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How to Prevent Bowing When Creating a Quilt

Creating a quilt can be a fun and meaningful project to take on. However, beginners and experienced quilters alike often run into the problem of bowing when it’s time to combine those precut fabric strips.

The more fabric strips involved in creating the quilt, the more likely it is that you’ll come up against an instance of bowing. This quilting hurdle has the potential to warp the shape of the final product, leaving you frustrated and disappointed.

Before you give up and put the sewing machine away, you should know there’s a strategy for overcoming this obstacle! Taking time to implement a few small changes can make all the difference.

A Simple Approach to Keeping Bowing at Bay

It’s easy to assume that bowing during quilt crafting results from something gone wrong with your sewing machine. In reality, it comes down to technique and directional approach.

No matter what size of fabric strips you’re connecting, the direction you come from is a critical detail. Many quilters get into the habit of sewing strips together from top to bottom, always lining up their sewing machine from the same side. This technique is actually what causes bowing! 

Instead of starting from the same side every time, change direction with every strip added. For example, if you start from top to bottom when connecting the first and second strip, you should sew the second and third strip together from the bottom to the top.

Changing directions with every strip added helps seams stay long and accurate. When seams are sharp, the chances of bowing are minimal.

Keeping Track of Your Directional Pattern

Once you know you need to switch up your sewing pattern, the next challenge is making sure you keep track of where you started. Not to worry, there’s a simple solution for this, as well.

If your fabric strips have selvage ends, they can be used as indicators when you need to switch directions with every seam. Straight pins can also be placed so that the head is pointing in the direction you need to go. Simply change the pin around with each fabric strip so that you’re never lost.

Enjoy a High-Quality Quilt That Looks Great

Give these small changes a try to see some drastic differences in the quality of your final quilt. When bowing isn’t an issue, you’ll be able to admire accurate seams and straight lines that provide professional-grade results!

GoldStar Tool

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