Tip / Technique of the Month

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

The attached photo was taken at the Jacksonville Quilt Show last weekend.

I was wondering if we would like to start a monthly tip / technique thread. Just to cover some basic how-to's or even to discuss some more complex techniques. There are often questions asked inside the threads & then they get burried inside the threads making them hard to find again. Many of the questions are asked often and I'm sure some are just not comfortable asking.

There are often a number of ways to construct some of the basic building blocks - some work better for some than others do. This way we can all share what we have learned during our quilting "lives". I think it would really help some of the new quilters and/or lurkers become more comfortable with joining the swaps.

Some topics I can think of are:

How to get an exact 1/4 seam: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1044900/
Making sure your 12" finished block is 12 1/2" raw - "squaring up": http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1046634/
Squaring Up 3-cut Block http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1152142/
Making a Flying Geese Unit (there are many different ways to do this one)
Paper piecing : Nov 2009 - http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1053843/
Making 1/2 square triangles
Sashing, borders & bindings
Colors - value, saturation, tones
how to twirl the 4 (6, 8) seams coming together in the middle of a pinwheel
Cutting a (truly) straight strip & keeping it straight (no waves): http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1046634/
machine applique
Using the Correct Ruler; Those "designer" rulers
100% cotton - not all created equal ( thread count, finish, etc): http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1074747/

Long Arm Info: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1134392

Dying & Transforming Fabrics: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1196194/


Treddle Sewing Machine Info: http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1077048/#new
And then we could also include links to help pages we know of.

So, if there is interest, I'd take the lead to get the Oct T / T started.

Let me know what you think.

This message was edited Oct 10, 2010 4:38 AM

This message was edited Jan 29, 2011 12:03 PM

This message was edited Jul 19, 2011 11:06 AM

Thumbnail by Qwilter
(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Jean, this sounds wonderful to me. It doesn't matter how long one has sewed or quilted there are always new ideas and techniques to be learned. Thanks for thinking of this idea.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

I think it's wonderful. Tip away!!!!

Hanford, CA(Zone 8a)

I think it's a great idea. I agree with abbisgranma.... there is always more to learn.

Fostoria, OH(Zone 5a)

YES, YES, YES! You all have so much to teach and you know I have been moaning for the last year about not being close enough to any of you so that you can teach me things like paper pieceing, so let the tips begin!

Maryville, TN(Zone 7a)

For sure, always ready to learn more. I know I'm not a know-it-all yet. LOL

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Jean, I think you have taken steps to start something that is going to be really helpful to all of us!!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

OK, but I definately can't do this all on my own. Some of you out there have been at this longer than I have and do wonderful work. Some of you new "kids" are also learing very quickly and doing a wonderful job.

Why don't we use this thread to capture the topics. I'll update the 1st posting. Then we can start individual threads for the topics.

Anyone should feel free to post questions or give input. Remember there is usually more than 1 way to do anything.
But there are a few quilting "rules" that are written in stone.

I'll start the 1st Tip thread later today. Guess we will start at the beginning: a 1/4" seam and a square square.

TabacVille, NC(Zone 7a)

Jean, we all need this, old and new!!
Thank you so much!

Huron, OH(Zone 5b)

This sounds great. I'm just getting started with quilting, but I've sewn for years.

TabacVille, NC(Zone 7a)

Want to share this from experience :(
If you can, stick to one brand for your measuring implements.

Paris, France

That' s a very good idea Jean. Here in France we're so late ! For example when you want to make a flying geese they teach you to cut all the triangles with scissors !!
I'm absolutly greedy with your techniques. I would like to learn more and more.

Maryville, TN(Zone 7a)

Here's a handy helper...My hubby made me a turntable for using with my rotary cutters. It's so much easier to turn the table to cut another side than to move the fabric. I actually have 2, one larger for cutting out T-shirt designs and a smaller one, about 12" to use for regular quilt pieces.
He got the turn table at Lowes. Make sure it is the thinnest from top to bottom, they have several different ones. Check also that it turns smoothly.
He cut a circle of the desired size of birch plywood, and screwed the turntable to it.
Sand the edge of the plywood so fabric doesn't catch on it. I just set a cutting mat on top, but you could cut it to fit and glue it down.

Once you use this, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

great idea qwilter/ Jean !

and love the handy helper Karen...the ones you can purchase at the quilt stores are ridiculously expensive! I have wanted one for ages, never thought about making one this way...hmmmm.... hubby/kids project for this weekend !! yup, yup, I think so...

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I wonder how it would work if you just put 3 or 4 of those "Magic Movers" under a piece of plywood set on a smooth surface. Would it turn ???? I may have to experiment with that one.

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Thank you Jean, that's a wonderful idea. I have the commercial turntable and I wouldn't recommend it, it doesn't turn smoothly.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

I was gifted one of the rotating mats. I must admit that I truly love it. Especially when you are using templates. You never need to remove your hand from the material so it stays in place. I have the 12" one but would love to have the 18" one too. Maybe I'll hint for Christmas???

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Hey Barb - is the company sleeping in???? How's it going???

I was also gifted the 12" rotating mat & have never used it. It always seems to be too small for what I'm working on. I may have to get it out for the next set of triangle trimming.

