Older Quilting Hints

2000


Everyone has a favorite hint or little secret that makes quilting easier. Here's a place to share yours.

Please use our form to add your special advice to the immediately list.


Date: 12/27/0
From: Shannon

If you use HeatBond or Wonder Under and you get it on your iron simply use a dryer sheet to clean teh iron off!


Date: 12/26/0
From: grandheart from Long Beach,CA

when quilting in a hoop, it's hard to keep thread and scissors handy. Try using a small ziplock plastic bag that will hold a small pair of scissors and a spool of thread, and safety pin this to the top of hoop or on the side of hoop to the quilt. You can leave this open while you are working on the quilt but can close it when you set it down. Works great to take-along trips too.


Date: 12/26/0
From: grandheart from Long Beach,CA

when quilting in a hoop, it's hard to keep thread and scissors handy. Try using a small ziplock plastic bag that will hold a small pair of scissors and a spool of thread, and safety pin this to the top of hoop or on the side of hoop to the quilt. You can leave this open while you are working on the quilt but can close it when you set it down. Works great to take-along trips too.


Date: 12/23/0
From: Liz in Kansas

I was going to purchase some Thread Wrap from a local quilt store...but went into another quilt store and asked for it there. Well, she recommended that I just go to WalMart, get the thinest clear vinyl and use that!
It costs .87 a yard! So, now all my spools are covered with it. It'll keep the dust off, and the thread tails aren't going anywhere. I even used the scraps to get my bobbins a little more organized. (this was a little harder to accomplish, but patience will win out)
Just lay the spools on their sides, measure, fold the vinyl in half, and cut. I did have a hard time finding the edge...but if you're off..well, just use it for a smaller spool! Happy quilting!


Date: 12/13/0
From: wanda44@earthlink.net

quilting labels: Don't know if any of you have done this or not. Instead of copying labels, or purchasing them. I used the purchased chemical to put my fabric in so the colors won't run. Then iron the fabric onto freezer paper. Then...here comes the good part. You know those greeting card programs or letter makers? Use the borders to make a label. You can print what you want inside the borders(there are ovals & all kinds)When I have typed what I want inside of the border
I print it out on the fabric with my printer. WALA! a label. You can make them any color you want too. Let me know if any of you have tried it. I have used it and works beautifully. You can add in animals, flowers, and everything.


Date: 12/8/0
From: Cathy JO

I simply love silk thread for applique work. Can't say enough how nicely it handles and it just dissappears!


Date: 11/21/0
From: Free For All

If you're appliqueing a design from your computer
(perhaps scanned or from the internet) and you're going to use freezer paper - Cut the freezer paper 'typing-paper size' and print the image directly onto your freezer paper?


Date: 11/21/0
From: Free For All

If you're appliqueing a design from your computer
(perhaps scanned or from the internet) and you're going to use freezer paper - Cut the freezer paper 'typing-paper size' and print the image directly onto your freezer paper?


Date: 11/20/0
From: Pat G

When trying to turn a small amount of fabric for freezer paper applique, instead of burning your fingers with the iron, try using your CURLING IRON.


Date: 11/20/0
From: Arkansas

I am wanting to have a quilt made for my mother-in-law for Mother's Day. I want to use family pictures. I need to know where i can go to get the photos transfered to the material? I'm going to use 7x7sq with 5x7 pictures. If anyone as every done this before, I would love to hear any suggestion. Thank you Lisa from Arkansas.My e-mail is dalk@cswnet.com


Date: 11/18/0
From: rquilt

Free advice and How-to information on triangles and hexagons are supplied at www.ardcotemplates.com. Tables to figure the sizes you require aid in layout of triangles and hexagons. R


Date: 11/15/0
From: Marishka

I read a hint below from: grandheart@aol.com. They suggested using medical tape in place of marking our quilts. I've taken that suggestion a bit further! I've made a baby quilt with basic 5" squares and I am quilting a plain circle in the middle of each square. Being that I used flannel it was difficult to mark the fabric. I cut my circle out of plastic and overlapped two strips of the medical tape on it. Then I trimmed the excess tape away leaving a circle shape of tape. Then I peeled off the tape and used it over and over again (about 10 times) before having to cut out another one. It worked great "grandheart@aol" ! I would imagine that each tape 'stencil' would last longer if using cotton and not flannel. Hope this description was clear enough!


Date: 11/15/0
From: CarolB

FYI: If the top thread of the stitching is messing
up then it is the bobbin tension and/or bobbin problem.

If the bottom thread is messing up it is the upper
thread tension and/or threading problem.


Date: 11/6/0
From: wanda44@earthlink.net

I stumbled into this little hint by accident. I had a pattern for "written words" that went on a babies quilt. I wanted something that would transfer the words onto the quilt using the pattern for a guide. Used a pencil but didn't work-tore the pattern. Then I thought about my old dress making transfer wheel. Well it worked very well. I started quilting and noticed that the little "bumps of color" were just the right length apart for a stitch. I followed those dots with my needle and the stitches were all perfect.
Hope you can understand this as written.


Date: 11/2/0
From: Quill

For needle turn applique, apply a tiny round of sand paper (like those you can buy to keep your templates from slipping, about 1/4 inch round) and wrap it around the end of a toothpick, secure with super glue (the ones you buy already have sticky stuff on them).

The sandpaper grabs the fabric and makes it easier to turn tiny stiffer edges under. Since they also pull the fabric back out (you'll see what I mean when you try it) before you pull the toothpick back from the fabric, roll it slightly as you pull it out.


Date: 11/1/0
From: megan in oklahoma

While shoping with my husband for tools and things we purchased a magnetic bowl to hold his nuts and bolts well we decided to get two and i have that it works gret for holding you straight pins. The bottom is also magnatized. I have also found that children's washable markers prove to be a good thing to mark your fabrics with when you want to draw on your stiching design. It has worked realy well for me. Of course always test your fabric. A homemade quilt is always a better gift than a store baught blanket it has the love that,that person used to make it and it will always stay with the quilt. Your family members will always cherish that wonderful gift,everytime they cover up with your homemade quilt they will remember.


Date: 10/30/0
From: Barb Wyckoff

I am a long time quilter who is also a writer and recently wrote an article on the advantages of buying a Bernina. To all those quilters looking for a new sewing machine I think my article will help. All you have to do is click on this link and it will bring you straight to my article. Happy sewing!
http://www.epinions.com/hmgd-review-30AE-BADDA88-39E4CDA4-prod1


Date: 10/23/0
From: maryfaraci@cs.com

when doing a miniature applique - after appliqueing i make a tiny cut and using eyebrow tweezers i pull out the freezer paper


Date: 10/20/0
From: cathyp

Use scraps of all the different fabrics in your quilt to make the hanging sleeve. If repairs are ever needed, the correct fabric is right there.


