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by , 04-16-2011 at 03:29 PM (933 Views)
**Tips are listed by category. Scroll down to the bottom for a list of quilting related acronyms and terms. Happy quilting!


>>A book I found extremely helpful (I too am self taught) was the 'Quilt with Confidence" by Nancy Zeiman. She takes you step by step thru the process. I highly recommend it. You can find it at Joann's or at her website - (Unknown)

>>My favorite reference book is "The Quilter's Ultimate Visual Guide" by Ellen Pahl, Editor, published by Rodale in 1997. It's alphabetical and covers the basics of just about everything. Out of date now on products, but good solid sewing info and basics. (Unknown)

>>Eleanor Burns is an ex-teacher who uses a lot of elementary (basic) techniques & tools. Go online to! I have used her books for the last 6 years! Her books are easy and teach you a lot of techniques. (Unknown)


>>Use those foam things (that keep your toes apart for pedicures) to hold bobbins and keep them from unrolling. (whinnytoo)

>>The way I thread my needles: Cut thread, blunt cut making sure there are no wild threads. Hold the thread between your thumb and forefinger, now pull the thread down from the bottom until there is only a slight dot of thread showing. Set the eye of the needle down on the dot, BARELY roll your thumb and finger open while setting the eye down on the thread, now roll your thumb and finger UP, catching the thread. As you pull the thread up, you pull the needle down and I bet you the needle will be threaded. I've done it so many times I don't even have to look. (ThreadHead)

>>When threading a needle w/ clear thread, darken the end w/ a black felt tip pen. Makes the end easier to see when threading. Also, one can hold a small piece of light paper behind the needle. Makes the hole of the needle easier to see. (MargeL)

>>I use a mini lint roller to remove threads that are left over from ripping out seams. (Airwick156)

>>I keep a scrap of fleece to put cut threads on. Threads really cling to it and you can just wipe up area. (Sunny580)

>>To make threading the needle in your sewing machine easier, put a white piece of paper behind the eye. For some reason this makes the eye stand out. (TonnieLoree)

>>I use large clear plastic tubing to put around my spools of thread to keep them from unrolling. I use 1/2" tubing and cut it about 3/8" wide then cut circle so it will open up, slip over bobbin. They slip on just great. (littlesister)

>>At Dollar General I bought little pony tail holders that are like snippets of knitted tubes. There were 200 in a little purse, different colors. I slip them on bobbins to keep the thread from coming off. And they are color coordinated. (redmadder)

>>I use the very large pill bottles to put my sewing thread in along with the bobbin containing that same thread. Also, use the very large pill bottles to put my hand quilting thread in. I poke a hole in the top of the snap-on lid and put the thread through the hole. Useful when you drop your thread as this way it doesn't unwind. Also, I made a lap pillow and the top part of it also has elastic sewn down at intervals for holding thread. I sewed the elastic in such a way that it will hold my YLI Silk, or my small spools of 60/2 for applique. You can poke a hole in the snap lid of the small pill bottles, feed your thread through, and put the pill bottle under the elastic. Now you don't have to take the spool out from the bottle or elastic during your project. I, too, use the pill bottles for bent or broken pins and needles. (Janquiltz)

>>I use Velcro dots on my older machine to hold a needle threader. When the wire breaks, I just peel the (Fuzzy side) Velcro off the threader and stick it to a new threader. (madamekelly)


>>To press a large quilt top, lay it on a sheet on the floor over your carpet. (deranged damsel)

>>I made myself a small ironing board to go next to my machine. I used a wooden TV tray. I covered it first with the heat-resistant batting you use for potholders, with the heat side facing up. I then covered it with a layer of regular cotton batting and topped it off with muslin, using duct tape to secure all the layers underneath the tv tray. Not only is it nice to be able to press open seams without moving, but also the heat-resistant batting does an amazing job as a 'miracle' ironing board cover, like the expensive ones I see at quilt shows! (woody1229)


>>Minimize slipping of a shiny new ruler....very lightly spray the back side of the ruler with basting spray. Let dry a few minutes. At first it will want to stick to the fabric you are cutting, but after a few uses it will behave. Use isoprople alcohol to clean off the spray from the ruler if you really feel the need to. (PeacebyPiece)

>>Use an inexpensive letter/file holder from Staples or even the dollar store to hold your rulers. (DonnaCee)

