Amazing Quilting Tips

beginner quilting

...amazing quilting tips for quilting needles, storing quilting material, bias binding, foundation quilting and more. It's easier to learn to quilt using tips for beginner quilting.

Quilters love to improve on quilting techniques.

No matter how many quilts you have made or classes you have attended or books you may have read, or web sites you may have visited, someone out there figures out a better, more accurate and quicker way to enhance techniques for quilting.

Those of us in the twenty-first century did not invent quilting. The tradition goes way back but the basic requirements are simple...

All you need is thread, needles, thimble, scissors and a host of other twenty-first century quilting tools.

But what is even nicer, quilters simply like sharing their secrets. All they ask is that you pass it forward.

Quilting Tips for Beginner Quilting

fabric for quilting

Fabric manufacturers print a color code on the selvage edge of fabric to indicate the pattern match.

It also can be used to match all the colors used in the fabric.

Quilters use these dots to assist them in matching fabric colors for their quilts.

Cut off a strip of selvage that has the dots stamped on it and take it with you on your next shopping trip.

If you have trouble matching colors, this quilting tip is a no fail solution!

fabric for quilting

Most quilters utilize all scraps of fabric at their disposal. Let me share one more quilting technique for the selvage edge of fabric.

Fold your fat quarters in this fancy way and tie them together to make  a nice display.

Using the strong selvage strips to bow tie coordinated fat quarters together keeps the matching colors together.

The Selvage edge of fabric is tightly woven and does not stretch like the actual fabric which makes it an excellent choice for tying fabric pieces together.

Selvage does  not ravel either.

However, it tends to shrink differently when washed which is why we always remove it when cutting our quilt pieces.

bias binding

Try this Quilting Tip: Three to four hundred inches of bias binding can be hard to manage.

To keep this amount tangle free, wrap it around an empty paper towel tube.

Securing one end with a piece of masking tape to the tube and advance each revolution by slightly over lapping each wrap until all has been wound around the tube.

If you plan to apply the binding immediately, no need to be real particular with the wrapping process...but always make enough binding for your project and store it with the top before you turn out the lights and close up shop.

When you come back next spring to finish the job you will not have to look for the piece of fabric that may have been used for some unrelated project.

bias binding

Never throw drop-off bias strips out. They can be in high demand for small projects.

Save all excess pieces measuring 12-inches or longer and use for applique of stems on flowers, stained glass quilts and Celtic applique.

Or sew the lenghts together and bind an entire scrappy quilt or wall hanging.

I maximize my storage space by stacking all short fall off lengths of bias binding in a shallow drawer...looks great. A lid from a paper box will work too!

Staying organized pays big dividends...You never have to wonder what you did with all those ends!

This one is for all us orderly freaks. What an amazing quilting tip!

quilting tool

Increase your piecing skills by sewing fabric patches for a block onto a paper foundation.

You become an instant professional at matching narrow points and minimizing stretching of bias edges; unbelievably accurate,faster and easier piecing skills.

The ruler combines the speed of rotary cutting quilt pieces with the accuracy of using templates.

By positioning the lip side down snugly against one edge of template allows you to cut with percision.

The Add-A-Quarter ruler by CM Designs allows you to trim excess fabric and provide a straight line for placement of the next fabric piece.

Instructions comes with every ruler.

sewing room furniture

Wherever you go always look for cheap ways to furnish your sewing room with pieces that will serve your needs and help you develop storage for all your quilting material.

This piece was right under my nose and several generations old so it just had to be included in my sewing room. You won't believe what this piece looks like today.

With the help of watching Donna Duberry's One Stroke painting technique on television I was able to paint a decent design.

Here,take a look at this piece of Sewing Room Furniture after I rescued it from the barn. It will hold many pieces of fabric away from the light and dust.

All it took was a good refurbishing with some tender loving care.

Quilting Needles - Sharp Quilting Tips

quilting needles

This quilting tip is on the house. Can't find the right needle when you know you have a drawer full?

This light weight plastic tray which holds five sleeves of cookies makes an ideal holder for sewing machine needles.

First, eat all the cookies until there are no crumbs left. Then draw the cardboard separators by holding the tray on it's end while drawing around the form using stiff cardboard like the back of a tablet.

Cut the dividers out with your paper scissors. Try one and test it to make sure you got the right curvature. You want the dividers to fit snug but not so tight that they make the plastic bulge. If the divider is too loose they will fall over which is a nuisance.

quilting needles

The divider will look something like this...sort of like a pair of sun glasses.

Each package of needles will be on a slight slant making it easy to see them at a glance.

The tray will hold upwards of 30 individual packages of needles grouped by size for ten different sizes.

Cut as many dividers as needed. I used may need more; only a small tray of cookies. I buy the $2 cheapies!

quilting needles

As a kid growing up it was my job to stop by the home economics teacher who was a quilter and thread needles for her.

There was always two packages waiting to be threaded. I hurried and finished as I knew there would be an after school snack waiting for me.

It was a bit different than just cutting off individual pieces of thread. I threaded the needles onto a full spool of thread stacking one needle on top of the other until all needles were added.

In those days the spools were made of wood and sometimes the slot on the upper rim that was intended to hold the end of the thread securely would splinter away from the spool.

In that case I tied a quilter's knot in the end of the thread so that the needles would not come unthreaded.

Quilting thread is a bit heavier than sewing thread and a little easier to knot. Plus it is designed not to snag or snarl.

I don't recall any special tricks for threading needles except I could not let the thread loose for fear that all the needles would fall off.

I would wet the eye of the needle (not the thread) and push the angled-cut thread through the eye.

quilting tool

Keeping your quilting needles straight can be the one most single frustrating task for any quilter. Using old or mislabeled quilting needles is not the place to scrimp.

When you change a needle due to a change of thread, fabric or stitch type you can stick the slightly used needle in a premarked pincushion such as we have here. This quilting tip will save you a lot of headaches.

Most needles only have a life of about six hours of sewing. After that the needle becomes dull and can cause skipped stitches, a burr can snag your fabric, and a bent needle can damage the bobbin case.

Never put a slightly used needle back in its original case as it is near impossible to determine which one is slightly used and which one is brand new.

A labeled pincushion can help you identify both the size and point type of your slightly used needle. If in doubt, simply dispose of any needle that is questionable.

Tumbling Blocks is an interesting piece of art; why not try your hand with this 32-piece round puzzle!

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