Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July Giveaway!

For our July Giveaway, we'll be doing something a bit different.  Instead of having a question for you to answer, we want to create a forum-type atmosphere where you can ask and answer questions pertaining to sewing and quilting! 

For instance, perhaps you want to ask others about how they organize their projects or how they master Y-seams.

Every comment (whether a question or a response) will be entered into our giveaway.  Three lucky winners will receive $25 Gift Certificates to http://www.shabbyfabrics.com/

If you do not have an account, you may choose the "anonymous" option - just remember to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win.

Here are a few questions from our Facebook page to get you started:

Carol asks "Are most quilts machine quilted these days or is there a swing toward traditional quilting?"

Debra asks "My quilting question is how do some sit all day and quilt? Any special chair tips?"

Please note that responses are not endorsed by Shabby Fabrics.

104 comments:

  1. To Debra... I dont know that folks do sit all day and quilt. I mean, when piecing I am constantly up and down between the sewing maching and the ironing board. Now I have sat and quilted for long periods of time because I do not have a long arm, and the shoulders can get tired, I simply take breaks and work on another project. They also make sewing machine tables - an extension that attaches to your machine that may help.

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  2. Debra, you were asking about sitting all day and quilting. Having a good fitting chair and having it and your table/machine height is so important. After that, I find that after sewing for 20 minutes (set a timer) it is good to take a 5-10 break, and do some stretches. It is also good to have your ironing board away from your machine so you have to stand up and walk over to use it.

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  3. I would like some tips on machine quilting. My thread seems to snap alot. Ive tried various needles, threads, etc. My gut tells me that Im having troubles with my current project because gasp, I am using a bedsheet for the backing. It is a project for myself and well, it was the right color. Is there any web sites anyone can reference for machine quilting? I seen somewhere that a blog site was doing doing a quilt along type tutorial for practice but I didnt book mark it. Thanks!

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  4. As to the sitting all day and quilting question. I use a square plastic hoop reminds me a pvc pipe and I need to move it so I am up and down and little section I do. I prefer hand quilting. I do like long arm machine quilting but I find it so relaxing to just sit feel and touch the fabric and drift off into my own thoughts. I watch a lot of movies this way.

    debstaudacher@hotmail.com

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  5. Question: I know that with machine-quilting you need to leave a 2-6" edge with the batting and backing because it kind of shrinks when quilted. I've been hand-quilting my quilt and so far I haven't had much trouble with this. Does the shrinking batting/backing mostly happen just with machine-quilting?

    Contact info:
    Etsy: www.homespunhandmaiden.etsy.com
    Blog: www.calledtocreativity.blogspot.com

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  6. Another question: I've been experimenting with different thimbles for hand-quilting. So far I like a plastic thumb thimble and a rubber thimble for my middle finger. Any other suggesions for thimbles?

    Contact info:
    Etsy: www.homespunhandmaiden.etsy.com
    Blog: www.calledtocreativity.blogspot.com

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  7. Carol, from what I have seen most quilts are machine-quilted, especially quilts that people are making to sell. Hand-quilting is really a labor of love and I know some people use it for personal quilting but I think there is a general acceptance of high-quality machine quilting for most people :)

    Contact info:
    Etsy: www.homespunhandmaiden.etsy.com
    Blog: www.calledtocreativity.blogspot.com

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  8. Grace, this is the thimble that I use:

    http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?pageName=search&flag=true&PRODID=prd26257

    I love it, as it lets me quilt with the BALL of my finger, and not the tip.

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  9. I do all my own quilting but find it hard to sit at the sewing machine for long periods at a time - any tips to help the tension in my shoulders other than not quilting for long periods????

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  10. To Lisa, I think it's the thread you are using. Good quality thread makes a big difference. I like Aurifil thread the best. It's thinner but strong. It's great for quilting and you can get more thread on your bobbin. What is the thread count of the sheet you are using? That could be part of the problem with the thread breaking too.

