Thursday, February 17, 2011

These are a Few of our Favourite Things....

What a great program we had at our meeting this week! Members were asked to stand up and share tips, techniques or gadgets and it was wonderful- we all learned so much! Thanks to all who took part. There was so much great information, I thought I'd try to do a re-cap for you here - to benefit our many members who are traveling or "snowbirding" at present, and the rest of us with memory issues.. haha! Today I'll recap the gadgets, tools and products mentioned, and in a few more days I'll post some of the tips we heard...
Sue told us of a larger size ziploc bag now available at local Superstores (PC brand) - great for keeping a sewing project together (not to mention many uses in the kitchen). {Edit- I have since found a large (13"x 15.5") zip-loc bag at the St. Mary's Supermarket on Cliff St. - 6 bags for $0.89. Brand is Club Supreme} Several quilters shared how much they love Glad Press 'n Seal, for machine quilting, instead of marking. Jean told us it's also great when you are piling up blankets, quilts or pillows in a closet- a layer of Press 'n Seal in between keeps the pile from falling over! (Here is a link to many uses of Press 'n Seal for quilting.) Freezer paper is another fav product with many uses.
It seems many quilters have issues with slipping- preventing it or enhancing it. Monica showed us her Supreme Slider - an 8" x 11.5" sheet with a slippery Teflon coated top layer to reduce machine-quilting drag and a bottom layer that grips your machine bed. Fons and Porter quilting gloves are also popular with members for easier handling and better control while machine quilting, and really helpful for arthritic hands! They come in three sizes too- small (red), medium (blue) and large (yellow). Donna told us how much she loves the Invisi-Grip on her cutting rulers and several members mentioned using something under your foot pedal to prevent it scooting away from your foot - rubbery shelf liner or a mouse pad were two common suggestions. Donna also showed us her homemade spool holder for metallic or other "challenging" threads. She simply pounds a spike into a small block of wood. She sits her spool on the spike and places it on the floor at the right end of her machine, draws the thread up and through the thread guides. When there is more distance between the spool and the machine's thread guides, it seems to help with metallic threads, in particular the flat ribbon-like threads such as Sulky's Sliver or Coats's Glitz. These threads really do require a vertical spoolpin or orientation, as they tend to twist as they unwind from the spool and the greater distance helps also with giving the thread time/space to "relax". "Flat-film thread tends to twist as it unwinds from the spool and runs through the tension discs and thread path of the sewing machine. When the twists tighten in the tension discs, the thread breaks." (quote from Machine Quilting with Decorative Threads by Maurine Noble, Pub. Martingale and Co. 1998)
I hope you will find the above info useful. Check back in a few days for more Tips to make your quilting easier and more fun!!


  1. Thanks for sharing such great info. Linda, you were obviously paying attention in class. Hopefully I willl be able to make it to the next Guild meeting. It will be great to see everyone.