Warren County Quilt Guild
Warren County Quilt Guild

Member Tips & Techniques

A new and valuable segment of our monthly meeting is dedicated to sharing tips and techniques for a variety of situations. Below are some of the tips discussed during our past sessions.

 

We all have encountered a variety of problems and solutions over the years; please consider sharing some of your discoveries with the group so we can all grow together!

Products

  • After ripping seams on a quilt, use a lint roller to quickly pick up all of the loose threads.
  • Mary Ellen's Best Press, the starch alternative. This spray not only
    relaxes stubborn wrinkles, it gives your fabric a crisp finish.
  • Downy Wrinkle Release can be used as an aid in ironing. It will remove the most stubborn creases, including those from being folded on the bolt.
  • Gypsy Gripper is a great tool used to help hold quilting rulers while rotary cutting fabric. A cheap version is available at Harbor Freight.
  • Using a red Sharpie on the pattern you want to trace will make the lines visible without a light source behind the paper.
  • Although markings made with Frixion pens disappear upon ironing, they come back when the fabric gets COLD. However, with repeated ironing the mark does tend to fade more each time. Washing makes no difference.
  • To reproduce paper piecing foundation papers, consider using "Perfect Piecing Quilt Block Foundation Sheets", which is a specialty product made to run through inkjet printers and copiers.
  • Faultless MAXX is spray starch alternative that provides stability when sewing on the bias, keeps fabrics from slipping against one another, and helps achieve crisp seams without ironing when paper piecing. (It is NOT readily available in Ohio, but can be ordered from the manufacturer's website.)

Low-cost Solutions

  • Wadding up a piece of foil and repeatedly cutting it with a rotary cutter will
    remove a bur from the blade.
  • Harbor Freight sells rotary blades for 2/$2.
  • Multiple applications of Niagara heavy spray starch (or other brand) do a great job of stabilizing fabric and prevent fraying while stitching raw-edge applique. This is especially useful when you do not want to change the texture of the finished piece by using a fusible backing. The effect is similar to liquid stabilizer, but is readily available for a fraction of the cost.

Techniques

  • To test out how a quilting pattern will look on your quilt, try drawing the pattern on a piece of netting using a dark marker. You can then place the netting on your quilt to see what the final pattern will look like. As a bonus, you can then use the netting as a template to mark the quilting design on your quilt top.
  • Place foil under your iron board pad when ironing to remove wrinkles
    from both sides of fabric simultaneously.
  • Many people shy away from putting flannel backings on their quilts because flannel tends to distort and pucker during the quilting process. To prevent this, stabilize the flannel by using several applications of spray starch (such as Niagara) or Mary Ellen's Best Press to give the fabric more body and prevent stretching. This will also help smooth the surface and reduce drag during the quilting process.
  • If you are having problems removing fibers trapped in your rotary cutting mat, some helpful tips from OLFA can be found here.
    
    
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