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What is your "best tip" to pass on to the rest of us?
QIAD-Linda Send a Message
Escondido, CA
We all have tips, methods or brilliant ideas that we use in quilting. For example, I rarely buy fabric with a set pattern in mind. I usually purchase 2 to 3 yards of each fabric since I don't know exactly how I will use it. Because of this I usually have lots of scraps left over that aren't enough for a quilt but too much to toss out. So, I cut my scraps in 2 1/2" strips or 5" squares. I store all the strips/squares until I have enough to make a scrappy quilt. Works great, like getting a free Jelly Roll!

What is your idea?
3/20/2013 10:51:26 PM
QuiltGram8 Send a Message
This might be great as a separate catagory. It is somewhere I would stop in and check everyday. I love tips and tricks from everyone.
Right now, I only have one. This winter, I made a "thread catcher" which is weighted and hangs besided by machine. I always need a place to drop those little threads and bits and pieces.

Can't just throw them over my shoulder like El. LOL I got my pattern by asking around with friends and doing a search on line. It is the best new addition to my sewing projects.

3/21/2013 5:26:06 AM
auntjana Send a Message
Herriman, Utah
One that I teach my students is that thread has a one way twist -- thread your needle first as it comes off the spool -- and then knot the end that you cut. This will keep the thread from tangling and knotting over itself. Try not to thread your needle from a bobbin - it is wound the wrong way.

3/21/2013 8:12:21 AM
sharonkl Send a Message
Measure twice....cut once!! I learned this the hard way, several times!!
3/21/2013 11:43:14 AM
ollie1shoe Send a Message
N E Alabama
best tip that i can think of is enjoy your time in the sewing room whether it be 30 minutes are all day this is our special time
3/21/2013 5:15:02 PM
Susie Send a Message
Rain Country
My best tip is:
I bought some inexpensive white binders and put those clear plastic slip-in type pages in each one. I labeled them along the spine:
Quilting Tips
Sewing Tips etc.
You could label them anyway you want. It is so easy to print out a pattern or slip in a magazine page of something important to you. I use them constantly. So easy to find things! Was one of my best ideas!
I also keep one with photos of the quilts I have made....who I made them for...when...and any info I want to remember. I refer to these for color choices for future quilts.
3/21/2013 6:47:12 PM
suzette58 Send a Message
Wytheville, VA
My favorite tip is my binding container. I took a diaper wipe container and had hubby cut me a piece of PVC pipe. The white plastic pipe. The pipe was cut so it will roll inside the container. As I iron the binding I roll it onto the piece of pipe. Feed the end of the binding through the opening and pull it out as you sew it on.

3/21/2013 6:59:42 PM
QIAD-Linda Send a Message
Escondido, CA
Suzette, what a great idea! I need to do this! I am always struggling with my binding when I am machine sewing it to the quilt. I roll over it with my chair, step on it, tangle it, etc. Can't wait to make my own binding container!

Susie, I am inspired! I am forever looking for a pattern that I have used before and now can't find! I love the binder idea! Thanks!
3/21/2013 8:27:44 PM
MainelyMe Send a Message
The best tip that immediately came to mind is, take as many and different quilt classes as you can. I've learned so much and always come away with at least one special tip from each teacher. They get so specialized at what they do that they can give you great tips that you might never learn on your own.
3/21/2013 9:56:48 PM
Namarose Send a Message
I use a subway bag to put my threads & fabric pieces into. I have a jar for needles into.
I have a tall box to catch my stripes I sew one after another in. I pull up my first strip to add my next color on. Then I press & cut my blocks. Cat can't play with my strips. I always have a sew off fabric, then I cut my work off.
This post has been edited.
3/22/2013 2:36:34 AM
purrfect-lady Send a Message
Gig Harbor, WA
I'm loving all these tips and use several of them myself. My tip is about scraps. I keep my scraps in a plastic drawer tower. Each drawer is the size of a shoebox and is labeled 'whites & creams', lights, mediums, darks, etc. And if my scraps are really small, I cut them in my spare time to 1" squares and use them for 'jump cloths' when I'm machine sewing. Each time I pull my project from my machine, I sew two little squares or more together. Eventually I figure I'll get a postage stamp quilt out of it! using only thread and fabric that would otherwise have been wasted.

