Area 3 Chapters

Area 3 Chapters in the beautiful state of Maine:

*Bog Hoot Quilters-Mechanic Falls area
*Chickadee Quilters-Bridgton Area
*Classic Quilters of Lewiston-Auburn Area
*Country Aire Quilters-Turner Area
*Country Square Quilters-North Jay/Wilton Area
*Cross Country Quilters-Bethel Area
*Grammy's Choice Quilters-Canton Area
*Ladies of the Lake Quilters-Peru/Rumford/Dixfield Area
*Lisbon Krazy Kwilters-Lisbon Area
*Pine Needle Quilters-Norway/South Paris Area
*Scraps and Patches Quilters-Poland Area
*Village Scrappers Quilters-Livermore Area

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Favorite Sewing Tips

I was asked to bring along one of my favorite quilting/sewing tips to share with a group of fellow quilters. Like potato chips, I can't pick just one!

This vodka spray is my favorite. Take 16 oz. of distilled water and 2 oz. white vodka and put into a spray bottle, shake a couple of times and just watch those stubborn wrinkles or set in fabric folds just melt away!

Another is to take a bar of unscented soap and occasionally put my sewing needle into them. It helps my needles glide through the fabric and batting (especially when using W & N batting).

Don't hesitate to use a Sharpie to mark on your acrylic rules or squares. A soft cloth with a bit of rubbing alcohol will remove them.

Take 3/8” clear plastic tubing (you can buy at any home improvement store), cut into ¼” slices and then make one cut. This will allow you to place over your bobbins and see the thread color. A roll of this tubing cost about $7-8 and you will be able to make enough bobbin covers to supply your entire quilting group!

Buy a ring-style belt holder and use to hang your large squares and quilting templates. You can hang it in your closet or a door knob in your sewing room.

Save all your smallest snippets of fabric and put out near your trees for birds to use and make their nests.

Are you making paper hexagon pieces? If so, mark one sheet (many websites have them pre-marked by size) to a pile of four pieces of the same size paper and staple to secure in various spots. Carefully cut on the lines, remove the stapes and stack the number of pieces you need to make a flower. Staple the stack. In this way, you can always ensure you will have the correct amount of fabric pieces cut out for each flower.

When you cannot mark your borders for quilting, I use strips of white tissue paper in which my pattern is marked by using multiple sheets stacked and sew the pattern using an unthreaded needle with the longest straight stitch. Match up the pattern and pin on the boarders and go! Afterwards, I pick off most of the loose paper and the rest comes off when I wash the quilt. Just be sure to check your dryer filter halfway between drying time!

*Speaking of blocks, stop into your favorite pizza joint and ask to buy some of their pizza boxes. I offer them $1 for the larger boxes, which are fantastic for storing your current applique and pieces blocks

*When putting your quilt blocks on a design wall, especially when working with a scrappy pattern, take a picture using your digital camera and save in black and white. You can really see the values pop out at you with the black and white and this allows you to move the blocks around before sewing. Once I get the pattern the way I like it, I take another picture and save it on my laptop computer desktop. It’s a great visual aid near my sewing machine to be sure I have the project on the right path

 The local dollar store is filled with items you can use in your sewing room:

 *Flannel-backed tablecloths are perfect to use for a design wall

 *Thin transparent cutting sheets are perfect to cut out quilting templates and fussy cutting squares

*Use clamp-style picnic table holders to hold your quilting sandwich while pinning the quilt on the table

*Sandpaper dots are perfect to use on the back of your acrylic squares to keep them from shifting

*Plastic pencil boxes are great for holding your rotary cutters. I buy different colors to distingust the type or size of cutter, i.e. green for my 45mm blade, black for my 45mm batting/flannel cutter, red for my 18mm blade, etc.

*Use the plastic tubes M & M’s come in to store your extra wound bobbins. Again, the color can signify the thread color inside. Once you remember, it will save you tons of time so that you can wind a bunch at one time of your most popular colors, such as white, cream, grey, taupe and black ready to go. Of course, enjoy the candy first! You can also use these empty containers or a mini sewing kit, storing used needles and a great way to bring along money in your beach bag

*Grab a “brag book” to store your current/future fabric samples, fabric needs, etc. It keeps them clean and a great visual aid when shopping

 *Make yourself a fabric shopping kit-a small pad, mini-pen, small measuring tape and mini calculator. Place into a mini tin and carry in your purse or pocket.

*In a pinch for quilt basting spray? Use a regular strength hairspray. Be sure to cover your work area to avoid any slipping/damage to your floors/furniture

*Try a small white board for jotting down your instructions for your latest quilting project or other items you need to remember near your sewing machine

*Blue painter’s tape is an excellent way to mark lines on your quilt top. You can usually use the same piece of tape several times before discarding

 *Some dollar stores sell seven pocket expandable file folders-they are perfect for storing your current template, directions, magazines, pictures and small blocks

*Sometimes you can also find pocket-sized mini-grid pads. These will come in handy if you need to jot down a quilting idea/pattern you see while shopping or in your daily travels

*The silver-metal hair clips are an economical way to hold your quilt bindings while sewing