My first tip is actually one that someone once shared with me back when I was a young and naive quilter. It has made all the difference!
I use a little scrap of fabric (about 1-1/2″ x 3″ folded to make a square) as a starter for all my piecing. It works great, especially for small pieces or if you’re starting your seam on a point, to keep the fabric from getting pulled down into your presser plate when you start your seam. Stitch right across the little scrap (I call it my “Henry”) and then follow with your quilt pieces. If you’re chaining your pieces just keep stitching until you reach the end, then stop, cut your Henry from the first piece you started with and add it to the end, stitching all the way across. Then cut off your last chained piece from the back of the Henry and you’re done! It also saves you from having to trim all those strings! Henry is used over and over again until you can no longer fit any more stitches on it. I always have little scraps handy in case I need to replace Henry.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know if these tips help you. Send me your comments. If you have an idea or quilting tip that you would like to share, feel free to send it to me and I’d be happy to send it along to our readers.