08 April 2010

Tips and Tricks

I learned a whole bunch of awesome tips and tricks at guild last month, and I have picked up a few this month on my own. I finally shot pictures for them today, so here we go.

Dull Rotary Blades

I have hesitated to throw these dull rotary blades away, because they are so costly. However, I thought of a use for them. I certainly wouldn't use a sharp blade on paper, but it is so easy to cut paper in exact lines with a quilting mat, rotary cutter (used dull blade) and grid. I had to cut some fliers today and was super pleased with the result.

Quilt Blocks
The blocks above are for the quilt below, which is unfinished and rather excessively pink. I pictured them because I learned on them that if I use polyester monofilament Superior Thread, I need to lower the tension on my machine. It didn't make much of a difference to quilt that way, but prior to changing the tension, I had nagging worries about snapping thread. I have always had dragon-sized fear that touching the tension on my machine would cause it to erupt in flames. But I did it today, and the machine and I both lived to quilt happily again.

Unassembled, yet Quilted

There is no tip for this photo. I am just excited to be making progress. I haven't finished anything in a long time, but progress is progress.

Finished Quilt as you go Piece

Finished Quilt as you go item
Above is a diaper changing pad to go with the unfinished quilt above it. I am making this so that, although I am not pregnant, God will know that I would like a girl next if it's all the same to Him. I love Henry a lot, but he did wake up and rattle his crib yelling, "DIRT! DIRT!" this morning because he wanted to go play in the barren wasteland behind our house. Less common for girls, I think.

Bernina Walking Foot
This is a picture of my esteemed walking foot for my Bernina 230PE. I used it on an entire (still unfinished) quilt before realizing that the small black arm was not attached correctly to that little knob. So if you get one, by all means, attach it to that little knob before quilting an entire item with it.

Tissue Box or Trash?

My last few tips are from Janey Argyle, one of our awesome ladies in the guild. She did a little demo last month. She saves tissue boxes to throw away scraps and threads and cut down on their proliferation in the sewing room.

Janey also recommends using strips of batting that are too thin to do this. She puts one over her shoulder, and just puts threads all over it, and they stick there just as well as they would to the carpet.

Furthermore, she mentioned that if your machine travels or vibrates as you sew, you should use that sticky stuff that lines drawers or goes under rugs. This will cut down on moving and shaking.

Whew, now all that is written down, so I may promptly forget everything I have learned.


Peggy Clyde. said...

Thanks for all those new tips. Your quilted items are beautiful.

Queen Elizabeth said...

I NEED to learn how to quilt. My mom is great at it, you inspire me and I LOVE fabric. Maybe after we get our house renovated?

You amaze me. Keep up the good work.

Linz said...

All great tips. But seriously... I want to take lessons from you!!! Great work!

msjvd said...

Someday, you're going to make an awesome little old lady, Jennifer. :)

Marie Says Yes said...

3 things:
that pink quilt is the cutest darn pink quilt that ever was.

i have always wanted big hair. unfortunately, mine sits on my head like a wet mop.

that texting accident makes me mad! i hope your friend will be okay...

The Yoder's Four said...

Hahahahaaa....Henry cracks me up. I am in love with that changing pad. I still haven't gone to that fabric store you told me about because I know it will necessitate starting up some new projects, and I just don't have time for that right now. Sigh!

Dansie Family said...

great tips! too bad i don't have time/energy/desire to sew or quilt and use them. but one day. i do need to get the quilt finished before babe arrives. i thought about it on monday. that is progress,

amy said...

I know I say something along these lines every time you post about your quilting wares, but, sheesh. Holy moly. You are cool.

Project Maniac said...

That is a good idea for dull rotary blades. I will definitely use that tip. I really like the pink quilt pattern. I like that it is a quilt as you go. It looks so nice.

Brittany said...

Very good tips. I will use the one about the tissue box for sure. Your quilt colors are just beautiful. Cool design too. I can't wait to see the finished product.

angela michelle said...

I like the tissue box and batting strip tips. As a girl I was always kind of shocked that my mom would just throw her threads on the floor--so unlike her! And now I do the same thing, and it's kind of satisfying.

Anonymous said...

Hey, both of our Henrys have a thing for dirt this week!

I *think* I used my walking foot correctly that one time that I used it.

And I do keep my dull blades and use them to cut cardboard and paper! Great minds. (I still always have more sharp blades than dull ones, though.)

Heidi said...

My grandma would have loved quilting with you. You do such an amazing job.