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Thread: Pass On The Best Idea You've Had While Quilting

  1. #51
    Super Member piepatch's Avatar
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    I keep a lint roller with my sewing supplies and roll it over everything in sight, when I am through sewing for the day. I even roll it over the carpet in the sewing machine area to pick up the threads from the carpet so they don't wind up in the vacuum cleaner brushes. I keep a separate lint roller to clean up any loose threads from a completed quilt top. My sewing machine is not computerized, so I can keep a magnetic wand nearby to pick up any loose pins, including any that fall on the floor.

  2. #52

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    Love the tip about the coffee creamer container for filling your iron. We never use coffee creamer but had one for company over the holidays. I just threw it in the wastebasket about 30 minutes before reading this tip. I took it back out!!! Thanks

  3. #53
    Junior Member Janet Leigh's Avatar
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    I cut all scraps into squares of various sizes that I put into marked shoe boxes. I keep the 2" squares in a small box next to my machine and use as "anchor" cloth before and after I sew a seam. I take the sewn pairs on road trips and hand sew into 4 patches.
    When my daughter wants to sit & chat while I'm sewing, or my granddaughters visit, they love to sew the 2" squares together on my extra machine. We get to visit and sew at the same time.

  4. #54
    Junior Member Janet Leigh's Avatar
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    Also, when I square up blocks and have all those little bitty strips of fabric, I put them in a ziplock baggie and throw out in the back of the yard for the birds to use in their nests. If I have a strip about an 1" wide, I run my rotary cutter up & down it several times and "whiddle" it down to tiny strips.
    A couple of years ago, one of my grandsons found a nest with some threads in it. So cool!!

  5. #55
    Junior Member Janet Leigh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by suesembroidery
    buy clear christmas tree bulbs and stuff the scrap thread in them and hang them on your tree. I fill one up every year and write the year on them. They are prettier than you would think.
    I received one of these as a gift from a sewing friend ... just beautiful!!

  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA
    I use a full 1" x 1.5" Post-it-Note pad flush up against the presser foot, held down with a fat rubber band or a strip of tape, to keep my 1/4" seams exact. I can sew two strips together in about 10 seconds using this! All my seams are straight, equal, and easy.

    Jan in VA
    I have been trying everything Jan. Thanks for this idea.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineneedles4
    Another tip! I bought a makeup kit that came with very nice, very thick and expensive brushes for everything. I took one of the shorter handled, thick powder brushes to use for cleaning lint from my machine! It works so much better than the cheap plastic brushes sold for this purpose.

    Vanessa in Oklahoma
    I use toothbrush for that.

  8. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by suesembroidery
    buy clear christmas tree bulbs and stuff the scrap thread in them and hang them on your tree. I fill one up every year and write the year on them. They are prettier than you would think.
    What a fun idea!

  9. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by grann of 6
    I just came up with an idea yesterday when changing the needle in the sewing machine I have upstairs. In the basement I keep a baby food jar with a hole in the top for inserting discarded needles and bent and damaged pins. I didn't want to trek to the basement, so I put the old needle in the plastic case the new needle came in and wrote on the case that it was used. Now I can throw it out with the trash, so from now on I will save the plastic cases the needles come in.
    Old medicine containers good for this as well or altoid cont

  10. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJisChaos
    I always wind 10 bobbins when starting a new project. When I use all the bobbins, it's time to clean the machine and get a new needle put in it. Keeps me from having to remember the last time I did it! When paper piecing, I wind 5 bobbins instead as my needles dull a bit faster.
    I have 3 machines and keep bobbins wound for each machine seperate so I don't get confused.
    Also, I use empty TicTac cases for the used needles, when full just toss in trash can. No pokes or holes in trash bags.
    I make chenille blankets 4 layers of flannel and clean machine after every bobbin love to keep it cleaned out.

  11. #61
    Super Member great aunt jacqui's Avatar
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    I save all the plastic containers that mints,gum or candy come in. "ice breakers"gum is in a round, flat container with a snap up lid. I can fit 8 bobbins in it for travel. Bought DD chocolate pearls $$ in a tin container at Michaels checkout. Cannot wait to grab that when she is done. Use your imagination they can be used fo any small sewing storage.

  12. #62
    Senior Member bobquilt3's Avatar
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    What is 505?

    Quote Originally Posted by OmaForFour
    I needed to make a pattern for handquilting that I could put on my candlemat without tracing the design on the material with something that might not come off.

    I printed the design by spraying 505 on to a piece of tracing paper, laying it on piece of printer paper smoothly and then running it through my inkjet printer to print the design on the tracing paper.

    Then I carefully removed the printer paper from the tracing paper and had exactly what I wanted which I laid onto the fabric. It stayed in place becuause of the 505 that was on it and I added a couple of pins for stability.

    I have no idea what special paper to print patterns would cost, but this works well and is always on hand to set up a design of my own choice from whatever source. It also pulls away from the stitching when I am done without a problem.

  13. #63
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maine ladybug
    I would be very careful about this. I was told when I bought my machine that anything magnetic can screw up your machine. Just like the computer you are using now, there are computer parts in the new machines. Even the pin holders you can buy to have you pins out in you should keep a distance from your machine. You may want to check with your dealer before you attach the magnetic strip to your machine. JMHO


    Quote Originally Posted by Carron
    I glued a narrow magnetic strip across the top front of my sewing machine. Then when I am sewing something that has the straight pins and as they approach the needle, I pull them out and stick them onto the magnetic strip. Nothing falling onto the floor or worse into the lap.
    This only works on the older non electronic machines. I have a magnetic strip on my older Kenmore that works perfectly.

