Quilting Tips Archive

 
If you’re tall and regular tables don’t work for your rotary cutting needs, one reader suggests putting two ironing boards together at the highest...
 
While cleaning my sewing room I ran across an unfinished quilting project I had forgotten for a LONG time {several years!}. After unfolding it, I...
 
If you find a flaw in your fabric, mark the flaw with a small brass safety pin, piece of masking tape, or stick-on label to remind you to avoid the...
 
Mark Your Spools
Use nail polish to mark the spot on a thread spool where the cut that holds the thread tail is located. You can then see the slot easily to thread...
 
If you find you need to mark quilting designs after the quilt is in the floor frame, slide your ironing board under the quilting frame. Adjust the...
 
I recently needed to mark circle quilting designs and remembered my old compass from geometry class (back in 1928!). I marked the circles lightly...
 
Marking Quilt Designs
If your quilt needs an additional small quilt design after it’s been layered, cut a design from contact paper and press it in place on the quilt....
 
Marking Rows
I cut index cards into quarters and punch two holes in each quarter. Then I number them with a dark marker. They are easy to pin to blocks or rows to...
 
To remind me to switch my straight stitch throat plate with my zigzag plate, I place a piece of masking tape over the zigzag stitch and double needle...
 
Before you prewash fabric, snip the selvage corners off. The snips help reduce raveling and remind you later that the fabric has been pre-washed and...
 
To make foundations for paper piecing, make a master copy of the design. Stack the master copy on top of a stack of blank paper. Machine stitch...
 
Pot scrubbers made from nylon netting work well to remove threads from your rotary cutting mat....
 
Buy yourself a 120"-long dressmaker's tape to use for measuring your quilt top for...
 
Medical Info Card
While at a quilt retreat, a new quilter to our group went into a diabetic coma. We didn't know her medical history, and the friend she...
 
Memories in a Square
Since my granddaughters were small, they have colored fabric squares with crayons. I back the fabric with freezer paper to stabilize...
 
To remove burned-on residue from your mini iron, fold a paper towel in quarters, spray it with oven cleaner, and with the iron temperature set at...
 
Mini Iron Storage
I store my craft iron in a one-quart mason jar. It is much more secure than the small stand that came with the...
 
When doing block of the month kits, I always save the instructions, templates, and any scrap materials in a month by month envelope. The scraps can...
 
Here are two more uses for toy car carrying cases. First, they are a great place to store extra sewing machine feet. Place the paper directions for a...
 
An over-the-door, clear plastic, pocket-type shoe organizer makes a great storage container for your sewing area, especially if you have limited...
 
To cut multiple freezer paper templates, iron "baste" 3 or 4 pieces of freezer paper together. Draw the pattern on the top piece. Cut through all...
 
Use a banjo or guitar pick to protect your underneath finger when hand...
 
Use fabrics from each quilt you finish and give away to make a heart block from a favorite paper piecing pattern....
 
To help keep track of your needle while working, cut a short piece of peel and stick craft magnet. Attach the magnetic strip to the top of the spool...
 
Thread several needles onto the spool of thread when you sit down to work. As you empty one needle, another will be ready to...
 
I place a wrapped band-aid under the presser foot, lower the needle into it and lower the presser foot when I finish a sewing session. This protects...
 
Needle Case
An empty glue cartridge from the Fons & Porter Glue Stick is the perfect container for disposing of used needles. You can also clean it out well and...
 
Use the stick-to-itself rubberized elastic (used for adhering bandages) around the tip of your index finger to make gripping your quilting needle...
 
Hot glue a small, round magnet to the top of a golf tee. Insert the tee into the hole of a spool of thread to make a handy place to park your...
 
Use an extra large pill organizer for sewing machine needles. Label lids with needle types and sizes. Attach a small piece of felt to each lid to...
 
Attach a heavy-duty, felt furniture protector to the top of your spool of quilting thread. It makes a great place to park your...
 
Needle Storage
A large pillbox is perfect for storing sewing machine needles. I make a label for each section, indicating the size for the needles...
 
Needle Storage
Use business card pages from an office supply store to hold needle cases. It’s easy to find the needle you’re looking for with these clear pages. You...
 
One reader suggests: I recently purchased a General Electric Reveal light bulb for the lamp at my sewing table. Because it is a full spectrum light...
 
Have an extra computer mouse pad laying around? Put it under your sewing machine for control to keep it from slipping on hard surface...
 
Make a New Year's resolution to make at least one more quilt next year than you did this...
 
When backstitching the final borders my quilts, frequently the seam allowance gets caught and ends up bunching up under my back stitching. I have...
 
To avoid burning your fingers when pressing, put a leather thimble on the index finger of your hand that is not holding the...
 
As you attach binding, don't guess where to stop for your mitered corner. Use 1/4"-wide masking tape to remind you of just the right allowance for...
 
No Husbands Allowed
My friend's husband was helping her pin the layers of her quilt in preparation for quilting. After awhile, she looked over and said, "You...
 
When hand basting your quilt, use a spool holder to allow the basting thread to feed freely. You can pull off all the thread you need for one line of...
 
When you buy a quilt pattern and don’t purchase the fabric at the same time, make a color copy of the quilt picture and print the materials list on...
 
No More Loose Ends
To secure loose ends on spools of thread, wrap them with a piece of elastiband. This is a product made to hold gauze in place, and can be purchased...
 
If you don't want to mark designs for machine quilting on your quilt top, draw the designs on tissue paper. Pin the paper to the quilt. Machine quilt...
 
I use the small clothespins that are found in craft stores, to be a great help to hold binding ahead of my hand stitching. I simply scoot them to the...
 
Do you sometimes find it difficult to iron out the fold crease or the “end” wrinkles in fabric, especially if the fabric has been stored for a while?...
 
Start your Christmas projects in...
 
Cut a rubber bathtub mat to the size of your machine foot control. Place the mat under the foot control to keep it from sliding as you...
 
To keep your rotary cutter ruler from slipping, dab clear nail polish on the under side of the ruler in a few places and sprinkle with table salt....
 
Use rubber cement to attach fine-grit sand paper to a heavy piece of cardboard or plywood to make a non-slip surface for tracing around templates...
 

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