THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. THANK YOU TO ALL WHO ENTERED. CONGRATULATIONS MIRIAM!
While the entire month of March is National Quilting Month, Saturday March 15, 2014, marks this year’s National Quilting Day. And to celebrate, the editors of Quilters Newsletter have put together some of our favorite quiltmaking tips, and also a quilting prize for one lucky winner.
Quiltmaking tips are like potato chips: you can’t have just one (which is especially appropriate since Friday, March 14, is “Potato Chip Day”).
- Always buy good fabric and good thread.
- Use starch.
- Iron every seam.
- Be accurate in cutting, piecing and sewing.
- Chain piecing is your friend.
- Put on good music or a movie you have seen already and sew away.
- Don’t worry about the end result.
- Don’t put off starting a challenging project because of the fear it won’t turn out perfectly — the most important part of quilting is actually doing it and learning from the mistakes that you make.
- Invest in a 1/4” foot with a guide if your brand of machine has one. It’s worth its weight in gold.
- The more seams in a block, the more important an accurate 1/4” seam is. Measure your seam allowance.
- Make a sample block before cutting all the pieces for the entire project.
- Your quilts are more interesting if the fabrics aren’t too “mitchy-matchy.” (That’s what Lori’s friend Lori Ann calls it … mitchy-matchy.)
- Use all sorts of fabric if it fits the quilt you’re working on.
- Sometimes the fabric tells you what kind of quilt it wants to be, and sometimes the quilt pattern tells you what kind of fabric it wants to include.
- Have a sewing machine that you know and trust.
- Clean your sewing machine every once in a while, especially in the bobbin case, and make sure to change the needles every so often. Built up fabric and thread dust and dull needles can easily ruin a perfectly good project.
- Always have a few quality tools in good condition to keep from getting frustrated, including a good pair of fabric-only scissors, a rotary cutter with new blades, a rotary ruler or two with gripper-sand paper dots to keep the ruler and fabric from shifting, quality thread, straight pins, and seam ripper.
- Just do it! If you’ve never sewn before, just get started. If you are having difficulty finding the time or motivation, just start sewing, if only for 15 minutes at a time. Every quilt may not be the quilt of your dreams, but that’s OK. (See Mary Kate’s first quilt and her post about it HERE.)
- Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try a new technique or pattern that seems above your skill level.
- There are a lot of tools and techniques out there that are designed to make achieving great results easier – take a chance on something new and see what you come up with.
- There is no one “right way” to quilt. Quilts can come in all shapes and sizes. They can be traditional, modern or a combination of the two. They can use simple tools like the ones Great-Grandmother used to use or fancy newfangled gadgets which were just dreamed up yesterday. They can be completely practical or fully whimsical. But above all, they’re an expression of the individual quilter or quilters who worked on them.
- Don’t forget to label your quilts, even if it’s just your first name, city and state and the year you completed the quilt. Future quilt magazine editors will thank you!
- When it doubt, look to an issue of Quilters Newsletter. The April/May 2014 issue on newsstands March 18, for example, has a wonderful article about bias binding that includes many helpful tips.
Staying organized also helps. Gigi has been blogging about how she got her fabric organized over the last few weeks (check out her posts HERE and HERE), and one of the tools she mentioned to help you fold your fabrics to the same size is included in the quilter’s prize we’re giving away — a 6″ Fold-It-EZ. The prize also includes a handy sewing basket, a Swatch Buddies Reusable Fabric Swatch Fan Kit from New Venture Group LLC USA, Hexagons Made Easy by Jen Eskridge from Martingale, and a fat quarter bundle of Quilting Temptations blenders from Quilting Treasures.
To enter for a chance to win the quilting prize, leave a comment below on this blog post before 11:59 PM Mountain Daylight Time on Sunday, March 16, 2014, and tell us one or more of your favorite quilting tips. One comment per person, please. Open to those who haven’t won anything from Quilters Newsletter in the last 90 days. And after entering, be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your safe senders list. The email subject line will read “Quilters Newsletter blog giveaway” if you are a winner.
And as always, check out our website to keep up with what’s in our current issue, and be sure to follow Quilters Newsletter on your social networking site(s) of choice: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and even YouTube!