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  11. My question is, how do you make quality quilts on a tiny budget...is it possible? I don't have money to take quilts to a long-arm, and I want to be able to give them as gifts, knowing that they won't fall apart. =) Is quilting on your machine just as durable?

    Thanks!

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  12. I'm a new quilter and I'm working on my first quilt. I want to use my walkling foot and do the "stitch in the ditch" method. It seems that I'm having to push the quilt sandwich thru really hard. Is this normal or am I doing something wrong? The machine that I'm using is a Juki 98E (bought used but looks like a brand new one). Any suggestions? Thanks for the help!

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  13. To AMKreations, I have seen quilts done on a domestic machine that rival anything done on a long arm. Practice, practice, practice is the mantra of quilting.

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  14. I sew mainly between 5am-9am so I have time to enjoy with my family.
    I would love to know how other moms with little ones find time to sew/quilt. What does your schedule look like?

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  15. Do you press your seams to the side or down the middle? Why do you prefer your way? Thanks! :)

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  16. This is for Gill - some exercises for the shoulders and neck area!
    http://exercise.about.com/b/2008/10/07/exercises-of-the-week-relax-and-stretch-your-shoulders.htm

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  17. Hi Grace - for hand quilting i love my Clover leather coin thimble!

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  18. LisaT - Pat Sloan has some great tips for machine quilting - hope they help you
    http://onlinequilting.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/machine-quilting-tips-from-pat-sloan/

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  19. I am a new quilter. I'm currently "stitching in the ditch", but I would like to try my hand at free motion quilitng. Any tips?

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  20. my struggle is trying to figure out how to quilt it. I usually free motion but I get a mental block as to what designs to use. Any ideas for inspiration?

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  21. AMKreations: I use only my domestic machine for quilting. My hubby says I can buy a long arm machine, but I just can't see myself spending all that money! Thrift shops may be a source of fabric for you. I've seen some fantastic quilts made from old mens shirts and you get a lot of fabric from one shirt. Also, if you go to quilt shows sponsored by quilt guilds they usually have some type of peddler's table or thrift shop area where you can get some great buys. Good luck!!

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  22. Where is the best place to learn how to fmq - other than in a quilting shop.

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  23. Hi!

    My question is . .. Is it always a MUST DO to pre-wash fabrics before cutting pieces?

    Thanks!
    Lynn

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  24. Lynn-Teacupstitches: Personally, I do not pre-wash my fabrics. I use good, quilt shop quality fabrics and have never had a problem. I always wash my quilts when they are completed with "Quilt Care" a liquid wash specifically developed for quilts. I throw in a color catcher sheet just to be on the safe side, but I have never had a problem with colors running. I put the quilt in the dryer for just a couple of minutes, pin it down on the carpet to block it, and the next morning it's dry and ready to go!

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  25. For Jessica, concerning pressing our seams. I tend to press them toward the darker fabric side on larger pieces, however, I read in one of my quilting magazines over a year ago that many quilters are going to the open seam pressing for smoother blocks and ease of matching points and intersections on the quilt. I have since started pressing my seams open on blocks that have lots of small pieces (last one was 12" X 12" with over 80 pieces)and lots of points because they do lay much nicer with open seams. I still haven't quite got in the habit of pressing open the seams on blocks with larger or less pieces but it is just exactly that with me, a habit. I am trying to remember to press all seams open because I love the look and I do find it easier to match up seams. Now, after writing that novel for you, I'll just say it is honestly just a matter of preference. Try out both ways and see what you like best. The best advice I got from a veteran quilter when I first started was "There are NO rules in quilting, that's why you can have so much fun." (of course if your entering one in a show there are some, LOL).

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  26. I love all these questions and answers! What fun! Thanks Debra for doing this!
    OK! I am a hand-quilter and I am the ONLY one I know in my area of quilters. EVERYONE hand-quilted in the 80's, but I see a complete shift to machine quilting. I would say it is at least 95% machine quilting nowadays!

