Thursday, May 16, 2013

Quilter's Favorites! Sharing is Caring ♥

I ran into this today from Greta's blog and absolutely love this idea.  Sometimes sharing what you know is hard to do if you don't know what people want to know, so this is a great idea to share away!  Sometimes I am trying to figure out how to do something, and Google doesn't want to cooperate with me.  As much as I ♥ Google, sometimes we are just better as frenimies. ;)

Here is my contribution and I hope it doesn't bore you to tears.  Be sure to check out the linky party too!
HeatNBond, Kwik Kip, Lip Edge Ruler

Tip*  Add some white-out to your 1/2 inch line.  It will draw your eye to exactly where you need to line it up.  I use this ruler to cut my binding and I marked it for my 2 1/2 inch bindings.

List a few of your favorite quilting notions. 
  • Spray Starch!  My #1 thing I must have when sewing. I love my fabric to be crisp and neat, and it makes it play nice. Mary Ellen's is my favorite.  Not only does it smell lovely, it's not TOO's just the right amount.
  • HeatNBond -  You can 'glue' two pieces of batting together, when you run out or have an odd shape.  You just line them up together, side-by-side and place the strip of HeatNBond on the seam.  Place your iron on, let it cool down, pull the backing off and voila!  Your batting is now one piece and you didn't have to sew it together! 
  • Kwik Klip -  My daughter loves to help me and when I'm pinning my quilts together for basting, this is her favorite part.  It makes pinching those big safety pins a breeze, and less poking of your fingers!
  • A Lip-Edged Ruler - I can't even remember where I bought my O'Lipfa Lip Edged ruler...but I use it every time I am sewing.  I love how the lip edge hooks on the edge of my cutting mat and straightens out my line for me.  I'm a little wonky and tend to not cut straight, so this is a must for me!

Some thoughts about thread and needles, batting, fabrics ? 
I'm a firm believer in buying high quality fabric.  When I started sewing, I used sub-par fabric and you can definitely tell the difference.  If you are making a special quilt and you want that to hold up for years and years, spend a few extra bucks and make the trip to your local quilt shop.  It's WELL worth it.
Same goes for thread.  I have learned what thread my machine likes and what it doesn't like.  I use Gutterman for my piecing and then I use Sulky for my machine quilting.  The silkiness of Sulky threads glides so much smoother on my machine and causes a lot less headaches!  AND, it looks gorgeous.

Any advice for a successful color scheme of a quilt ?
I tend to pick stuff out from the same line of fabric.  I am trying to stray and be more creative, adding in different fabrics outside of my comfort zone, but that's a WIP.  I suggest whatever feels right to you, audition fabrics and take a picture of it to see how it looks from afar.  If you like it, go for it!

Machine quilting tips 
Get a pair of good gloves to help you hold your fabric. 
For straight-line quilting, make sure you have a walking foot.  It's your best friend! 
For free-motion, you'll need a free-motion or darning foot.  If you are just starting out with free-motion, watch some You-tube videos and get Angela Walters book.  Don't get stressed out, free-motion takes LOTS of practice!  When I first started I had this idea that I could try it out and in 5 minutes I'd be ready to quilt a big old quilt!  Haha!  Silly me. 
Get some leftover batting and fabric, make a little quilt sandwich and practice practice practice!  The biggest issue I had was finding my machines 'just-right-spot' if you will, for tension and how it wanted to be handled.  Some machines like the tension all the way up to the highest number (as does mine) and a steady speed.  Others are opposite.  It's all just finding your own groove and being patient with yourself.  
When you trim your quilt after quilting it, save those pieces of excess batting and practice on them!   I'm always wanting to try new shapes or doodles and these make a great 'drawing board'!      
Could you recommend a book to someone who just started quilting ? A quilting bible ?
When I first started quilting, I bought Elizabeth Hartman's book, the Practical Guide to Patchwork and that was my first quilting book purchase.  I love this book and the tips and instructions it gives. I still refer to it now and again.  I have several books now that I love and adore.  They are great for not only tips and how-to's but for inspiration as well.    

Must haves
Eye Candy

Would you like to share one of your favorite quilts, made by you ?
Of course!  I love to share quilts!  
Rainbow Hourglasses
I love the retro 30's feel of this quilt and the rainbow pattern.  Although that part took me forever to get just right, it was well worth the effort.  I straight-line quilted it which made it soft and clean-looking.
Charlie Brown Chevrons
Oh Chevrons, how I love thee.  This was my very first Chevron quilt, of many.  I LOVE making chevrons and how easy and fast they go together.  This is still, and will always be my favorite.

Puppies and babies.  Pretty much my two favorite things. ;)  This fabric was so cute, when I saw it I snatched up a bunch of it and made 3 of these same quilts.  We ended up gifting these to my husband's lead at work, who was having twins!  It ended up being a perfect gift as their twins were boy-girl!
Vintage Twisters
I loved making the twisters and loved it even more because it was in Vintage Modern fabric!   I keep saying I need to make another one and haven't yet.  It's charm pack friendly and SO much easier than it looks.  If you haven't made one, give it a try!  You'll love it!

Taffy Pull
This is the only quilt I dubbed as mine. It's simple patchwork, but it's in Ruby, probably my favorite line ever and I do think it was my first jelly roll purchase. Ha!  I love Bonnie & Camille and their fabrics are delicious.  Right now I am loving Happy Go Lucky big time.

Do you have a favorite online quilt shop ? What makes it special ? 
Since I sell my stuff on Etsy, I feel passionate about purchasing my fabric supplies from sellers on Etsy as well.  I have several favorite shops.  Here are a few of my faves:
These two specialize is carrying hard to find prints and novelty fabrics.

What would be the perfect gift for your best quilting friend ?
A gift card to their favorite fabric store!  It's the best gift ever in my eyes! :)  I know gift cards are sometimes a lame gift, but with fabric, it's a very personal decision...and if that is their passion, as it is mine, a gift card is WELL received!!  My husband bought me one for my birthday and honestly, it was the best gift ever.  He took the time and knew which store is my favorite and went in there as uncomfortable as ever!  That alone meant the world to me! :)  
Don't Do Like Me!

Don't throw in the towel!  I sometimes get an idea in my head, or think something looks SUPER easy and it turns out to be nothing but headache and heartache and I feel like I suck at quilting.  Queue the miniature violin here.
My advise is to keep plugging away, don't throw in the towel and waste all your precious fabric.  Endure to the end and you never know, it just may turn out to be beautiful and well worth the pain! 
Actually, I may be a hypocrite right now, because last night after unpicking a project for the 3rd time (yes, 3rd!), I finished the quilt top, folded it up and threw it in a drawer.  My oldest daughter asked me if I was done. I said, Yup cuz this quilt hates me!  And I do feel like that right now, but I will calm down, refuel and attempt it again.  With LOTS of chocolate by my side.

I've thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Quilting blogger community.  I love seeing what others can come up with and marvel at their talent.  I aspire to have talent like that one day. :)

Thanks for stopping by! 


  1. Thank you for sharing your tips and favorites; I extended the linky party so you can link your post.

  2. Such great tips and beautiful quilts. I too enjoy Elizabeth Hartman's book. I often drool over the pictures, but I haven't found the time to make a quilt yet from the book.

  3. It was so nice of you to share your tips and thoughts. Your favorite quilts are wonderful. Thank you!

  4. Me ha gustado leer tus pensamientos sobre quilting. ¡Felicidades por esos edredones tan bonitos!


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