Tips and Ideas
Do you need a little creative "shot in the arm"?
Then you've come to the right place to fill your tool box with new ideas!
- When designing curves seams, mark "matching notches" on the curves that go together when pinning that seam for sewing.
- To make a very large full, half, or quarter circle, make a large compass by drilling holes 1" apart along the entire length of a yardstick. Use a push pin to anchor and a pencil in the appropriate hole to mark the arcs.
- Rolls of shelf paper in 12" and 18" widths are very useful for designing borders and/or quilting designs.
- For perfect fitting borders, lay the quilt-top flat on the floor and pin borders to the quilt while it is flat.
- When planning diagonal sets, multiply the sides of the square by 1.4142135.
- Match the thread for hand applique to the patch, not the background. Conversely, match the thread to the background when you are doing reverse applique.
- Put two coats of clear nail polish on the fingertips of the hand that will be underneath the quilt. This will protect your fingers from needle pricks while you quilt.
- To eliminate unraveling and tangled threads in the washing machine, use pinking shears to trim each raw edge.
- Trim away background fabric from behind appliques to reduce bulk and prevent show-through. It is also better when you want to quilt in those areas... less bulk!
- Don't knot the end of your hand quilting thread. Instead, cut the thread twice as long as you normally would, make one stitch and one backstitch to anchor at the middle of the thread and use each end one at a time. In other words, quilt in both directions.
- To convert quilt yardage figures from 36" to 42-45" fabric, multiply by .85. To convert from 45" to 36", multiply by 1.25.
- Before machine piecing, fill several bobbins - not just one. It saves time. You don't want to waste time filling bobbins when you're on a roll.
- It is so much easier to thread a needle if you put something white behind the eye, like a piece of paper.