Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn how to prep your quilt layers for taking them to the long-armer (or quilting them yourself!).
1. Both the batting and the backing should be 6″–8″ wider and longer than the quilt top. Confirm this measurement with your quilter if you’re sending a quilt out for finishing.
2. Make sure the quilt top lays flat by using consistent ¼” seams, pressing seams to one side, and watching for seams that twist and cause a bump. Give a finished quilt top a final press to ensure it is ready to be quilted.
3. Clip all loose threads and fabric, and trim dog-ears. Any of these can cause a shadow behind lighter fabrics if not removed. Loose fabric can bulk up in a quilt sandwich and make it look bumpy.
4. Repair raveling seams and stay-stitch quilt top edges. Especially if you have a pieced border, it’s a good idea to stay-stitch a scant ¼” from quilt top edges to secure unintersected seams. It prevents them from popping open when the quilt layers are loaded onto the machine.
Once a month, we highlight our favorite free quilt and sewing patterns around the web!
Scalloped Hand Towel from Fat Quarter Shop
Freshen your home this spring with a simple project. Whip up some cute and quick hand towels with a scalloped edge. They look great in any prints, so you can use your scraps or pull out your new favorite fabric!
This duffle is practical and super cute! It makes the perfect bag for the gym or for traveling. It’s roomy, has pockets and zippers, and is topped with ruffles for a stylish touch.
Your favorite fat quarters can be used to create these pretty baskets! At 7″ wide, they’re perfect for holding small sewing notions, little candies, or for a fun Easter basket.
Stitch two hems, sew two seams, and you’ve made an amazing pillow. Here you’ll find complete instructions for making pillow covers in four sizes! This project is courtesy of our sewing blog, howtosew.com. Visit daily for new sewing projects and easy home decor.
Fabrics: Stonehenge Out Of The World collection by Linda Ludovico for Northcott
- 1/2 yard print fabric
- 12″, 14″, 16″ or 18″ pillow insert*
*Instructions for sizes larger than 12″ are in parentheses.
Finished pillow cover for a 12″, 14″, 16″, or 18″ square pillow insert
Sew this project with 1/4″ seams.
From print fabric, cut one of the following:
- 12×29″ rectangle for 12″ pillow cover
- 14×33″ rectangle for 14″ pillow cover
- 16×37″ rectangle for 16″ pillow cover
- 18×41″ rectangle for 18″ pillow cover
Make Pillow Cover:
1. Turn under each short edge of print rectangle 1/4″; press. Turn under edges 1/4″ again and stitch each in place.
2. Place hemmed rectangle print side (printed side) up on work surface. Fold hemmed edges of rectangle to center, overlapping hemmed edges by about 4″ to make an 11-1/2×12″ (13-1/2×14″, 15-1/2×16″, or 17-1/2×18″) rectangle; pin top and bottom.
3. Sew across pinned edges using a 1/4″ seam allowance, removing pins as you go.
4. Turn right side out; press. Insert pillow form through opening to complete pillow.
Fabrics: Flora-C1793 in Gold from Timeless Treasures
Each month, learn a fun trick or tip to make your quilting easier and more polished! This month, learn the secret to machine-piecing hexagon rows.
When joining hexagon rows, set-in seams are required. Though the positioning of the pieces is unusual, sewing hexagons together by machine doesn’t have to be difficult; just take it one seam at a time, pinning and sewing carefully from dot to dot. (Be sure to transfer dots from patterns to templates, then to fabric pieces before you start joining pieces.) Follow our step-by-step photos, below, to guide you through the process.
1. To join hexagons in vertical rows, adjacent rows need to be offset. (Example that follows shows top hexagon in Row 2 already trimmed to make a half hexagon.)
2. With right sides together, place first Row 2 hexagon atop first Row 1 hexagon. (In this example, Row 2 begins with a half hexagon.)
3. Push a pin through each pair of dots to align pieces, then pin pieces together.
4. Sew from dot to dot, locking seam ends with backstitches or tiny (0.5-millimeter-long) machine stitches.
5. Open up pieces and reposition Row 2 over Row 1. Align and pin next seam.
6. Without catching seam allowance in stitching, sew next seam from dot to dot.
7. Open up pieces and reposition Row 2 over Row 1. Align and pin third seam.
8. Sew third seam from dot to dot. Do not sew through seam allowances. Continue in same manner until all seams are sewn.
9. Press first seam intersection counterclockwise, forming a tiny hexagon on the fabric wrong side. Press next seam intersection clockwise. Continue alternating the direction you press as you continue down the row.
We know how busy quilt shop owners are! Now only are you the sales people, but you also handle accounting, marketing, paper work, and more! Social media (especially with how fast it changes), may be the last thing on your mind! But social media is an important part of connecting with your customers, showing off your products, and scoring more sales. Join us each month as we give you tips and tricks for making social media work for your store!
This week, we’ll show you how to start a Facebook for your store and what information you need to have.
To create a Facebook page, go to www.facebook.com/pages/create. Choose “local business or place.” A drop-down menu will appear.
Choose the category your shop fits under. We suggest “local business” or “shopping/retail.” This will help bring you up in a Facebook search. Type in your store name, your store address, and store photo number.
After pushing “get started,” Facebook will ask a series of questions to help set up your page. Be as specific as you can when picking a category and writing your shop description. For example, think of why people want to visit your shop. What types of fabric do you carry? Are you a sewing machine dealer? etc. Add your website if you have one. Choose your Facebook web address (usually the name of your business).
Next, choose your profile picture. This will be the main image that will show up in search and next to comments you leave with your store. Choose a pretty picture of the outside or the inside of your shop. Use your profile picture to give customers a quick look at your store and show them why they want to visit! You can change your profile picture at any time.
Once your page is created, you want to add as much information about your shop as you can. Not only will this be helpful to your customers, but it will also cut down on customer service calls and questions. On the top of your page, you will have an “edit page” button. Under this drop-down menu, you can update your page info, edit your settings, add other administrators to your page, schedule Facebook posts, ban users, and have an option of commenting on Facebook as your shop page. We’ll explain each of these in detail now:
Update page info. Here, you can add your e-mail address, hours of operation, parking information, public transport information. If you click the “edit” button next to your address, you can even add a Google map on your Facebook page so customers can locate you more easily.
Settings. Here, you can control the notifications your receive, your privacy settings, and other page restrictions.
Admin roles. Here, you can add other people you want to help manage your Facebook page. This can include shop employees and other managers. Once added, they can post, comment, and edit as your page.
Activity log. This page allows you to view all past content you posted and edit any posts you have scheduled.
Banned users. If you find your page constantly getting spammed by a certain someone or if someone is posting inappropriate content on your page, you can add them to the banned list.
Use Facebook as… When you click this, you will start using Facebook as your page. You will only be able to see posts from the pages your page follows; and when you comment, you will be liking and commenting as your page.
Make sure to add a cover photo (this is the photo behind your profile picture). It can be a photo of fabrics, of your staff, of quilts hanging in your store, etc. Just remember, that it’s a wide picture and will crop off the top and bottom of what you upload.
Once you have all info updated, click on your “build audience” button on the top of the page. You can invite people to like your page by e-mail (this is handy if you collect e-mails in your store), by asking your personal Facebook friends to like the page, and by sharing the page on your own Facebook page.
Please ask any questions in the comments below! In the following months, we’ll be discussing how to share content on your page, what to post and where to find it, and how to build your audience. We’ll also touch on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.