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

  1. #1
    Sashing-Sarah709's Avatar
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    I'm new to quilting but I was delighted to pass on a bit o' wisdom I learned to another newbie last night at the quilt shop and saved her $10.00. :thumbup:

    Last year when I started quilting, I bought a cone thread holder with a long arm since I needed to use cones and not spools. It was worthless because all it was just a disc with a shallow indention and a long plastic arm to send the thread to my machine. The arm kept falling off and the cone would walk off time and again. I have a wonderful elderly quilting neighbor that I visit with often and I told her of my thread woes. She laughed and told me to use a small glass jar and to take that thing back. "You'd never have made it through the depression spending moeny like that." LOL She was so right about the jars! Now I save all my small jars and bottles for cone thread holders--they're free, storage is easy, thread doesn't unravel and they work. :-D

    What good idea have you had that would benifit others? How about passing them on just in time for weekend quilting? :-D

    Sashing-Sarah709

  2. #2
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    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!

  3. #3
    Senior Member katiescraftshop'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!
    Love this idea! :thumbup:

  4. #4
    Senior Member pineneedles4's Avatar
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    I keep a small hand thrown ceramic put (approx. 3" wide by 3" tall or maybe a little bigger) by my machine to throw scrap threads into....it saves on cleanup!

    Vanessa in Oklahoma

  5. #5
    Senior Member pineneedles4's Avatar
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    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

  6. #6
    Super Member charmpacksplus's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #7
    DJ
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    I'd have to say . . . change that dull rotary cutting blade when it needs it. Makes all the difference!

  8. #8
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Take a class to learn about your machine. How to clean it - how far to take her apart - how to adjust the tension, etc. I used to be intimidated by my machine until I took a class. It makes a big difference in performance.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CompulsiveQuilter's Avatar
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    The best tip I've learned is to cut scraps AS I GO, anticipating a flying geese queen. I cut 3x5 bricks. The "sky" squares are pre-cut also. Before I start a seam on the current project, I stitch about 10 geese seams. Keeps me from being bored and the goose quilt should be half-done by the time I finish the current project, BTW, does anybody want scraps that are smaller than 3 x 5? Many good strings. Free; just pay shipping.

  10. #10
    Super Member Grammy o'5's Avatar
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    What a great idea using jars for the thread! :thumbup: I've been trying to figure out something for mine, I'll give it a try.

  11. #11
    Super Member Carron's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #12
    Super Member sharoney'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.
    oooh, I like this one!

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I was sewing and my machine kept stalling, I was constantly turning the hand wheel to get it to sew. I had the great idea of going right then and buy a new machine. Best idea I had while sewing. LOL.

    My machine light went out one evening so I use a book light held in place with a pony tail band around the machine and the light. It worked great.

  14. #14
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    We use coffee creamer from the dairy case. (Plastic jug type)I saved one, washed it out and took off the label. Now i keep it filled with water and set it next to my iron. No more trips to the sink to fill it up!

  15. #15
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    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

  16. #16
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    I keep a sport water bottle next to my iron. It's right there when my iron needs a *fill-up*!

  17. #17
    Super Member AngieS's Avatar
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    1st: Finding this board. =)
    2nd: I use those mole strips that you buy that are sticky on the underside for my 1/4" seam. I just cut a strip and stick it down. Works great!
    3rd: I cut my blocks while watching t.v. with dh and safety pin together so when I am ready to sew I just take a stack and lay them all out and sew. This way I can have several ready to go and just sew them up all at once.
    4th: I have extra bobbins all ready to go when I get ready to sew. This keeps you going for quite a while without having to stop, wind the bobbin and rethread.
    5th: I have a box under my table that I use to cut my fabric and all of my itty bitty scraps go in there when done so there's not a huge clean up needed. The larger pieces go into another container on the table for scrappy stuff. (clean up as you go and there's more time for sewing)

    I am still very green so these may be so little to others but they have helped me. With very little time to sew these are big time savers for me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member lisalisa's Avatar
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    I could never get the scant thing right. My needle is not adjustable and measuring and marking the point did not work. The sticky note thing didn't work either because that point for my machine is way under the presser foot.

    I then realized that the last track(?) on the feet dog acts as a perfect scant guide and I've been making my blocks the perfect size every since.

  19. #19
    Sashing-Sarah709's Avatar
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    Man, so many good ideas! Keep them coming . . . I'm learning ALL kinds of stuff!!! LOL

  20. #20
    Super Member AnnieH's Avatar
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    Nothing to give, just taking copious notes, ta everyone.

  21. #21
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    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. #22
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    A lady in a quilting class kept a row of wound bobbins on a pipe cleaner and twisted the ends together. She had another pipe cleaner to string the empties on. She kept both in a zip lock bag.

  23. #23
    Senior Member grammy17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineneedles4
    I keep a small hand thrown ceramic put (approx. 3" wide by 3" tall or maybe a little bigger) by my machine to throw scrap threads into....it saves on cleanup!

    Vanessa in Oklahoma
    I've been putting an inch or so of masking tape (save from another use) next to the machine the thread sticks to it and you can throw it all away.

  24. #24
    Super Member luckylindy333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompulsiveQuilter
    The best tip I've learned is to cut scraps AS I GO, anticipating a flying geese queen. I cut 3x5 bricks. The "sky" squares are pre-cut also. Before I start a seam on the current project, I stitch about 10 geese seams. Keeps me from being bored and the goose quilt should be half-done by the time I finish the current project, BTW, does anybody want scraps that are smaller than 3 x 5? Many good strings. Free; just pay shipping.
    I love this idea- I have started cutting my strips up into squares, which I think are more useful- you have taken it one step further...

  25. #25
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    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.

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