Learned Along the Way

As I mentioned before, I learn something new with each quilt I design and make. I will keep a running list of tips and ideas to share on this tab. I will add the most recent ideas to the top of the list. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need further explanation!

  • Paper-Piceing Foundation Paper: This is not my original idea, but I thought I'd pass it along. I used it and loved it when making Driftwood! An inexpensive option for paper-piecing foundation papers are the Scribble Pads found at your local dollar store. 60 9" x 12" sheets of "newsprint" weight paper for $1.00! Can't beat that! The sheets are reasonably transparent when held up to the light and tear away very easily. The only down side is that they have to be trimmed to letter size before feeding into a printer, but that's a small inconvenience for the value! My HP printer likes them just fine once trimmed. This idea comes from quilt designer Debby Kratovil. See more great ideas on her website www.quilterbydesign.com. 


  • Marking: I generally do not like to mark my quilts for fear that the marks will not come off. When quilting Driftwood, however, I discovered a pencil that seemed to "erase" cmpletely. I used the Bohn Extra Fine Mechanical Chalk Pencil with a white "lead" to mark a good deal of the quilt. Lines that did not wear off from general handling after quilting were easily erased with the eraser on the pencil and also with a soft white fabric eraser. A little dab of a damp cloth also removes the marks. It probably helps that I was working with Batiks which have a very tight weave and that I starch my fabrics. Nevertheless, it worked great for this project. They are available at your local quilt store. Warning: you should still test any marking pencil, despite the claims, on a scrap before you mark your quilt! Better safe than sorry! 


  •  Batting: Never, ever use a batting you've never used before on an important quilt ! The batting I normally use, Hobb's Heirloom 80/20, was not available the day I went to buy my batting for Driftwood, so I purchased another 80/20 version from another big name batting company, assuming it would quilt the same. Mistake!!! It has a very soft drape as the package promised, which I wanted, but it bearded and pilled like crazy! Thought I was going to lose my mind at times, as the brown fabric was often coated in a fine layer of white mist! 


  • Spray Basting: I have used various sprays in the quilt-making process, but in the making of Scandinavian Christmas, I spray basted the quilt for the first time instead of pin basting. Since this quilt is on the smaller side, (only 36" x 48") I thought I'd give it a try. Loved it! I used Spray and Fix 505. Following the mfg. directions, I sprayed the batting only. I was only working with the top and batting layer, but the layers stayed together beautifully and I had no gumming on the needle. I love the whole family of Spray and Fix Sprays. I have also used and recommend Spray and Fix 404 to temorarily adhere templates to fabric to make it easier to cut out the fabric shapes. I have used both 505 and 404 to adhere Golden Threads Tracing Paper to quilt motifs without marking.
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