Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Things that I learned...

Today I put together a new block for the Patchwork Squared Quilt-a-long. After putting it together I took a pic and once I had it on my computer I saw the square on the left. I'm sure you can see the big boo-boo I made, if not the correct block is on the right.

Then I started to think about all that I have learned about quilting and sewing so here’s a list of something’s I have learn when quilting. I'd love to hear from you so please leave me a comment and tell me things that you have learned so that maybe I won't make more boo-boos. These may seem like no-brainers but when I began quilting I had to learn some of these the hard way.

1. Do not rush your quilting; take your time even if that means it takes you an hour to finish 1 block. You'll make fewer mistakes, I promise :)

2. When sewing points together I find it helpful to stick a pin from the back to the front to make sure the points match up so you sew them correctly. Sometimes one point is further away from the edge than another and this lets me fudge it a bit.

3. Press all seams open that do not need to be butted against each other. Believe me it helps.

4. Get the best quality thread you can get, it does make a difference. I use cotton thread for any projects that use cotton fabric; it just makes sense to me.

5. Keep the little pamphlet that comes with your rulers, that has instructions on how to use them correctly.

6. If you like a particular line of fabric make sure you get enough of it. When you go back to the shop what you need may be gone. I usually get a charm pack or layer cake and 1/2 yard of what prints/solids I like in that line and 3.5 yards for backing.

7. Once I have cut and used what fabric I need for a project I cut 1 2.5" strip WOF, 1 2.5" square and 1 charm square (5" square). I have bags for each of these. Someday I am going to do a scrap quilt with these.

8. When trying a new technique I write hints that worked for me in the margins to help me remember how to make it.

9. Clean your machine a lot! I clean mine about every 8 - 10 hours of sewing. It’s nice to get the fuzz out.

10. Don't be afraid to try new techniques and blocks, that’s the way we learn and grow as quilters. I joined a few quilt-a-longs and am working my way thru 2 books right now. I learn new blocks to make and new ways to make them every week.

Sha :)


  1. Love #3 - never thought about it, but it makes perfect sense.

    Something I have learned (but have yet to put in regular practice) is to use a small felt board. A 15-inch or so piece of cardboard with felt wrapped around it. It allows me to piece a block on and then I can carry it back and forth to the ironing board. Very nice with complex blocks.

  2. Thanks for sharing your insights. I love the craizee corners block.

  3. I love the colors in your first block!

    I think the thing I've learned the most from quilting (and I'm definitely still a beginner!) is to accept mistakes. I have struggled with anxiety for over 10 years, especially related to being a perfectionist. With quilting, I'm learned that "mistakes" (like the one in the first block you show) are okay. They give it character. My quilts are made by hand (well, with the sewing machine, too, but close enough!), by me, and just as I'm not perfect, my quilts might not be, either.

  4. Steph thanks for sharing, I too suffer from anxiety and accepting mistakes is hard to do. But all my quilts are homemade with lots of love and who we give them to will love them.

  5. Well those items are very helpful indeed!! Thank you. Just started following you and I'm excited to think I might actually find a new recipe we like!! They look awesome.

    As far as mistakes on a quilt, I'm the master of them. I take on more involved projects than I am really capable of doing most of the time and usually have to come up with some kind of way to camouflage my huge mess ups. It's hard to accept that I am not perfect, especially when I am going to gift the item. But, I'm learning as I go. To both relax about the mistakes, and how to do thing I want to do.

  6. Thank for sharing all these tips. We learn from our mistakes, it is part of the process. I just started following your blog also.


What do you think? I'd love to hear from you :)