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Tip of the Week


Please read about the High-Quality Materials we use in all of our products.

Quilting Tips

Quilting tips! Learn sewing short cuts, how to maintain your machine in good working order, and ideas for project organization.

Buttons on quilts
Some thoughts on buttons on quilts: I recently added buttons to a bedspread while tieing it. Instead of just a tied thread, I sewed in a button. Eighty of them, to be exact! I love the folksy look of buttons on top of a quilt. However, as my children begged to flop on top of the work in progress, I realized, a little too late, that the buttons will be very lumpy and uncomfortable....

Cutting tip
Spread out your cutting mat on the dryer. It's flat, provides a back edge to stabilize your ruler, and it's a great height for cutting. Thanks to my mom for this tip!

Fat Quarter Storage Tip
Use a CD shelf! Tuck fat quarters and fabric rolls into the compartments of a CD shelf. You can display your beautiful fabrics up on the wall.

Fusible Applique
To keep fused applique from getting stiff, trace the applique shape on the paper side of fusible webbing, then cut away the center of the shape. Leave a generous 1/4" of fusible web around the edges. Fuse following product directions.

Hang fabric
After washing and pressing your fabrics, hang them over a coat hanger to keep them smooth. You will be able to find your fabrics more easily when they aren't buried in a box

Machine Quilting
Support the bulk of your quilt with an extra card table while machine quilting.

Roll It Up #2
Need a place to store your paper patterns? Roll them up and place them inside a paper tube(such as the inside of a paper towel roll). No folding, no wrinkles, and no tears!

Roll it Up!
Roll up fabric, linens,and doilies, on small paper tubes(from gift wrap or paper towels) to prevent wrinkling! Caution: wrap the tube first in an old pillowcase before rolling up an heirloom item. The acids from the cardboard can harm fabric.
Thanks to my friend in Sweden for this tip!

Rotary Cutting Safety
Does your rotary cutter have a setting so it is always on? I was reminded today NOT to use that setting-if you drop it, it can slice your feet! Keep your rotary cutter closed.

Signing Quilts with Thread
You can sign your work with thread! Write your name, date, and city with quilting stitches, embroidery, or cross stitch. Quilt with the same color thread as the background fabric for a 'mystery' message that people can discover. To mark the quilt without drawing on the fabric: Use a 'Sharpie' pen to write on a piece of white tissue paper. Baste this paper on the quilt. Stitch through the tissue onto the fabric. Tear away the tissue when done.

Staying organized
If you're like me, you have trouble staying organized! I am trying something new in my sewing room: EVERY time I walk through it, I clean up one item. It's hard not to get overwhelmed and discouraged, so I force myself ot stay focused on that ONE thing. Every time.

Storing your Projects
Use clear plastic containers to store your projects and works in progress. You will be able to see what's inside easily, and won't lose track of projects. Clearly label the outside of each box also! This takes an extra minute, but the payoff is worth it. End those frustrating searches for lost items!

Make Extra Blocks
Make a few extra blocks for your next project. When you are putting your quilt together, use only your very favorite blocks! Use the extras for matching pillows.

Quilt Storage
Do you have an extra bed? Use it for quilt storage! Lay out your quilts on top of the bed. Not only are they nice and flat, they are ready for show and tell! Note: cover with a sheet if they will get a lot of sun.

Seam Allowances
When sewing up two large pieces of fabric for the back of a quilt, be sure to trim off the selvages. Then stitch with an extra wide 1/2" seam allowance. Press it open, and it will lay nice and flat.

Neutral Thread
Use one neutral thread, such as grey or tan, while sewing your multicolored quilts. It will blend with most fabrics, and you won't have to change the thread to try to match all of the colors.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Check it out! Call up your girlfriends, and make appointments for a check up! Do it together, do it alone, just do it!

Cookie Cutters
Need a fun applique pattern? In a hurry? Dig into your tin of cookie cutters! Trace them on your favorite fusible product, and make some fast, simple, and adorable applique!

Creativity Booster
Boost your creativity quotient! Use only what you already have for your next project. Do not buy anything new!

Finding your Scissors
If you're like me, you've spent a lot of time searching for your scissors. Try this: ALWAYS put your scissors back in the same place. Try a special scissors only basket next to your sewing machine. (This works for glasses too!)

Chain piecing
When chain piecing, leave at least 1/4" between pieces. Leave a 'tail' of thread between pieces so it won't unravel when you cut it.

Thread Saver
Begin and end your sewing by stitching on a small scrap of fabric, called a 'thread saver'. You will save thread, AND you will have fewer long threads to get tangled up in your machine!

Berry Stains?
We just returned from our trip to pick Oregon blackberries. You can get rid of strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry stains with boiling water! Just pour a kettle of boiling water over your cotton t-shirt or pants, and watch it disappear. It may take 2-3 kettles. I know this sounds incredible, but I have been doing it successfully for 30 years!

Rotary cutting
Safety! Safety! Safety! I try to cut in lots of natural light, and only when I am alone and without any distractions. Concentrate and think about what you are doing! Always cut away from yourself.

Finding your Scissors
Wrap your scissor handles with neon ribbon so you can easily find them! This will also help you keep track of them at classes.

Magnifying Glass
Use a magnifying glass in reverse to view your quilt design. Lay out your blocks, arrange your colors, and then stand back and view the whole design. You can do this with the reverse side of an ordinary magnifying glass.

Move!
Place your ironing board across the room. Get up and move!

Odd Numbers
Design with Odd Numbers: Use this simple design rule for dramatic results. Use an odd number of items for the most pleasing designs. For example, make a row that is 3 or 5 blocks across, instead of 2 or 4.

Kids' Scissors
Kids' Scissors: Use some children's scissors at your sewing machine to trim threads. The blunt edges won't accidently poke your work!

Pipecleaners
Pipecleaners. Take care of your machine: Use a pipe cleaner to clean your sewing machine! You can remove lint and dust from those hard to reach places. And don't forget to remove your bobbin, and clean out all of the lint underneath your throatplate while you're at it!


 
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