Date: 10/20/0
From: cathyp

If you store your fabric in cardboard boxes or on cardboard rolls, it's a good idea to cover the cardboard first with several layers of acid-free tissue or old cotton sheeting. Over time, the acid in the cardboard can weaken or stain fabric. (Same thing applies to wood.)


Date: 10/19/0
From: b_halber@hotmail.com

I just bought 9 blocks of GORGEOUS Hmong applique and made a baby blanket out of them. The symbols mean, life love and longevity. This is a quick and easy way to make a STUNNING QUILT FAST!!

Here's the link:

http://www.worldstitch.com/quilt_studio.htm

Bry


Date: 10/18/0
From: patchfac@dreamscape.com

I just read about not using "canned air" to clean out your sewing machine. I froze the o-ring on the needle holder with that stuff. It cost me 35.00 for a service call to my friendly repair man. Be VERY careful with that stuff.


Date: 10/18/0
From: Patchfac@dreamscape.com

For years I have used men's ties to make wall quilts. I have found that if I throw them in the washer with warm water and soap, they release all the gravy and dirt they have gathered over the years! Then I open them and remove the interlineing and threads. I press them lightly and fold them in a box. When I use them, I sew pieces of them to muslin squares. I usually use 6" squares. I use a crazy quilt method and get some spectacular results. I end up with small wall hangings that I like to call my "Ties That Blind" quilts.


Date: 10/14/0
From: CarolB from Arkansas

I cut plastic straws in half (shorter or longer) and put on the dowels of
of my thread rack. Now you can put two spools instead of one in each spot.


Date: 10/14/0
From: CarolB in Arkansas

To remove the glue from interfacing/wonderunder that
has gotten on the fabric, there is a product called Undo It.
It removes anything that is stuck. Even pictures that are stuck
to the frame glass. It is safe for paper and fabric.


Date: 10/12/0
From: TRINA

I WAS HAVING A HARD TIME TO GET THE NEEDLE TO PULL THROUGH WHEN I WAS TYING OFF THE SQUARES. SO, I GOT THE JAR OPENER THAT IS MADE OF RUBBER AND I USED IT TO PULL MY NEEDLE RIGHT THROUGH. IT WORKS REALLY GREAT.


Date: 10/11/0
From: Charlotte Komlose Norwalk, Iowa

Mine is not a hint I'm desparite for something to take the wonderunder glug off a purple Jacket Does anyone have a way to get it off or whom to contact???? Please Help..... email charmkom@uswest.net


Date: 10/11/0
From: Charlotte Komlose Norwalk, Iowa

Mine is not a hint I'm desparite for something to take the wonderunder glug off a purple Jacket Does anyone have a way to get it off or whom to contact???? Please Help..... email charmkom@uswest.net


Date: 10/11/0
From: Charlotte Komlose Norwalk, Iowa

Mine is not a hint I'm desparite for something to take the wonderunder glug off a purple Jacket Does anyone have a way to get it off or whom to contact???? Please Help..... email charmkom@uswest.net


Date: 10/11/0
From: Valerie

If you have one of those thread racks with several rows of pegs and it isn't full, try using the bottom row for other things - at present I have a roll of tape, a cluster of templates (which I don't want crushed so I punched a hole in each and threaded on ribbon), some rubber bands, scissors, and stuff threaded on long twist ties - like the plastic discs to go on top of thread spools on the serger. Since I have two racks, the other one easily takes a plastic coated wire basket to hold my machine manuals. In the past I have even threaded ribbon through the holes on my rotary cutting rulers and hung them there, but when I used them the ribbon always seemed to be in the way. I've also punched holes in plastic "baggies" to hold small items.


Date: 10/4/0
From: Cathy in Northern VA

I LOVE MY SEWING MACHINE, DON'T YOU?

Just a little tip about taking care of your machine. I use a Featherweight (that was my mother's). When putting it away I wrap the cord in a piece of fabric. This helps keep the machine from getting extra wear and tear because of the cord/plug clunking against it inside the case. Also when you change thread on top, cut it at the spool and pull the piece of thread from the needle (not the other way), it keeps lint from going backwards into your thread-trail. And, from my beginner experiences, USE GOOD THREAD, if your machine sews great and you switch thread and everything starts going wrong, the thread may not be good. This is a good hint if you have an old assortment of threads that you are using. Hope this helps someone.


Date: 9/30/0
From: Lynette in Manitoba

Lots of quilts made from scraps look great when the binding is pieced from the left-overs. Just keep anything large enough to give about two or three inches of binding, sew it all togehter, and bind. Sometimes it's a bit of a challenge to get the seams away from the corners, but it looks great in the end. When I do plaids, I cut bias.


Date: 9/27/0
From: Mary Ann in KY

I'm working on my first quilt. It's for my one-year-old niece. I decided it would be great to use glow-in-the-dark thread to do the machine quilting. Well, the thread gets "lost" in the quilt sandwich and works much more like an "invisible" thread. That means that I lost the glow effect. I'm going back and zig-zagging over the quilt design, and it's working beautifully. So, if you use a glow-in-the-dark thread, remember to treat it as you would any other special embellishment thread that you want to make sure is seen.


Date: 9/26/0
From: aswarthout@winterland.com

I have lots of old Kimonos from Japan, but they are made of silk, and therefore, they are sort of slinky. How can I use them for paper piecing? How can I stiffen them up? Thanks for any suggestions! Aaron


Date: 9/25/0
From: Janice

Lyndall, I bought the Hinterburg floor hoop and really like it. One good thing about the floor model is: it keeps the quilt off my lap in the summertime! The lap hoop I use for finishing around the outside of the quilt.


Date: 9/24/0
From: lyndall@megalink.net

I am hand quilting on my first full size quilt. I would like to buy a frame hoop but don't know what would be best a lap hoop or floor model? I'd love any suggestions. Thanks.


Date: 9/23/0
From: Individual Finger Gloves user

I am a Quilter, and I have used a product called Individual Finger Gloves on the finger that I hold underneath the garment as Iím quilting to feel the needle prick go all the way through the fabric. Iíve also used them on my push finger that I use going through the fabric. I tend to wear your finger down and need something to protect you from putting the needle through your finger. And on both sides it does help tremendously! Whether Iím doing quilting, embroidery or other needlework, the finger gloves fit very much like a new skin upon my finger and create a barrier that helps my skin stay healthy while Iím doing all this finger work! I also find they take away that feeling of pain that I get after a while when my finger gets very soar, and then I have to stop quilting for a long period of time so that my finger can recover. These Finger Gloves cut down on that time that I canít quilt! I have found them very useful in all of my sewing habits around the house. So if it helps anyone, I find them very helpful and I enjoy using them! Just try them once and you will find that theyíre invaluable! Youíll go back to them every time! They are .50 cents each and worth every penny. I found them at www.FingerGloves.com. Just goes to prove there's something for everyone!


