On this show, we share some special considerations to have before making a quilt for a little one or an animal. We also share tips for fixing tension problems on your sewing machine, the ombre fabric trend we love, and what to look for when shopping for a longarm quilting machine.

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Episode 518

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

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Sew Something Special for a Child or Pet

Many quilters love to sew for others. We make charity quilts, give quilts to family and friends, and gift handmade items to help celebrate milestones like anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and retirements. We hear from many quilters that the reason they started quilting in the first place is because they wanted to make a gift for someone else – and many times that gift comes in the form of a baby quilt or even a small blanket for a special pet. Lindsay shares a few considerations for making a baby quilt or blanket for a pet, including:

  • Fabric and pattern choices
  • Machine quilting designs
  • Safety concerns
  • Quilt washing tips

Share pictures with us on Instagram using the hashtags #APQPets or #APQPodcast.

Sweet, Quilty Home: Week 6

We are so excited to share all these tips about sewing for a child or pet, because this week's Sweet, Quilty Home challenge is to do just that! This challenge lasts for 10 weeks (July 5-September 12). This program focuses on creating your best home -- a beautiful place to relax and be creative. Each week, we issue a challenge: one small step you can take throughout the week to brighten your home and set your space up for sewing success.

Back to Basics

It's frustrating when you're sewing along just fine and then notice that your stitches are skipping. There are a few main culprits to look for that may help you avoid having to take your machine in to a repair shop. Most of the time, it's a simple problem with a simple solution. Lindsay shares details about checking your thread, bobbin, needle, inside of your machine, and even if your your thread/needle/fabric pairing is correct.

Now Trending on IG

Jody shares details about a trend she's seeing on Instagram: ombre. Ombre is a French word meaning how color blends from light to dark or gradually from one color to another. Ombre isn't new -- ombre prints were fashionable during a 25 year time period from 1840-1865. Most of the ombre quilts we're seeing today use bright, bold, near-solid or mottled fabrics. If you're interested in adding ombre fabrics to your collection, check out V & Co.'s Simply Color collection for Moda Fabrics, Gemstones by PSD2 for Riley Blake Designs, Gelato by Maywood Studio, and Stonehenge Gradations Ombre by Northcott.

What's On Your Work Space

Lindsay shares about a project she's working on, the Blakely quilt from Then Came June. She's using a variety of black, gray, cream, and white fabrics to make a neutral-looking quilt as a Christmas gift for her father.

Ask Us Anything

This question came from Crystal Cochren. She said: "Could you record a segment about what to look for when shopping for a longarm quilting machine? I am in the market for a longarm and I want to make sure I am an educated consumer."

First, think about how you may use the machine and what types of projects you're planning to quilt:

  • Are you looking for a sit-down machine or one on a frame?
  • Do you want to do free-motion quilting or have a computerized machine that does it for you? Or a combo of both?
  • Do you need a machine that can work with rulers or pantographs?
  • Are you making large king-size quilts or can you get a smaller machine that does small throws?
  • How much space do you have in your home for the machine?
  • What's your budget?

Once you think through all these things, you want to start doing research! Watch online videos, ask around in any quilting groups you belong to (whether in-person or online), check social media to see what your favorite quilt designers use, visit your local quilt shop and ask the owners, go to a quilt show and talk to the vendors. The more machines you can expose yourself to --- and if you're lucky, the more machines you can touch and try out -- the better understanding you'll have of which ones you like.