My second tip uses cookie sheets. When I have quilt pieces all arranged and ready to sew, I put them on cookie sheets. If I have more than one sheet, I stack them criss-cross fashion. This way I can easily clear off my table space if I need it for something else.
3/22/2013 7:23:27 AM
shelly322002 Send a Message
ohh you've changed my sashing/binding life!!!!!!

i've put your tip into action tonight. i used a shoe box with a rod inside, with a hole cut into the top, and it's BRILLIANT!!!!!!!
it's made life 'sew' much easier!!!!!!

i'm putting the sashing on my 'cupcakes' blocks!!!

3/22/2013 12:59:20 PM
shelly322002 Send a Message
maryz, i'm doing something similar with the little triangles you get spare when sewing a small square into the corner of a larger block. i run an extra seam next to the required seam that the pattern dictates, which in turn makes an extra 'half square triangle' (that the pattern doesn't call for) i then make these HST's into a pinwheel (you usually get 4 HST's) which goes into a bag with all of the rest i have made over time. i hope to make a scrappy pinwheel quilt one day...
This post has been edited.
3/22/2013 1:05:03 PM
Susie Send a Message
Rain Country
Oh, thought of another "tip". I don't know about all of you but do you ever think of how little excercise you get when sitting at a sewing machine all day????? I have started setting up my ironing board in the kitchen. That way I have to walk from my sewing room to the kitchen in order to press my blocks. Hey, it's not much but I figure it is better than nothing! LOL
3/23/2013 9:32:54 PM
shelly322002 Send a Message
lol susie, i know how you feel... i have a little travel iron in my sewing room, but if i feel i need a REAL GOOD IRON on my project, i have to run down stairs to the bedroom on the ground floor where we have the iron set up all of the time. i really hate my stairs sometimes, but i hadn't thought of it in that way...
good point!!
This post has been edited.
3/24/2013 2:53:06 AM
Suzquilts Send a Message
Aurora CO
Keep your old prescription bottles and use them to put your broken/old needles and pins in. That way no possibility of them somehow becoming a danger in your trash. This was important in our house as I have a very curious Cocker that likes to stick her nose in my sewing room trash can.


3/24/2013 8:17:08 AM
Hummingbird Send a Message
Nancy in MO
These are all great tips! I plan to try them in my own sewing room.

Along the lines of the pill bottle for needles, I have small round plastic containers that I think came from the Chinese buffet (maybe egg foo yung sauce?) that I use to dispose of used rotary blades. You can stack quite a few in there and then just tape the lid on it and throw them away.

Course I also bought a rotary sharpener recently so am hoping to not have as many to get rid of!
3/24/2013 5:40:38 PM
QIAD-Linda Send a Message
Escondido, CA
I know this is a simple idea but I still want to share it with you. I used to buy those pre-wound bobbins and loved them until I found out that they were too short for my bobbin case. When having my machine serviced the technician told me that when the bobbin is to small for your bobbin case, it causes the bobbin to bounce around and makes your stitches uneven. Since then I wind my own bobbins. Before starting a project, I wind 5 or 6 bobbins so that I don't have to stop in the middle of something. It is a real treat for me to have my bobbins wound and ready to go!
3/24/2013 6:59:48 PM
Marilynsgrammy Send a Message
Linda, those pre wound bobbins are great for applique projects or to baste things with.. full bobbins are great to take in a travel project.. it's a real great way to use up the small amount of that funky colored thread you needed so you can empty your bobbin..

3/25/2013 5:01:12 AM
Joannequilts Send a Message
Suz..I do the same with my broken and dull needles and pins! The RX bottles are perfect for that purpose!

And Linda, I wind at least 4 bobbins for each project, too..then I store the leftovers with the spool of thread..I just hate to stop to wind a bobbin once I get going on a project..it's a great tip!
3/25/2013 5:55:45 AM
Namarose Send a Message
I thought of something else. If your sewing machine has two spool rods. Wind your bobbin & sew at the as time. My new machine doesn't do it but that how we do it in the sweat shop. I always buy two spools of thread.
I save the bags from new sheets & blanket. I put your project inside. Use bags that have zipper on them to put your projects in & not loss anything. Add on 3/28/13

This post has been edited.
3/25/2013 8:06:01 AM
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