Date: 9/16/0
From: Hillary

hi I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to find some onion paper if ANY one knows where there is some I am willing to pay no matter what!!!! if anyone knows there is some please e-mail me at Hillarylovesu2@hotmail.com ASAP!!!!!!!! thank you!


Date: 9/16/0
From: Hillary

hi I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to find some onion paper if ANY one knows where there is some I am willing to pay no matter what!!!! if anyone knows there is some please e-mail me at Hillarylovesu2@hotmail.com ASAP!!!!!!!! thank you!


Date: 9/16/0
From: pseals@easystreet.com

A friend gave me this tip - metal thimbles are nice and round - some peoples fingers are not. My
thimble finger is more oval shape and thimbles were always difficult to use. My friend told me to slightly bend my thimble by tapping it lightly with a hammer. Works so good, much better fit and no more sore finger.
pat


Date: 9/12/0
From: Goosie/Bloomington, IL

Another trick that works for those warped cutting mats is putting it between a box spring and mattress for a few days, or longer depending on how bad it is warped. It is also a great place to store them to make sure they stay flat if you don't quilt everyday. But if it is a bed that is used nightly, make sure to put it near the foot of the bed so that someone is not laying directly over it.


Date: 9/6/0
From: Mary in Nebraska

One of the best handquilting tips I have found is
to use an extra long piece of quilting thread -
2-3 yards in length. Thread your needle with this
long thread but pull up only half way. Begin quilting
and quilt to the end of the first half of the thread.
Rethread the needle with the other half of the thread
and beging quilting in the opposite direction. This
eliminates pulling a beginning knot through your fabric.
I like to cut several long lengths of thread, pull them
through the Thread Heaven and then rewind on an empty
thread spool, already to use.


Date: 9/5/0
From: Vicki in New Jersey

I recently started a log cabin quilt. I purchased all of the fabric and thought it was going to go perfectly.. Well, after cutting all of the strips and starting a block, I realized some of the fabrics just didn't go. So my tip is to just cut one strip from each fabric and sew a block together, this way if some of the fabric doesn't work, you still have it in one piece
instead of strips.


Date: 9/5/0
From: Vicki in New Jersey

I recently started a log cabin quilt. I purchased all of the fabric and thought it was going to go perfectly.. Well, after cutting all of the strips and starting a block, I realized some of the fabrics just didn't go. So my tip is to just cut one strip from each fabric and sew a block together, this way if some of the fabric doesn't work, you still have it in one piece
instead of strips.


Date: 9/5/0
From: esschrei@cs.com

Does anyone know where I could find the pattern for the Log Cabin Broken star quilt?
Info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Shirley


Date: 9/5/0
From: esschrei@cs.com

Does anyone know where I could find the pattern for the Log Cabin Broken star quilt?
Info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Shirley


Date: 9/5/0
From: rquilt

Do the inside curves and other curves, simply and accurately with the brand NEW Olfa mini-cutter. It is their smallest rotary cutter, just introduced at the Nashville Quilt Show. It is designed for fine work and can be used especially with the SUPER ARDCO templates! Available from the fine template maker, and soon to be featured on special sale to www.ardcotemplates.com newsletter subscribers for a reduced price. R.


Date: 9/1/0
From: Wanda

I was getting low on storage space in my sewing room. I realized that I wasn't using the door for anything, so I purchased a plastic shoe holder. It is see-through, has 20 separate pockets, and three metal hooks that hook over the top of the door. I keep my rotary cutters, quilt marking pens, Pigma pens, seam rippers, masking tape, tape measure, etc. in these pockets. The best thing is that I can put my hand on these at a glance.


Date: 8/11/0
From: diana51443@yahoo.com

I used to crawl all over the floor to put together a quilt. But after going to some meetings at our public libary, I found out the rooms are free. So when I have a large quilt to sandwhich I call to reserve a room. The large tables are always set up, so all I have to do is move them together until I have just the size I need. And they are at waist height. Of course I clean and put the tables back to their origanal places.


Date: 8/5/0
From: Caroline

I forgot to mention that my card table (garage sale find!) is a very old one with a sturdy wooden frame. In addition, it had two more wooden braces next to two sides. lbmc@hit.net


Date: 8/4/0
From: Caroline lbmc@hit.net

Here's a great idea! I was about to throw out an old card table (with a fiber cardboard top)....then an idea hit me, convert it into a portable quilting frame! I removed the top with my trusty butcher knife, as close to the edge as it would allow. Using fabric scraps I wrapped the edge and securely fastened the fabric to it with a staple gun. I fastened my quilt to the edges with binder clips. Presto! A fantastic, portable, easily stored quilting frame! :)


Date: 7/27/0
From: janerm_q@ix.netcom.com

Keep babies safe. Make sure you quilt low loft items for babies. The high loft quilt batting looks soft but it can block the air from a tiny little nose. Although we don't like to think about it ... in case of a fire, polyester melts into skin sort of like Agent Orange. Consider using 100% cotton. Cotton smolders but doesn't melt into skin. Jane in Texas.


Date: 7/27/0
From: janerm_q@ix.netcom.com

Keep babies safe. Make sure you quilt low loft items for babies. The high loft quilt batting looks soft but it can block the air from a tiny little nose. Although we don't like to think about it ... in case of a fire, polyester melts into skin sort of like Agent Orange. Consider using 100% cotton. Cotton smolders but doesn't melt into skin. Jane in Texas.


Date: 7/27/0
From: janerm_q@ix.netcom.com

Machine quilting gloves with TRACTION. I buy cheap yellow rubber gloves of a size that fit snug. I cut off most of the fingertips and I cut off the cuffs. I may add a couple of vent holes over the back of my hand. With my index finger and thumb exposed I can thread the needle, change bobbins, tie off knots, etc. The rubber gives me traction for my whole hand and I can change the position of my fingers often. I can quilt five or six quilts before the gloves wear out or tear. My hands get a little sweaty, but it's not really a problem.


