Tiny, Precise, Piecing: Tips by Emily Lang

Welcome all, here's the first guest post on my blog! Yay!!! 

emily-lang-tips-for-tiny-precise-piecing

Today on my blog, I have invited my BFF, my sister from another mother - Emily Lang. Yes, she is the one my Bernina 330 is named after! She is super well known for all the tiny piecing that she does. That's the reason she is talking today about tiny, precise piecing!

emily-lang

Hello! I’m Emily Lang, you might remember me from past guest appearances here on Shruti’s blog, or from my own blog and instagram, Mommy’s Nap Time. I've been sewing for about twenty years, and fell in love with quilting after my daughter was born. I love to design quilts, and I love quilt math! Writing patterns is my passion, and I have published over 30 patterns available in various quilt magazines worldwide. Check out my newest pattern Shades Quilt available on Craftsy.

I’m here today to talk about tiny piecing, and ways to maintain precision while piecing with small pieces.

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  • Use your scraps! Tiny piecing only requires small scraps, so grab some of your favorite fabrics and cut some 1” x 4” strips, and some 2 1/2” x 2 1/2” squares.
  • Cutting matters! It is very important to measure and cut accurately. There is no room for error in cutting accuracy, every little millimeter of wobble will show in the end product!
  • Switch your needle plate out for a straight stitch needle plate. This needle plate has a smaller opening, and is less likely to pull your fabric in!
  • Lower your stitch length. For regular piecing I would use a 2.5 stitch length, for tiny piecing I would take it down to just under 2.
  • To avoid loose stitches at the beginning of your seam, stitch through a scrap before beginning your seam, leave the threads connected, and start chain piecing your small pieces. Some people call this a leader / ender, but I just use the same scrap until it’s too messy to use anymore.
  • Always sew with a scant 1/4” seam allowance. Accuracy is much harder when we try to use an 1/8” seam allowance, there isn’t any need to reduce the seam allowance.
  • Press the seams open. This reduces bulk and helps to see when lining up the little pieces.

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  • For half square triangles (HST) cut larger squares (2 1/2” x 2 1/2”) and sew the HST units in the normal fashion. After you press the finished HST, trim each one to 1 1/4” x 1 1/4”. It’s easier to accurately sew a larger unit, trimming it will provide the teeny end product, without the craziness of sewing a 1” bias seam!
  • Sew all the little bits together. Log cabins, friendship stars, improv., anything is possible!

With these tips you’re ready to start a mini project! The practice piecing here would make a great front for a zippered pouch, or it might become a mug rug or mini quilt!

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