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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