We’re tackling a controversial topic today: quilting rules – and which ones our staff and listeners are breaking! We also share stories of quilters making a difference in their communities, a staff member’s birthday challenge, a variety of cutting tips, and ideas for items to add to your holiday wish list!
Episode 484

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

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Quilting Rules You Can Break

Think back to when you first started quilting. You probably learned rules for everything. There were rules put in place to keep you and your fingers safe when sewing. Rules to ensure your blocks come out the exact right size. Rules to help your machine and tools perform at their optimum level. And rules told to you "just because" -- the ones that get passed from person to person as a general and correct way to do something. But here's the thing – rules were made to be broken. Just because someone else told you there was a correct way to do things, doesn't mean there aren't other and possibly better ways for you to do it. We all have different abilities, different tools, different priorities in our sewing lives, and not all rules apply to every quilter. And of course, there are also the rules we know we should follow, but maybe just ignore or get lazy with. Our staff and some of our listeners share the quilting rules they break (some are serious and some are more tongue-in-cheek). Some are tinged with a hint of guilt and some are just defiant claims against a certain way of doing things. But we hope this helps all those rule followers out there to be a little more confident in breaking the rules when they don't apply to you or experimenting with a different way of doing things if it fits your sewing life better.

Quilting Changes Everything

Alison, the designer of Quilts & More, shares stories of quilters making a difference in their communities.

Community Piece Makers, a group of quilters in Ramona, California, have been hard at work sewing for their community. The group created a goal of sewing 100 colorful bags to be filled with essential supplies to be donated to homeless individuals in the area. Each of the bags is unique featuring different fabrics and piecing, much like a mini quilt. The one thing they all have in common is a small heart placed somewhere on the bag that says, "handmade with love". Read the original article and find out how to help here.

Margaret Rach, an 88-year-old woman from Chaseburg, Wisconsin, is a three-time cancer survivor. She is also a person with a very selfless and generous spirit. Every year in Chaseburg, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society is held, called Sole Burner which is a walk through the Village Park. For the past several years, Margaret has donated quilts to be auctioned off at the event to help raise money. Read more of the story here.

Ask Us Anything

Each year, Lindsay celebrates her birthday with a yearlong project. In the past she's done a hexagon a day for a calendar quilt, an improv block project, and a monthly challenge to learn new techniques. This year, she plans to sew for at least 5 minutes a day.

Reader Tips

Lindsay shares your best tips for cutting, including storing scissors, cutting applique pieces, and squaring up quilts.

If you ever want to share a tip with us to be featured on the podcast or our magazines, you can email them to us at  apqtips@meredith.com.

What We're Loving

And we're all about the quilty gifts right now – both as things to put on your own wish list, but also to give to other sewers in your life!

Links to products below: