When sewing a quilt, it is imperative that each individual block be perfect. Each imperfect block will have a domino effect that messes up the entire quilt top more and more. For beginning quilters there are quite a few tips and tricks to making a perfect quilt block. These tricks start when you buy the fabric and continue all the way through the cutting and piecing of the quilt block. Start with an easy quilt block, such as a nine-patch to get the hang of the tricks of the trade.
Purchase 100 percent cotton fabrics or specialty quilter's fabrics from a quilting supply or fabric store. Buy the highest quality fabric you can for the best results. Wash, dry and iron all of the fabric to prevent shrinkage in the quilt later.
Line up the selvage edges, which are the uncut edges of your fabric. Make sure the raw, or cut edges, match up. Trim the raw edges to make them even, if necessary, using the roller cutter, mat and ruler.
Position the fabric evenly along the measuring lines on the cutting mat. Place your ruler along the 3-inch mark on the cutting mat and cut a 3-inch wide strip of fabric. Measuring carefully before cutting your strips will help you end up with a perfect quilt block.
Cut enough strips for your desired size quilt and then cut the strips into 3-inch squares. To make a nine-patch quilt block you will need five dark squares and four light squares for each block. You will need 12 8-inch blocks for a baby quilt, 40 blocks for a twin size quilt, 63 blocks for a full size and 99 blocks for a queen size quilt.
Line up the edges of the one dark and one light squares of fabric and sew together, using a ¼-inch seam allowance. Do not push or pull the fabric — allow the sewing machine to do the work of moving the fabric for you to keep the fabric from bunching up. Sew three sets of dark and light squares together.
Add one more square to each set. One strip of squares should be sewn light, dark, light and the other two should be dark, light, dark.
Iron both of the seams toward the dark fabrics. This will help you line up the seams when sewing the strips of squares together to make the completed blocks.
Take one dark square strip and one light square strip and line up the seams so that they butt up against each other. This will make the points on the outside of the quilt block crisp and perfect. Repeat, sewing the remaining dark square strip to the light square strip.
For perfect quilt blocks it is very important to press new seams each time you sew. This keeps the seams flat and prevents the front of the quilt block from looking bulky.
Sewing the seam allowances the same on each piece also makes for a perfect quilt block. Using a ¼ inch seam allowance on all seams helps all of your pieces fit together properly.