Tips for Taming Velvet

Tips for Taming Velvet

Keri Beyer's delightful quilt, Time to Make Donuts, is a fresh take on the traditional Double Nine Patch pattern. Velvet patches, embossed using an easy do-it-yourself technique, provide a fun and unexpected touch. You'll find the pattern in the August/September 2009 issue of QN. Don't let velvet's reputation as a difficult customer slow you down-here are some tips to help you handle it.

Tips for Taming Velvet


- Press velvet face down on a fluffy cotton bath towel. Turn it right side up while still warm and lightly brush up the nap with your hand. If the towel gets flat, put it in a warm dryer for a few minutes to fluff it up again.
- Use light steam. If velvet gets too wet, the pile will flatten.
- Avoid pressing embossed areas. When working with embossed velvet, press the seam allowances only.
- When working with synthetic velvet, protect your iron by using a pressing cloth and reduce the iron's temperature.


- Use a 3.0 stitch length.
- When two pieces of velvet are placed right sides together, they tend to shift or walk. Pinning helps to match corners and edges, but will not completely eliminate shifting. Try pressing straight down on the seam edges with your fingers in front of the presser foot or use a walking foot.
- When sewing squares together, match the first corner carefully and sew the first inch of the seam.  Stop sewing, match the ending corners, and hold the patches together tightly until the seam is completed.
- When joining two layers of velvet, avoid backstitching at the beginning and ends of seams. Backstitching can tangle threads or create excess bulk. Instead, set a very short stitch length and stitch for about an inch at each end.
- Cut seam allowances at least ¼˝ wide with a pinking blade in the rotary cutter to reduce raveling.


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Sewing with Velvet question
I am attaching a white cotton tatting on a dark green velvet pillow. How should I attach the tatting. The pillow will be made after I the tatting. What color thread to use? Could I do it on the machine with invisible threa? Kathy - Petaluma


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