So I've decided that this blog filled with only my projects can get boring and monotonous (I'm sure some of you out there will scream if you have to see one more BooVille photo!) so I'm going to start doing a few episodic (weekly) posts and hopefully it'll jazz this up some and stay around! So...let's start with some tips to make your quilting life easier with Tippy Tuesday!
*Not all of us are lucky enough to have the space for a pre-fab Design Wall. If you have limited space, a large piece of white cotton batting/white flannel is a great substitute! Hang it up or drape it where you need it while you're sewing, then fold it up (even with your blocks still on it, they'll stay put!) and put it away when you're done.
*I'm a bad quilt girl and I don't pin my binding while I'm hand stitching it on. If you too hate pinning, a great alternative is to your the snap hair clips (you know, the ones you bend and they snap open) instead. They keep your binding in place and you don't have to watch where you stitch (or sit!)
*If you're looking for use applique ideas but don't want to draw them out yourself, check out your local scrapbooking or craft store. They have lots of stencils, punches and die cuts that might be just the design you're looking for.
*Do you like the idea of saving scraps, but then don't know what to do with them after the fact? Try cutting them into manageable sizes that you know you'll use down the road. For example, if you have enough cut some 2" strips, 2"-3"-4" blocks, half square triangles, whatever you think you'd use. whatever's left you can keep in a box for future applique projects - as we all know those applique projects can demand some tiny pieces, and a scrap earmarked for that may be just the thing you need.
*If a piece of fabric is the right color but a few shades too dark, there's nothing wrong with using the "wrong" side! If you have a good quality fabric, the print will still be visible, bit it'll be a paler version of the "right" side of your piece. No one will know the difference unless you tell them!
*"To help determine the value of a color (light, medium or dark) look at the fabric through a clear piece of red glass or plastic. The red neutralizes the color allowing you to see only 'black and white'" This is a good one! I don't know where to find a plain piece of red plastic, but my best guess is that an art supply store is a great place to start looking.
*Quilters are extremely skilled at dropping pins on the floor and forgetting about them, especially if it' s a carpetted floor. At the hardware store you can find telescoping magnets, and they are fantastic for pullin gpins off the floor/carpet without you having to spend a while bent over picking them out by hand.
*If you're travelling and can't have little embroidery scissors with you (yeah, I'm looking at you, TSA), wind a bobbin with the thread you are working with and put it inside a dental floss container (they're very simple to take apart and the center spindle is the right size for MOST bobbins). The cutter in the floss container is sharp enough to cut through most threads without fraying them.
*If you're having difficulty threading your needle try one of these methods if a needle threader isn't available: If you're having trouble seeing the eye, thread it with a white piece of paper behind it - that makes the eye much more visible. If the eye of your needle is large enough, you can use a thin piece of paper folded in half the same as a traditional needle threader. If your issue is the thread catching on the needle and not making it through, cut the tip of your thread to a beveled edge and try that - that will get rid of any little fibers that might be snagging. Also, every needle nowadays is stamped out of a larger piece of steel when it's made, so every needle has a front and back side; usually the front is easier to thread than the back, so just flip your needle over and try threading it again.
*Napkin holders are a great way to store the rulers that you use the most by your cutting mat, if you don't want to poke holes in your walls to hang each one
Well, that's it for this week's Tippy Tuesday. check back next week for more, or if you have any tips you'd like to share (hint hint hint) comment on this post and I'll post them for everyone next week!