It's tip time!
And I'm not talking about 'tip off time' as in basketball, or any other sport right now.
I've got sports on the brain as we just watched the Super Bowl and basketball season is in full swing.
With a family full of sports enthusiasts, there's always plenty of sports talk around here, but right now I'm happy to be talking about quilting and specifically quilting tips.
Can you have too many quilting tips?
I don't think so.
Even if you don't think you can use one, you never know when that tip will come in handy in the future.
This month's Minis and More Parade is all about quilting tips and Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life and I have been collecting the suggestions and helpful hints you've sent in so we can share them with our readers.
Brenda, who blogs at The Quilting Nook, sent in these two great ideas, one about journaling and the other about how to keep your ruler from slipping when cutting long strips of fabric.
Brenda says it best herself, so here is her first tip in her own words -
Quilt Journal Tips
You don’t need anything to get started with a quilt journal except a notebook, but a pretty one makes it more fun. Even if you’re not into the details, having a record of your quilt that has taken lots of time, thought and energy to make will hopefully give you and your family fond memories to look back on. This is my list of a minimum of things to include:
· Start and Finish Date
· Pattern Name, Designer, tutorial, blogger, etc.
· Who the quilt is for or why you are making it (special occasion)
· Pattern changes or special techniques used
· Block/Quilt size
· Picture of the final quilt
You can take Brenda's tip, or anyone's tip for that matter, and put your own spin on it or modify it to fit your needs.
For example, I do some quilt journaling, but I'm not quite as detailed in my journaling as Brenda.
I focus more on my sewing machine and what kind of needles I used during quilting, what tension settings I used, and what worked best for me on that quilt. That way, I can look back to replicate the results if I'd like to, years later.
Brenda has another great tip for us and again I'll let her explain it in her own words-
The second tip is about cutting fabric using a weight.
I saw this tip in a Jordan Fabrics video and have been using it ever since. To keep your long ruler from slipping when you are cutting strips across the width of fabric, use a hand weight at the top or near the top of the ruler to keep it from slipping. Even with non-slip rulers, I found my ruler could still slip slightly at the far end even while walking my hands to the top. I feel more confident cutting more layers of fabric using the weight now.
Wow, thanks Brenda!
I've never heard that tip before, and I usually don't cut multiple layers of long strips of fabric because I am worried about the ruler slipping.
After my workout this morning, I'm going to keep out the hand weights and give that a try!
When I had one of my sewing machines on a quilting frame, I was using my hand weights to keep the machine steady on the frame so it wouldn't roll to one side or the other while I was changing the bobbin or cleaning it.
Who knew hand weights could be so useful in quilting?
Brenda has a whole blog post dedicated to helpful hints on her blog The Quilting Nook that I'll bet you'd love to read. You can find it here -
Another item that you probably have around your house that I've found to be tremendously helpful for piecing is a paper plate!
I have a large stack of thin, inexpensive paper plates that I put beside my sewing machine when I have individual blocks to piece.
Not the most glamorous picture, but this is a tip post so I'm keeping it real.
I put the pieces for each block on a separate paper plate and then stack them up, so the pieces for each block stay together.
I don't usually ;-) get them mixed up this way.
Sometimes I even scribble a few notes on the plates or write down the size of fabric pieces beside them on the plate, so I can keep track of whats what.
I use a pencil, so I can erase them later (or not) and reuse the plate for another quilt project.
Beside my sewing machine I also keep a scrap of batting or two, like in the picture above, that were cut off the side of a quilt after quilting.
I use it as a thread catcher to keep stray pieces of thread and small scraps of fabric that I toss over there together, so they don't end up on the floor or on me.
Then when it gets pretty full, I just roll it up and throw it away, because it was just a leftover scrap of batting anyway!
I have one beside each of my machines and one on my ironing board too.
Be sure to visit Sherri at A Quilting Life to see the rest of the tips from our readers.
Feel free to add any quilting tips you'd like to share in the comments.
Now lets talk about March!
It's going to be all about pincushions!
Everybody's got pincushion fever right now, so why not make a few of your own?
I've collected some great free tutorials if you don't have any patterns in mind, and 'wow' these are so cute!
The first one is was brought to my attention on a post by Corey Yoder . It's from a company called Just Another Button Company. It’s adorable!
Here are some other free pincushion tutorial links from the great people over at The Moda Bakeshop-
Scrap Bag Pincushion by LeAnne Ballard
Flirtatious Pincushion by Julie Cefalu
Giant Pincushions by Julie Herman
Charming Twin Pincushions by Vickie Eapen
Sweet As Candy Pincushion by Lisa Calle
Cathedral Windows Pincushion by Kim Niedzwiecki
Sew Simple Star Pincushion by Kimber Van Heukelom
Moda Love Pincushion by Margot Languedoc
Fabric Strawberries by Vanessa Christenson
Sugar Cube Pincushion by Vickie Eapen
Charming Pincushion #1 by Vickie Eapen
Wait, I'm not done yet...........
This is a link to an adorable pincushion YouTube video that Sherri made for The Fat Quarter Shop.
This is one that I made using Sherri's video and some scraps from her fabric lines too!
Sherri has other great pincushion ideas on her blog, A Quilting Life so be sure to go over and visit her to get all the information!
Send in your pincushion pictures before the end of February to see them in the Parade at the beginning of March.
We'd love to have you join us.
Right now, I'm going to grab my hand weights, work out, and then cut some long fabric strips using that new tip I just learned from Brenda!
Have a great day!