Learn the tools that make sewing with batiks easier. Plus, hear an interview with Kim Niedzwiecki of Go-Go Kim.

Listen to the show in the player at the end of this post.

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Sew with Batiks Successfully

Elizabeth Stumbo, the designer of American Patchwork & Quilting, shares tips for sewing with batik and highlights what exciting things we're seeing in batiks. Now batiks aren't new to the quilting industry. They've been around for thousands of years. Believed to originate in Asia, batiks is a way of dyeing fabric using wax to protect certain parts of the fabric so those parts don't absorb the dye. This creates unique patterns on the fabric. The last few years at Quilt Market, we're seen some fun new collections come out in batiks, including panels, metallics, ombre, and more. Northcott has Stonehenge OmbreVinoBrushstrokes, and Colorfall. Michael Miller has metallics. Hoffman has really intricate designs with lots of layered color and pronounced shapes.

Ask Us Anything

Elizabeth answers a great question from Ann Roman: "Any suggestions on how to organize patterns, blog posts, tips, quilt lists, etc, that you keep/store digitally?"

  • If you're on social media, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram all let you save and categorize posts and articles for easy searching. This helps cut down on physical things you need to store on your computer.
  • If you're saving files on your computer, think about how you'd search for the patterns (do you look for things by size, by occasion, by type of fabric, by where you downloaded the pattern, etc). You can make main folders and then categorize further if needed.
  • You also may want to rename the files or some computers let you add notes to the files about why you downloaded it in the first place. Was it a great pattern for Layer Cakes? Did you plan to make it for a baby shower? Was it a quilt along? These extra things can help hint at the intention behind the pattern so you can search quickly.

Back to Basics with Joanna

Joanna Burgarino, the editor of Quilts & More, tackles this segment where we share tips and tricks about a sewing tool or technique. On this episide, she shares two tips for using rotary cutters.

  • The first tip is that you should always cut away from you in one smooth motion-don't saw back and forth-and you should replace the blade frequently. Sometimes when the rotary cutter misses a portion of the fabric, it's tempting to saw a little at just that piece. It's really much safer to replace the blade and then make sure you apply even pressure as you cut. Another reason it's better to replace the blade is that dull blades require you to apply more pressure, which increases the likelihood that your ruler and cutter will slip. When you throw out the old blade, make sure it's enclosed (the packaging of the new blade is great for this) so that you don't cut yourself taking out the trash.
  • The second tip is to stand up when you're cutting. It can be tempting to stay seated when you're in the middle of sewing something and just need to cut one more piece, but you'll cut more accurate standing up. It gives you a better view of the whole piece and also helps you apply more even pressure on the hand holding the ruler in place and the rotary cutter.

Reader Tips with Lindsay

Lindsay does Reader Tips, a segment where we share your best advice to common quilting struggles. This week, we explored a few options for labeling your quilts. From adding applique to customize the label for a child to including scraps of fabric behind the labels for repairs, our readers had a lot of great suggestions. We love hearing these  ideas from our readers. If you're interested in submitting your own tip for feature in our magazines or on the podcast, send an email of your tip to APQTips@meredith.com.

Getting Sewcial with Jess

On today's show, Jess Zeigler of Threaded Quilting Studio chats with Kim Niedzwiecki of Go-Go Kim. Kim runs a popular sewing blog and has helped brands across the quilting industry with their social media for more than 7 years. She's passionate about helping people learn to use social media and use it to make connections with others. She shares a lot of wisdom in her interview, and dives into specifics about some of her favorite tools to up your social media game. (Canva, Unsplash, and Later are just a few). She also talks about the amazing opportunities social media has brought to her life, including designing a block for the National Quilt Museum's block of the month.

Follow Kim on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest to keep in touch.