Friday, October 1, 2010

October Giveaway Question!

I can't believe October is here already!  The weather is still nice and the leaves have yet to start falling, but autumn is surely around the corner.  Today being the first of the month, that means it is time to start another giveaway.  Our question for October is:

What is your best quilting tip?

For those of you have been quilting for years, this is your chance to pass along some of your expertise.  Beginners, too, are more than welcome to share what you've done that has made quilting easier.  Perhaps it is something you've come up with, or maybe it has been passed down through generations.  This could be about technique, efficiency, time management, organization - the possibilities are endless. Near the end of the month three people will win $25 gift certificates.  

I look forward to reading your entries!


30 comments:

  1. my best quilting tip would be 'press as you go', not ironing but pressing. My second tip would also be by the very best resources that you can afford, the expense pays off in the end.

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  2. I'm a beginner, so my "best" tip is to allow yourself to make mistakes. If you don't make them you can't learn from them. And, don't hate your seamripper! She is your best friend! ;)

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  3. While I have lots of tips in my arsenal, I would have to say that starting with the highest quality cotton fabrics and high quality 100% cotton thread is the very best tip. One of my earliest quilts was made beautifully... all pieced corners matched precisely, hand quilted beautifully... but some of the fabrics were of low quality, which meant that they wore out really fast. A year of love and effort ruined by trying to save a few dollars at the start.

    ~ Ronda

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  4. My best tip would be to choose quality fabric - even if it costs a little more, it is worth it!

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  5. My best tip after 35+ years would be to switch your sewing machine on the slower speed. I just started doing this two years ago. I find my piecing far more precise!

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  6. HI QUILTER FRIEND'S!
    MY TIP: FUSIBLE WEB RESIDUE IS EASILY REMOVED FROM A SLIGHTLY WARM IRON WITH A COUPLE SWIPES OF A FABRIC DRYER SHEET.

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  7. Use a high thread count flat sheet for the backing of quilts.

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  8. A few comments/tips that I believe would be helpful in creating a great quilt would be: As others have mentioned, buy quality cotton fabric; try to be as accurate as possible in your cutting; sew 1/4" seam allowances; and press your seams lightly without stretching your fabric. Also, having helpful/time-saving notions makes the project easier and fun!

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  9. I started using Elmers washable glue to hold my binding for hand finishing. When you press with a hot iron the glue dries and holds the binding in place so you don't need pins or clips. And of course it will wash out. You can also use the glue anywhere else you might not want to pin (small dots of glue go a long way).

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  10. My best tip is to just relax and enjoy the craft. Don't get too caught up in perfection right away. Give yourself permission to not be perfect. It'll come.

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  11. Experienced quilter here. Three quick tips:

    1) Change the sewing machine needle (purchase them on sale to save $)--dull needles can tear at the fabric and/or distract you from that wonderful 1/4-inch seam.

    2) Change the rotary cutter blade as soon as you notice it's becoming difficult to cut--this difficulty affects the accuracy of your cutting (purchase blades on sale, too).

    3) If you're the type, like me, to work on more than one project--MANY PROJECTS?--at a time, keep a list of them so that, when you re-organize your quilting/sewing area, you won't go, "What is THIS?!" I keep a list...now! :-)

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  12. Always begin with a new needle in your sewing machine! Purchase the very best fabric you can (plus a little extra!) because your project takes a long time to create and you want it to last a long time! Set aside enough time to work on your project so you are not rushed! Measure twice and cut once! Actually READ the directions! Enjoy the time spent working on your project, and BE PROUD of it when you are finished! Show everyone what you made!

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  13. I keep a cute hatbox at the end of my cutting table and toss in the scraps as I'm cutting for a project. I love to make scrappy quilts and table runners and it's a great way to use those little pieces of fabric, rather than just tossing them out. Also, on a couple of occasions I've needed to fish some of those scraps out of the box when I've run out of fabric and just need one more little snippet!

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  14. I find that pressing prewashed quilting fabrics with spray starch makes fabrics stable and easier to handle, with less stretching of bias edges and less fraying during construction. Stay-Puff is my favorite brand. It is a plastic bottle of concentrated starch. You can mix it with water in a spritzer bottle to get the effect you like, from a very light starch to very crisp.