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  27. I use a regular metal thimble on my middle finger on my quilting hand with a rubber tip on my pointer finger for hand-quilting. (for grip) I would like to know if anyone uses anything on their finger "under the quilt". My poor fingers become raw until I get a callous.

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  28. Lynn-Teacupstitches, I ALWAYS prewash. It is a pain, but I want to make sure none of the colors run onto the whites/lights before I spend hundreds of hours making my quilt,

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  29. What size perle does everyone use for hand quilting? I have never done any and would like to try!

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  30. There seems to be a lot more machine quilting but there is still the purist group or people who like to mix it up with a combination of machine and hand..

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  31. Oh, this is fun reading everyone's answers!

    I know a couple of others have asked this, but does anyone have any good resources for free motion quilting? Would love to learn in person at a quilt shop, but I don't have one nearby, so am looking for some good online sources. There are so many tutorials out there, though, and it gets a bit confusing!

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  32. Kate R, This website has a resource...
    http://shabbyfabrics.blogspot.com/2011/07/you-asked-for-it-free-motion-quilting.html

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  33. I am a very new quilter, just starting to collect a fabric stash. I would like some tips on what different tools I need to sew the pieces together on my sewing machine. What type needle, any special machine feet, etc?

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  34. xsgail, I would suggest a 1/4" foot. It has a ledge on the side that helps guide the fabric to get that perfect 1/4" seam. Other than that, just use a new needle made for cottons and that is all you need to get sewing! What pattern are you going to try? Easy patterns would be a 4 patch, 9 patch, or a log cabin are a few.

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  35. At Carol---I like the quickness of machine quilting. BUT my Grandmother I believe does mostly by hand and I'd love to learn and do that occasionally.

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  36. Here's my question---what is you alls favorite thread? I used cheap stuff from walmart. Then I got gutterman (sp?) and I swear my machine runs better! Should I get aurafill? Some other brand?

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  37. Hi.. My questiona - > I wanted to sew a patchwork block quilt. Can I combine with 100% cotton fabrics and non 100% cotton fabrics together?

    Thanks..

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  38. Thanks Linda - I didn't have to go far for some good FMQ advice :)

    About the thread question, I use the cotton thread from Connecting Threads. It's a great price and seems to work well for me, but I haven't really tried much else. Has anyone else tried it also and have any comparison to other better known threads, like Gutermann or Aurifil?

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  39. Thread snapping when you use a sheet for backing is not uncommon. The tighter weave in the fabric causes more friction on the thread. Try using a topstitch needle, and a stronger (poly blend) thread. Good luck!

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  40. Is it okay to use polyester thread and cotton thread on the same quilt?

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  41. Angelina, I have little ones, and do most of my quilting from the time that they go to bed until I can't keep my eyes open anymore. My sewing room is right under my bedroom, so I don't use my machine early in the morning go avoid waking my husband, but he is a night owl, so I can sew late and he's still awake. I also do a lot of hand projects for doctor's waiting rooms, sitting on the bleachers at their practices, etc. I try to make some me time out of some of my mom time.

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  42. This is such a great idea. I have had fun reading all of these comments. For the free motion quilting I have always enjoyed Leah's blog ( http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/). One thing that has definitely helped it to use the Supreme Slider and the Machingers gloves.

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  43. Hello! Does anyone have a good idea for a portable design wall? I have virtually no open wall space, and because I have 3 cats, a design 'floor' is not always the best option. I was thinking of trying to design something with a tri-fold frame. Any other thoughts/

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  44. Oh my gosh, I love this forum set up. Is this something you are going to keep going? I've found some great tips. Thanks so much everyone for all the wonderful ideas.
    For SUNNY, Re: portable design wall. I don't have one myself, but a couple of ladies I know have them and absolutely love them. I use an old bunk board (the padded support board used under bunk bed twin size mattresses). We covered it with flannel and stapled it to the back and it is wonderful. Plus the little bit of padding on it allows for some pinning if I find I need it. Only problem is it is not large enough to hold all the blocks for a big project so I am thinking about a portable design wall for myself. Hugs...