>>I use painters tape or masking tape to mark the lines on my ruler. (SuzyQ)

>>Spray shiny rulers with Minwax Polyurethane Clear Satin (or equivalent) to stop glare on surface of ruler from overhead lights. (Kitsie)

>>Use a hot glue gun to put little dots of hot glue on your ruler. Not only does it keep your ruller from slipping, but it's clear so you can see through it. Learned this on simply quilts. (mexmmh43)

>>I like to use nexcare tape made by 3M on the back of my rulers. I leave the first quarter inch so I can see it clealy then run a strip around the edge. If a large ruler I put a piece down the middle. (quilter64779)


>>I use one of those magnetic screw holders for car mechanics on my work/cutting table for miscellaneous pins, my pencil sharpener, etc. It "catches" the pins so that they don't end up rolling under my fabric when I am measuring and cutting. (jljack)

>>Use the little canisters that bulk chewing gum comes in for storing "sharps" ie our rotary blades, broken needles, bent pins. (QuiltE)

>>I velcroed a pincushion to the right side of my sewing machine. It is easily removed when transporting the machine. It is so helpful. I also put my stilleto into the pin cushion while I am sewing so that it doesn't fall to the floor and bend the tip. (stitchofclass2)

>>I took an inexpensive "tomato" pincushion and divided it into sections with a marker. In each section I wrote the size of a sewing machine needle. I put used, but not used enough to throw out yet, needles by size in their sections. In the section that is the size I have in my sewing machine I put a flowered flat head pin. So, at a glance I know what size needle I have in my machine. Since I like to use a different size needle for cotton and flannel and machine quilting needles for machine quilting or sewing on binding I need to change my needle fairly often. Using the pin cushion for needles has really helped keep me organized. (Marcia)

>>I use an old prescription bottle for my used needles and pins, then I can just throw away the bottle. I also carry one in my bag. (dd)

>>When threading a needle for hand sewing or my machine, I apply chap stick, any brand, to my lips then pull the thread end across my lips, as if I were going to wet the thread; works every time for me. (apples galore)

>>I purchased a pin cushion at a craft fair that hangs around my neck. I love it. My pin cushion is always with me, at the cutting table, at the ironing board, at the sewing machine . . . sometimes I forget I'm wearing it, though, and nearly walk out the door with it on. Nice necklace! (DJ)

>>I purchased a folder for storing business cards and use it to hold my packages of needles. (Pete)

>>Save all of your old needles. They are great for tacking things on your design board and to hang pictures! (GiGi)


>>Change your rotary blades, don't cut with dull blades. A good source for cheap blades for the 45mm is Harbor Freight. They are called carpet cutting blades. They do tend to be sharper IMHO than our regular rotary blades so be aware and be very, very careful. Don't cut fabric when you're tired. Quit, then start again after a good night's rest.

>>Use a potholder to make a case for scissors or rotary cutter. For a rotary cutter, fold pot holder in 1/2 and stich side a bottom. For scissors , bring 2 corners together and stich edges. The loops can be used to hang cases in your sewing room. (bebe)


>>Dish and pan scrubbers made from nylon netting work well to remove threads from your cutting mat. (bebe)

>>I saved my large, 36 x 54, cutting mat that had worn out. When I need a bottom for a purse or tote, I have DH cut out the size I need from the old mat. Works great! (JudeWill)


>>I save all my lids, like coffee, etc, to make plastic templates. (CarrieAnne)


>>I glued a piece of fine grit sandpaper to a small cutting mat and use that when I'm marking small pieces for applique ... it keeps the fabric from sliding around. (SuzyQ)

>>My tip is for starch & mylar applique. Use a metal fingernail file to hold the edge in place instead of your fingernail. Saves a lot of burns. (g-maquilts)

>>I have my local copy shop spiral bind my all appliqué pattern books so that when I want to copy a design onto my template material...the book lies flat.(unknown)


>>Next to the sewing machine I have one of those lazy susan desk organizers ... hole in centre holds large scissors and regular ruler, bins and little slanted shelves on the sides. Most everything I need at the sewing machine fits in there! (QuiltE)

>>Attach a ball point pen cap to your sering maching to put your seam ripper in. You will always know where it is.(Brenda10)

>>A plastic pencil box with a snap lid on it is perfect for storing a 45mm rotary cutter. (Slow2Sew)

