Quilt Making Secret Hacks, Advice, Techniques, Tips And Tricks Of The Day For Beginners


What Are The Quilt Types That Need No Binding?

Quilts with scalloped, curved, or deep angles on the edges could be good candidates for special non-binding treatment.

Using this method, you blind stitch the edges closed, tucking the seam allowances inside. While it requires hand stitching, it is relatively easy and gives you some flexibility in handling curves and sharp angles. One drawback is that it shows the wear faster than regular binding. So, this technique should be saved for a wall hanging.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Quilt to within 5/8 inch of the edge.
  • Trim the batting so it is 1/4 inch inside the edges of the quilt top.
  • Trim the backing so it is even with the edges of the quilt top.
  • Turn under 1/4 inch seam allowances on both the quilt top and backing. As you do that, enclose the batting inside one of the seam allowances.
  • Blindstitch all the way around your quilt, securing the quilt top to the backing. Do enough quilting at the edge of the quilt to secure the seam allowances and batting in place.

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How To Fold The Fabric And Save Time When Cutting?

When you are cutting more than one layer of fabric at a time,

one way to save time is to stack the fabric right sides together as you will sew the pieces together. Ironing the layers right sides together before you cut helps keep the fabric together.

If you are using a rotary cutter, you can easily stack and cut 4 layers of fabric at a time. Cutting more than 4 layers tends to result in mis-shapen pieces. As you sew, you can use a darning or other kind of thick needle to separate the pairs to sew together.

Using this cut and stack method keeps your pieces together and ready to sew.

How To Keep The Layers Of Your Quilt Secure?

Before you begin to stitch the binding on your quilt, stitch 1/8 inch all the way around your quilt – securing the quilt top, batting and backing.

That way, all the layers will move together, and you are less likely to get puckers and wrinkles as you attach the binding.

How To Save Your Finger Tips From Pins That Poke?

To save your finger tips from poking pins, use snap-shut hair clips to secure your binding in place for hand stitching.

Just clamp them over the quilt binding to keep it in a secure position, and then blindstitch. Use several clips at a time and just keep moving them along as you stitch.

How To Thread A Needle?

If you’re having trouble threading your needle….Here is my best hack….

place something white behind the needle (like a piece of fabric or paper), and it will be easier to aim the thread at your needle.

How To Store Your Needles And Keep Them Sharp?

Looking for a safe place to park your needles while you take a break?

Poke them into the paper top or bottom of a spool of thread. Leaving a whisp of thread makes the needle easier to see. Be sure to check for needles that have fallen inside and remove them before you throw the spool away. Peeling off the paper will allow them to come out.

Needle cases made of wool fabric or quilted with wool batting keep needles from rusting forever! And, did you know that using a pin cushion stuffed with human hair will keep your needles sharp and prevent rusting?

How To Finish A Quilt Faster?

One of the great things about making a quilt is that you can work in small time slots …

  • waiting in the car for your kids, husband, friend, mom;
  • waiting in a doctor’s office;
  • talking on the phone;
  • riding on a train, plane, bus, trolley, or in a car;
  • and, of course, watching TV.

To be prepared, keep a project bag with all of the supplies you will need for a particular project. If it’s a big project, just keep enough supplies for the next step. For a smaller project, keep everything in there. One day, you’ll surprise yourself, and the project will be done!

What Is Cotton Print Or Calico Print?

From the 1882 edition of The Dictionary of Needlewoork comes a definition of Cotton Prints or Calico Prints:

“Calico cloths printed in various colours and patterns to serve for dresses.

Specimens of cotton fabrics sent out of the country, from Manchester alone, have shown upwards of 1,500 different kinds, varying in strength and pattern, from coarse cloths to the finest muslins, and from the richest chintz to the plain white.”

How To Make Your Chain Piecing Go Faster?

Chain Piecing Shortcut – You can make your chain piecing go faster by arranging your patches next to your sewing machine in stacks ready to sew.

Place two stacks of pieces next to each other with right sides facing up. I place the stacks so that the edges to be sewn are next to each other, as they would be after they are sewn.

Pick up one piece from the stack on the right, and flop it over onto a patch on the left so they are right sides together, making sure that you remember which is the side you will sew the seam.

Sew your seam, then continue the process until you run out of patches.

You can follow the same process with sewn patches, as you add patches. And the same process works when you sew blocks together.

How To Use Block Printing to Apply A Design To Fabric?

The oldest, and probably the slowest method of applying a design to fabric is block printing.

A design is cut from a piece of wood or clay, then the block is loaded with dye from a felt pad or inked with a roller and pressed onto the fabric.

The size of the block determines the size of the repeat in the pattern, although 18 inches is about as large as could be handled easily.

In fancy, multicolored designs, each color required a separate block, cut in a different pattern. To be sure the alignment of the colors was accurate, metal pins, called register pins, were driven into the corners of the block, and were matched up each time the block was applied.

The pins were inked along with the rest of the design, and their impressions are sometimes visible on the surface of the hand printed fabric.

