Sew Many Tips -January/February 2007

Project Organizer
Use page protectors and zipper pouches to store information about your quilts. Put a page about the quilt and the quilter in the page protector; use the zipper pouch for photos of the quilt and pieces of the fabrics used. Store pages in a three-ring binder. If you want to show someone your project, don't take the whole book -- just take the pages you need.
Donna Zweifel, Beresford, SD
Fabric Shopper's Helper
When I take swatches of fabric to the quilt shop with me, I put them in a baseball card holder. Any divided protective sheet will work, but the baseball card holders are stronger than others. They keep the swatches flat, and I can put a note in the pocket showing what I need to purchase. The sheet folds up easily to fit in my purse.
Connie Workoff, Bethlehem, PA
Needle Protector
When I am hand quilting, I keep a large chip clip nearby. If I get called away, even for a few minutes, I place the clip over the section where I am stitching, making sure I cover the needle so no person (or pet) will get poked. The clip also helps me find my needle when I return.
Janet Hardin, West Alexandria, OH
Mini Sewing Kit
A hard eyeglass case is great for storing a mini sewing kit. Insert a felt strip to hold needles and pins. Don't forget safety pins for little emergencies. Add a skinny spoll of thread, a thimble, and a small pair of scissors.
Linda Watson, Liberal, KS
Multitasking Quilter
Cutting up old jeans for denim quilts is drudery for me. To make this job manageable, I cut for a half-hour during "Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting." Before too long, I have enough for a quilt, and the task is made easier by mulitasking with something I enjoy.
Delma Atwell, Boise, ID
Cheer Up a Quilter
Instead of sending flowers to a quilting friend who is sick, give fat quarters or a gift certificate from her favorite quilt shop.
Betty Orlando, New Lenox, IL
Sweep Away Wrinkles
I layer my quilt on a clean floor, taping the backing, right side down, to the floor. After layering and before pinning, I take a clean broom and sweep the quilt! I start from the center and work my way out, sweeping from the center toward the edges. This gets all the wrinkles out of the batting and creates static electricity that helps keep the layers together.
Kelly Whitaker, Rapid City, SD
Fabric Stiffener
When using spray starch to stiffen my fabric, I spray the fabric, place it in a plastic bag, and let it sit for ten minutes to absorb the starch. When pressing, I turn my iron temperature down a little to keep from scorching the fabric.
Susan Isaacson, Tacoma, WA
Tool Holder
To help me avoid losing my rotary cutter, seam ripper, or other tools in my sewing room, I hang a small basket on a hook meant to hold bananas. I keep it right next to my machine so my tools are handy.
Laurette May, Fort Collins, CO
Pieced Batting
I just watched the TV episode where you showed how to piece batting. You overlapped two edges, cut through both layers, removed the smaller excess pieces, and then used a multistep stitch on your machine to sew the pieces together. I do the same thing, but I do not use a sewing machine. Instead, I cut on a surface where I can use my iron, and use 1"-wide strips of lightweight fusible interfacing to fuse the pieces together. The two sides match perfectly, and it's quick and easy!
Sandy Huntress, Brockton, MA
Seam Roller
Use a wallpaper seam roller to press seams as you make a block. The roller will not strech the fabric and rolling is quicker than ironing each piece.
Jackie Lorenz, Chicago Ridge, IL
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