Besides doing the big fall floorset, I got a couple quilts done too. The first is a quilt from posts past. I finally got the borders on and it looks fabulous! It was really hard for me to do a random and scrappy style quilt, especially one that is really heavy on pattern, so I'm happy with the results. We were going to have kits for this, but when I discovered how the borders had to be cut to look right, it just wasn't going to happen. So, just about all of the fabric is still available, but no kits.
The whole kit 'n caboodle. Scrappy, yes?
A detail shot. I am in LOVE with that border print. It's a strong pastel, which, any pastel isn't really my thing, but this one is really cute. And it's a sewing theme too so it's gotta be good ;-) In case you're wondering, the beige in the print is actually a sewing pattern for clothes, the kind that comes printed on the it's-so-thin-you-look-at-it-sideways-and-it-tears tissue paper. It's a little hard to see in this picture.
A detail of the ceter of the quilt. And my feet.
The other quilt is a quilt from a postcard pattern. They're $2 apiece and all of the quilts are simple and of various sizes, from wall hangings to very large throws (this one is I think about 74" square). I started this in January and obviously got very, very sidetracked. But it turned out nicely, and it's definitely in my favorite colorway.
Simple, but it's one of those quilts where color and value placement make a world of difference. This quilt could look completely different by turning the blocks different ways and placing the color differently.
A little more detail of the fabric, sans feet. I am also in LOVE with that border. this picture doesn't do it justice, the color is so vibrant.
So enough of my quilts, now on to this week's tips!:
* If a spool of thread you're using doesn't have a notch or anything to keep your thread from unwinding when it's not in use, cut a thin strip of Saran Wrap or Press & Seal wrap and rap it around your loose end. It prevents the thread from unspooling, it's easy to remove when you need the thread, and it doesn't damage the thread either.
* To keep scissors or thread clippers handy near your sewing machine without having to watch that they don't fall of the table while you're sewing/cutting, a suction cup hook from the Dollar Store attaches/removes easily from the side of your machine and keeps what you need easily accessible and out of the way.
* A Boning gun (the gun that attaches the plastic "bone" to both a garment and the price tag) comes in handy when you want to keep blocks or like scraps together for use later. The hole it creates is no larger than a T-Pin and your pieces won't come separated from each other until you decide to use them.
* If you're quilting a large quilt and find yourself struggling with the weight of the quilt forcing it to fall off your table while you're quilting, the following 2 tips help combat that weight: 1) if you're able to, put your sewing table in a corner while you quilt - that elimiates 2 sides from which your quilt can fall over and pull while you're sewing, and 2) if you can't put your table in a corner, take the loose end of your quilt and drape it over your shoulder and chest - it won't fall and your arms are still free to quilt the way you need to.
* For smaller quilts, use a spray adhesive on the back of your backing and of your quilt to baste it to your batting. it saves you time on pinning, doesn't come undone, and doesn't gunk up your needle or machine. Just be sure not to spray the adhesive on to your batting - it will simply absorb the adhesive and your fabric won't adhere.
* If you are quilting a quilt yourself and don't want to use a stipple and youdon't have access to a computerized longarm for designs, your local craft store has a large selection of stencils that can be used as quilting patterns. Use a chalk pouncer or a water soluable pen to trace your design, and stitch on your marks.
* If you don't have a hard floor, go to your office supply store and buy a hard mat that is for underneath a rolling chair, and put it under your sewing chair byu your machine. Threads and scraps fall to the floor all the time, and this hard surface is a snap to clean - just sweep your threads/scraps up and you're good as new. A magnet will help pick those pins that fall on there quickly and poke-free too!
* Most stores when you're buying clothes will either give you the hanger, or ask you if you want to keep it; if it's a clip style pnats hanger, say yes please! Those clip hangers are great for storing finished, unquilted quilt tops up and away from anything that could damage themor cause your fabric to ravel. They are also great for storing odd pieces of batting, quilting stencils, large pattern pieces, large pieces of template plastic or odd sized cutting mats.
* To keep your cutting accurate, use the right ruler for the job and measure using your ruler, NOT your mat. Over time and wear, mats can groove and warp, making your cuts less accurate as time goes on. The hard acrylic rulers are made from does not warp with time and your cuts will always be accurate. It also enables you move where you cut, which causes less wear on your mat over time. This method works for cuts as larger as youer needed ruler allows, from strips of varying width up to 25" square.
* The rubber stops on knitting needles are great to use on your small sharp scissors. They prevent your points from getting dull from storage (other items may hit your scissors) and it protects both you and your projects from accidentally getting poked or cut.