Sunday, May 15, 2016

Technique: How I Achieve Perfect Points Without Pins

For those of you who have not encountered the tip I’m about to reveal, you are in for a treat. This technique has the potential to transform your time at your sewing machine! (And if it does, may I suggest compensation in the form of fabric and/or chocolate?)

When I started sewing, I was very pro-pins. At the time, I sewed home-dec projects—pillows, curtains, valences, etc.—so I was working with sizable swaths of fabric, and the need for pins was real. As I started to quilt, however, I began to understand the limitations of pinning two pieces of fabric together. The fabric can still shift, especially at those critical points.

Whenever it works for the project at hand, I forgo pinning and use what I call “starter stitches.”

Here’s a block in progress from my Park Bench BOM (for more pics, see posts here and here) ...

I want the rest of the points in this block to be just as precise. Before I sew a seam in its entirety, I sew a few stitches—maybe 6 or 7—at the places where I want to align seams or preserve those precious points. These stitches go at the quarter-inch mark and are the standard stitch length I use for piecing.

Then I check to see how those intersections line up. The point on the left is a little off. Since I sewed a few starter stitches instead of the entire seam, I have little to rip out and resew.

Once I’m satisfied with the results, I sew the whole seam, going directly over the starter stitches, and press my seam.

Look! Point perfection!

Do you have a novel approach to ensuring your points are spot-on? Tell the rest of us about it in the comments!

Linking up to Let’s Bee Social and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

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  1. I like the idea of starter stitches! I'm still rather attached to my pins, but I am trying to do more without. I will have to try this.

  2. Cool tip! This is a great idea for getting accurate seams without having to use the seam ripper as much, I am for that.


  4. Well, didn't I just have a bright lightbulb show up over my head! That's so clever and while it seemed tedious at first, I'm sure it saves time in the long run. AND you get perfect points! Thanks for the tip. Can't wait to try it out.

    1. And I suppose some chocolate or fabric is in order... :)

  5. Oh that is clever - I've lost my pin tin somewhere in my sewing room so I will definitely have to try this out!

  6. Thanks Michelle! A great idea as I absolutely abhor misaligned corners as well as ripping out stitches.
    So sorry I can't offer chocs or fabric as I live in South Africa, but let me know when you are out here & we can get together?! ;)) SUREEN

  7. Great tip, thanks Michelle! Another tip is to avoid points altogether...but now that I have this tip I might try again!

  8. Love your color choices, these look like fun blocks to make!

  9. Neat trick! :D I'm usually pretty good with my points, but I'll give this a go on pieces with more awkward angles. I'm a bit off and on with pinning, personally - sometimes I find it causes more trouble than it solves, especially on smaller pieces.

  10. This is a great tip! I don't like to pin, but I do once in a while! Nothing worse than cutting off your points or having to rip out a seam!

  11. Cool! I am very pin dependent but would love to skip that step!

  12. Wow - all these years of ripping may have just ended.


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