your stitching. You can speed up as you grow more confident.

If your machine doesn't have that option, treat your foot pedal just like the gas pedal in your care. Start off slowly, with even pressure. You will speed up as you grow more confident.

Marking stitching lines

In many patterns you will be told to mark a stitching line on the wrong side of the fabric. Marking these lines accurately is important. In this video you can see how I mark my lines.

To help keep your piecing accurate, make sure your lines are drawn accurately. Your lines should go exactly through the corners of your pieces so that your stitching is exactly where it should be.

When stitching strips sew slowly until you get the feel of your machine. My old sewing machine pulled strips through wonky when I used a faster speed, so I needed to use the slow speed. With my new machine I find that faster is better, or the seams get wonky. Taking the time to learn what your machine likes and doesn't like is a great step towards accurate piecing.


I have been quilting for over 20 years and I still pin everything. For me, the seams lining up nicely is worth the extra time. You can see how I pin in this video:

While pinning is a handy tool in piecing accuracy, be sure to stay away from running over them. It can throw off the timing of your machine and that is something you would need to bring your machine in for.


Needles are like rotary cutter blades, we hate to change them. But a dull needle can pull your fabric down into the machine causing stretching or getting the fabric caught in the plate.

Sewing to fit

There will be many times when you have units and/or blocks that are off just a bit. If one unit is 1/8" shorter than the other, it's ok. Pin the ends together and sew with the shorter unit on top. The feed dogs will help to bring in the longer piece. This works with quilt blocks as well. It *does not* work if there is more than 1/8" difference. If that is the case, try to see where the seam is to big, rip that out and try again.

This is the second article in the Accuracy in Quilting Series.

Make something extraordinary!

Did you get my 5 Free Tips for Accurate Piecing yet? I would love to send it to you, sign up HERE!

New to Patterns By Jen?


Don't forget to sign up for the Bites of PBJ newsletter while you are here!


Newsletter sign up


2024 Monthly Color Challenge


Find paper and digital patterns in my Etsy shop


Find fun PBJ merchandise at Teespring

Follow me on Instagram


Join the Quilt and Learn with Patterns By Jen Facebook page.


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to get your comments and hear your ideas. I always respond to comments (though it may take me a few days), if you haven't heard from me it might mean you are a no reply commenter. If you haven't heard back from me, check back here, because I will reply to the comment.