|Thread for piecing|
1. I prefer to use colored thread. It's more trouble but well worth the effort. If this is too much of an investment for you consider using dark gray and beige or light gray and beige. Put the gray thread in the top and the beige in the bobbin. This makes reverse sewing easier. You'll know right away to cut the top ‘gray’ thread and pull the bottom ‘beige’ thread.
2. Sew with smaller thread; I use a machine embroidery thread or one of the newer threads made for piecing like Superior Threads ‘Masterpiece’ or Aurifil cotton 50wt.
3. Use a sharp needle and change it often; I prefer to use a smaller needle Sharp/Microtex size 70/10. Other good choices are Sharp/Microtex size 80/12, a size 75/11 quilting needle or a Jeans/Denim size 70/10 or 80/12.
4. Press seams open; I press as many seams open as possible. Now I’m not totally crazy, if it is easier to have seams pressed one way or the other I do so, but I press seams open most of the time.
5. Use ¼” foot with guide if possible; Many machines have a ¼” foot available. I prefer the foot with the guide. I need a ‘wall’ that allows the fabrics to ride along. If you want to try the guide idea, use either layers of masking tape or moleskin and place it exactly ¼” from the needle.
6. Use the single stitch throat plate; The normal throat plate has an oblong hole which allows the machine to eat the thread tails or fabric.
7. Change needle position; Even though I use a ¼” foot, I still feel that in order to get a scant ¼” seam, I move the needle one very small step to the right. Be sure to check and make sure the needle won’t break.
8. Chain piece; I piece as many pieces as possible one right after another. Saves time and thread.
9. Even seam width the whole length of the seam: Use a stiletto to guide the last little bit of a seam if necessary to get an even seam width.
10. Starch: I starch a lot. I prefer the old fashioned liquid starch that I find at a big box store. I mix it
11. Press not iron: I do not want any distortion, so I carefully press and lift, not rubbing back and forth as in ironing.