Quiting tips for sewers

Our favourite quilting tips

Everything from fabric choice to photographing your quilt…

We love quilting! It’s such a terrific worldwide passion, with thousands of people improving their techniques over decades as they brush up on their knowledge. Which doesn’t mean that you have to find everything out for yourself of course – which is precisely why we thought we’d share some of our current favourites with you…

As the song goes, “Let’s start at the very beginning…” – which is indeed a very good place to start!

How to choose the correct fabric

A great starting point is a recent post by Mary Kate Karr-Petras called Workshop Wednesday: How to Choose Fabric for a Quilt on the McCall’s Quilting blog.

Mary Kate recognises a position we’ve all been in – being daunted by the process of selecting suitable (and desirable) fabrics and the self-doubt that can result. Predetermined palettes provide a bit of a safety net, but sometimes they take the spontaneity or even creativity out of the process, leaving the end result as a potential disappointment.

So what she has done is assemble a number of videos that can really help to get those creative juices flowing – and they include

  • Best Fabric for Quilting
  • How to Read Fabric
  • How to Choose Quilt Fabric.

Getting to grips with zips

Now we’ve got you nicely warmed up, we thought we’d tackle one of the more difficult areas for quilters – the dreaded zip. Panic not! Help is at hand in the form of a really helpful article and video Zipper tips for quilters on the Quilting Digest website.

The video features Jennifer who provides and excellent zipper overview and shows her “no-hassle” sewing methods.

The bit that we really like is where she uses adhesive tape instead of pins to held everything together.

“Nothing can shift, making it simple to get perfect alignment of the fabric next to the zipper.”

The bit about effective use of the zipper foot is also particularly useful.

Puffy Blocks

Some of us hoard a certain amount of special fabric – just hoping for that inspirational pattern that just might surface one day.

This particularly splendid example from the Quilter’s world website is called Puffy Blocks Puffy Projects. The example given is based on a pattern by Chris Malone which was perfect as the author had plenty of pre-cuts saved as well as a whole container of 5″ squares.

The best bit of advice is to try a new technique by making a small project or part of a larger one first before diving in.

“I’ve found that most UFOs (UnFinished Objects) in my studio are projects that I really didn’t like once I’d worked on them a bit. I could have saved myself a lot of trouble if I’d simply played around with the concept a bit before jumping in.”

Photographing your wonderful quilts

You spend age making your wonderful work of art and want to show it off! You can’t always cart it about to show to friends and interested parties, so you do the next best thing – take a photograph. The trouble is, it’s often not a very good one, so people’s response to your masterpiece may be disappointingly lukewarm at best.

Not surprising really, so what you need to do is brush up on your photography, not your quilting!

And surprisingly, there is a website that can help you with this – Shoot That Quilt! It’s aimed at the non-professional photographer, so it’s decidedly un-technical.

The article has many useful sections, including

  • Hanging the quilt
  • The lighting setup
  • How to shoot closeups.

And a plug for our wonderful sewing machines!

If you have got to the stage where your next quilting purchase is a sewing machine, a wonderful Jaguar machine may well be the best place to look. Jaguar are an internationally recognised, high quality Japanese producer that works with most major brands. Unlike many other suppliers, Jaguar produces all of its machines in its own factories.

They also stock a wide range of sewing machine feet and overlocker feet.

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