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I cut my stash of light, medium, and dark fabrics into squares or triangles of various sizes. Whenever I’m starting or ending a seam on a quilt...
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To help me sew straight lines, I filled in the groove that marks the center of my sewing machine foot with a red permanent maker.  —...
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I like to sew with a slightly different shade of thread in the bobbin. If I have to rip out a seam, I can easily see which is the bobbin thread and...
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A wooden toothpick is a handy, inexpensive tool that helps me tuck small fabric edges or tabs back under the needle’s path when I’m...
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When creating blocks that require several trips to the ironing station, I position my ironing board at sewing-table level and simply swivel my chair...
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Before I begin sewing I use pins in specific colors to mark certain areas. I use a green pin to indicate where I should start stitching, yellow pins...
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I find that the weight of a quilt top often puts a strain on the seams around the perimeter of a quilt. To counter this I sew a 1⁄8" seam...
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On each quilt that I make for my granddaughter, I appliqué a label that incorporates her traced hand. It makes a cute label, and it’s...
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Because all my quilt bindings are the same width—2-1/2"—I save any leftovers in a shoebox to use in strip-quilt patterns that call...
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Because I sometimes sew with colors other than gray or ecru, I have a drawer of partially filled bobbins in many different colors. I use these...
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I love to paper-piece, but sometimes it takes me longer than I think it should to get the first fabric piece in place. I have found that if I look on...
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In the past, I would start a quilt and work on it until it was finished, though partway through I would start to lose interest and my progress would...
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I love to hand appliqué but holding my work in my lap was awkward and resulted in inconsistent stitches. The instructor of an appliqué...
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Quilters often are unsure of what to do with thread left on the bobbin after a project has been completed. I wind it back onto the original spool of...
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To add a water bottle holder to a tote bag I’ve made, I stitch the ends of two pieces of elastic into a side seam to form a pair of loops....
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I save all my leftover binding pieces. To finish a scrappy quilt, I often piece the leftover scraps together to make a binding that fits the...
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To organize units for strip piecing, I arrange them on 8-1/2×11" foam sheets (found at crafts stores). The fabric does not slide on the...
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Nail or glue a yardstick to the front of your sewing machine table. This makes the yardstick always available and measuring fabric easy. —...
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After laying out quilt blocks in a specific pattern, keeping them in the correct position while sewing them into rows can be challenging. To keep...
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I use pins with different color heads to keep rows in order when sewing a quilt top together. I follow the colors of the rainbow. For example, on...
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For years, I had trouble keeping the bobbin and needle threads to the back of my sewing machine after cutting. Recently I placed a 1-inch square of...
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To ensure that I don’t leave the straight-stitch needle plate on my sewing machine when I’m doing fancy stitches, I place the zigzag-...
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When the binding for a quilt is made, I roll it onto an empty paper towel roll. When I’m ready to sew on the binding, I...
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I’ve found that trying to precisely cut busy print fabrics can be a challenge because it’s difficult to see the ruler...
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When hand–sewing, use a piece of ribbon to tie together the scissors and spool of thread. Both items can be easily found...

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