>>I use old eyeglass cases (open at one end) to store my rotary cutters. You can usually buy them at the dollar store or thrift shops. (QuiltingGranny)

>>I bought a small parts organizer at the local hardware store. They're usually used for nuts and bolts and such, but I use them for all my "little" stuff, like extra feet, new needles, marking chalk, and anything else that would get lost in a drawer or basket. I put labels on each "drawer" so I know what's inside. (2wheelwoman)


>>I use the file folder w/filp top & string (expandable - med or lg size), for patterns. New, copyed, etc. It is not so big, so I can take in the car when I'm shopping and if I see a pattern I feel I must have. I can pull the pattern leave with sales person and run out to the car and look to see if I have it. Now I don't get the same one over again. (FranCFries)

>>Print a copy of the quilt in your favorite magazine or book. Flip the paper over, feed into printer and copy the fabric shopping list. Much easier to shop, carry so little. Keep pictures in a binder, also much easier than searching for it thru several mags or books. (sylviasmom)

>>I keep all of my free quilt patterns from the internet in clear plastic sleeves in a 3 ring binder. (g-maquilts)


>>Safety pin swatches of fabric you need to match on a key-ring to take along when you shop. Use a seperate pin for each swatch. (bebe)


>>If you know someone at a pizza joint (like we never go for quick food!!!!). I have been able to get NEW pizza boxes in each size to put my quilt blocks in for transport to and from class or meeting. This keeps your blocks FLAT, with out any extra work. (FranCFries)


>>My favorite tip - when making a quilt, make the binding when you cut the pieces. Put the ready for quilting back on a hanger that has a cardboard cover (used for comforters at the cleaners) then use a old style no clip clothes pin and slip one end of your binding through the center. Place the fabric and pin on the table (open end of the pin down) and spin your binding like a jelly roll. When finished slip it off the pin and put in a sandwich bag, seal and snip a small hole in the center of the top edge. Hang over the hanger neck. Now everything is ready to go the second you finish the top and you are sure you won't use the binding material for something else by accident. (Homebody323)

>>When pressing binding, pin a safety pin to the end of the ironing board. Put the binding through the safety pin (it will glide easily) and press it as it comes out of the other side. (Scrap Happy)

>>I roll my binding strip onto an empty toilet paper roll and just stick a pin in it to stop it from unrolling if I'm not going to use it right away. Also when I do sew on my binding I pass a ribbon through the toilet paper roll and tie it around my neck. As I'm sewing the binding strip rolls off the tp roll and doesn't get tangled on the floor or twisted around. (vtretire)

>>When hand sewing the binding I use the bendable hair barrettes to hold the binding while I sew. (Kathi Schofield)

>>When cutting strips for binding, I cut an extra strip and make binding as usual. Whatever I have left over, I put in a box and when I need binding for a child's quilt, or a charity quilt...or any quilt that could stand a muliple punch of color, I just sew them together and have my binding already to go. (quiltwiz)

>>My favorite tip is one I learned here- after I sew the binding on the front, I press it over, miter the corners and then GLUE it into place (ironing it again). Then I can handsew (or machine sew if it's a quickie, or I'm using a decorative stitch) without pins getting in the way. I LOVE doing bindings now! (Lynn Luker)


>>I use masking tape or painters tape to mark straight lines when I'm machine quilting using a walking foot. (SuzyQ)

>>Feed dogs...if your machine doesn't allow you to drop the feed dogs place/tape a business card over the feed dogs for free motion quilting. (craftiladi)


>>When sewing 4 patches together- put needle in down position and place patch up against the needle then sew. There will be no shifting and you will have perfect points. (sunny580)


>>Use a clothes hanger to hang finished quilt tops on. Put them in the closet until ready to hand or machine quilt. (dreamboat)


>>When mailing only a block or two, wrap them around an empty paper towel roll so there will be no set in fold marks. I even use wrapping paper tubes to wrap my quilt tops on-even if there is still wrapping on them sometimes! (LoriEl)


>>To keep machines and foot pedals from "scooting" put drawer liner (the rubbery kind that looks like a waffle weave) under them. You can get it at the dollar store for $1. (CRH)

>>Use a pipe cleaner to get the lint out of my sewing machine. (Quilter101)

>>Spend time on You Tube. It seems there is a video for anything you might want to learn about. (unknown)

>>I use chop sticks that I didn't use at a Japanese restaurant when I turn something inside out to get nice pointed corners and also use it like one of those "purple thingys" cost $0. (klgreene)