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  15. My family eats a lot of salads. I buy the greens in the retangle plastic containers with lids. I find this container is excellent for storing my projects. Once I have cut the pieces it is easy to stack these into the container in the order I will sew them together. Keeps all my pieces and pattern in one place, no dust if it takes me a while to get to it and I have also used the plastic to make templates, it is easy to mark with a sharpie and cut with an old blade or a box cutter knife. Great to recycle. lpnjam@aol.com

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  16. My best tip is to invest in a good quarter inch presser foot for your sewing machine. Your quilt blocks will fit together much better and it is easier in the long run. Alternate email mlwright29 (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  17. I do a lot of applique and other handwork. I find it so convenient to
    work on a cushion. I made a fannel
    pillowcase for an old couch cushion,
    which can be removed to launder. Your
    extra fabric pieces will cling, it's a pin
    cushion and I even sewed a little
    pocket at the top for my scissors and
    wooden toothpicks. It's confortable
    and brings your work up closer to you.
    Doris

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  18. One of my favorite tips is when hand binding use hair clips, they are easy to use and remove. I also wash my dark fabrics with a 1/4 cup of salt to keep from fabric from fading.

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  19. Hi, still new at this but I think the best tip I ever heard was "She who dies with the biggest stash wins!" it's something to live by. Thanks Gail

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  20. When I make my quilt, I also make a
    pillowcase with some of the quilt
    fabric in it, even a small piece. I
    use it to store the quilt in on my
    closet shelf and I can always identify
    it when needed and it makes a lovely
    accessory when you use the quilt on a bed, or an appropriate gift wrap.
    Doris

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  21. Hi my best quilting tip is don't give up keep trying. My first quilting teacher in the early 80's at a navy base told me to give up I'd never be a quilter. Well she slowed me down but didn't stop me. The first quilt that I had judged in the 90"s I saw the judges face light up when she saw my quilt. My points were perfect, and my hand quilting was perfect. She did slow me down but I made it by not stopping ever keep going and going. your friend Pandy

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  22. As I am a handquilter, I always make sure I have lots of quilting needles threaded before I begin!
    sandangels1945@hotmail.com

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  23. I'm a newbie, so I don't really have any tips, but my 3 yr old son "helped" me with a notion tip. He is getting taller and can reach the magnets that were "supposed to be" off limits. Well he took a couple of the old magnet off the fridge and "hid" them in one of my old chocolate tins (size of altoid tin)magnet side up. Voila! It's a magnetic pin holder when you put the lid down! That's my boy!
    nsue21702 at gmail dot com

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  24. I love to paper-piece because of the accurate seams left behind and the pictures I can create. Pressing the blocks on my ironing board always left ink markings until I started using freezer paper. Simply press a large piece of freezer paper, shiny side down on your ironing board. After you are finished with the project, lift the freezer paper off the board and throw away. You now have a mark free, pristine ironing board cover.
    Debbie Severe, Lakewood, WA

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  25. There are soooo many tips out there but the one that I find that works great as a "working" quilter, "hooker" and "crafter I often come home and feel like crashing and not creating but......nothing would never get done so my tip is to make sure you have something set up in your sewing space, corner, family room wherever and make sure you spend just 15 minutes working on a project each day. Somedays you will feel energized and the time flies and turns into an hour or more Allie Barchi, Malvern PA

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  26. My favorite tip and old stand-by is "if you can't see a mistake from the saddle of a galloping horse, it doesn't exist!" That doesn't mean I don't strive for perfection . . . I just forgive myself if I don't quite get there!

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  27. My sewing room chair has wheels on it. I have a chair mat on the floor in front of my sewing machine, making it so easy to move myself between my ironing board and sewing machine cabinet without getting up out of my chair. Also, I set my ironing board height lower and place it near my sewing table so it is easier to press between stitches. When hand quilting, I like to thread many needles to have them lined up and ready to go. Thread the eye of the needle in the direction the thread comes off the spool(not the other direction). You will find it threads easier. I know being a perfectionist has slowed me down. In my fear of making errors I have not forged ahead like I wished I had. My advice to others like myself would be, try not to be afraid of making errors, as that is how you learn--with a lot of practice and making mistakes. It forces you to problem solve and create--both important in learning the creative process.
    Beverly in WA

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  28. I am using "Roxanne's Glue Baste It" to tack down the pieces before I hand sew them for applique. In order to clean the long tip after each use, use unwaxed dental floss and a dental floss threader. The threader is usually used for people with braces or bridgework to pull the floss through the teeth and works just like a needle threader.
    Debbie Severe
    Lakewood, WA

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  29. My best quilting tip would have to be "blood removal"!! I don't do a lot of hand sewing but I DO finish my bindings by hand and I seem to always prick my finger at some point! Saliva, (your own) an a little piece of batting will take care of it right away....just dab at the stain and it will disappear like magic!

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  30. My "tip" is to get together with other quilters, either in a group or a guild, or just a friend or two. Have a retreat or class, if you can. Just sitting and sewing together, you'll see a new way to do something or be able to figure out a solution. You'll enjoy the process so much more!

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