Sometimes a simple tip has a big impact on your sewing life. Plus, hear an interview with Sherri McConnell and Chelsi Stratton.

March 16, 2020
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The Best Sewing Advice We've Received

Each member of our staff shares the best sewing advice they've ever received. It's so fun to hear the advice that made the biggest difference in everyone's quilting life -- some are simple things that opened up a whole new world to them and some are more complicated techniques or tools that really affected their sewing lives for the better.

Want to read more? Here's some of the best sewing advice some of our readers have ever received.

Back to Basics with Joanna

As many quilters who have sewn triangles together can attest to, triangles are tricky. What makes them more complicated than squares and rectangles in their bias edges. Bias edges have more stretch and it’s very easy to warp triangle pieces out of shape. Joanna Burgarino, the editor of Quilts & More, shares three tips for sewing together triangles.

  1. Press, don’t iron! I know this holds true for all piecing, but it is especially important with bias edges. If you tug on them by ironing across the fabric, they will permanently warp. It is better to gently press by lifting the iron, moving it over, and then pressing it down again. Steam can also warp bias edges, so you’ll have a much easier time controlling their stretch if you use starch instead.
  2. Try not to handle the pieces much after you cut them. Some quilters transport them from place to place on a tray to keep the amount of times they have to handle them to a minimum. Again, the goal here is to avoid tugging on the bias edge which can stretching it.
  3. Use lots of pins. They’ll help keep things from stretching while sewing.

Reader Tips with Lindsay

Lindsay Mayland shares our most popular reader tips for preparing your binding and adding it to your quilt.

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.

Behind-the-Scenes from the Crafts Lab

We are so lucky to be part of the Better Homes & Gardens family of magazines and be located in the Des Moines headquarters. Here, we have access to amazing photography facilities and also the famous Better Homes & Gardens Test Garden. The test garden serves as a display garden, a testing ground for plants, and also a beautiful background for outdoor photography. Within the walls of the test garden there are constantly rotating flower beds, pergolas with casual seating, a water Lily pond, a shade garden with beautiful hostas and ferns, and a thriving vegetable garden. In the very center of the garden is a fountain surrounded by tables and blossoming trees. We took advantage of the beautiful settings to photograph three projects from the April issue in the garden. Elizabeth Stumbo, the art director of American Patchwork & Quilting, shares the stories behind the photography of the three quilts. See pictures of Izzy's Garden, Batik Lattice, and The Birds & the Bee at the links.

Getting Sewcial

On today's show, Joanna chats with Sherri McConnell and Chelsi Stratton, a mother-daughter fabric design team that has their 10th fabric line with Moda Fabrics coming to stores in September. Both Sherri and Chelsi are incredibly talented quilters and pattern designers -- if you're on social media at all, we're sure you recognize their gorgeous and popular designs. Sherri is also a well-known blogger and author, who shares all her favorite tips, tutorials, and knowledge with her large fan base. In this interview, they share about their process of designing fabric, how it feels to have a quilting business with your family, tips for making more time to sew in a busy schedule, and where their inspiration comes from.

Follow Sherri on Instagram and Facebook.

Follow Chelsi on Instagram.