Learn how to display your quilts in creative ways. Plus, hear an interview with Beverly McCullough of Flamingo Toes.
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Episode 461

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

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Cozy Up Your Home: Creative Quilt Displays

You've spent months making a quilt. It's finally finished. You think the hard part is over and you can finally enjoy your quilt! But where do you put it? Sometimes displaying your quilt is a challenge – I mean, we only have so many beds and couches, right? Elizabeth Stumbo, the art director for American Patchwork & Quilting, talks about where to display your quilts, how to display them, and some tricks of the trade for making them look their best!

We go into details in the show, but here's a recap of ideas:

Where to Display: Railings, banisters on staircases, headboard, entryway, cabinets with glass doors, oversize basket, quilt ladder.

How to Display: Hanging sleeve (buy a premade one like Quilters Hangup) or make your own with these ideas, curtain rods and curtain ring clips, Ackfeld Wire display stands.

Display Secrets: Steam a quilt that's hanging, consider your batting to help a quilt look crisp or to drape better, pay attention to sunlight in your home, customize a quilt to your space.

Get Organized with Elizabeth

Elizabeth shares a few simple questions to ask yourself when dealing with a cluttered sewing workspace. By asking yourself these five easy questions, you are already on your way to creating a more functional and stress-free workspace so you can focus on your next creative project!

  1. "Am I surrounded by only working, functional items?" When you sit or stand at your desk, every item within reach must be functional. Test every tool, supply, and machine. If you find that your desk is cluttered with a lot of tchotchkes or personal items that are pretty to display but not hard-working, consider moving some or all of them to shelves or display ledges.
  2. "Do I need more than one?" Sewing supplies are sometimes sold in multiples or include refills. The extras can be saved in a drawer or cabinet elsewhere in the room -- you don't need them clogging up your work space.
  3. "What's my go-to choice?" Embrace your personal preference for rulers, cutting and marking tools, and other supplies. Only stock your favorite notions in your work zone since those are the ones you always gravitate towards anyway. Let go of all the nice-enough-but-not-for-you options.
  4. "What do I actually use?" Keep only items you use frequently on your work space like rotary cutters, pins, and scissor snips. Place items you use less regularly in nearby shelves, drawers, or cabinets. Only add them to your work space when you are working on a project that specifically calls for them.
  5. "Are they short-term or long-term papers?" A couple examples of short-term papers are things like patterns you're currently working on or magazine articles haven't finished reading yet. You can organize short-term papers using vertical storage solutions like pinning them to a bulletin board above your desk or using wall pockets. Long-term papers are things like machine instructions or patterns you aren't quite ready to start yet. These can easily be stored in a storage bin or in a file cabinet with hanging folders.

UFO Challenge with Doris

Making and adding the binding or labeling your quilt is not always the most fun process for some quilters. If you find yourself procrastinating on these last steps, Doris Brunnette, the editor of Quilt Sampler, offers a few tips.

  1. As soon as you finish the quilt top, and you are getting the back ready for quilting, go ahead and make your binding and attach a label or tag to remind yourself which quilt it is for. That way, once the quilting is done, you have the binding ready to go.
  2. Know it's okay to bind by machine—unless you plan to submit your quilt to a show for judging, sewing your binding down by machine is fine. Consider holding the binding in place with wonder clips or washable Elmer's glue, which frees up your hands for sewing so you get nice even binding and straight stitches.
  3. Consider making a label that gets sewn into the binding, such as a square, folded on the diagonal and sewn into the corner of the quilt back and attached as two sides of the binding is attached. See this easy method here.
  4. You could also use printable labels or premade labels. Print them out, write your information on it and attach it to the back of the quilt—done!

Quilting Changes Everything with Alison

Alison Gamm, the designer of Quilts & More, shares stories of quilters making a difference in their communities. Every February 14 in Vancouver, Canada, a memorial march takes place to honor families of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. In order to prepare for the march, a group of women gathered together on the weekends leading up to the event so they could sew red ribbon skirts to give to families attending the march. Read more about this story here. Next she shares the story of a fourth-grader in Western Australia making a big difference. Carly Walters founded Lemon-aids, a nonprofit organization that sells handmade lemons to raise money to helps families whose children have hearing loss. Read more about this story here.

Getting Sewcial

On today's show, Joanna Burgarino, the editor of Quilts & More, chats with Beverly McCullough of Flamingo Toes. Bev is a quilter, sewer, embroiderer, and crafter -- she does it all! She's a fabric designer with Riley Blake Designs, the author of the book Vintage Home Sewing, and is a talented pattern designer.  In their chat, Bev shares how she got her start quilting, why she chose the name Flamingo Toes for her blog, how she approached building her dream sewing space, and landing on her signature vintagey vibe.

Follow Bev on Instagram and Facebook to stay in touch.

Bev with Quote