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Thread: Favorite tips

  1. #1
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    What is your favorite tip? Mine is using a pipe cleaner to get the lint out of my sewing machine

    Share yours!

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    For machine applique, I like to heavily starch the backgrounds so I don't need to use a stabilizer underneath. Starching also helps me make more accurate cuts.

    Instead of spray starch, I use Sta-Flo (liquid available in stores with laundry supplies) diluted 1:1 with water. I "paint" on the starch using a medium-sized house painting brush, toss the yardage in the dryer, and then iron with steam. This makes quite a stiff and stable yardage.

    When cutting the background pieces for applique, I cut an inch or two larger than needed. After the applique is done, I trim the block to exact size. (Learned this the hard way, after four pieces ended up with less than 1/8th of an inch available for seaming!)

    Mary

  3. #3
    Super Member Marcia's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewsewquilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcia
    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.

    Good tip. I'll be using this tip. Thanks.

    Quilter101 Thanks for starting this thread.

  5. #5
    Super Member b.zang's Avatar
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    I bought a flat tackle box and store my thread in it. I can re-arrange the section sizes and put only one colour of thread in a section along with the bobbin that still has that thread on it. I'm curious how other people store their bobbins and thread. I like to keep them together because I've had trouble with shades, even black and dark blue.

  6. #6
    Super Member purplemem's Avatar
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    I hand quilt, and sometimes have trouble pulling the needle through the fabric and batting. I use a section of a "jar opener" to pull the needle. I bought the "jar opener" at a dollar tree, got 4 for $1. They look like a circular cut of rubber cabinet liner, a little bigger than a jar lid. I cut it into 4 pieces, and put it next to my quilting. This really saves my hands when pulling a stubborn needle.

  7. #7
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    Using a can of spray air (like a can of hairpsray or such but all that is in it is clean air) http://www.clp.co.uk/Product.asp?Prd=924634 to blast dust and lint out of my sewing machine

  8. #8

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    Some of my favorite tips either from others or something I figured out...

    -Using sewing tape to mark my 1/4" on my machine plate till I bought my 1/4" foot
    -Using an index card to put a block on to get an exact 1/4" in hand sewing...bigger block, just tape the cards together and use a ruler to match up the lines.
    -Use post its to mark mags and catalogs for quick and easy find of project or notion
    -Use a dryer sheet to clean my rotary cutter's lint and cutting board
    -Use an acrylic paint brush, (for watercolors) to keep the lint cleaned out of the sewing machine...it clings to it like magic! And, you can easily pull it out. Here's just a few of many great hints of great help! Skeat

  9. #9
    Super Member Pam S's Avatar
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    I made myself a "quilter's apron". Made a short bib apron with a row of different sized pockets along the bottom. I use those pockets to keep all the tools I use while I'm machine quilting - extra bobbins, seam ripper (yes, I make mistakes), tweezers, small artist's paintbrush (every time I change the bobbin I use this to clean the bobbin case area and the feed dog area), marking pencil, etc. Hang my small scissors around my neck, pin a piece of batting to the bib to stick pins in and I am set. It saves me a lot of frustration looking for my tools all the time.

  10. #10
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    Here's a couple more hints for good "needle pullers" when you hand quilt.

    Take a tourniquette or however you spell it from a first aid kit or docs office. Cut into 1 inch sections. Works great for pulling out those stubborn needles.

    Also, you can go to Dollar Tree and buy a package of balloons for a buck. Balloons conform really well to your fingers and they are thick enough you won't prick yourself through the balloon....just be careful if you are allergic to latex.

  11. #11
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I like using Fons and Porters glue stick to hold the binding to the back instead of pins.
    Hasnt gummed up my machine at all.
    I bought plastic baskets that you can see thru and have a handle at Dollartree. These are perfect to hold fat q.
    They come in different colors so my greens go in green etc.

  12. #12
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    Pretty kitty I read on one of the sewing machine repair sites that you never use canned air on your machine . It can blow lint and thread into the back of your machine , that can cause problems . lol

    I use dryer sheets on my thread . Take a small piece fold in half , place thread and needle in fold , pull through several times , no knotting of your thread . Slides right through fabric !

    Annie

  13. #13
    Member Quiltinsolitude's Avatar
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    Measure twice, cut once. This should be tattooed on both my hands.

  14. #14
    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    Thanks all for these tips.
    I am trying to think if I have any, but nah, I have not been doing things long time to find my own way yet, I still copy! So mega thanks all!

  15. #15
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I use dryer sheets on my thread . Take a small piece fold in half , place thread and needle in fold , pull through several times , no knotting of your thread . Slides right through fabric!
    I'll have to try this one. I was just wrestling with the tangled thread problem the other night.

    No hints from me but I'm learning lots from reading this thread.

  16. #16
    Super Member zyxquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quiltinsolitude
    Measure twice, cut once. This should be tattooed on both my hands.
    .
    :lol: :lol: :lol: Ain't it the truth!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

    If I'm sewing on triangles where I'm starting at a pointy corner, I use a small scrap of fabric for a "leader" - I sew across it & then a couple more stitches, leave the needle down, then line my triangles up & sew away. My machine eats way less corners when I do this. :D

  17. #17

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    Rose Marie...I'd love to see a pic of those baskets!:))Even if it is just one if possible..thanks Skeat

  18. #18
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I bought a pair of rubber gloves (the kind you get to wear when you are doing dishes ) and use them as thimbles. I cut off one finger and slip it over my finger. It is thick enough the needle doesn't go through it but is flexible and will grip the needle. Also every pair of gloves I buy gives me 10 thimbles. What a buy.

  19. #19
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Ripper tip - I glued the soft side of Velcro to my ripper, the stiff side to my machine. My ripper is always within easy reach.

  20. #20
    Super Member mpeters1200's Avatar
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    What a great idea! I tend to have 3 or 4 rippers out cause I'm always misplacing one while I work. Velcroed to the sewing machine.....great idea I'll have to try it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    You can also buy those inexpensive boxes of thin rubber gloves like the nurses use and just cut the fingertips off of them, put one on your pulling finger and leave it on, you won't have to keep stopping to pick up that piece of rubber jar lid opener.

  22. #22
    Senior Member dlf0122quilting's Avatar
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    Try "Thread Heaven" bought in most LQS's. All appliquer's use it to make the thread glide through the fabric easier and not tangle.

  23. #23
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I just got a digital camera for Christmas and it is complicated so havnt figured out how to load them into the board. I tried once but couldnt get it to find my pictures in my pictures.

  24. #24
    CRH
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    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 12" X 5 ft. for $1.

  25. #25
    Super Member gcathie's Avatar
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    Oh one of my tips would be make or buy four of everything and put one in each corner....like snippers,scissors,pin,pencil oh and don't forget that flower pin and scrap bag holder......:-)

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