Quilting Tips

There are all manner of tips submitted to Fons & Porter, from funny free motion quilting tips and surprising quilt binding techniques to clever ways to organize fabric and store your fabric scissors! The Fons & Porter editors consider every tip that’s sent to us, sharing those that are particularly creative or unique. We value all of our fellow quilters and their ideas! Take a look for yourself – you might find something that enhances your quilting journey.

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Cleaning Pads – Sew Easy Tip

I keep some alcohol prep pads in my sewing box and some in a drawer by my sewing machine. They’re great if you jab yourself with a needle. You can also use them to clean your needle when it gets sticky from fusibles or glue. –Sharon Tamas Dayton, OH

In Perfect Order

Recently I made a quilt that was arranged in descending diagonal rows, and the pattern suggested a paste-up chart with 24 different fabrics. The glue was not holding my fabric in place on the paper, so I took a piece of cotton ribbon and sewed and labeled my fabrics in order. –Lois Streblow Fond du…

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Needle Organization

I keep all my sewing machine needles organized in pocket pages. The pages fit nicely in an expandable folder or three-ring binder. I note the type and size of needle in each pocket along with any general information I’ve collected about needles. –Elaine Davis Fairmount, IL

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Sewing Machine Cleaner

I use pipe cleaners to clean the nooks and crannies in my sewing machine. They grab the lint and dust, and I just throw them away when I’m finished. –Anne Servello Renton, WA

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Save Selvages

When cutting quilt pieces, I save a small strip of selvage with the printed names of the fabric collection and fabric company. Then, if I happen to run short, I have the information I need to find more fabric. –Sherry Meeks Guthrie, OK

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Point Protectors

I use pencil grips to protect the points of my small pointed scissors. They also help prevent poking and cutting fingers. –Sharon Smith Casa Grande, AZ

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Store Fusible Web Flat

Save leftover paper-backed fusible web in a large zipper storage bag. Cut a piece of card stock about the size of the bag and slip in the pieces of fusible web on top. The card stock keeps it flat and ready to use. –Joan Ochoa Leawood, KS

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Quilting Designs

I find that the wooden figures sold at craft stores make good quilting designs, especially for kids’ quilts! –Sharon Meier Granger, IA

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Canned Air

Some sewing machine manufacturers advise against using canned air to blow the lint out of your machine. I use a bicycle hand pump to blow 100% natural air. –Grace Windler Tonganoxie, KS

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Machine Quilting Practice

I cut my practice pieces into circles and zigzag the edges. I use the circles as protection between pieces of china when I stack them. –Pamela J. Hunt Oklahoma City, OK

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Binding

Sometimes I need to change the width of my binding depending on the thickness of the batting and fabric in a quilt. I made sample bindings so I can audition them to find which size I need before cutting binding for the quilt. The widths are marked on the samples. –Alice Miller Marcellus, MI

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Foundation Piecing

I use very lightweight sew-in interfacing for foundation piecing so I don’t have to tear out paper. To transfer the pattern, I press interfacing onto freezer paper, and then I copy the pattern onto the interfacing with my inkjet printer. –Maureen Henry Congress, AZ

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Non-slip Templates

To keep my templates from slipping, I use adhesive-backed sandpaper. I cut ½”-wide strips from the sandpaper and use a paper punch to punch out little dots. My stiletto comes in handy for removing the paper from the back of those little pieces of sandpaper. You can also use scrapbook punches to cut cute shapes…

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Template

Floor tiles make the best templates. Press paper pattern onto the adhesive side of a self-stick floor tile. Cut the template out on the line with a scissors or utility knife. These templates are sturdy and can be used with a rotary cutter. –Janet Madren Perry, IA