A New Approach to Accuracy and Organization for Quilters

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The title of my new book is Easy Precision Piecing. And today I want to talk about that scary word . . . precision.

As quiltmakers, we may experience feelings of fear or intimidation upon hearing the word precision. If this happens to you, please keep in mind that precision is measurable and obtainable. Today, we quiltmakers have access to high-quality cotton fabrics. We have rotary cutters, rulers, and mats to help measure and cut patchwork pieces with extreme accuracy. Our sewing machines allow us to move the needle in small increments. We can add accessories such as a straight-stitch plate and a ¼” patchwork-presser foot, with or without a guide, to help us find an accurate patchwork seam. With the aid of these notions, accessories, tools, and other aids, accuracy is within our reach. In short, precision is about accuracy and the ability to reproduce a measurement consistently. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder.

When I started quilting, I found that some of my blocks went together without any difficulty, while others left me frustrated. I questioned why there was such a big difference in the quality of my piecing from one project to another. I began a quest to figure out what worked and what didn’t. I learned a lot about myself along the way and soon came to realize that I experienced the most joy and satisfaction when my points met and my blocks measured out to their intended size. When this happened, I would smile from ear to ear and make a note of machine settings, type of needle, thread, and size, how I prepared my fabrics, (washed, not washed), and so on. A clear picture began to emerge. When I found what worked for me, I kept practicing and improving, adding new tools and techniques as they appeared on the market. I began to set goals and standards for myself. As I refined my skills, I started working with smaller pieces and found that they brought along new challenges. For example, narrow 1” strips stood at attention no matter how creative my pressing. So I set out on a new quest. Through trial and error, I developed a method to keep my seams flat, which greatly improved my accuracy.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced quiltmaker, when you sew, cut, and piece you are already working with a level of precision. This book is intended to help you improve upon that level to rise to whatever standard you have set for yourself. It is your standard—no one else’s.

In Easy Precision Piecing, you will find answers on how to easily achieve accuracy through the use of new tools and techniques. Located throughout the book are Precision Piecing Keys. These keys provide clear-cut information that will help guide you to success with your piecing. You will find information on choosing and preparing fabric, accurate cutting, and discovering your precise patchwork seam. There is a chapter about Quilt Block Builders, block blueprints, and how to use them to keep your blocks organized and pieces in order. (As an added bonus, Quilt Block Builders for the projects are included in a pull-out at the back of the book!)

I am so pleased for the opportunity to share with you the Easy Precision Piecing system. May it bring you as much joy and success in your quiltmaking as it has brought to me.

Welcome to my village; I wish you a piece-full stay. 

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  • Shelley Scott-Tobisch
  • Easy Precision Piecing
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