I have been collecting thoughts for the 1st thread. Need to finish Aug top 1st. It is gray & dreary out so a good time to be sewing.

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Good morning - it's gray and dreary here too. The kids from Colo were at my daughter's home up the road last night. I know they really wanted to take the girls to the ocean today but maybe not with this horrible weather. We here in NH take the ocean for granted and don't think about not being near it!!! I'm sure I'll hear from them soon.
We did have a really late night. My whole family was together for the first time in five years. The ones from COLO had never met the youngest niece/cousin. She is only two. It was a truly wonderful afternoon and evening. I got some wonderful pictures that I will cherish always. Between good chatting in the afternoon to a spectacular barbeque to a wonderful time around the firepit to let's play Wii bowling to Norm had a flu shot today and I needed to get him home to bed. It was just so much fun. And it was so fulfilling as a mother to see my grown children laughing together like they were still kids. And to see all the children (14, 11, 9, 8, 6 and2) so happy to be together. We try very hard to keep the Colo bunch included in everything going on back east and vice versa.
Oh my, I didn't mean to ramble. Just can't contain my happiness today I guess.

Wichita, KS(Zone 6a)

that's the kind of rambling that is wonderful to read so you ramble on as much as you want :) it dawned clear, crisp, cold and sunny here. I should be out mowing but I'm not! grass can wait. I hear fabric calling to me.

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Oh I can so relate to you Sondra. Fabric has a much louder voice than the grass does any day. Barb, I think your rambling was a very happy Mother and well you should be!! Keep it coming as it is so much fun to read.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Barb - glad to hear it is going so spendidly. Being an only child I miss out on all that "family" stuff. I do have a cousin I was always close with so her kids are like mine and then they all now have kids so I do have them to keep up with (1 family rents my house in FL) but I do miss "family-based" activities. DH's 2 kids are in MA and we rarely hear from them.
The sun has come out in MD and it is warming up. I even have windows hanging open.

Fostoria, OH(Zone 5a)

Arn't reunions fun? I love it when my kids get together an talk about the things they remember from their childhood. It is never the things I would have thought, rarely the big expensive things but the little ones. And when their spouses join in we learn more about them and their families, too.

That rotating table sound wonderful. I hate having to move things around; always afraid I will get it off the mark.

When I first started doing these swaps with you all I had a really hard time with the 1/4" seam, especially with patterns from quilterscauche. Even with a 1/4" foot I was always making blocks that were less than 12.5. Learned when they said "scant" they really ment it!

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Come here for the 1st tip - 1/4" seams


Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I've been asked about making this a [Sticky] topic meaning it would sit at the top of the forum. I could link all the other tip/technique threads from this one so we would always be able to get back to them.

The Admins will do this for us, but I don't want to do so if there is not enough interest/desire.

So, let me know what you think and if ther is enough interest, I'll ask the Admins to indeed make this [Sticky].

Also, I don't plan on monopolizing all the possible topics. A lot of you out there are extremely talented and I would love for you to host a technique of your choosing (read: I DO NOT do paper piecing!!!!!!).

And, with more than 1 leader, we could run 2 a month.

Maryville, TN(Zone 7a)

You got my vote, go for it. The more tips the better.

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

Mine too.

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

same here....and qwilter you are so good...I vote you start and anyone can add to it....Unless of course there is someone who has a tip and they want to start a topic....

Odenton, MD(Zone 7b)

Yes, make it a 'sticky'

Thumbnail by Catbird423
Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

love the cat.... is he/she claiming the quilt top??? LOL

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

I "vote" for Sticky, too.

Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

Catbird - like that bright quilt. Guess we are almost neighbors. Where do you do your fabric shopping?

Wichita, KS(Zone 6a)

I'd like to put in a request for someone to teach how to twirl the 4 seams coming together in the middle of a pinwheel block. I dislike the bump made by pressing all to one side.

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

good idea babeegirl! or like the joined seams in the middle of a pinwheel like the one posted here:

I've read where some quilters keep a rubber hammer with their sewing tools, to flatten the 'star' thats made at the center joint, after you twirl it open. I've only made the one block like that, and while it was a little bulky, it didn't detract from the pattern. I suppose after you layer the batting in between, it would hide any bulk. But depending on how it's quilted, it may be a problem at that point.

Thumbnail by Kizmo
Fleming Island, FL(Zone 9a)

I added the "twirl" to the list in the 1st posting.

Wichita, KS(Zone 6a)

exactly! mine always looks lumpy and messy and if you try to press from the front it makes the center kinda ugly. I can't seem to get that crisp look and I want to know the secret!

(thunder)Wildwood, FL(Zone 9a)

welcome catbird, have not "seen" you here before, join in to have some fun, friendly quilting chatter, and swapping... Love LOVE that quilt...I am major fan of bright quilts !!

Marietta, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks Jean!

(Barb) Manchester, NH(Zone 5a)

Jean - what about a lesson on how to use the rulers and rotary cutters? It's so important - if your squares aren't cut correctly your quilt will never come out right. Things like squaring up your material before you start etc. What do you think?

(Marion) Havana, FL(Zone 8b)

How about how to straighten fabric so when doing log cabin type or strip they aren't wavy in the middle?

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