Quilting Tips Archive

 
Fleece is a thread magnet. To keep threads from migrating throughout the house, wear fleece when sewing. You are a mess but the floor is...
 
Use the burn test to determine if a fabric is cotton. Cut a snippet, and then use a match to burn the fabric. Cotton will turn to ash; polyester will...
 
The examining table paper from the doctor's office is great for paper foundation piecing or to use as a stabilizer for machine appliqué or decorative...
 
If your sewing machine is located in front of a window that has curtains for privacy at night, you can use large plastic hairclips to gather the...
 
Try a curved needle for tying quilts. The curve in the needle brings the point of the needle back to your hand easily and save strain on your...
 
Use your computer printer to make labels or print photos on cloth. Cut fabric pieces to fit through your printer, and iron freezer paper onto the...
 
Use photos of your own quilts or antique quilts to create stationary. Trim the photos and mount them on a nice quality note paper folded for note...
 
Make your own note cards by decorating card stock with fused on appliqués or motifs cut from printed...
 
When quilting a memory quilt, use shapes that are meaningful to you or the recipient. For example, use the outline of a baby spoon or favorite small...
 
Make attractive note cards with your fabric scraps. Use purchased cards with cut-out windows, or cut your own windows. Insert string-pieced fragments...
 
Since scissors are not always allowed on airplanes, take a cuticle trimmer with you for cutting thread....
 
When making a chenille scarf, one quilter had difficulty seeing which 2 layers to cut on the fabric she had used, so she added a 2" strip of...
 
Safely store your rotary cutter in an old eyeglass...
 
Decorative Binding
When it came time to bind a quilt I was making for a friend, and I realized I didn’t have any matching fabric left, I used a ready-made binding. I...
 
Decorative Switch Plate
Dress up your sewing room with a pretty switch plate. Use a clear plastic switch plate made for use with wallpaper and substitute your favorite...
 
Decorative Tool Holder
I use a glass full of colored marbles to hold sewing tools next to my machine. The tools are handy and the glass is pretty to look at.Linda Schultz,...
 
When trying to organize my sewing cabinet drawer, I was unable to locate a drawer organizer that would fit. Later when putting away groceries, I...
 
A new pizza box is a great way to store and transport stacks of quilt blocks. They will stay nice and flat. Be sure to label the box so it and your...
 
Mount indoor/outdoor carpet to a wall to make a design surface. You can pin into it without piercing the wall...
 
In our house we have by-pass doors on the closets (bedroom/sewing room). These have a metal track, which is covered by a metal trim. I attached...
 
Draw or trace designs that you want to trace onto fabric onto the shiny side of freezer paper with a permanent marker. Press the freezer paper to the...
 
Use tape to guide stitching diagonal seams. Stick the tape to the throat plate and front of the sewing machine so that the left edge of the tape...
 
To keep track of small tools while working on a project, wear a carpenter's apron and slip your tools into the...
 
Whenever I find an article or pattern in a magazine, I scan it onto a dedicated USB thumb drive. I can always find the special pattern or article and...
 
Label your blocks with row and column information by attaching a small, sticky label (such as a pricing label) on one corner of each...
 
The discharge dyeing technique in your July/August 2003 issue was fun and easy. As an experiment, I tried the Soft Scrub® cleanser that has added...
 
If you display quilts on a wooden rod or quilt rack, protect the quilt from acid in the wood by either covering the wood with a muslin sleeve or by...
 
Attach a stack of several sticky notes to the machine throat plate to create a quick seam guide that can be quickly removed when not...
 
Divided Needle Storage
A small embroidery floss container is perfect for storing sewing machine needles. You can store a different size in each compartment so...
 
When I cut small fabric pieces to take to a workshop, I put them in a zippered bag. I write on the reverse side of a sticky note and put it on the...
 
Never make a quilt to match carpet you don't like. The carpet may be worn out before you finish the...
 
Don't leave your rotary cutting mat in the back of your car on a hot day. It may permanently warp or...
 
Various size paper sticky dots can be used for templates for small circular appliqué shapes. Stick the dot to the fabric as a pattern; add seam...
 
Drawing Lines
When drawing lines on squares to make Triangle-Squares and Flying Geese units, I use an emery board as a straight edge. It won't slip, and keeps the...
 
Attach a section of dressmaker's measuring tape to the front of your machine with wide clear tape to make a handy measuring...
 
Use vinyl floor tiles to make permanent templates for specific size blocks. Pick up 9", 10", and 12" tiles for quick...
 
Use a lazy Susan with a cutting mat on it to cut small pieces. It turns easy so you won't have...
 
The backing for string or foundation piecing will be ultra easy to remove if you use a paper towel as the...
 
Pick up a toilet brush from the store and keep it in the sewing room. At the end of a long quilting session, just skim the brush over the carpet to...
 
Easy Folded Binding
When making folded binding, I always have a hard time keeping it from slipping off the ironing board as I press it. To solve this problem, I pin a...
 
If you accidentally get fusible webbing on your iron, use rubbing alcohol to remove it. After the iron has cooled, apply the rubbing alcohol to a...
 
When rotary cutting around pieces which will require turning the cutting mat, put the mat on a Lazy Susan or other turntable. You will avoid...
 
For an inexpensive and easy-to-make quilt hanger for a wall hanging, buy large pushpins and a dowel. Put the pushpins into the wall, put the dowel...
 
Easy Ribbon Dispenser
Gum containers with snap-shut lids make perfect dispensers for ribbon and trims. Roll up the ribbon, place it in the container, and...
 
Eco Friendly Gift Bag
I use cloth grocery bags to wrap quilts that I make for gifts. I tie ribbons and bows to the handles and stuff in some tissue paper to make a pretty...
 
Use a pipe cleaner to clean the inside of your sewing machine, especially around the bobbin area. The pipe cleaner gets into all the nooks and...
 
If you didn't allow enough thread to end hand stitching or quilting, change to a self-threading needle. Insert the needle for the final stitch,...
 
When you make a quilt as a gift, make a pillowcase from the same fabrics and give it to the recipient. The pillowcase provides proper storage plus...
 
Try using fabric adhesive spray to baste together the layers of a quilt or to temporarily position appliqué pieces before...
 
When machine stitching through a slippery or unruly fabric, try putting a piece of tissue paper, like the tissue in a dress pattern, under the...
 

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