Date: 7/9/0
From: dstread@redrock.net

When my husband and I retired to Southern Utah we bought a small, two bedroom home. The 2nd bedroom is our computer room, guest room, and of course, my sewing room. I didn't have all the space I needed. One day as I was trying to find a place for my tools, I realized that the back of the bedroom door had a lot of wasted space. I had my husband hang two large thread holding racks on the back of the door. I hang my
thread **, bobbins, scissors, rulers, cutting mat, rotary cutter, just about everything on these two racks. When the door is open everything is out of sight and when guests come, they understand that this is my sewing room also. It makes it easier to find everything when I need it.

**I had inherited a lot of thread from my mother when she no longer could sew and combined with what I had collected over the years, I had a lot of thread in all colors. I had it in the drawer in bags and I could never find what color I seemed to need. I sorted my thread by colors and put them on separate rows along with matching bobbins. This way when I need purple or blue etc., all my purples are on one row, my blues all on another row and I can see what shades I have. I have been able to use up a lot of the thread I had because I can now see what colors are on the rack.


Date: 7/9/0
From: Pat Linback (from a VERY small town in Indiana!)

I thought of this when I was making a lap/nap quilt for my dad who was is a nursing home. On the back side of the quilt (before I put the quilt together), I made a fairly large pocket that had a flap that closed with hook and loop tape (Velcro). He was able to carry around his glasses, a book, etc. and it stayed in the pocket. It didn't show from the front, and the Velcro kept the stuff from falling out and was easy for him to do and un-do. I just had to be careful that I didn't stitch over the center of the quilt and sew the pocket closed!


Date: 6/30/0
From: JuliaG2202@AOL.com

Have you ever knocked a box of pins all over the carpet? I have and because i have bad knees and couldn't get down on the floor to pick them up i found a better way. my husband had a magnet you use to pick up nails from the yard after you have a new roof put on. It's round about the size of a tea cup with a long thin handle.You just swing it back and forth over pins to pick them up. Works great now i keep it in my sewing room. Hope it helps someone else.



Date: 6/26/0
From: Cathy Fussell

I do a LOT of hand quilting, and to keep my thimble finger from getting sore and calloused, I always buy a much bigger thimble than I really need and I stick a Dr. Scholl's cornpad inside it. The pad helps to cushion my finger and helps to make the thimble fit my finger better.


Date: 6/20/0
From: crhoracekmft@hotmail.com

I love to hand quilt and I use #12 betweens, but it's hard to thread them.
So, I spend some time threading all of my needles onto the spool with a needle threader and then
when I need a needle, I already have about 20 threaded. Of course, I use all the needles
and then I have to start over ... but it saves time in the longrun.
When I'm using the machine to piece or quilt, I wind 3 or 4 bobbins so that when the bobbin
runs out I don't have to keep stopping to wind a new one; I just use the one's already wound.
Also a time saver.


Date: 6/20/0
From: CarolB

I always use the dryer to fluff up my batting and
get the folds out of it. I use the gentle cycle
for about 5 min. and the large batting comes
out smooth and even. I use the Poly Soft
traditional batting.


Date: 6/16/0
From: Julie ~ KennyAK@juno.com

Hi there! I've been quilting now for about 8 yrs. and I love it, but I hated having the presser foot on my machine move out of reach while sewing. My Mom used to make all my clothes when I was little and she told me to turn the presser foot around. You can rest you foot easily on the edge and you press forward like you are driving. It stays in place now!
Also, I don't remember where this tip came from, but, to keep my thread and same colored bobbins together I use pipe cleaners. I just put the pipe cleaner through both and bend at the ends and cut the right length. I store them all in a Rubbermaid clear container with a lid. It keeps them all organized and dust free!
Hope these hints help others like they did me!!!


Date: 6/13/0
From: Maria, PA

I've seen several comments on the grid used for a basting gun. I never bought one. I take two cake racks and turn one so it forms the grid pattern. Works just fine.


Date: 6/10/0
From: Deborah in Bellevue, WA

Maybe you've already heard this one:
I really like to have all of my fabric visible
all the time, but when it's folded and stacked
flat, it's hard to pull out a length from the
bottom of the stack. So I save cardboard and cut
it to 8.5 x 11 inches. The cardboard that comes
at the backs of writing pads works beautifully.
I fold the fabric into a long rectangle, wrap it
around the piece of cardboard, pin the loose ends,
and store it book-wise on a shelf. The cardboard
core gives the bundle of fabric just enough
"backbone" to stand upright. New fabric that's 44 or 45 inches wide folds down
to 11 inches very nicely. As long as there is one
scrap big enough--about 18 inches long, maybe 5 or
6 inches wide--you can bundle up smaller scraps
in it and pin it to a cardboard core this way.


Date: 6/9/0
From: Carolyn

Oooops! I made a grand mistake today and wanted to
share it so nobody else would do the same. I thought
I'd throw my batting in the dryer to get out some of
the creases before sandwiching the quilt. I thought
I had read somewhere before that others did this.
Anyway, my low loft poly bat turned out a mess. It
kind of melted to itself in several places.

Don't repeat my mistake.


Date: 6/8/0
From: Linda

Just a word of warning on the blast of air hint, in my book for my machine (a computerized one) it says that if you do that, you could ruin the computer. I think it is a great idea for non-computer machines though!!


Date: 6/8/0
From: Peggy from Texas

I have very small hands. I love to quilt. The thimbles available are to large for me. I use the leather ones with the small metal piece in the tip.To keep the thimble from falling off I use some Tack-It Over and Over on the inside of the thimble. It lasts quite a while. Then I have to reapply it. I enjoy quilting more now.


Date: 6/6/0
From: Cappy

I like to use mechanical pencils to mark quilts. I don't have to continually sharpen the lead to get a good line. I did find that there are different hardnesses of leads for mechanical pencils. Get a soft lead, I think it is labled as "HB", and you can draw without having to push hard on the pencil.


Date: 6/2/0
From: Donna H. in New Jersey

When changing bobbins in my sewing machine, I "blast" the bobbin case with an ozone-friendly pressurized air duster (available in office supply stores for about $8 USD/can). The nozzle easily reaches all those nooks and crannies and quickly removes all of the dust and lint.


Date: 6/1/0
From: painls@hal-pc.org

Alot of you are using the basting gun and having problems finding a grid to go under it. I use my wrought-iron patio table: the grids are just perfect. Tape your quilt down to the edges to hold it in place and baste away at just the right height. Hope this is another useful idea.


Date: 5/30/0
From: jokenjo77@aol.com

I've found a neat and quick way to pick up any material clippings and thread from my carpet by the sewing machine. I use those lint rollers with the sticky tape on them. Works great!


Date: 5/24/0
From: CarolB

When a fabric bolt is empty, the fabric store
will throw it away. When you buy fabric wrap
it on the empty bolt and store it just like
the shop does. No creases and it stacks so
neatly. Get there before the trash is emptied!
Also good for storing seldom used tablecloths
etc, no fold lines. I have lots of luck getting
the empty ones from Wal-Mart.


