Friday, June 18, 2010

Quilting tips and tricks

Greetings dear friends and blogging buddies!~ Boy yesterday was so hot! Not the 69 degree temps the weatherman had predicted the day before. It was 86 by about 10 a.m. I think. I didn't even look after that. While I had Cottage Cheese Loaf baking in the oven, I noticed that it sure was hotter in the house than it should be. I checked it out and I about had a cow! Our airconditioning as went out!! It's not something that is going to be fixed anytime soon and it is only the middle of June!! We do have a attic fan but on the really really hot days, all that does is circulate hot air. They'll be lots of iced tea served in this hot today !!!!
Well, last week I mentioned having a quilting tips and tricks post this week and since today is Friday and I have ran out of "week" I guess it had better be today. Here is a book that I find very helpful and I think you will too!
1.For starters , I can't stress enough how important it is to have all of your supplies together in one place .It is such a time waster to have to go back and forth to get this and that, not to mention annoying.
2.Once all of your supplies is together , make sure that you check those things that may need attention, i.e. , do you need to fill bobbins for the sewing machine ,do you need more thread, does your rotary cutter need the blade changed? Those kinds of things.
3. Before I start a new project , I make sure that I read the entire pattern before hand. This can be tedious but you may very well find math errors that the editor didn't find. It's a terrible waste of time and fabric to find this out only AFTER you have cut your fabric.
4. I do my best to do all of the same tasks together. Examples of this would be sewing the same type of pieces together. If you are sewing a group of flying geese blocks, sew all one corner, press , trim , then sew all the next corner. Clipping the dog ears can be done all at the same time , tracing all applique pieces at the same time, those kind of things when grouped together can be such time savers.
5. If you don't have a lot of time to spend quilting , break that time up. You don't have to wait until you have a full day or half a day to quilt. You'd be surprized how far 10 or 15 minutes of piecing blocks will get you on your quilt. In the book above , Lynette calls sleeping a time bandit. We do need our sleep but when it is possible you can rise earlier than the rest of the family to create more productive quilting time. Lynette suggests that getting up just 30 minutes earlier one day a week will get you 26 extra hours of quilting a year. Rising 30 mintues earlier 3 days a week will give you 78 more hours a year. Doing this 5 days a week will give you of bonus of 130 hours a year! That can get lots of piecing done!
6. You can do all kinds of sewing tasks while talking on the phone. However, never use your rotary cutter while on the phone .You could miscut something or worse, cut yourself!
7. I always keep a medium tan color of thread on hand for piecing a quilt top. As a matter of fact it's a pretty "happy medium" color to use for most piecing . With the exception of piecing a very light colored quilt top , a cream or white colored thread would be best.
8. If I'm pressing smaller units or blocks, rather than get out the big ironing board, I just get out a big fluffy towel and fold it in half. It can be placed on the counter top, table or floor and used for small ,quick , pressing jobs. You're using it in such short intricles it shouldn't cause any damage. ALWAYS press across your seam and not up and down the seam. Up and down can cause the fabric to stretch and then the qulit top will be out of shape and not flat. Also , don't use steam when pressing biased pieces and it wil cause the bias to stretch as well.
9. When piecing a block that requires lots of pieces, them seams can start to get bulky. If you need to leave any pins in for those blocks ( especially those blocks with partial seams) when pressing, the pin heads can get in the way and they could melt. For this process I use needles instead of pins, as there are no heads to be in the way.
10. Chain piece whenever you can . It saves on time and thread. Save the clipping of the chain pieces apart ( and clipping dog ears too) for when you are watching your favorite t.v. show. That way you won't miss your show and STILL can be doing something productive toward your current project.
Well, that will do it for me today. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Thank you so much for your wonderful comments . They mean so much. Thanks for your visit today and come back real soon!
'till next time,
don't be a stranger,


  1. Great tips and great post! I'm not a quilter but the organizational tips can be applied to stitching too!

  2. Wow! I missed about half the jargon in this post, but I can tell it has some really important tips! :)

    I've been getting more and more interested in quilts lately, so I'm definitely bookmarking this post for future reference.

    Hope things sort out with the Air Con soon. :/

    P.S. What's a cottage cheese loaf?

  3. Oh no! Bad news about the air. Maybe you just need some of the coolant - that happened to our neighbor. Hope you get it taken care of before it gets too unbearable!

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. That books is one of my bibles - along with Fons and Porter's Quide to Quilting. All those tips are good too. If I didn't organize my things, I'd never get anything done, because I'm one of those people who go downstairs and quilt when I can find the time - a half hour here and a half hour there. Great tops Sharlotte!

    And ugh on the air conditioning. We used to have one of those attic fans when I was growing up. Our sounded like a jet engine and just circulated all the hot air! I guess you're going to have to keep that iced tea coming. Hopefully it can be repaired!!

  5. I bought that book for my mom and she loves it.
    Worst time of year for the air conditioner to take a break. Hope it can be fixed soon.
    I just became a follower and am loving your blog.

    I just came back to blogging after taking a break. An entirely new blog....I miss all the chit chat with fellow bloggers.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


  6. Great tips, Sharlotte! Best of luck with the air conditioning stuff. I hope you can stay cool!

  7. Great tips in your post today! Oh...and I spotted my giveaway so your name is in a special drawing too!!

  8. I popped over to your blog and enjoyed reading those tips! I'll have to put this on my wish list because I have collected quite a few fabbies and have my sewing table and mat ready to go. Hard right now on time with cross stitching but I may dabble in quilting by the Fall of the year.
    So sorry about no air conditioning. We have one of those big attic fans in our house and in the mountains we could get by with just that but the humidity is a little much and with our allergies we use the air.
    Hope you get more comfortable soon!!!

    Feathers in the Nest

  9. Greetings from the EXTREMELY hot South Carolina beaches!!! What a great post and I will certainly try to remember some of your great advise!!! Thanks!! ps: Heard from Catherine yesterday that she received my BBD stocking...sent it early since out of town...Take care, Faye

  10. I hope you get your a/c fixed soon. It is a bad time of year to be without it. Great tips and I agree that it's a good idea to read the pattern from beginning to end. I often do not do that and it's too important a step to skip.

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  12. Thanks for the great tips Sharlotte. I don;t quilt but my Mum does so I will pass these on to her.
    Just love your Mrs Oleary finish too!

  13. Sharlotte,
    Thank you for joining my contest! I am sorry you didn't win. I will be putting up two patterns if you are still interested.


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