  14. #64
    Super Member mommafank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Central Ohio Quilter
    I have use the black office binder clips for holding together the layers of an interfaced tote bag that were way too thick to pin together. That worked very good!
    DD wants to write a book called 101 uses for binder clips---I already gave this one to her. Glad to hear others use them for that! I use them to hold the folds of a quilt that I was lap quilting.

  15. #65
    Super Member Arleners's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts
    I have a very large heavy glass beer stein for that purpose. My quilt friends come over and use it too.
    For beer or thread?? :lol:

  16. #66
    Senior Member Chay's Avatar
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    You know those bags with pieces of tape that they use in hospitals to attach to a patient's bedside table for trash? I tape one to my ironing board as my thread garbage bag.

  17. #67
    Senior Member gellybean402's Avatar
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    I always seem to rip a pattern after one use so I trace the pattern onto a piece of interfacing (including all the markings) and cut it out. Now I have a pattern that won't tear and is very durable and will last forever!

  18. #68
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    One of my biggest problems is my cat. She would get up right behind my sewing machine and play with the strips coming out. I finally put a little chest right next to my sewing machine and made a little polar fleece top for it. Now she sleeps on that chest and stays away from my sewing machine. It is great, she is still right next to me but she doesn't get in my way any more. She is my sewing buddy.

  19. #69
    Super Member Baloonatic's Avatar
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    I ran around for weeks looking for the perfect container to refill the iron at my church sewing group. I wanted one like I have for my own iron, but never found one. One day someone left their bottled water in our sewing room, just one of those simple disposable water bottles like you can buy at any store by the case. The mouth is small and easy to fill the iron, it holds 3 refills, and I don't have to tote the hot iron to the bathroom to fill it!

    I use a strip of masking tape at the 1/4 inch mark to keep my seams perfect.

    When I'm piecing, I try to plan my seams so that they will 'nest' when I go to sew my blocks together. Also when I have seams coming together in the middle, I iron them so they twirl around the center. To do that, I've had to learn to refrain from backstitching.

    I've learned that when you ask a friend (or a husband) for their opinion, it's OK to NOT feel you have to take it as gospel. It's THEIR opinion... it's YOUR quilt! But I've NOT learned how to convince THEM that it's ok....

    I have no idea if this is common knowledge, but I use two rulers when cutting. I am a right-hander. I use one ruler to measure from the right edge of the fabric to my cutting line, and I then butt my 6x24" ruler against the left side of the first ruler to make my cut. That way I always have the bulk of the fabric firmly under my ruler where it can't slip when cutting, and is especially useful when cutting narrow strips.

  20. #70
    Super Member Baloonatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by charmpacksplus
    Speaking of cleaning out the lint.... I use pipe cleaners for that. They are long enough to reach way down in the bottom corners and thin enough to pass between the plate and the bobbin thingy.

    I took a class from Jill Schumacher awhile back, she taught the pipe cleaner trick to us and stressed how important it is to clean out the lint from the bobbin area at each and every bobbin change

  21. #71
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    This is no longer true now that we are no longer using floppy discs. The only magnetic thing in today's computers is the hard disc and those are magnetically shielded. My husband is a masters level electronics engineer. I trust him to know.

    Quote Originally Posted by maine ladybug
    I would be very careful about this. I was told when I bought my machine that anything magnetic can screw up your machine. Just like the computer you are using now, there are computer parts in the new machines. Even the pin holders you can buy to have you pins out in you should keep a distance from your machine. You may want to check with your dealer before you attach the magnetic strip to your machine. JMHO






    Quote Originally Posted by Carron
    I glued a narrow magnetic strip across the top front of my sewing machine. Then when I am sewing something that has the straight pins and as they approach the needle, I pull them out and stick them onto the magnetic strip. Nothing falling onto the floor or worse into the lap.

  22. #72
    Junior Member jumpin' judy's Avatar
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    1. While wandering around in Harbor Freight I found these large plastic bins. They are $2.99 and hold about 20 yards of fabric. My shelves are too deep to use the mini bolts, so these bins work better for me.
    2. I got a teflon oven liner and cut a small hole in it and use it on the bed of my machine while FMQing to help the fabric glide easier. I used my 20% off coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond so it was around $16.
    Attached Images Attached Images


  23. #73
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I buy those plastic report covers and use them in place of "template plastic"

    I use the large black clips to hold my quilt to the table for basting the sandwich.

    I use old prescription bottles to collect bent pins, broken pins, etc....just throw the thing away when full.

    I use a narrow paint brush with the really long, soft, flexible bristles to clean the lint from my machine.

    I use parchment paper instead of "applique sheets"

    I use used dryer sheets to clean the gunk off my iron.

    Thanks for the tips, I love them!

  24. #74
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Oh judy....care to share some of that gorgeous stash???? I'm jealous!

  25. #75
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    I can not take credit for this tip because I learned it from a post on the Quiltingboard. I have started saving my plastic (see through) food containers. They serve many purposes in my sewing room. I like them more than my $$$ purchashed Steralite containers because I can see through them better.
    I cover my 'work bed' with plastic, when guest come the bedding is still clean and lint free.
    I have enjoyed this post. Thank you for all the tips and tricks.

    Left to right: Cake, Apple Turnovers, Strawberries/Apple Turnovers
    Name:  Attachment-144825.jpe
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Size:  50.0 KB

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