Date: 5/24/0
From: Dori in Minnesota

I only machine quilt, so I use the spray glue that crafters use. I have used several kinds, and the washable ones are best. They hold even a full size quilt while twisting and turning while machine quilting. The only problem I have found is when using a very thin cotton batting such as Mountain Mist, you have to be real careful when putting the batting down on the sticky backing. You only get one shot at it and it won't come up to smooth out very well. The best luck I have had is with thicker battings, Warm and Natural works excellent, because if it does not go down smooth, you can pull it up and start over. Just be sure that your quilt can be washed afer you are done quilting. Also, wait about 4 days to quilt after spraying.


Date: 5/23/0
From: J in Minnesota

My hint is this: In your sewing room, if you store your fabric on open shelves be sure to cover them with an old sheet, etc. or sunlight coming in the windows will fade them.
NOW WHAT I NEED TO KNOW IS: I'M GOING TO BE IN WINNIPEG CANADA THIS WEEKEND. DO YOU KNOW ANY QUILT SHOPS AND THEIR ADDRESSES.... THANK YOU.


Date: 5/20/0
From: cbryant@safeweb.net

Just got back from a quilting show here in Fort Worth, Texas. Several vendors had a neat wooden thingy that you put on your machine spindle before you put on your large spool of thread. It keeps the large spool from wobbling. When I got home,I cut a section from a clothes hanger that has a cardboard (dowel shaped) bottom. It fits the spindle and the large spool perfectly and didn't cost $5.00.


Date: 5/20/0
From: Linda

I have been doing a BOM and using paper templates for making the pieces. I got frustrated with the fabric shifting around on me. I tried (and like) using 2 things to help prevent that. First of all, I put the fabric on fine grit sandpaper and secondly, I use my little 6 inch ruler (the pieces are all smaller than this) on the edge of the template. Everything stays in place while I am tracing and the paper stays nice and "sharp" for repeated use.


Date: 5/20/0
From: Shahbaz Ahmad

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contact us. chand@skt.wol.net.pk
Fax +92 0432 559527


Date: 5/19/0
From: Norma in North Carolina

Removing chalk lines from quilts: I just machine quilted a quilt with neon cats on black. I marked lines with white chalk and used a silver barrel pencil to go over the chalk in light or white areas. I just happened to have a pack of Pledge Grab-its that one of my nieces had insisted I purchase for dusting (I'm usually not one for new-fangled products). Well I grabbed one, and guess what, it removed all the lines with ease! (It would not remove plain silver barrel pencil lines, just the ones I put over the chalk.) Maybe this will help someone who regularly uses chalk to mark their quilts.


Date: 5/18/0
From: Donna in CA

I agree with CarolB about the best type of irons. I like the smaller, lighter irons. A few years ago I found an old, light-weight, no-vent iron in a thrift store for $5.00. It almost looks like a child's iron. This iron is great when I have a lot of ironing to do--my arm does not get tired like it used to from lifting a heavier iron. If you do a lot of quilting and work with one arm/wrist like I do then a lighter iron is a plus.


Date: 5/17/0
From: Christi

I had pieced a quilt top for my 5-year-old son. I used the "bug jar" idea, but instead of bugs, used fabrics of his favorite things (M & M's, baseball, trucks, etc. I have done some hand quilting but not a whole quilt. I really wanted to hand quilt this to enter in our county fair in September. So I buy Warm and Natural batting, sandwich, baste, and begin hand quilting. IT WAS AWFUL!!!! My stitches were huge and miles apart. And it never got better. After consulting a very experienced quilter, I realized I had used a horrible batting for hand quilting. I switched to a polyester batting, and now quilting it is a breeze. Even though I had to "unsew" all that quilting, and the basting, hand quilting it now is a breeze. So, my advice, do your homework on your batting. Being a quilter who wastes nothing, I am using the Warm and Natural in a Hello Kitty for my 21-month-old daughter that I will MACHINE quilt. I hope this saves someone else the aggravation!


Date: 5/15/0
From: ckiser@megavision.com

My husband and I have three grown children. Each year we struggle to find that perfect Christmas gift for each couple. This past year I made six quilts and my husband pared them with antique rocking chairs, along with an envelope of money, our shopping was done and the kids have an heirloom for their homes! (Hint, we let the oldest pick first!) They were thrilled!!


Date: 5/12/0
From: Tinkerg@juno.com

I have looked in almost every hardware store here in my home town for the plastic grid that goes in hanging fluorescant ceiling lights. I need it in order to gun baste my quilt. Wouldn't you know it! They had no idea what I was talking about. An idea hit me. I haven't done this yet, but there is no reason why it shouldn't work. I plan to pull my kitchen table apart(as when adding a leaf to it). I will drape my quilt over the table and clamp the quilt to the table. This will leave a nice size hole to work over. Spring loaded clamps can be found at hardware an probably auto parts stores. Being careful not to hit the table, this should work well. You should be able to rub your hand over the top and feel where the table edge is, therefore avoiding hitting it with the gun needle. I'll not have the expense of buying a grid (if I could ever find one)nor will I have to make a place to store it. If any of you have tried this, please let me know how it worked out for you. Thanks. Sandra from a very humid South Carolina.


Date: 5/10/0
From: CarolB

The best iron to have for quiliting is a
heavey stainless steel iron with no steam vents.
(use a spray bottle of water if you want steam)
You can find these irons at flea markets, garage
sales, etc. They are getting rarer so start
looking. I found one for $4 and it has the
most even heating surface because of no vents
and the heaviness really presses the seams.
Also the older metal irons heats to a much
higher temp then the lightweight plastic ones.
I have a new EuroPro and it is a very good iron
but it can't match my old metal iron for heat.
as the newer one.


Date: 5/8/0
From: grandheart@aol.com

I do a lot of hand quilting and I like to do crosshatch quilting. I do not like to mark on my quilt so I use 1" wide medical paper tape. It does not leave any residue and can be repositioned several times. This can be purchased at your local drug store. It must be the paper kind in order not to leave any residue on quilt back.


Date: 5/8/0
From: grandheart@aol.com

I do a lot of hand quilting and I like to do crosshatch quilting. I do not like to mark on my quilt so I use 1" wide medical paper tape. It does not leave any residue and can be repositioned several times. This can be purchased at your local drug store. It must be the paper kind in order not to leave any residue on quilt back.