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  45. Oh, I've been meaning to comment on prewashing. I never prewash anymore. In the classes I have taken, the teacher/designer has said the newer good quality fabrics really don't need it. I do however ALWAYS use a "Color Catcher" (find them in the laundry soap isle) when I wash my quilts. Every time I was them. They work wonderfully!

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  46. This is so great, ladies! I'm glad you're enjoying the forum. Keep up the great questions and excellent responses. - Jen

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  47. Thanks for the tip on Leah's blog for learning free motion quilting. I still do not know how!

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  48. Question: With the price of cotton rising, have you changed your buying habits?

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  49. This is a great forum! To learn more about FMQ, I watch every video I can find. I scour Youtube, Leah Day's blog and find random videos where there may be just a quick over the shoulder action shot of someone quilting, but it gives me enough to get an idea on how to make designs. I love my book 501 Quilting Motifs too.

    I hate using my walking foot and was thinking of maybe selling it. I never use it for anything, and it was so expensive! What do you use your walking foot for?

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  50. HAPPY SUMMER TO ALL!
    COMMENTING ON PRE-WASHING:UNLESS I'M WORKING WITH REDS,I SELDOM PRE-WASH.FOR HEAVY-USE ITEMS I'D PRE-WASH.WALL HANGINGS,I SKIP PRE-WASHING FOR SURE.

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  51. I'M NOT FMQ AS NICELY AS I'D LIKE.SHOULD I JUST BITE THE BULLET AND BUY A MACHINE WITH A BSR? (MY MACHINE IS AN BERNINA ACTIVA 210). WOULD WELCOME ANY ADVICE ???


    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  52. I use Connecting Thread cotton thread and love it. It is economical and works great in my machine. I usually do not pre-wash fabrics, but always use a Color Catcher when I wash finished quilts. I am a hand quilter, but do use my walking foot to do some straight line machine quilting. I want to learn to free motion quilt, but have been too chicken to try. LOL

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  53. Debra, I quilt in the basement and I run laundry while I'm working in my studio. I also listen to recorded books while I'm sewing. After the cd finishes, I know it is time to shift the washed clothes to the dryer. This gets me up and moving around every hour or so. I also run upstairs to the kitchen for some fluids at the point. When I've done all of this, I'm ready to settle in for my next round of stitching.

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  54. Thanks all for the responses. I bought a new adjustable chair yeah!

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  55. Does it work to still use cotton batting if I've already prewashed my fabrics? (Since the batting will shrink, but the fabrics already have?)

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  56. I am really keen to find a book that goes over options for finishing Grandmother's Flower Garden quilts - bordering, backing, binding etc. - and gives detailed instructions. Does anyone know of one?

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  57. Thank you for the comments about thread and using Connecting Threads. I will maybe buy their next.

    At XSGAIL---I'm new too. Well my first quilt was over 12 yrs ago, but I was a teenager and didn't do another one. Anyway, you'll need a walking foot for your machine if you are going to machine quilt. It helps all the pieces go through evenly!

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  58. Winona--I haven't tried free motion either. I can't seem to get my feed dogs to drop and doesn't that have to happen before you can really "free motion" it?

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  59. For Sunny - If you need a design wall and don't have much room, there is a virtual design wall on the web, at http://olefrogeyes.tfldd.net
    You might want to check it out; it is less than $3 per month, and you can put up six quilts at a time.
    Thanks everyone for mentioning Connecting Thread cotton thread- I think I need to try that!
    Jacque in SC
    quiltnsrep(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  60. Linda V: I use the Self-Adhesive Thimble-It Finger Pads on my finger under the quilt. See it here: http://www.joann.com/joann/catalog/productdetail.jsp?pageName=search&flag=true&PRODID=prd12974

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  61. I have heard said that you are supposed to change needles after each project (actually said by the owner of our quilt shop, so I'm thinking she has a vested interest in frequent needle changes). I've had my needle in for 2 - 3 years! What does everyone else do? If it sews fine with no pricking of the fabric, what's wrong with continuing to use it?

