Tips and Hints Archive
Shop craft or department stores for wooden or plastic ornaments to use as a quilting template. They are inexpensive, easy to trace around and can be used many times without wearing out. - Nancy Lewis, Eugene OR.
Recording Machine Settings
"When working on a project that requires a lot of different settings on my machine, I use a dry erase marker and write them on the front of my machine, so when I switch between settings I always get them exactly the same, and it wipes right off!"
Note:We recommend trying this on a hidden portion of your machine to be sure the dry erase marker wipes off easily. Installing a small whiteboard in your sewing area would allow you to record settings for multiple projects! - Shiela Conners, Burke, NY.
Quilting Activity Ideas- Just in case you need an excuse to quilt!
1. Get a group of friends together for a stitching party. Work on individual projects or a charity quilt to donate to Project Linus, a local shelter or other worthy charity. Be sure to provide lots of refreshment! NOTE: There are some great quilts in our Projects section that be perfect for this!
2. Plan a stash swap - each participant brings a designated amount of fabric (3 fat quarters, a yard cut -whatever works best!). You could also swap patterns, notions - whatever you want to refesh in your stash!
Repurposing!What a great way to go green (and save a little green, too!)
Give batting and fabric scraps a new life!
Makebeds for pets by stuffing a ready made pillowcase with scraps of batting and fabric that are too small to use in a project. We suggest taping the case to the end of your sewing or cutting table. When you are finished, just sweep the scraps off the table and into the bag - when it's full, take it down and stitch closed! These same scraps could also be used to stuff pillows, toys and more!
Don't toss that dryer sheet!
Use a dryer sheet to detangle quilting thread and embroidery floss - no more sticky wax or expensive thread conditioner! - Chris Scheffel
Design Inspiration!Make a design/inspiration notebook. Collect appealing images from magazines, catalogs, mailers etc. and assemble them in a folder or glue them into a scrapbook or notebook. They don't all necessarily need to be of quilts (although they can be!)- just anything you like to look at, that you find interesting or appealing.Over time, you will notice that you are drawn to certain colors or styles. Revisit your design notebook whenever you feel the need to jumpstart your creativity!
Fit To Be Tied! Use a contrasting yarn or sturdy perle cotton for an interesting touch. Place the ties at the corners and/or centers of blocks.
Here is reader Carol Manley's tip forsuper quicktying. To make one row of ties at a time, thread the end of a skein of yarn or perle cotton through a needle. Starting at the right side of the quilt make large running stitches across the quilt, dipping into the quilt where you want a tie. Adjust the "stitches" so they are long enough to tie easily by pulling through more yarn or perle cotton.Cut and tie.
Color 101 (For quilters) Quilters love color! But quilters are often intimidated by color - there are so many to choose from and so many rules! Here are a few simple tips to help you choose a color scheme that works well for your project! Quilting Treasures does most of the color legwork for you! The patterns in our collections are carefully chosen to compliment one another. Choose fabrics from the same collection confident that the colors will work together! Looking for a great blender to add color? Quilting Essentials has 44 colors to choose from! Look at the selvage of your major print design - there you will see numbered circles (interesting tidbit - these refer to the print screen that is used to print the fabric) pull one or two colors from that to add a pop of color to your project. Sometimes what the project really needs is a light or non-color to give the eye a place to rest. In that case, Quilting Illusions in tones of white on white or white on cream will fill the bill! A color wheel is a great tool and fun to use too! Try using colors that are near each other for a soothing monochromatic look, or colors that are across the wheel from each other for an upbeat, energetic feeling. Many color wheels are printed instructions for finding great color combinations. Check this easy tutorial for more information on using color wheels.