Date: 5/6/0
From: Quiltfire

Yes wash all the fabric to prevent the usual nasty
surprises of odd shrinkage, color run, but also to
prevent allergic reation to the sinus as well as
the skin.
Now you have nice clean, oh shoot! limp, slippery,
stretchy hard to handle material. I starch it with
spray starch. (Do this in a ventilated area.)
I work with a lot of little pieces and the body
the starch gives the fabric is needed for perfect
seams. It also makes applique easier as it allows
finger pressing the turn under and helps cut down
on stretching that the handling can cause.
Also there is nothing like steam for the perfect
crease, just remember to set the iron down and
count to 4 then lift. Dragging the iron will
deform the material shape.


Date: 5/4/0
From: Donna

Something to think about!
I have a passion for quilting.All this winter I worked many hours a day at it.I began feeling strange and later so weak at times I could hardly get out of my chair. The sicker I got, the more I quilted ( I couldn't do anything else).My doctor thought I might have a virus. I finally realized that I was being poisoned by the fumes from pressing the unwashed fabric. I moved my ironing board outside (carport) and got better instantly.It has been a month now and I feel great! It probably wouldn't bother a lot of people, but maybe there are others who have had strange symptoms and have never connected the two.I have heard that all fabrics should be washed as soon as they are brought indoors.Now I'm a believer. I hope this helps someone else!


Date: 5/4/0
From: Agnes

Kind-to-the back Quilting
Because of painful back problems I couldn't put my quilts together and baste the normals ways.In desparation I took two adjustable ironing boards,set opposite ways and a distance apart.Then my husband fastened two flush narrow doors together and laid them across. Then I adjusted the highth until it was comfortable for me to stand.It works so well that I do all my projects, even cleaning out drawers,all kinds of sorting, even did my income tax work on it. It's wonderful for rotary cutting,stacking quilt blocks and all sewing projects.


Date: 5/1/0
From: wanda44@earthlink.net

I made my grandson a crazy quilt. In the center of each block was a fabric picture of different things, animals, Farm scenes, Bugs etc. (He is 8 yrs old) But... there is one special block. I wanted to have a special block that was private between us only. I attached velcro to the back of one specially made picture block that you can open. When opened-inside are the words "I love you, by grandma".


Date: 5/1/0
From: joyce

I lay my lining on foor and strech and tapedown and put down my batting an then the top i get the quilt pins and i start in the middle and pinn in every fue inches apart


Date: 5/1/0
From: lildremepuff@aol.com

Hello..I am also a senior working on my senior project which is quilting a bedcover....I like it alot and i am already thinking about making another one but i am not finished with this one i am currently working on.....Anyway....i have managed to get up to the point of basting my quilt..but i have no idea how to and i am trying to stick with doing it all by hand..Any ideas or hints that will help me with hand basting and quilting my quilt will be appreciated...Thank You


Date: 4/28/0
From: Brandis in Calgary <integro@skillfactory.org>

I masking tape a small brown paper lunch bag with a folded down top to my table edge close to my machine. I use the tape sideways, so that a thin line of it adheres to the table. When I am sewing, I just toss the thread ends, clippings, etc. into this bag. It is easy to remove and empty and the maskingtape still re- sticks. (At least mine has been sticking for about two years, now!)Also, the bag stays where I want it, and can't get lost in all the other stuff on my work table.


Date: 4/24/0
From: iris in ontario

to keep your cutting mat clean,use a rubber glove and just wipe over every time you use it


Date: 4/23/0
From: CarolB

I thought everyone knew this hint but my neighbor
was amazed when she saw this in my sewing room
I use a flannel backed tablecloth hung on my
wall for a design board. You can buy the cloth
in many different sizes to fit your space. You
can use one on the floor and roll up your quilt
blocks/pieces and they will stay put. Try to
buy the thicker flannel backed or try the garage
sales for old ones. The old ones seem to have
more flannel on the backs. I have and use the
discount $1 ones and they work fine. Also as
an added bonus, young children love to put up
scraps of fabric on the wall making a design and
keeping them busy in the sewing room while you
are.


Date: 4/22/0
From: Bridgeterck@aol.com

I'm not sure if this has ever been posted, but, I just started using washable glue sticks on my paperpiecing. I use it right after I've cut the extra material on the 1/4" seam, then I fold down the material right on it. This keeps the material from shifting when I go to add the next material. I hope this makes sense if anyone wants to discuss this just email me. Thanks Bridget


Date: 4/22/0
From: Mindy in Miami

Be careful when using pizza boxes to store your quilt blocks or pieces. A friend of mine did this and the bottom blocks were stained. The box had never been used but the acids in the cardboard discolored her fabrics. It's best to layer a few paper towels on the bottom before putting anything in.

Also, I have read tips in many place about using a copier, scanner, fax machine, etc. to copy paper piecing patterns onto thin paper so that you don't have to trace it. All of these methods will warp designs, so don't do this unless having an exact design doesn't matter. Have you ever noticed that when you copy something, it doesn't match up with the original exactly? Try it and see.


Date: 4/21/0
From: Donna

I stored my orange and grey cutting mat beside my
dryer, stupid thing to do, it warped! I tried many
things to get it to lay flat, books on top, heat from
iron by ironing towels on top of it. Finally my Dad
I wait for a hot day, when we finally had a nice
hot one in mid summer I placed my mat out on the deck.
It flattened! I hopes this will work for you also.


Date: 4/18/0
From: grandheart@aol.com

If you do a lot of applique like I do you need a lot of template material. I use the plastic that bacon is packaged in. I wash this in soapy water and it works just great for my applique templates. Remember when threading the needle thread right from the spool and you won't forget which end to use. Thread has a nap too.


Date: 4/18/0
From: grandheart@aol.com

For my mother's 80th birthday I sent all her friends a 10" square of muslin fabric with a note telling them of her inpending birthday party and for them to write, paint, quilt, embroidery any thing to tell her of their friendship. My mother has friend she has had for over 50 years. I recieved all but one square back. I put them all together in a beautiful memory quilt. she cried when she saw it. It tells such a story of her life. Try it on your family member. Email me for more information if you want.


Date: 4/18/0
From: grandheart@aol.com

Here's another tip for applique quilting. I have found that using the applique needles most stores now carry really helps me when I do applique the needle turn method. The needles are very thin and long. Also use good thread for applique. The 4 for a dollar type will break and split. I wait for a 50% off sell on notions at my local fabric store and stock up on all colors. I buy the small ones to carry with me and the large ones for machine sewing.