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  62. I use a Pampered Chef (it's my favorite) kitchen timer and set it so I don't sit too long at a time quilting. Then I clip it on my pants or apron and spend the same amout of time (usually 45 minutes) and get up and do something active with my housework, then back to quilting.

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  63. I was wonding what to use to clean my iron. My daughter used it to iron her shirt that had lettering on it and it melted right onto my iron. I've tried water and salt. It helped alittle. Any advise?


    dallen75@columbus.rr.com

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  64. AMKreations- you need to go to thrift shops & yard sales to find inexpensive fabrics. Lots of used clothing make good quilts. You might want to simply place an ad on a few bulletin boards around town too - you'd be surprised what someone might want to get rid of. Good luck & happy quilting.

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  65. I've noticed on several blogs lately that quilters are sewing on bindings by machine instead of by hand stating it saves sooooo much time. Have you switched to machine bindings?

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  66. i've sewn one binding on with a zigzag that looked ok.
    i wash all my yardage [sizing allergy] from fq's up, adding a cup of vinegar first [the one time i didn't, a dark blue ran and ruined a piece or two]
    i clean my iron with iron clean that looks a dryer sheet.
    i change my needle every two or three projects.
    i machine quilt all my stuff, but did one hand appliqued top that was very had on my hand, holding the needle. everything since has been appliqued by machine.
    i'm now browsing and collecting info on fmq, getting ready to practice that technique.
    so, my question is is it really not a good idea to fold my stash in short stacks and keep them in plastic baggies on my open shelves?

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  67. Re: Thimbles question - I do not use a thimble for sewing or hand quilting - never could find one that fit my large hands. However, I do use the small adhesive plastic Thimble-It from Colonial. Sometimes on both right and left hands.

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  68. xsgail - I'm not that far away from being a new quilter - that quarter inch foot will be a great tool to add - especially with the flange to guide the fabric. I would add that on my new machine, found that the quarter inch was "too generous". To get a scant quarter (really helpful when have lots of seams coming together) I moved my needle from center slightly to the right (an option on the machine). It's amazing how much it improved my piecing precision.

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  69. Question: I bought a new machine thinking (based on the sales representation) that I could hoop up my sandwiched quilt (block by block) and use the embroidery feature to quilt designs in the block. Then, when attended class to learn the new machine, was told that it couldn't be done. Has anyone used the embroidery (open designs like a feather) option on their sewing machine to quilt a "sandwiched" quilt top? If so, how did you approach doing it?

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  70. Now that have a new sewing machine, we have lots of different kinds and spool sizes of thread. How do you keep the spools and bobbins organized?

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  71. When free motion quilting, what length should you strive for your stitches to be. I know uniformity is the most important, but I still would like to have a length to strive for!

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  72. Thanks Donna about your suggestion re Thimble pads. I think I tried those years ago and could not feel the needle with my underneath fingers. I will give them a try again!

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  73. Deb, I rarely change my sewing machine needle, too. I just never think of it until there is a problem of some sort. And when I do change to a new needle, I don't see any difference in my stitches. I am interested in the logic to changing needles more often, too.

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  74. I have a question regarding "vintage" sheets. What makes a sheet "vintage"? How do I know if the sheet just looks vintage, is vintage, or just is an old sheet? And why has using vintage sheets become so popular? Thanks

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  75. Are there any suggestions on how to find a GOOD long arm quilter? I work so hard on my quilt tops and yes, I am a perfectionist, so my quilt tops look pretty good when they're sent out, but not so good when I pick them up. Is there a website out there where quilters rate or recommend good long arm quilters?....or does anyone have any other suggestions/thoughts? It is very, very much appreciated.

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  76. To Lisa T ... I am not sure where you seen that blog but I have paired with Contented and plan on doing a QAL that involves both hand quilting and FMQ. Look for it in the fall at http://gapquilter.blogspot.com

    A suggestion I have about thread breakage is to check your tension and make sure you are moving your hand and needles (machine speed) at the same pace.

