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6 Tips and Tricks Every Quilter Should Know

By Mary Covey

I recently read the following post by Sherri McConnell titled “Tips and Tidbits” from her blog.  Sherri offers 6 tips and tricks every new (or seasoned) quilter should know. I really enjoyed her pictures and her very useful tips her grandmother shared with her many years ago.

Wether you are a beginning quilter or a seasoned one, you will enjoy this practical advice.

Enjoy reading and have fun with your latest project!

 

TIPS AND TIDBITS

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Quilting Tips and Tidbits

It’s actually been many years ago now that I received my first lessons in quilting from my grandmother, and many of the tips she shared with me on that sunny afternoon are bits of information I use daily in my quilting…twenty some years later. Here is a round-up of my favorite tips and tidbits to share with new quilters: these are review for seasoned quilters but are simple steps that can make a big difference for new quilters just joining in and learning all about this amazing past time.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

This was the first thing I learned from my grandmother and one of the tips that helps me most in my daily quilting. It’s a simple rule, but it really does work. A good start…including accurate cutting and measuring…is essential to a good finish.

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Know Your Seam Allowance

Know Your Seam Allowance

My grandmother also told me to use a 1/4″ seam allowance for all of my quilting (unless directed otherwise by a pattern), but it was a few years later while taking a class at a local quilt shop that I learned what this really meant. A wonderful teacher showed me that my seam allowance was actually a thread or two bigger than 1/4″ which resulted in some of my piecing being just a bit off (those 1/16″ inch variations can really add up in a big quilt)! So measure your seam allowance periodically to make sure you’re on track. You can adjust your needle to the right or left if necessary, obtain a 1/4″ seam guide, or use painters tape to mark the true 1/4″ line on your machine.

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Pin and Mark

Keep it Together: Pin and Mark

Somewhere along the line pins seem to have received a bad reputation. While it does take a little longer to pin…the results can be wonderfully surprising. Although it isn’t necessary to always use pins, if you’re having trouble with matching seams or getting a lot of different points to match up, pins might be the best solution. While I don’t always use pins for simple chain-piecing, I always use them if there is something that needs to be lined up.

Properly marking is important, too. Use a pencil to mark on the wrong side of light fabrics or chalk for darker fabrics to mark lines for half square triangles and corner square (“flip and sew”) corners. While it often looks like it’s going to be just fine if you “eyeball” it, marking can also improve accuracy by leaps and bounds.

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Fabric Preparation

Fabric Prep

Fabric preparation is another step some quilters like to skip: after all, most quilters love fabric so much they just want to jump right in and sew. But your fabric may need pressing before cutting, and this can be especially important when using pieces from fat eighth and fat quarter bundles. Just think of it as a little extra time you get to spend with the fabric!

Some quilters like to use steam when pressing their fabric for the first time. This can cut down on shrinkage later on–an important step especially when working with lots of pieces or smaller pieces. An additional step many quilters use is to both starch and press their fabrics before beginning any project. Whether or not to pre-wash your fabrics is another decision to make before beginning. Although I pre-wash only when I’m going to use fabric for garment construction, there are many others who pre-wash all of their quilting cottons.

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Quilted Pillow

Handle with Care

Fabric can be stretched, and if your fabric is stretched enough your blocks might end up distorted. Use care when handling bias edges: don’t fear working with triangles for half-square triangles, quarter-square triangles, and flying geese … just handle with care to prevent stretching.

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Handle with Care

I do have one final tip, and it’s my favorite one to share. Enjoy yourself while you are sewing and quilting. Your projects are yours, and they should bring you great joy while you’re working…quilting is the best hobby!

What is your favorite advice for new quilters…?

#Tipsandtricks #quilting #sewing

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Photo Finish

By Mary Covey

I believe that a good photo is the best present that anyone can give or receive. Every photo represents a moment and memory in time. I try to take as many photos as I can, so that a history can be created of how our family has changed. Sometimes they turn out good sometimes not so good. So isn’t it wonderful when you find a photographer that captures a beautiful photo of your family?

As many hours as we put into the making of a quilt, most of us think of our quilts as family. But have you ever thought of having them photographed? Well, recently I did just that. I used Sarah Chloe Photography studio to make a photo history of my quilts.  Sarah Neumyer is the owner and talented photographer that helped me with my project.

Scrappy Star Quilt with floral backing

Scrappy Star Quilt with floral backing

It was interesting to watch Sarah work. After looking through my stack of quilts she developed a plan. Much like a quilter pulls her fabrics together for a project, Sarah pulled together her props and ideas for the locations. We started at her studio in Bixby. The Scrappy Star quilt was taken on the steps of an old barn behind her studio.

Antique Dresden Plate

Antique Dresden Plate

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Photo FinishThen on to a location. Sarah used this old truck as the perfect backdrop for my Antique Dresden Plate. There were lots of pictures taken here but this is one of my favorites.

 

Wool Partridge Quilt

Wool Partridge Quilt

It was interesting to watch her lay out an assortment of quilts and then edit her selections for each photo. Sarah definitely has a talent for knowing exactly what is just right.

On the Vine

On the Vine

One the Vine is a miniature pattern that I designed several years ago using Moda flannels and a P&B floral print. The sunlight hitting these colors really makes them pop.

Sarah’s specialty is children and family portraits. She did and excellent job of photographing my quilt family. To see more of Sarah’s work or to talk with her about photographing your quilts, go to www.sarahchloephotography.com.

#photography #quilt #photofinish

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Craftsy’s 5 Million Member Flash Sale!

By Mary Covey

(sponsored post)

Don’t miss Craftsy’s 5 Million Member Flash Sale happening now! Get up to 50% off select online classes for a limited time only! Hurry, this offer expires on October 13th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy‘s 5 Million Member Flash Sale now and save.

 

Craftsy's Fat Quarter Frenzy Sale

Craftsy’s Fat Quarter Frenzy Sale

 

Craftsy's Flash Sale Photography Classes

Craftsy’s Flash Sale
Photography Classes

 

Craftsy's Flash Sale Quilting Classes

Craftsy’s Flash Sale
Quilting Classes

 

Craftsy's Flash Sale Quilting Classes

Craftsy’s Flash Sale
Quilting Classes

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Modern Art – Modern Quilting

By Mary Covey

There is such a great movement going on in modern quilting and home décor right  now. The fabric choices have never been better. The colors are bright, bold, crisp, and clear. They make you happy! But recently I was amazed to find that these colors were the “in” thing almost 100 years ago.

Marsden Hartley Painting

Painting by Marsden Hartley was done in 1916

This painting by Marsden Hartley was done in 1916. What do you think?  Modern? The colors are so bold and bright my photo does not do it justice. Or what about this painting by Josef Albers?

Josef Albers 1964

Josef Albers Painting 1964

The painting was done in 1964. Again my photo does not capture the true crispness of the colors. These colors could be found in many of the fabrics available to quilters today.

These paintings and many more can be seen at the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. Beauty for the eyes both inside the museum and outside on the walking trails. A new children’s museum is being added that will be completed next spring. You can be certain that I will be taking my granddaughters.

As a quilter, I was thrilled to see that the colors we use in modern quilts have an artful history. I guess that saying “everything old is new again” really is true.

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