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

  1. #76
    Super Member mhansen6's Avatar
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    This idea I tell everyone because it works so well. Go to Harbor Freight and buy a glass pane suction cup handle. Less than $6. Put it on your ruler as a handle. Your ruler will not slip around because you have a better grip on it and it keeps your fingers away from the edge of the ruler so they won't get sliced. Yes I learned that lesson from experience.

  2. #77
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    I keep a jar next to my sewing machine and on the cutting table to toss thread and fabric that is too small to use. An old wicker basket is on the cutting table for small usable strips and another wicker basket for odd shaped usable pieces of fabric. The unusable strips go into a small basket and will go to the birds for their nests in the spring as some quilters here have recommended - love this idea!

    This is a great post with so many wonderful suggestions! I have to finish reading what everyone has posted.

  3. #78
    Super Member Baloonatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora
    I washed an empty juice jug and cut off the top, then inserted it into my thread catcher. I just remove the jug to empty my threads at the end of the day. No more picking loose threads out of the bottomand off the sides of the thread catcher.

    Also, I use a tool box for quilt guild and UFO days. Here are photos of my best idea for transporting my quilting gear.
    Wow what a find, and sew perfect for your needs! I looked all over for a toolbox and finally found a fishing tackle box with a top compartment plus 3 drawers beneath for all my paraphenalia.

    I've used thread bunnies for 30 years, but if I can get a plan together I SO want to use the idea of "beginners and enders" and get two quilts sewn at the same time!

    I tuck a small piece of foam in the top loop of my cone holder to keep the thread from raveling, especially monofilament. It is just enough to control the thread, but not add to the tension.

    Last spring I found my 3' silk wreath on my front porch was being decimated by birds looking for nesting material. Sew I draped narrow strips of fabric scraps (14" or so) on the wreath and the birds helped themselves. I now save the narrowest little strips separate from larger scraps and will be putting them out on the porch again this spring!
    The larger fabric scraps and leftover batting pieces are saved and chopped up for stuffing pillows for pet beds which my guild donates to the local animal shelter. We made 185 pet beds last year on our annual sew-a-thon ...that's a lot of scraps!

  4. #79
    Super Member Baloonatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsb38327
    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.
    Wow I LOVE this idea! Thanks!

    Oh, oooh! I have another one... I use empty TicTac containers to hold beads for embellishing

  5. #80
    Senior Member puck116'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!
    Never thought of this. I like this lots.

  6. #81
    Senior Member puck116's Avatar
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    I also use a magnet on my machine. The thin ones from an advertisement for your frig. I have a computerized newer bernina 440 and I emailed them to ask if this was going to interfere with the electronics and they said " NO " it would not.

  7. #82
    Senior Member puck116's Avatar
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    I bought a precut piece of glass at the hardware store. Bound the edges with duct tape. I put this over a block or section of my quilt and use dry erase markers to try out a quilt pattern. I suppose you could use a piece of heavy plastic.
    Okay so I didn't bind it until after trying it out first.

    glass with pattern tryout
    Name:  Attachment-149076.jpe
Views: 285
Size:  30.1 KB

    mini quilt that pattern was used on
    Name:  Attachment-149077.jpe
Views: 294
Size:  82.5 KB

  8. #83
    Junior Member aggie's Avatar
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    Use the large AM & PM pill storage boxes purchased at Dollar Tree. Scrub off the days of the week and use it for my "feet" and label them. Nice because you can just throw it around and not have to search for the right foot.

  9. #84
    Senior Member CarolLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcdaniel023
    I velcro a small pincushion to the side of my machine. Pins are within reach and I can return them to the cushion as I sew. I was constantly knocking mine off and I didn't want one on my wrist.
    Very neat idea!!

  10. #85
    Senior Member kellen46's Avatar
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    What good idea have you had that would benefit others? How about passing them on just in time for weekend quilting? :-D

    Sashing-Sarah709[/quote]

    Here is a way to make your own really sturdy pattern paper. Take two sheets of the inexpensive white tissue paper, the kind you get at the dollar tree and a white plastic trash bag. cut open the trash sack to get one layer sheet. sandwich tissue, plastic,tissue and iron with a hot iron. Be careful to trim bag to tissue size or the iron will melt the plastic and you will have to do a clean up. The resulting tissue is very strong, it can be cut or torn but is not fragile. It is translucent and you can easily trace through it. It is great for transferring multi size patterns as you can trace off the size you need and save the original. Also if you want you can use an existing tissue pattern as one of the layers and thus make it stronger for extended use.
    Other uses of this idea that I have come up with is to have the top layer be fabric. When I was book binding having the glue leak through was a real problem. Book cloth is expensive and rather boring. By doing this I can have any kind of book cloth I want. I think if you were covering boxes this would be handy too. Also if you are crafting with fragile or making items that need a sturdier paper this is a great solution. Once I sandwiched the tissue with maps to make lampshades. The are still going strong. I also have sandwiched that shiny iridescent tissue with white tissue to make a sturdy paper to cover journals. Works great. I haven't tried it but I am thinking to use two lightweight fabrics with the plastic and seeing if I can make a moisture resistant fabric for lunch bags and such. Easier to sew than oilcloth and cheaper than vinyl coated cloth.

