Friday, February 25, 2011

Tip Time

It's time to share some more helpful tips with you from last week's meeting. Again, thanks to all who participated and shared their ideas with us.
Sue showed us how to do a temporary hanging sleeve - very timely with our upcoming Show. She makes her rod pocket tube, then pins it along the top edge of quilt, on the back side of course. The key is to make sure the upper edge of the rod pocket extends just slightly over the seam attaching the binding. Then turn the quilt over to the right side and with nylon or polyester monofilament thread (the clear "invisible" stuff) on your spoolpin, stitch in the ditch between binding and quilt, with a basting stitch, catching the top edge of
the sleeve. This will not show on the front of the quilt and is very quick. Now you just have to handstitch the bottom edge of the sleeve. Thanks Sue!

I gave a binding tip. You have no doubt experienced having a long binding all nicely rolled up and on your lap, ready to machine stitch to your quilt... then it falls to the floor and gets tangled around your leg, or your chair leg, or the dog/cat tries to run away with it.. it's twisting and making you say bad words... Try this: Roll it up and then insert your extension table's leg into the centre of the roll. It holds it nicely in place as you stitch.. no more problems. Works like a charm!

When using a Hoffman Bali Pop, you may find slight variations in the 2.5" width of the strips. They are handcut in Bali- no precision lasers used there... Try this suggestion from Brenda Henning (author of the Strip Therapy books) - rather than measuring the 1/4" seam at your presser foot, you will instead use a line 2.25" to the left of your foot, keeping the left edges of the strips lined up there. Now the width variance in the strips has been removed within your seam allowances. Click here for a complete explanation with photos. Sounds like the perfect solution!

When sitting down on your couch to do some hand sewing, instead of sticking pins and needles into the arm of the couch (now WHO would ever do that?!), place one of your many flexible fridge magnets on the couch arm to "catch" those pins and needles. Great idea! And who doesn't have a few extra fridge magnets?

Place two rubber wedge style door stops under the base of your sewing machine at the back, to angle it slightly towards you - it will give you better visibility, and help relieve back and shoulder fatigue.

For those of us who find it hard to "keep track" of things... two tips from Linda G: place a small piece of Velcro on your seam ripper and attach other piece to end of your machine or sewing table. Then your seam ripper will always be close at hand ( or see photo at left to see where I put my seam ripper... fits perfectly on my bobbin winder!) To keep track of your small snips, wear them on a lanyard and protect tips with knitting needle tip protectors if you are concerned about damaging the tips.

A great idea for "recycling" bread tags - stick one on the end of your masking tape (or packing tape, scotch tape, etc.) to make finding the end easier and prevent struggling to get the tape started. I will definitely use this one on my masking tape roll. Perhaps it will make it more evident to hubby that it is MY roll.

Paula told us about Hampstead House Books, a great source of discounted books. Their website is found at Click on Crafts under "Browse Categories" on the sidebar, to locate the quilting books.

More tips in a few days... In the meantime, hope everyone is working on their entries for the Show, and our Spring Challenge!

Happy Quilting!

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