Quilting Tips and Tricks

 

Quilting Tips Preparing Fabric

-Great Quilting Tips and Tricks just for you. You should pre-wash fabric yardage you buy before you cut it. To avoid fraying when washing in the washer machine or drying in the dryer, either baste the piece of folded piece of fabric if you are washing a large amount of yardage, or pink the raw edges with pinking shears or machine zig zag with your sewing machine. You can also soak and swish around small cuts of fabric in a basin with warm water and mild detergent.

-Some dye colors are not stable. Reds and dark blues are well known to run. Wash them with either a color catcher color catcher(available in the detergent area in the supermarket) or a piece of muslin. If you notice color transfer to the color catcher, wash again. If there is still transfer, you might consider not using that particular fabric. There is a color fixative, “Retayne” that can be purchased at quilt shops to be used in natural fiber fabrics to help retain dyes and avoid color bleeding.

-Once fabric is washed and dried, using spray sizing when pressing it for the first time helps fabric cutting by adding stability to the fabric. Spray sizing is not as stiff as spray starch and it doesn’t flake off as much as spray starch. However, when cutting bias strips, spray starch is useful to keep fabric from stretching.

Quilting Tips Thread

-When threading a needle to hand sew or quilt, always thread the end that comes out of the spool before you cut the thread. You will be sewing with the nap of the thread and will avoid tangles that way.

-Cut the thread at an angle using sharp scissors. It creates a point that makes threading small needles a lot easier. Some people use a little hairspray on the end of the thread to make it stiff. Either way, never cut your thread using your teeth.

-Use a piece of white paper behind the needle’s eye if you are having a hard time seeing the needle’s eye.

-If you have trouble threading a needle in spite of the thread being cut properly, turn the needle around and try beeswaxthreading through the other side of the eye. Needle eyes are machine-punched and sometimes one of the sides is rougher than the other.

-To avoid tangling, knotting and fraying of the thread when hand sewing or quilting, run the length of thread on a piece of beeswax or thread conditioner. You can purchase both at most fabric/quilt shops and a little box lasts a long time.

-Cotton thread dry rots with time. Do not over-buy thread. Dry rot makes thread brittle. Keep thread stored away from light and heat sources.

Quilting Tips Scissors

-Never use your fabric scissors for anything but cutting fabric. Cutting paper dulls the blades. Keep a pair of cheap scissors nearby to cut paper, plastic templates or any other materials.

-If your fabric shears don’t have a sheath or case, make one out of leather scraps, felt or any other thick material. 032Place a cone made out of plastic from a milk bottle or any other plastic container at the tip to protect the tip of your scissors if you happen to drop them.

-Invest in the best scissors you can buy. Have them professionally sharpened every few years if you notice them not cutting as accurately as they did when you first got them.

-Save the plastic container that holds the rotary blade for your cutter when you buy it. When it’s time to dispose of the old blade, use it to dispose of it safely. Always close your rotary cutter when you finish cutting, even if it is for a moment. Safety first, an open cutter is a danger to yourself, children and pets.

Quilting Tips Odds and ends

-If your eyes feel tired after hand sewing or hand quilting, stare at your red tomato pincushion for a few seconds.

-If you happen to prick your finger while quilting and you notice a bloodstain, remove it straight away by dabbing at it with a little piece of batting moistened with saliva. Dried bloodstains can be lifted carefully by dabbing the stain with a q tip moistened with hydrogen peroxide and wiped with clear water.

-Soap slivers make a great marking tool to mark quilting lines.

-Keep a magnetic wand near your sewing area. If you happen to drop a pin or break a needle, run the wand on the floor to find it. Run it before you vacuum to find dropped pins. An empty plastic breath mint container is great to store and dispose broken needles or bent pins.

-An empty plastic butter tub or coffee can with a hole pierced on the top is great to store thread tails and snippets of 426212_3192588944811_132252983_nfabric when you are sewing. Keep it near your sewing machine or hand sewing area. Once the container is full, in the spring, take the thread/fabric snippets and hang them from trees outside. Birds love them to make their nests.

-Keep your pins and needles in a dry area to avoid rust. Use the emery strawberry that comes with tomato pincushions to keep your pins clean and sharp. If you notice the pins snagging fabric, hold the strawberry tightly between your fingers and run the pin through the strawberry several times. If it still snags, discard it.

-Keep a lint roller near your sewing area. It cleans little bits of thread from your cutting mat, picks up thread from the floor or carpeting quickly.
If you show your quilts at quilt shows, take one with you to give the quilt a final clean up before dropping it for competition, to make sure it is totally free of pet hair or thread bits.

-To store finished quilts, get a length of wide pvc pipe, cover it with a muslin sleeve and roll your finished quilts on it. Make a bag to cover the quilts once they are rolled on the pvc pipe to keep them dust free. You will avoid creases and wrinkles that way.

 

For more information on making a quilt click here!

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