Quilting Tips Archive

 
Fabric Copies
After I purchase fabric for a quilt, I place it on a copier and make a color copy to take along the next time I go shopping. I carry the copies in my...
 
When creating a quilt with many fabrics, cut a small piece from each one and string it on a double thread. When you’re finished with the quilt, you...
 
Do you ever forget that you have already purchased a particular fabric for a project? When you begin to plan the project, cut a 1" square of each...
 
Fabric Hangers
I wrap selvage edges and narrow strips of fabric around wire clothes hangers, and then use the hangers to hang fabrics in my sewing room...
 
Pin swatches of fabric you need to match on a key ring to take along when you shop. Use a separate safety pin for each project....
 
If you find rubber fingers uncomfortable to wear or cumbersome when you work, try a fingertip moistener found in office supply stores. Just a touch...
 
When collecting fabrics for a project, scan those that you have purchased and note where you got them and how much of each you have. Then take the...
 
As you purchase new fabrics, cut a small swatch from each. Glue the swatches in a purse-size spiral notebook. Record where and when you bought the...
 
Make color copies of quilt blocks you are working on to take with you to the fabric store in case you see a fat quarter or fabric that you think will...
 
Install a plastic tie rack in your sewing room or studio to hold cut strips neatly sized and ready to...
 
Instead of wrapping paper, use fabric to wrap small gifts for your quilting friends. They will appreciate the bonus gift, and the cost is not much...
 
When your husband buys a new snowmobile, tractor, motorcycle, or boat, it’s time for a new sewing machine....
 
Look through your binoculars backwards to create a "reducing glass" to view your quilts in progress. The binoculars give you a sense of distance from...
 
If you are having a party or potluck with a quilting group, use fat quarters for napkins. They are just the right size and look nice on the table....
 
In place of a stiletto, which might damage your sewing machine if the needle hits it, use a bamboo skewer to feed the patchwork through the...
 
Use empty 35mm film canisters to store 4 or 5...
 
Leaving even a short length of thread in your hand sewing or quilting needles will make them easier to find, especially if you accidentally drop...
 
I hand quilt so at times my needle gets lost. Now I use free advertising magnets & thread up to 6 needles at a time and rest them on the...
 
Some quilt guilds establish a small fine for misdeeds such as not closing your rotary cutter or forgetting your name tag at workshops and meetings....
 
Try the small seam roller used for hanging wallpaper to quickly "finger-press"...
 
A fingertip moistener, available at office supply stores, makes a great substitute for a finger stall when pulling your needle through those tougher...
 
Before rotary cutting, spray limp fabrics with starch or spray sizing to firm them...
 
First Aid for Books
One of my favorite quilt books was coming apart, so I took it to an office supply store and had them install a spiral spine to keep it together. This...
 
Make huge brownie points with your husband by giving him your old cutting mat for a fish cleaning board. My husband loves it and it is so easy for...
 
I made a flannel casing to store my 16" square ruler. This protects the edges and provides me with a design board to assemble my pieces before taking...
 
Some dental floss is packaged in jumbo lengths in plastic barrels. A large spool of quilting thread will fit into the empty barrel. Thread it through...
 
Dental floss threaders make great needle threaders for embroidery floss or...
 
A small piece of self-sticking foam inside your thimble helps create a snug but comfortable...
 
To create a 1/4" seam guide for machine quilting, use sticky-backed mole foam cut in a narrow strip and positioned to guide your fabric at the...
 
If you don’t have a space large enough for a design wall, try using a folding cardboard cutting mat covered with white flannel. Prop it up in your...
 
When working on a project that requires many strips of fabric, stand a cardboard folding cutting board on edge like a folding screen. Distribute the...
 
When paper foundation piecing, do you worry that you will accidentally use your original pattern? To prevent this, sew a fabric scrap to the edge of...
 
Foundation Piecing
Dress pattern paper works well for foundation piecing. It’s thinner than other papers, so you must be careful, but the advantage is that it tears...
 
Use the plastic sheet that comes in bacon packages to make templates and stencils. The frosty side prevents slipping when placed on the fabric....
 
Draw your appliqué block layout or master pattern on freezer paper. Press the paper to the back of the background fabric. The design can be easily...
 
Freezer Paper Templates
Use an inkjet printer to print appliqué templates on freezer paper. Scan the appliqué pattern, then cut freezer paper into 8½" x 11" sheets, and...
 
For freezer paper appliqué, try reversing the freezer paper after using it to cut the shape. Reposition the freezer paper with the shiny side up on...
 
Store rolls of making tape in a zipper-type plastic bag. The tape is less likely to dry out and will be easier to pull off the...
 
The plastic tray inserts from cookie packages make excellent spool caddies and keep threads from rolling around in your drawers as...
 
Fusible Applique
Instead of tracing patterns for applique, copy the pattern on freezer paper. Put the freezer paper in the copier so it will print on the paper side....
 
Use the plastic instruction sheet rolled with fusible web or interfacing to make a storage bag. Fold the instructions to create small bags, and...
 
Press a piece of freezer paper to your ironing board cover to protect it before working with fusible web. Remove the freezer paper and all the fusing...
 
Store fusible web on empty rolls from foil, plastic wrap, or paper towels. Slip the roll into a zip-top plastic bag to keep the fusibles...
 
When drawing around templates, place a sheet of fine sandpaper under your fabric to prevent slipping. Secure sandpaper to the table top with masking...
 
If you use a ¼”-wide ruler to mark seam allowances, fasten a narrow strip of 000 sandpaper to one side to minimize...
 
A small pillow on your lap may help out your hand piecing or hand appliqué at a more comfortable...
 
I got tired of looking at the overflowing basket of scrap fabric. Rather than try to figure out a way to sort those different size and color pieces,...
 
To relax the wrinkles in a polyester quilt batt, open and unfold the batting and briefly warm it with your hair dryer. The wrinkles will...
 
Use a leftover party balloon as a gripper to help pull your needle through a tough spot when hand...
 
Can't find the time to read and quilt? Listen to books on tape while you...
 

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