>>I use the little ziplock baggies that the walgreens pharmacy put perscriptions in to hold paper piecing patterns, small useable picece of fusible web, block piecing prior to sewing, I also will roll a bag down and use it to put thread in when ripping out a seam. (arizonagirl)

>>You can use a round popsicle stick for a stiletto. (dreamboat)

>>Glue in the refrigerator. This keeps them firmer and they will last longer, especially in warmer climates. (craftiladi)


BBT = Be Back Tomorrow
BOB = Beginner’s Only Block (swap)
BOM = Block of the Month
Charm Pack = package of pre-cut squares
Charms = Small pieces of fabric, either squares or sometimes hexagons, all different fabrics
COC = cream on cream
CT = Connecting Threads
D4P = Double four patch
D9P = Disappearing Nine Patch
DH = Dear (or Darn) Husband
DIC = Double Irish Chain
Dimes = 10" squares
DIY = Do it yourself
DSM = domestic sewing machine
DWR = Double Wedding Ring
EPP = English Paper Piecing
EQ = Electric Quilt quilting software (also seen as EQ5, EQ6, and now EQ7)
F8/FE = Fat Eighth
FART = Fabric Acquisition Road Trip
FFO = Finally Finished Object
FIU = Finish It Up
FLIMSY = Finished top, not quilted
FM = free motion quilting
FQ = Fat Quarter
Frog Stitching = ripping out stitched seams (rip it, rip it)
FW = Featherweight
FW = fusible web, no brand specific
GF = girl friend or God forbid or Grandmother's Fan
GFG = Grandmother's Flower Garden
HP = hand piecing
HQ = hand quilting
HST = Half square triangle
HSY = Haven't Started Yet (pronounced hussy)
Jelly Rolls = pre-cut noodles rolled up and sold as a set
KWIM = Know what I mean
LA = LongArmer, professional machine quilter
LAQ = Long Arm Quilter
LAQM = Long Arm Quilting Machine
LMAO = Laughing My Ass off!
LMBO = Laughing my butt off!
LOL = Laugh out loud
LQS = Local Quilt Shop
MAQ = Mid-Arm Quilter
Nickles = 5" squares
Noodles = 2 1/2" by width of fabric
NQR = Not Quilt Related (an alternative to OT)
OBW = One Block Wonder
OSMG = Old Sewing Machine Guy
PFD = fabric that is Prepared For Dyeing
PHD = Project Half Done
PIF+ pay it forward— sending something to someone--- cause it feels good! Free, or for postage only.
PIGs = Project In a Grocery Sack
PIPS = projects in process
PITS = Project In Totes
PIW = project in waiting (waiting to grow up to be a WIP)
PP = paper piecing
QIMM = Quilts in My Mind
QOTD = Question of the day, Quick off topic discussion or quilting off topic discussion
QR = Quilt Related
QST= Quarter Square Triangles
Quilt Candy = Small charm pieces of fabric folded up to look like candy
RR = Round Robin
SABLE = Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
SAQM = Short Arm Quilting Machine
SaS = Steam a Seam
SEX = Stash Enhancement EXperience (or eXcursion)
SID = stitch-in-the-ditch quilting
Siggies = Squares of fabric with signatures and often other info written on them
SnW = Stack and Whack
SQ = Simply Quilts
Squishie = Envelopes filled with swap fabric/blocks (squishy is the way they feel)
STASH = Special Treasures All Secretly Hidden
TBQ = To Be Quilted
TGIF = Thank God It's Finished!
TIC = Triple Irish Chain
TOAD = trashed object abandoned in disgust
TOT = Tone On Tone
TUFO = Tuesday UFO night group/WUFO = Wednesday UFO...etc.
UFO = UnFinished Object
USO = UnStarted Object
VIP = Very Important Project
WHIMM = Works Hidden In My Mind
WIMM = Work in my mind
WIP = Work in progress
WISP = Work In Slow Progress
WIVSP = Work In Very Slow Progress
WIWMI = Wish It Would Make Itself
WOA = Work of art
WOF = Width of Fabric
WOMBAT = Waste of Money, Batting, and Time
WOW = White On White
WWIT = What Was I Thinking
xxQG = someplace something Quilting Guild
YBR = yellow brick road
YoYo = A circle of fabric gathered to form a puffy circle
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