Date: 4/18/0
From: grandheart@aol.com

Use just a dab of glue from a glue stik to temporary adhere an applique piece to the background fabric. This will eleminate pins.
I use different sizes of design boards when doing applique. Sizes range from 8 1/2" X 11" to 36" X 36". These can be transported from sewing room to living area. Taking the small one when leaving the house. Applique pieces stay in place. One side for drawing and other side for design placement. You then can stand this on end and step away and deside if you like the setting.
If you want more information on how to make this send me an E.mail at grandheart@aol.com


Date: 4/15/0
From: Angela in Alberta

I have just recently started putting broken needles and bent pins in an empty anacin bottle marked DICARD. I used to worry that someone would stick themselves or end up with a needle tip in their hands, now I have one less thing to worry about.


Date: 4/12/0
From: rbrinker@midtec.com

take a clean, plastic butter tub with a plastic top. In the center cut a hole--about the size of a quarter. Put this next to you machine. You can put you cut threads and small clippings in the tub through the hole. With the small opening they don't fall out if tipped over and you can empty as needed. They don't take up much room and work well to take to class. When a prettier tub comes out--make a new one. I have several to use in different areas that I quilt in. I have one in my hand quilting bag. Saves a lot of mess at clean-up time. Rosie


Date: 4/10/0
From: Infuriated quilter

My hint to other quilters is this. When a page like this is set up for us to share hints with each other and people abuse it by advertising on it (see two previous "hints"), boycott those sites. Don't e-mail, you may be "spammed"!


Date: 3/29/0
From: Carolyn from Arkansas

I have found that using an honing stone on my
cutting mat restores the surface to new like
condition. I bet your favorite guy has one in his tool
box!


Date: 3/28/0
From: Hilde in Holland

This hint was given to me by Netty Rutgers in Twente, Holland:
If you want to make basting easier: put a broomstick under your quilt and baste close to the stick. The broomstick helps 'lift' the 3 layers enough to easily go through with your needle.


Date: 3/28/0
From: Karen in Sacramento, CA

I but a roll of the rubber shelf liner that looks like mesh. It comes in several colors. I cut it up to fit under my sewing machine, foot pedal on a tile floor. I also cut 2 or 3 strips to go under my rotary cutting mats. I also have a piece in the bottom of the insert of the tote I take to classes. It keeps my notions from sliding all around.

It isn't very thick so you don't notice it's there and very reasonable price wise.


Date: 3/28/0
From: Karen in Sacramento, CA

Here's a hint I got from a quilting teacher a couple of years ago and it's great.

Try medical tape on the back of your rotary cutting rulers. There is a clear plastic medical tape, 1" wide, that looks like it has little pin holes in it. The little holes act like traction and hold the ruler in place.

I liked the sandpaper dots, but this works great. I put a long piece down each side and across the ends. It can overlap without a problem. No residue on the fabric.


Date: 3/24/0
From: Valerie, Florida

Following on from Misty's hint, I keep several pin cushions around my sewing room - at the machine, the iron, the cutting table, and in the family room by my chair. When one gets emptied I replace it with one which is full - usually the one by the sewing machine which gets filled up the quickest. I also use sizeable pin-cushions made from 6" "orphans blocks" - these are more practical than the cutesy ones, but are still attractive (and they don't get lost under the fabric stashes!) Attach a piece of flannel to one corner for needles - if you let them go below the surface of the cushion you will never find them again!


Date: 3/20/0
From: Joan in the south suburbs of Chicago

I use a plastic tac gun to baste my quilts. There are plastic grids for sale...but I substitute a clean baking rack with strings tied on it to slide it around under the quilt. (I suppose you could buy another rack if you still bake).


Date: 3/20/0
From: Betty in Dorset UK

Just a quicky or two.Try using the lightest vilene instead of paper for foundation--it is quite transparent so can be traced thro', so light that it adds no weight,adds a lot of strength and therefore can be left in. As for sore fingers, we still use coloured insulation tape, cheap, tough and leaves your needle tacky free !


Date: 3/19/0
From: Misty (timothysgirl_1@mailcity.com)

I am a beginning quilter and I am doing a quilt for my senior project. It is fun.

I use pins and I had put my pins in a glass cermaic piece I had made. But I left it out in the living room and the sewing machiene was in our computer/sewing room. I took a little tin and put it by the machine. As I took pins out I put it in the tin and later put them back in the cermaic glass. ALWAYS keep your pins picked up. if you drop one and don't bother to find it, a little kid could pick it up and eat it. (thanks goodness my niece knows what pins are and gives them back to me if she finds one. And she is only 2 years old.)


Date: 3/15/0
From: Gina from Blue Canyon

I have had problems with marking dark fabric while hand quilting. At last I found, for me a great solution. I bought a box of chalk from Staples, a pencil sharpener that has adjustable sizes and a chalk holder. I can sharpen the chalk to a fine point and the chalk holder keeps the chalk at the right length for easy marking. The chalk marks stay on the quilt just long enough for quilting but does not leave a permanent mark. At last, straight lines! I am on my third quilt using this method and it works great! Happy Quilting!


Date: 3/12/0
From: Jan from Virginia

I use the pinked edged adhesive tape on my index and third fingers for my left hand which goes under the quilt when hand quilting. I cut two pieces and put over the end of the finger running from first knuckle over the nail to knuckle crease under the finger, and secure with a third piece with the cut edge being on top. I can still feel the needle and can use these tape protectors for several quilting settings before having to make another set.


Date: 3/11/0
From: joy from wisconsin

when doing machine applique, freezer paper works great as a backing to stabilize the fabric...iron it with the shiny side facing the wrong side of the background fabric, and it won't shift as you machine applique, and tears away easily. If you applique, you probably have a lot of freezer paper already!


Date: 3/10/0
From: Carol from Ar

I purchased a really cheap wire wreath holder
from Wal-Mart. It is round with a piece of wire
every four inches to press together to hold the
wreath. This makes a great wall hanging to hold
all matter of sewing items. I turned up the
wires and have over 50 sewing items hanging from
it. I have another one just for spools of thread.
Great for all the small items you buy but don't
use all the time and forget you have them.


Date: 3/8/0
From: somewhere in the middle of montana

I hope this prevents somebody doing what I did. I was pressing a whole pile of blocks, and as I did each one I place it next to me......on my cutting mat. After I finished, I picked up my pile of freshly pressed blocks, all still warm, and found my cutting mat had warped! Luckily, I caught it in time and place half my set of encyclopedias on top of the warp which returned it to flat again, but I'll never place hot pressed blocks on my mat again.


Date: 3/6/0
From: Angela, Alberta Canada

Having trouble with your ruler sliding around like I did?
Simply cut up pieces of an old rubber glove and place them (colored side up) between the fabric and the ruler, works a charm!


