Quilting Tips Archive

 
Place a small strip of non-slip rubber shelf liner under your ruler as you cut to keep the ruler from slipping on the...
 
Strips of self-adhesive sandpaper from the hardware store make great non-slip aids for your rotary cutting rulers. Cut narrow strips and place them...
 
As you press continuous binding, let the binding fall into a container, such as a clean wastebasket or plastic gallon ice cream container. You can...
 
After finishing a quilt top, iron it and hang it on a pants hanger. This way, it won’t get wrinkled while it is waiting to be quilted....
 
After basting an appliqué block, smooth a sheet of Glad® Press ‘n Seal™ over it, leaving the area you are working on exposed. The plastic wrap holds...
 
If your sewing machine has a tendency to “walk away” while you are sewing, put a piece of rug padding under it. Cut a piece the width of your machine...
 
No-slip Fingertips
I use Sortkwik, a tacky fingertip moistener, to pick up fabric pieces as I sew them together. It won’t stain, and is just sticky enough to help...
 
Use extra fine stick-on sandpaper to make templates that won’t slip. Trace the template pattern on white paper and rough cut it out (about 1/4"...
 
To keep quilt binding from tangling, roll it up and put a shoestring or heavy cord through the center. Tie a knot in the cord and put it around your...
 
When drawing the diagonal lines to make half square triangles and squares to make flying geese I use an emery board as a straight edge. It sticks to...
 
From one of our readers: I do my hand quilting at a floor frame with a tilted top. To keep my notions tray from sliding off the quilt top, I made a...
 
Non-slip Templates
When using plastic templates, I find it helpful to spray temporary adhesive on the back. The template stays firmly on the fabric while I draw or cut...
 
Keep a chopstick handy to help turn items inside out and get the corners nice and...
 
Keep a chopstick handy to help turn items inside out and get the corners nice and...
 
To make the elusive notch in a spool of thread easy to find, mark the notch with a permanent marker before removing the thread from the notch for the...
 
As you fill a new bobbin, stop winding after a few revolutions. Mark the thread with a washable felt-tip marker. Then, finish filling the bobbin....
 
Notion Carryall
I found the best carryall for notions is a shaving kit. It holds lots of sewing items I use—scissors, needles, needle threaders, rulers,...
 
Pin a small, zipper-type plastic bag to your quilt to store your thread, small scissors, and other notions and to keep them from wandering away...
 
Notions Organizer
A cosmetic carrying case is perfect for holding tools and essentials for traveling to a quilt retreat. The sections zip closed so I don’t lose...
 
Numbering Rows
Use purchased beads with numbers to keep track of your quilt rows. Slip the beads onto medium-size safety pins, and attach them to the first block in...
 
An over-the-door Christmas wreath holder makes a great hook for storing various sizes of quilting...
 
Use older or ugly fabric to create a pillow case - should be about 15 inches by 15 inches or 15 by 18 when finished. Hang the pillow case near your...
 
The finger tip off a pair of old leather gloves makes a good leather thimble. A pair of old gloves from a flea market or used clothing store will...
 
When prewashing fabrics, completely unfold the fabric before putting it into the washing machine. This will help prevent fading on the fold line and...
 
Clear plastic sheet protectors are handy way to store quilt patterns and templates. Keep them nice and flat in a loose leaf...
 
For projects with bead embellishments, use a seven-day pill holder to keep beads separated and to keep them form spilling. Close off some sections,...
 
Organizer
I purchased a large mesh pencil holder to use on my sewing table. It keeps all of my tools close at hand, and keeps my sewing table...
 
Use an old-fashioned tomato pincushion to keep track of your machine needles. Use a permanent pen to label each section with the needle size or type....
 
Look for appliqué pattern ideas in scroll saw pattern books. You will find both plain and fancy designs with clean, uncomplicated...
 
Package Instructions
I save package instructions for rulers, markers, and tools in a plastic storage box so I can easily locate them.Carolyn...
 
Use large paper clips to hold your binding in place while hand stitching it. The thread is less likely to catch on the paper clips than on...
 
To keep cut pieces separated into stacks by size or color, use paper plates between the stacks. Make pertinent notations on the...
 
To organize any large quilting project, place the pieces for each block on an inexpensive paper plate. Stack up the paper plates, and as you complete...
 
One quilter reports: Last summer at a family reunion, my aunt told me that plain paper towels make a good stabilizer for use with an embroidery...
 
Use baking parchment paper help you position and align appliqué pieces prepared with fusible web. Place the appliqué pattern under the translucent...
 
Use parchment paper to cover your ironing board when fusing large pieces. The fusible will not stick to the paper, and the paper is reusable....
 
Use clear page protectors to organize project instructions that you have clipped and saved. Put one project on each side, and the protectors fit...
 
To keep all my patterns together in one place I place each pattern in a plastic page protector/clear cover and sort them by type of quilt pattern in...
 
Pattern Saver
I laminate the pages, of books or patterns I will use again and again. I use a dry-erase pen to mark each step as I cut and stitch. The marks can be...
 
Store the templates, cut fabric pieces, and instructions for a block in a three-ring transparent sheet protector. When the project is completed, file...
 
Pattern Storage
After I cut out pieces for an appliqué project, I put the pattern, freezer paper pieces, cut fabric pieces, and the selvage with the name of the...
 
Pattern Storage
I use an expanding file for my appliqué patterns. Filing them alphabetically helps me to quickly find the one I'm looking...
 
To make tracing a pattern from a book easier, use a warm, dry iron to lightly press a piece of freezer paper directly onto the page. The paper won’t...
 
Use a toothbrush holder to keep mechanical pencil and refill chalk/leads together. I use different holders for my different pencils. This way I can...
 
Combine three parts rubbing alcohol, one part water, and a squirt of CLEAR dish detergent to make a solution to remove pencil marks from fabric....
 
To test to be sure your marking pencil is removable, mark on the selvage of the fabric before you pre-wash. If the mark is gone after washing, you...
 
To prepare 1"-wide bias for narrow stems or stained glass appliqué, fold the bias in half, wrong sides together, and stitch with a 1/4" seam...
 
Quilters know it is important to sign and document the quilts they make. There have been instances when labels have been removed and documentation...
 
A small, tin throat lozenge box makes a wonderful purse-size sewing kit. Attach a magnetic strip inside the lid to hold pins and needles. Add a pair...
 
You can keep swatches of fabric in a small photo album. It’s perfect to take to the quilt shop when you’re trying to coordinate fabrics for a quilt....
 

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