Learn 10 items to help you start the year off refreshed, inspired, and enthusiastic about your projects. Plus, hear a Q&A with Wendy Sheppard.

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Start a New Year of Sewing Off Right!

We all love to start the New Year off right, especially when it comes to our sewing life! Elizabeth Stumbo, the art director of American Patchwork & Quilting, shares 10 items to help you start the year off refreshed, inspired, and enthusiastic about your projects! None of these to-dos will take very long, but they’ll have a big impact on the joy quilting will bring you in the upcoming year.

  1. Pick a creative word of the year.
  2. Get a quilting planner or journal.
  3. Change your needle and rotary cutter blade.
  4. Clean your machine.
  5. Wind some bobbins.
  6. Get inspired.
  7. Make a goal.
  8. Organize your workspace.
  9. Donate fabric and quilts.
  10. Give yourself a compliment.

We’d love to hear how you’re starting your year of sewing off right! Feel free to reach out to us by email at apqpodcast@meredith.com or tag us in your photos on Instagram using @allpeoplequilt, so we can see!

What We're Loving

Elizabeth says: "There are a few people on my list that can be hard to shop for, but then I discovered The Featherweight Shop, which is what I am currently loving. Every quilter in my family sews on a vintage Featherweight machine, so this shop is perfect for them. There are so many unique and practical gift ideas for quilters, especially for those of us that are obsessed with our Singer Featherweights. My favorite gift idea is their magnetic dish for pins that coordinates perfectly with Featherweight machines and features black and gold decals."

Back to Basics

Joanna Burgarino, the editor of Quilts & More, explores tips for the stitch-and-flip technique. To use the stitch-and-flip technique, you draw a line, stitch on it, then trim and press open the attached piece. Here are some tips:

  1. Draw your line with a thin pencil or fabric pen. The thinner the better. If your line is really thick, you might sew at a slightly different angle because you can’t tell which part of the thick line is the degree you want. Use a good light as your sewing too so you can stay as close to the marked line as possible. How accurately you follow that marked line makes a difference in what the finished piece will look like because what you mark is where the seam needs to go!
  2. You’re probably going to lose a bit of your seam when you press the attached piece over. That’s because there’s a natural bump where the fold is. Sometimes it’s not a big deal, either because you’re going to trim the unit later, the fabric has a bit of give to it, or you’re really good at pressing flat! Other times, that extra little bump means your piece is going to be too small or not line up well. If it’s consistently a problem, try using a scant 1/4" seam, moving your seam two threads or so into the seam allowance. That little bit of extra room will get used up in the bump when you press. It might take a little practice, but it should help you piece units that are the correct size when stitching and flipping.

Ask Us Anything

Today’s question is from Grace Sanchez. She asks "I’ve never done a quilt-along before but they look like fun. What suggestions would you have for someone who wants to try one?"

Our biggest piece of advice would be to stay connected with others doing the quilt-along. The community aspect is most of the fun. Try to stay organized, too, especially if you know you might get a little sidetracked during the process. Use your new quilt-along friends for accountability and take notes about where you’re stopping, so you know where you left off when you are playing catchup later in the process.

We have a Quilts & More Quilt Along starting up soon that would be a great quilt-along to try for your first one! The pattern is Plus Postage by Susan Ache, and is available for purchase here. Then join our exclusive Facebook group here for all the details -- the quilt along runs from January 6-February 16.

Getting Sewcial

On today's show, Lindsay Mayland interviews Wendy Sheppard of Ivory Spring. Wendy is a well-known quilt designer (you'll often see her designs in our magazines), she's an author, an Aurifil thread designer, and a talented machine quilter. Her newest book Quilting with Kids from Fox Chapel Publishing is co-authored by Wendy's 10-year-old daughter Gwen, who's also a talented stitcher! Wendy shares stories of her special relationship with her daughter, how she finds the time to sew, and how she tracks all the quilts she's made.

Follow Wendy's website and Instagram to stay in touch.

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