  11. #86
    Senior Member puck116's Avatar
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    Let me see: small paint brush to clean bobbin and needle throat area, rubber shelf liner under my machine and foot pedal to keep from "walking" away, scrap fleece to clean up threads on floor and cutting mat, any containers that are suitable for storing. I have clear containers for; 6 1/2" sqs, 2 1/2" sqs, 2 1/2" strips, 4 patch blocks and probably others. These are now ready to use in a quilt anytime. I usually donate a quilt each summer for auction to the theater my son performs at and these precuts are what I go to for a fast quilt.
    Skinny batik strips from trimming I use to fill clear glass ornaments. Batik is two sided and they look so pretty inside the balls. Gave these as gifts to quilty friends and family. Short appetizer sticks as stilletos. I know there's more, just can't think of them.

  12. #87
    Senior Member puck116's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aggie
    Use the large AM & PM pill storage boxes purchased at Dollar Tree. Scrub off the days of the week and use it for my "feet" and label them. Nice because you can just throw it around and not have to search for the right foot.
    I use these to keep my bobbins in. The large one holds 3/4 bobbins in each day and I can see through it. I try to keep same colors together.

  13. #88
    Senior Member echobluff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baloonatic
    Quote Originally Posted by Aurora
    I washed an empty juice jug and cut off the top, then inserted it into my thread catcher. I just remove the jug to empty my threads at the end of the day. No more picking loose threads out of the bottomand off the sides of the thread catcher.

    Also, I use a tool box for quilt guild and UFO days. Here are photos of my best idea for transporting my quilting gear.
    Wow what a find, and sew perfect for your needs! I looked all over for a toolbox and finally found a fishing tackle box with a top compartment plus 3 drawers beneath for all my paraphenalia.

    I've used thread bunnies for 30 years, but if I can get a plan together I SO want to use the idea of "beginners and enders" and get two quilts sewn at the same time!

    I tuck a small piece of foam in the top loop of my cone holder to keep the thread from raveling, especially monofilament. It is just enough to control the thread, but not add to the tension.

    Last spring I found my 3' silk wreath on my front porch was being decimated by birds looking for nesting material. Sew I draped narrow strips of fabric scraps (14" or so) on the wreath and the birds helped themselves. I now save the narrowest little strips separate from larger scraps and will be putting them out on the porch again this spring!
    The larger fabric scraps and leftover batting pieces are saved and chopped up for stuffing pillows for pet beds which my guild donates to the local animal shelter. We made 185 pet beds last year on our annual sew-a-thon ...that's a lot of scraps!
    If you go to Quiltville.com, you'll see all kinds of quilts made from "leaders and enders". Bonnie K Hunter is AWESOME!!!

  14. #89
    Senior Member Kim Bohannon's Avatar
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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
    Great Idea! I have to try this!

    KIM

  15. #90
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    I have one of those round magnetic pin holders - it fits into a RubberMaid contanier. I think it's a #1 round contanier, great for dropping pins in while sewing. Learned this from Louise Cutter, a wonderful sewing lady.

  16. #91
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    Keep them coming, some very nice tips. I have been writing them down. Thank you so much

  17. #92
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    I can't think of anything to add but want to say thanks for all the great tips.

  18. #93
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    I use a chef's apron to keep threads off my clothes when I have just a few minutes to sew before leaving the house. That way I don't look like I was rollling in the fabric.

  19. #94
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gellybean402
    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!
    Very smart!

  20. #95
    Senior Member humbird's Avatar
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    Pizza place in my speed dial..........home delivery.

  21. #96
    community benefactor Parrothead's Avatar
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    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.
    Be careful with magnets if your machine is computerized. Magnets will screw it up.

  22. #97
    Super Member k9dancer's Avatar
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    Sashing-Sarah709[/quote]

    Here is a way to make your own really sturdy pattern paper. Take two sheets of the inexpensive white tissue paper, the kind you get at the dollar tree and a white plastic trash bag. cut open the trash sack to get one layer sheet. sandwich tissue, plastic,tissue and iron with a hot iron. Be careful to trim bag to tissue size or the iron will melt the plastic and you will have to do a clean up. The resulting tissue is very strong, it can be cut or torn but is not fragile. It is translucent and you can easily trace through it. It is great for transferring multi size patterns as you can trace off the size you need and save the original. Also if you want you can use an existing tissue pattern as one of the layers and thus make it stronger for extended use.
    Other uses of this idea that I have come up with is to have the top layer be fabric. When I was book binding having the glue leak through was a real problem. Book cloth is expensive and rather boring. By doing this I can have any kind of book cloth I want. I think if you were covering boxes this would be handy too. Also if you are crafting with fragile or making items that need a sturdier paper this is a great solution. Once I sandwiched the tissue with maps to make lampshades. The are still going strong. I also have sandwiched that shiny iridescent tissue with white tissue to make a sturdy paper to cover journals. Works great. I haven't tried it but I am thinking to use two lightweight fabrics with the plastic and seeing if I can make a moisture resistant fabric for lunch bags and such. Easier to sew than oilcloth and cheaper than vinyl coated cloth.[/quote]

    Very interesting. Are there any fumes that come off the plastic when you do this?

  23. #98
    CindySandy'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 love this idea! It is like an altered bulb. I do altered books and always look for odd ways of using things that other people throw away.

  24. #99
    Senior Member bobquilt3's Avatar
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    WOW! K9 Dancer, what a great idea.

  25. #100
    community benefactor Parrothead's Avatar
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    I put a small "Command" hook on the end of my machine to hang a small pair of scissors. Works great and can be removed with no residue. Just be careful not to put it over a vent.

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