Date: 3/5/0
From: Barby

I teach a beginning quilt class and though I recommed a lip edged ruler because I found beginners get less frustrated with it, but usually half of each class purchase one without the lip. 2 different students gave these hints, they found to work on a standard acylic ruler: Use 1/2 inch dots of silicone bathroom caulk or the white temporary poster hanging substance. These peel of easily and relieve the frustration in beginners quilting, and they don't feel they have to go to the expense of a new ruler.


Date: 3/1/0
From: mevanick@home.com

I was making a quilt for a little girl recently and decided to try to put in a lot of pictures for her to find. Not really an alphabet quilt, but I did try to find fabric in my stash with pictures from a to z, placed randomly throughout the quilt. There were four-patch blocks, pin-wheel blocks, 2 patch blocks, l patch blocks, and some pictures took up the space of two blocks. Essentially, the blocks were all five inches square. For the "z" picture, I bought a four-inch zipper at JoAnn Fabrics,and inserted it into the middle seam of a two-patch block. I lined that block with a cute print before I sewed it into the quilt. Now, she can unzip the zipper and keep something in there. It's like having a pocket in your quilt. Alice in Western WA


Date: 3/1/0
From: Pat in NC.

I'm a new quilter, on my 3rd quilt. This quilt being the king size, my index and middle fingertips on my left hand were mush. I found rubber tips that machine quilters use for holding the quilt and placed one on each of those fingers. I found I can still "feel" the needle when it comes through, with much less damage to my fingertips. Sure hope someone else can use this tip!


Date: 3/1/0
From: Mary Lyn

FINDING THE STRAIGHT-OF-GRAIN: When you have a square of cut fabric, and don't know which direction is on the straight, you can find out by grasping the two opposing ends of fabric, give it some slack, then snap it quickly and listen to the sound it makes. Turn, and do the same in the other direction, and listen to the tone of the sound that it makes. You will find that when you snap the two edges that are the straight, the tone will be a higher one. Try this first on a piece where you know for sure which directin is on the straight.


Date: 2/26/0
From: Sherri from Michigan

I find if I use my "collar" from my nasal inhaler (you know the plastic collar that keeps the plunger from working)that these will fit my bobbins when they are full of thread and keep them from coming undone. Helps keep the mess down in my bobbin box. Also they are free.


Date: 2/26/0
From: H.Verdijk@fontys.nl

The tip Linda gave us on Feb 7 about putting the
little scraps outside for the birds to use in their
nests has some side-effects. The cotton will stay
wet longer after rain, leaving the nest soggy so
the little birds do not 'dry up' fast. Besides:
lots of the fabrics are dyed or treated with
chemicals that are not good for nature. I'm sorry
if this is a cold shower for some of you, don't mean
to lecture.


Date: 2/21/0
From: heftyd@open.org

I have an antique reproduction Shaker Pin Cushion
with a velvet cloth top. When I sew and clip threads,
I just wipe my hand across the top of the pin cushion,
the threads stay, and makes clean up faster and easier.
I remove the 100's of small threads with tape to clean
the cushion. Happy sewing!


Date: 2/17/0
From: Janetta Reitsma

Although I'm very new at quilting, I've been a sewer on and off all my life and have plenty of bobbins and reels with odments of thread on them. I now use these up very satisfyingly for tacking - basting to you Americans. This reduces the muddle in the ice cream carton I use for threads. Not a very exciting hint, but useful to me!


Date: 2/1/0
From: QuilterMary27798


Headache anyone? I found the papers from Goodys Brand Powders work great for miniature foundation paper piecing! Recycling?

Mary :)


Date: 1/31/0
From: Phyllis - Mi

Paper Piecing - The "School Days" store has two books which could be used for paper piecing. They are Patchwork, Math I and Patchwork, Math II by Debra Baycura. There are about 100 pages of reproducible quilt block patterns in each book. There are many different stores that sell educational books and supplies for teachers and home school parents. Most of them would probably carry these books. Hope these help.


Date: 1/30/0
From: Corabelle (Dremy@cknet.net)

This is a hint that you probablly all do, but I
just found out about it on another site. If your
machine pulls the material into the hole when you first
start piecing, try this: start about 1/4" into the
strip, then backstitch the 1/4", then proceed on
to the end of the strip. It works! Also, if
Lim Siew Tim, who posted a note on 10/23/99 and said
she had a Chinese Coin pattern, I certainly would
appreciate having that pattern. Just e-mail me,
because I'm in a Chinese Year of the Dragon fabric
swap with 19 others, we exchange 2 - 10" pieces
of chinese related fabric. I want the Coin pattern
for the outside borders. Help!


Date: 1/28/0
From: VB Amanda

Stocking up on thread seems to be my most enjoyable item to buy (it's so inexpensive). I use empty check book boxes, they hold a lot of the thread, they stack easy and keep dust away.

I also have my trash can boosted under my table so when I am trimming thread or cutting small strips of fabric, I can just brush it over the side of my table.

One more...when laying out my quilt on the floor I have my husband help me by petting the dog and cat. They always want to know what I am doing and walk all over the quilt. This really keeps them out of the way, without having to put them in a room by themselves.


Date: 1/26/0
From: Carol in Oregon's Columbia Gorge

a slick way to do triangles is to take a piece of tape (mine is red) put the needle down,take your acrylic ruler next to it(right side of the needle) place the tape along the ruler (left side of the needle).....when doing a triangle just keep the far end of the fabric against your tape......waalaaa.


Date: 1/25/0
From: Bernie

Go to the grocery/hrdware store and buy the inexpensive cotton garden gloves with the raised pattern allover the fingers. Wear them when you are machine quilting-they will "hold" the fabric and your hands won't get tired. Also, cotton is cooler than the poly gloves that the quilt stores sell.


Date: 1/12/0
From: bnk@ne.mediaone.net

I use an empty tissue box to toss small scraps and loose theads in while I'm working. When I'm done, I empty it in the trash! (This is especially useful if you paper piece.)


Date: 1/11/0
From: Diane

The best tip I ever got was in a quilting class years and years ago but I still do this. Wind 2 bobbins at one time, then when you run out of bobbin thread you can switch over to the 2nd one and keep sewing. While you are filling the 2 bobbins, take your lint brush and clean out the bobbin case, keeps everything going smooth for a long, long time.


Date: 1/11/0
From: lincrose@primenet.com

If you re having problems with metallic threads, try using #90 Schmetz machine embroidery needles and leave the thread out of the last thread guide before the needle. This is the only thing that works on my Bernina 1130. Loosening the top tension sometimes helfps as well. I also use these tips with rayon embroidery threads. Either cotton or poly ester clear thread in the bobbin.



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