Quilting Tips Archive

 
To keep bobbins in order and easy to find, use clear plastic coin containers. The size for quarters is just right for bobbins. You can separate...
 
Bobbin Storage
Use a cigar box to store bobbins. Some larger cigar boxes have inserts in them that make a perfect tray for...
 
For an inexpensive bobbin holder, use the tray that holds the Lifesavers Gummies candy....
 
Old-fashioned, cushioned bobby pins make great clips to hold your binding while hand stitching it to the back of your...
 
Take graph paper or small graph paper pad with you to quilt shows, guild meetings, and workshops so you can easily sketch block...
 
Take a pair of white gloves along to quilt shows. With permission, you may be allowed to touch the...
 
Use a baby’s soft toothbrush to brush away chalk markings on your...
 
Brushes
I keep a set of small make-up brushes in my sewing machine tool kit. They are great for reaching into tiny grooves and behind the bobbin area to...
 
Ask your local florist to save the bud nets that protect flowers when they are shipped. The nets are great for keeping thread tidy. Florists usually...
 
You can purchase a white flannel bed sheet at your local thrift store and hang it on the wall in my sewing room. This makes it easy to lay out all...
 
Put together an emergency kit of hand piecing that you always have in the car. If you get stuck somewhere, you can work on this special project. You...
 
To remove cat hair from a quilt, try putting it in the dryer with a fabric softener sheet and run the dryer at a no-heat setting. Works like a charm....
 
I am not a firm believer in laundering all of my fabric before quilting with it. I am a fairly new quilter and if I give a quilt to someone I have...
 
Use a small square of batting when sewing or quilting to catch your thread snips. When it is full, clean it off or just throw it away. You may find...
 
Cats and Quilters
When I cut the selvages off my fabric, I tie the ends together to make a long streamer and tuck one end into my waistband. When I get up to stretch,...
 
When chain piecing, take 5 or 6 extra stitches between pieces and then cut units apart in the middle of these stitches. The tiny tails act as a kind...
 
When making a quilt with many small pieces to be chain stitched, use an 11" x 15" piece of masonite with very fine sandpaper glued to it to organize...
 
Transfer a quilt design by first tracing the design onto tracing or other light weight paper. On the reverse side of the paper, retrace the design...
 
If you sew on a Bernina® with a presser foot lifter (free hand system), train yourself to control the foot petal with your left foot so your right...
 
When changing the needle in my sewing machine, I insert a piece of paper or cloth over the throat plate before I loosen the needle. This keeps the...
 
Wrap a strip of ordinary, white adhesive tape around the end of the finger that you use under the quilt when hand quilting to help protect your...
 
An empty, 98 oz.-size, powdered laundry detergent box makes a perfect magazine storage caddy. Cut away one narrow end of the box. Leave the handle on...
 
When making a child’s quilt, make an extra block or two to appliqué onto pillowcases to match the...
 
Old coloring books are good source of appliqué ideas for children's quilts. Use a photocopier to reduce or enlarge the designs. Simplify the designs...
 
Keep an inexpensive pair of bright-handled children's scissors next to your sewing machine for snipping threads. If the family borrows them, you...
 
When shopping for a quilting stencil, take along a photocopy of a corner of your quilt. This way, you can try out different stencils in the store to...
 
Choosing Fabrics for Quilts
When my family or friends ask me to make a quilt, I ask them to select paint swatches that match their décor. I use these to help me choose...
 
Use a dry, nylon kitchen scrubby to clean you cutting mat. It will clean away all the lint and threads and help heal the mat as...
 
When you clean and oil your sewing machine, work over a larger cookie sheets lined with a white towel or paper towel. If you drop any small screws or...
 
After using a seam ripper to break every third or fourth thread, apply a strip of tape to the loose threads. Run your finger or thumb over the tape...
 
To remove fusible web residue from the bottom or your iron, place a paper towel or other paper on your ironing board. Then, iron over a fabric...
 
To quickly and inexpensively clean an iron's surface, pour a line of table salt approximately &fac12;" x 6" on a terry towel. Iron back and forth...
 
Use a small piece of tape wrapped around your finger, sticky side out, to remove stray threads left after ripping out a...
 
Use a little rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to clean your scissors blades and rotary cutting...
 
Before using x-ray film for templates, soak the film in straight bleach to clear the film and lighten the darkened...
 
If you are having difficulty seeing clear monofilament thread when threading your needle, run the end of the thread across a permanent marker. This...
 
Use nail clippers to carefully remove the plastic tacks if you've basted your quilt with a basting gun....
 
Fold long lengths of fabric over a coat hanger to store them. This will prevent sharp creases that result from folding and stacking fabrics for...
 
Cloth Napkins
Use fabrics from your stash to make cloth napkins. Cut a square of fabric and serge or hem the edges. This is a great way to use extra fabric, and,...
 
When hand stitching the binding to your quilt back, try spring-type clothespins to hold the edges in place. Place them about 3"-4"...
 
Coasters
When I send a quilt out to be quilted, I always get extra fabric and batting back from the quilter. i use these scraps to make...
 
Coffee Cup Bows
At a recent retreat, we had several quilters present, all drinking coffee and tea. To mark our cups, I suggested we each tie a small piece of fabric...
 
Use permanent fine-tip pens to trace designs for embroidery. Use red for red embroidery, blue for blue, green for green, and so on. Your stitches...
 
You can make a combination thread holder and cutter by winding your thread onto a bobbin and putting it into a small, empty dental floss holder. Pull...
 
I use travel soap containers for my straight pins and one for safety pins they fit in my small carry bag for my quilting. They stay closed tight till...
 
When making continuous bias binding, slip the fabric tube over the end of an ironing board. You can cut the bias with one hand as you turn the tube...
 
Try using your collection of plastic and metal cookie cutters for quilting! They make great appliqué shapes and quilting designs....
 
Cookie cutters make wonderful quilting templates, especially for children's or holiday...
 
When trying to pick colors to go with a primary design, check the salvage edge. Some materials have a Picture of different solid colors . These...
 
When you need many pieces for a fusible appliqué project, copy them with your printer/scanner/copier. Cut pieces of fusible web 81/2" x 11" and print...
 

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