    Another great site... http://www.daystyledesigns.com/articles.htm You will find videos and articles here. Hope this helps.

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  77. I've been curious abut vintage sheets too. I hung sheets from our cabin weekend outside yesterday & got to wondering. I bought the sheets around 1980 from Montgomery Ward. They are 50/50 cotton & polyester - beautiful big flowered prints. Are they vintage? Should I be cutting them up instead of hanging them up?? lol

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  78. Sunny- for your design wall, I use a yard of flannel pinned to the back of my door :)

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  79. Sort of a comment, sort of a question... why do people whipstitch their binding on? it looks a mess... try a blind/ladder stitch and it doesn't show

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  80. LethargicLass, I have never seen a binding put on with a whipstitch! I have to agree. That sounds like it would look terrible!

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  81. FOR HAND STITCHING BINDINGS, THE ALMOST INVISIBLE SLIP STITCH IS BEST. THIS STITCH IS SIMILAR TO THOSE THE GARMENT INDUSTRY USES ON HEMS.

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  82. Great tips ladies!

    You don't have to drop your feed dogs to FMQ. I've heard you actually have more control if you don't. I don't play with my feed dogs, most of the time I forget, until I heard that you don't have to drop them. Now, I use that for my reasoning!

    I clean my iron with a green scratcher pad and dishsoap. Fairly often, especially if I have something that gums it up.

    I never change my needle either. If my machine is being grumpy and the thread keeps breaking, that's usually the last thing I try. I've heard that you should change them often, but I'm frugal :)

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  83. Regarding Vintage Sheets questions.... I just found this website/blog for some answers!
    http://whipup.net/2011/03/10/guest-blogger-series-vintage-sheets-101/

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  84. Deb, you don't have to use perle to handsew, they have great cotton handsewing thread. Thats what I use.

    Deserae, as long as your poly thread is good and strong, there is no reason why you CAN'T use both in one quilt.

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  85. Deb, YES, you should change your needle! I dont' do it as often as every project, but if you sew a lot, then at LEAST change it once a week.
    A sharp needle will make your stitches nicer, and will go thru you fabric easier. But you can't really see the difference, unless you use a microscope.

    Annemarie, I stitch my binding on by machine, click on my name and you will find my blog RidgeTopQuilts, I have a tutorial on it.

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  86. JEN, THANKS FOR YOUR NOTE RE:FEED DOGS UP FOR FREE MOTION, I WILL SURELY GIVE THAT A TRY!
    LINDA,STILL PRACTICING

    jldouglas@wispwest.net

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  87. With the price of cotton going up like it is, I can't always afford to buy backings that match the material used in the quilt top. Is it okay to use just plain solid colors or muslin on the back, or will it detract from the overall quality of the quilt? texansoverseas@gmail.com

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  88. For: The Bargain Babe, RE: Thread. I used Gutterman until my sis in law introduced me to Superior Threads "Masterpiece" thread. I don't get hardly any thread fuzz around my needle or in my bobbin case. I have also started using their pre-wound bobbins. I haven't found any thread that compares with it for 'clean' sewing (low fuzz and lint). I have found it to be about the same price as Guttermans. They have all types of threads and every color of the rainbow. Check them out at-superiorthreads.com ...

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  89. I have neve used anything but Guttermans & have had no problems. I see Aurifil thread being talked about on alot of blogs lately - does anyone use it?

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  90. Hola, tengo muy poca esperiencia con el patchwork y me gustaría saber como organizan sus telas, ¿por color, por estampados, por tipo de composición?.
    En cuanto al acolchado, prefiero acolchar a mano, me da la impresión de que queda más mullido y no se aplasta.
    Hasta pronto.

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  91. To translate from above:

    Hello, I have very little experience with patchwork and I would like to know how others organize their fabrics: by color, by design, by type of material?

    I prefer to quilt by hand, the result is thicker and not crushed.

