Teal Dragon Quilts

A world of Quilts and Dragons!

TFK Tips

on February 16, 2016

Well, I was going to talk about pattern begin and end functions, but I had some technical difficulty.  That has been fixed and I will continue with my machine “learning” next week.  This week, I thought I might share some tips I’ve learned over the years…

Tip 1:  The left over batting pieces you have that are of substantial size, what do you do with them?  I save them for craft projects and small quilts.  I measure the width and length of the batting piece, write the measurements on a small piece of paper and safety pin it to the batting.  I fold the batting so that the paper is visible and store.

Tip2:  Have you ever basted a quilt to find out that one part didn’t reach all the way out?  It’s happened more than once to me.  Take two toothpicks and make a cross.  Tape in the center of your basting table.  Make a habit of folding your backing, batting and top so that the center of each piece is where you can put it on the toothpicks and open up the backing, batting or top so that it is exactly centered on the table.  Remember the backing is right side down and the top is right side up, so fold accordingly….

Tip 3:  Do you have partly filled bobbins?  Hate to unwind and waste all that thread?  Use the bobbins in the top and bobbin for charity quilts.  I have also emptied spools this way.  Another project to use these almost finished objects is in Thread Play.  Thread paint on a wash-away stabilizer.  Then soak and voila’ you have a thread play piece!

Tip 4:  Task too big or overwhelming?  Take notes on what needs to be done.  Make it as detailed as you like, me I like lists.  Then for 15 minutes everyday, devote time to this project.  Don’t get distracted in the 15 minutes, focus only on doing the project for 15 minutes.  It’s amazing what you can do in 15 minutes without distractions!

Tip 5:  Left brain too loud?  Turn on some music that you like and let the right brain sing!

Tip 6:  Instead of drawing a line on the diagonal for sewing, crease the square into a triangle by pressing with an iron.

Tip 7:  Binding strips, are they a pain to you?  They were to me until someone shared this tip with me.  Set the strips up at the machine.  You know right angles, then sew on the waist, not the crotch.  You CAN eyeball this diagonal, it’s not that long of a line.  Sew one, leave in the machine, bring the end up and line up the next strip.  Make sure strip on the machine hasn’t twisted.

Tip 8:  Basting a quilt and taping the backing down…Instead of using tape, use those jumbo binder clips.  I  use wood working clamps that I got at Canadian Tire in Calgary.  Harbor freight has some similar.  They have a quick release and will hold about on any size table.  I think the binder clips will too…

Tip 9:  Learn the 1/4″.  It makes sewing so much easier when putting blocks together.  There are all kinds of tools to help you figure out where it is on your machine.  Use them, learn them, makes a HUGE difference!

Tip 10:  Don’t stress.  This is supposed to be fun!  I have found that I am my own worst critic.  Give your finished work some space and THEN look at it closely.  It’s beautiful, and you did that!

Hope you have enjoyed my tips.  Most are pretty common.  If you have any to share, please use comments below.

God Bless!


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