Sewing Better with Custom Quilt Motifs
Mar14

Sewing Better with Custom Quilt Motifs

If you want to get better at free motion quilting, the best thing to do is practice. Even if you logged 20 minutes of bad quilting today, you’re still getting FMQ stitch mileage.  There are a ton of books and websites with sketches of motifs, but personally I hate marking quilt designs.  I’ll do it when needed, but one of my favorite things to do it outline or follow the motif on the fabric I quilting. Big, bold prints,...

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Sewing Better Quilting Binding
Mar07

Sewing Better Quilting Binding

If there’s one part I hear the most critique about in quilts, both from quilters and judges at quilt shows, it’s binding.  Personally, I started machine binding the majority of my quilts several years ago when I noticed my hand binding was simply not holding up. I’m not sure if it’s my knots or thread choice, but frankly, I didn’t really care. It was irritating. I’ve gotten asked how I do my machine...

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Sewing Better with Chain Piecing Strips
Jan25

Sewing Better with Chain Piecing Strips

I have a special place in my heart for chain piecing blocks, but did you know that it’s also useful for sewing long strips like borders or binding together? After piecing two strips right sides together on the short end, flip the free end of the top piece back, and put the next piece on top! Then you can snip the connecting threads or use a gadget to clip them. In this case, the 10″ strips for one of the borders in The...

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Sewing Better with Scrappy Binding
Jan17

Sewing Better with Scrappy Binding

Remember the last “sewing better” post when I talked about trimming the batting and backing from quilted projects? Here’s a tip on what to do with all those long skinny backing scraps! Since I do a lot of scrappy quilts, I find that they can often stand up (visually) to some added interest on the binding. To paraphrase, sometimes too much of a good thing is even better!  When I trim those backing strips, I cut them...

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Sewing Better with Frankenbatting
Jan10

Sewing Better with Frankenbatting

This tip is pretty specific to quilting rather than general sewing, but feel free to take inspiration from my thrifty side! I’m usually pretty good about cutting my batting and backing big enough to leave the exact 2″ overage all the way around; since I baste my own quilts and quilt them on a sit down, I can get away with that. If longarming a quilt, you need to leave 4″ of backing on each side so the machine has...

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Sewing Better with Gadgets
Dec14

Sewing Better with Gadgets

I’m not a big one for gadgets, but I am a big fan of chain piecing! I’ve used several different types of scissors to snip the threads holding the pieces together, but Lynn is a fan of this little gizmo: ‘This is a tabletop thingy with a small razor blade embedded in the dip at the top of the gizmo. You slide the chained fabric pieces so the thread goes into the “dip” and gets cut by the razor blade....

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