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  92. Thank you to all who answered my question on changing needles. Our LQS is having their Christmas in July sale this Friday and Sat. Maybe I should invest in a new package of needles! :)

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  93. I also was especially interested in the vintage sheet question. I've wondered the same thing about how it came to be so popular! Thank you to Linda V for providing the link to a vintage sheet post...very interesting.

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  94. You are welcome, Deb and for the new quilter that asked for tips, I just found this...
    http://bluebirdsews.blogspot.com/2011/05/blue-birds-top-10-quilting-tips.html

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  95. I have a new question.... I am in the market for a new sewing machine on a very limited budget. Hoping to stay around $1,000. I need perfect piecing (of course) and I want to learn how to machine quilt. My old Janome Gem Gold is just too small to try this. I would not mind some basic embroidery stitches, too. Any advice? Looking into a Jamome 6500 or 6600. Have not tried it out, yet. Just researching. Thanks!

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  96. linda-fortheloveofquiltingJuly 22, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Linda V..I got the Juki TL980Q and Janome 9500. The Janome 9500 has embroidery and you are able to quilt with this machine but what I found if your trying to quilt a queen or king size I ran into the throat is not really wide enough. Juki is great for just quilting. Don't know how you feel about ordering off of the internet but I found my sewing machines at sewing machines plus on line and they run specials and you can get a great sewing machine for your price range.

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  97. linda-fortheloveofquiltingJuly 22, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    My question is; I am learning how to appliqué any suggestions or remedy that is better than the other?

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  98. I love all of the blocks in the Blessings of Summer BOM; but my absolute favorite is the center piece house.

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  99. Anna Marie-
    I use Aurifil for all of my quilting. It is wonderful! It gives a nice texture to the fabric and seems to melt in to the top. It comes in verigated colors as well. I used a gold verigated on my parent's 50th wedding anniversary quilt that was free motioned and I really liked the colors. It is 40 weight I think and so it lasts longer since it is thinner on your bobbin. It also seems to have less fuzz than some other threads.

    As far as free motion quilting I agree with the others. Practice, Practice, Practice is the key. I use gloves as well which really helps with controlling the quilt. I have a Viking Sapphire and it is picky about thread so the Aurifil works great for me. Start with loops and getting your hands to move at the right speed for your machine. Timing is a big part of free motion quilting.

    This has been so fun! Thanks for all of the questions and tips.
    The summer quilt is beautiful. I love the mini quilts on the line!

    Kristy
    LnKwilkinson@yahoo.com

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  100. linda-fortheloveofquilting,
    Thanks for the ideas. I have been looking at the Juki, too, but really want some more stitches other than straight stitch. Especially since I have never machine quilting and I might hate it. (LOL) Wish I could buy two!! :)

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  101. Wow, what a great bunch of tips! I've tried the FMQ with the feed-dog down and now it won't come back up now unless I open the door and push it up. I am going to try it with the 'dogs' up. Also, on my current machine I am not able to regulate or slow down my stitching while trying the FMQ - someone suggested a block of wood under my foot pedal - any more suggestions??? sharron.brooks@dot.gov

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  102. With an upcoming move from the frozen north to the hot south, I want to make a couple of 'summer quilts' - 2 layer quilts; top, backing, no batting. My first was a disaster - even though tied, it still looked all floppy and loosy. Any hints on how to make it more stable? Should I 'pretend quilt' with only 2 layers? will this look odd? VermontPines@aol.com

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  103. I stitch quilt tops for World of Charity Stitching and we use cross stitch pieces for the centers of squares. Anyone have any ideas on a great quilting pattern for cross stitch in the center square? donareynolds8@gmail.com

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  104. I have a Panel I want to work on that I want to do some hand embroidery on. I do not like using the hand held hoops for various reasons. I am trying to find a frame on a floor stand, I have seen them and searched everywhere for a good sturdy one. Does anyone have a good resource where I can find one. The frames are rectangle or square. Sure would appreciate any suggestions. Even a good used one.

    Thanks, Nancy
    coeurdalenegifts(at)yahoo(dot)com

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