Fabric designers tried to hide the register pin marks, and often the marks were hidden in the center of a flower or within a group of berries.

Sometimes the basic wooden blocks were modified with strips of brass, copper or iron formed into different shapes and hammered into the wood blocks.

This created the more delicate areas of the design, such as outlines of individual shapes. This also made it possible to print embroidery and braid designs popular among the American colonists.

Sometimes short wires were hammered closely together into the open areas of the block. When printed, these created tiny pindots in the background, called picotage, or pinwork.

How To Plan A Quilt For A Bed?

When you are making a quilt for a bed, arranging the blocks on a bed will give you a good idea what the finished quilt will look like.

If you are making the quilt for a friend or family member who lives away from you, find a bed that is the same size as theirs, and lay the blocks out on that bed.

How To Tie A Quilt?

When you tie a quilt, it comes out nice and puffy. A finished quilt that is tied looks much like a down comforter. Plus it takes much less time to tie a quilt than it does to hand quilt.

In addition, tying is very easy to do, which makes it a good choice for young quiltmakers or community projects where you would like to involve folks who don’t quilt. (An example of this would be the Healing Quilts that many churches make and give to people in hospitals.)

Here are a few tips for hand tying a quilt:

  1. Use a “thread” that is durable and colorful. It needs to withstand the tugging while being flexible enough to tie and stay tied. Embroidery floss, pearl cotton, yarn, ribbon or cording make good choices.
  2. Use a crewel needle which has a large eye and a sharp point, and is long enough to hold specialty threads.
  3. Decide where you want the ties to be, and mark those points with pins. Avoid seams and seam allowances.
  4. Start with a length of thread that is about 30 inches, with no knot in the end. Pull the thread down and then back up through your quilt and leave 3 inch tails on both sides of the stitch.
  5. Use a square knot, also known as a reef knot to secure your tie.

How To Transfer A Quilting Pattern To Your Quilt From A Book Or Magazine?

Here’s one that is new to me, and I thought was very clever.

To transfer a quilting design from a book or magazine (or anything else…), lay a piece of netting over the design and trace the design with a permanent marker. This will probably bleed through to the book or magazine, so be sure that is ok.

Take the netting with the design marked on it, and place it on your quilt where you want the design, and then trace the design onto your quilt through the netting, using something that will come off.

There are special marking pens and pencils that will wash out of fabric; slivers of soap also work.

Try freezing the soap – it may be easier to use.

What Is French-fold Binding?

Quilt binding that is made from a strip of fabric that is folded in half lengthwise before it is sewn onto the quilt.

It is also known as French-fold binding.

Why You Must Sign And Date Your Quilt?

You must sign and date your quilt!

You might not think anyone cares about you and your quilt, but just think about all of those signed quilts from the past. Everyone finds it fascinating to know the quilter and possibly even the story behind the quilt.

You must sign and date your quilt!

Now remember all of those unsigned quilts, and how every one is wondering who made the quilt and when it was made.

So, do the world and future generations a favor, and sign and date your quilt.

Besides, your grandchild might just ask someday when you made a particular quilt. I find that the years blur, and I am amazed as I look at the quilt to remember exactly what year it was made.

How To Get patches Square And The Same Size?

Getting patches square and the same size seems to be an ongoing challenge of quilters.

Here are a few things you can do to check and improve the accuracy of your stitching:

• Watch the cut edges of your patches as you are sewing on the machine — instead of watching the needle. By focusing on the edge of the fabric, and making sure that it lines up with your mark of a 1/4 inch seam allowance (whether that is tape on your throat plate or a presser foot), you will be more likely to see when your sewing is accurate.

• If a seam is longer than 2 to 3 inches, pin along the seam before you sew — not just at the beginning or the end. That will stabilize the fabrics, and you will be more likely to sew both fabrics an even 1/4 inch away from the edge.

• When sewing angled, pointed pieces (such as diamonds or triangles), start with the wide end first. That way, the skinny tip is less likely to get eaten by the feed dogs (after all, they are pretty hungry).

• When beginning chain sewing, start with a scrap of fabric, and then add your first pair of patches after you sew through the scrap. Continue sewing the patches in the chain, and then add the scrap as the last piece in your chain. That way, you always have a scrap ready to begin a new chain.

How To Use Fusing Material?

When I use fusing material that has a paper backing, I cut a piece out that is larger than the actual size and shape I want. Then I fuse it onto a piece of fabric that is slightly larger than the fusing material.

Once it is all fused together, I trace the pattern of the shape I want onto the paper backing, and cut it out. I can then peel off the paper and fuse the fabric piece onto another piece of fabric or a block.

If I am using a piece of fusing material that does not have a paper back, I cut off a piece that is slightly larger than the finished size I want, and place it between two pieces of fabric that are also larger than my finished piece.

Once that is fused, I trace the pattern on one of the pieces of fabric, and cut the shape out.

I have found that the key is to press the fabric with the fusing material safely inside either fabric or its backing and not exposed to the ironing board or my iron.


By Penny Halgren of http://www.How-To-Quilt.com

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