Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tricks or Tips from Talented Quilters

About once a month I try to make my way to Material Girl Quilt Shop for Quilt Club.  I am a new member to the club, but I have been a customer for several years.  I am not sure why I never went to the meetings before, but I am certainly glad that I have started.

We meet monthly, bring show and tell, visit, trade sewing tips and information, and often have some small program.  I love every minute, and the quilts that I get to see are beyond fabulous.  This is a truly talented group of quilters.  Their creations are beautiful, precise, colorful, and seriously praiseworthy.  I am honored to be part of the group.

At our last meeting the program was for everyone in attendance to submit a sewing or quilting tip that she finds very helpful.  I offered to publish our time-tested, tried and true tricks and tips here.  So here they are.  Trust me, you should be able to find at least one new idea or twist to an old one in this list.

Mary Ellen--I have learned to chain stitch blocks so as to not have to cut threads and start over.

Janice--When selecting fabric for a project, look at it from a distance.

Cele-- I put scissors, thread, needle, thimble, and needle threader in a tin to bind quilts on the go.

Brenda--Whenever I finish a quilt, I clean my quilting room from top to bottom so each quilt begins with a fresh start.

Lori--When putting in zippers attach one side.  Mark the important matching points and pin at the mark.  Sew 1" on each side of the mark then check to see if all matches up before sewing the rest.

Tracy--Use gluestick to attach hexi material to paper pattern then it peels away easily.

Kim--When you think you need to buy any new "doodad" or new fabric, always check if you have one already or some fabric close to the same first.

Toni--Put a scrap  under the presser foot before stitching to help prevent material from going into the needle hole.

Linda--When you start a project, have several bobbins already wound, so you don't have to stop and keep rewinding bobbins.

Me--When making bags or anything that has small pieces to add in the seam, such as a loop, use tape instead of a pin to secure it.  This prevents it from slipping and avoids issues with sewing over pins.

Jan--Spray wrinkled or creased fabric with vinegar and water.  The vinegar acts as a fabric softener.

Alicia--Put all the fabric and patterns for projects in ziplock bags, so that when you are ready to work you have it all together.

Jane--Always follow directions at least once.  Make a prototype block first.

Lynn--When trying to get the right contrast in fabrics, take a black and white picture of it.

Janice--Chain piece to make the sewing go faster.

Debbie--Chain sew to the point that your next pass will have the next pairings to be sewn already together.  ( Debbie says she tries to prevent any need to cut threads and stop sewing until she just has to.)

Barbara--Buy lots of fabric!

Sara--When laying out a quilt top and putting the blocks together, take a picture before you sew.  This allows you to spot errors before you make them.

Meredith V.--Wind multiple bobbins because everybody gets mad when they have to stop and wind another while making a quilt!

Karen--When sewing a dart you do not want to dimple at the apex, sew the last several stitches really short (0.2 or 0.4) and put a tiny dime sized piece of fabric at the apex.  Run your stitches on to the little piece of fabric just a little bit.

Meredith S--When cutting fabric for a quilt, fold the pieces of fabric that are left over wrong side out, so you know that you have already cut it.

So there you have it.  Tricks or tips to get you through the fall.  I hope you find a little something you can use.

M