Friday, May 10, 2013

Quilter's Favorites!

I'm joining in the fun at Geta's Quilting for Quilter's Favorites. Bloggers from around the world are sharing there best quilting tips and tricks!  Can't wait to check it out!

 List a few of your favorite quilting notions. 
1. Tweezers that are fine enough to pull thread and have a pointed end to use like a stiletto.
2. QTips for cleaning out under the bobbin case. It captures more lint than any brush I've ever used.
3. Queen Supreme Slider for free-motion quilting. Helps your quilt slide easier while your quilting.
4. Elmers washable glue, instead of pins for bindings. Here's a tutorial of what I mean.
5. Pinmoor pin anchors - little silcone pin anchors used for pin basting with straight pins.

Any advice for a successful color scheme of a quilt ?
1. Use what appeals to YOU!
2. Keep your colors in the same level of saturation (also called purity or chroma), i.e. not try and mix a bright clear blue with muddy fall colors. (unless you really, really like it)!

3. Personally, I'm not a big fan of lots of prints. I like one or two standout prints surrounded with a lot of solids.
4. Again: Use what appeals to YOU! - You will have a lot more fun working on your project.

Some thoughts about thread and needles, batting, fabrics ? 
Thread: I have been bitten by the Aurifil bug. It's my latest addiction. I'm afraid it's worse than fabric for me. Just can't help myself. Then of course free-motion quilting (FMQ) is my favorite part of quilting.
My stash! Shhh, don't tell my husband.
Needles: Schmetz Microtex (sharps) 8/20 is the most common one I use. But I'm very fickle here, I switch to a different type of needle anytime I'm having a problem FMQ or anytime I work on something different.

Batting: I have two current favorites (I like to try different battings), both are Quilters Dream. QD Request (a low loft cotton) and QD Puff (very puffing polyester). It really depends on the look I'm going for, it's part of my design.

Tips for easy piecing
Did I mention my favorite part of quilting is FMQ? The only tip I have is piece with Aurifil 50wt. It's a lot less bulky, seams press flatter. I also press my seams open, better for FMQ!

If you enjoy other quilt techniques than patchwork, could you share some tips with us ?
Did I mention, my favorite part of quilting is FMQ???

Machine quilting tips 
1. If you can draw it, you can quilt it. Practice drawing what you want to quilt.
2. Make up a whole bunch of quilt sandwiches to practice on.
3. Get a sewing table that you machine drops down into so that you have a flat surface. This made the biggest difference in the world for me. I got a very inexpensive Gidget II table and insert. Really, it's less than the cost of fabric for a king sized quilt.
4. A Supreme Slider helps
5. Relax, enjoy drawing, doodling on your quilt. NOBODY's  quilting is perfect, get over yourself and just enjoy the process.

Hand quilting tips
Sorry I machine quilt!

Other tips related to quilting
Make things that speak to YOU! Don't quilt to make other people happy, quilt to make YOU happy. Along the way, you will find out that others like things that you do.

Do you have free tutorials on your blog? Share the link.
I have a whole page of tutorials.

Here are a few that I've gotten quite a good response on.
1. Basting with boards for pin basting and spray basting. Takes up less room and no kneeling on the floor.
2. Faux Piped binding. Looks cool and it's all done by machine, no hand stitching.
3. Two methods for QAYG (quilt as you go), wide sashing and narrow strips.

The sewing machine - share a few things you love at your sewing machine; what makes it special? What features do you think are the most important to a sewing machine used for quilting?
I have a Pfaff Quilters Expression 4.0. I love the 10" throat space, the thread cutter, the built in IDT (walking foot). But the BEST thing is the fabulous service and support I get from Quilters Corner , my local quilt shop where I bought my machine. Nothing beats great service and knowledgeable technicians.

What about modern quilting tools? Quilt software, die cutting systems, other tools? Why do you like them ?
I have an embroidery sewing machine and I love Urban Threads designs - not so cutesy

Tips for organizing the sewing tools, the fabrics, the sewing studio?

Bobbin storage - Dritz bobbin box. The foam inside is soft and it holds the bobbin securely.

Solution; "Mini Bolts" stored in a double Martha Stewart bookshelf. This represents over 175 pieces of fabric ranging in size from a fat quarter to multiple yards.Wrapped on acid free "comic book" boards. I still need to wrap more fabric.

Could you recommend a book to someone who just started quilting ? A quilting bible ?
I have to say that I inherited a ton of quilting books from my mom and I never look at them. I generally look things up on the internet.

List one or two of your favorite quilting techniques and a tutorial/pattern/book where you learned about them ?
So many fabulous bloggers. Thank you to all of you.

Do you have a favorite quilt designer ? 
I can't just pick one.  So many fabulous designers. I tend to like the modern minimalistic quilts the best. I almost never use a pattern.

Do you have a favorite quilt blogger? 
Again, so many wonderful quilt bloggers. I do have to call out Leah Day at The Free Motion Quilting Project. She is the most wonderful FMQer and has literally 100's of videos on quilting FMQ fillers. She also is wonderfully helpful at troubleshooting. She just ROCKS!

Would you like to share one of your favorite quilts, made by you ? 
I guess it would have to be my Koi Pond Quilt.

Do you have a favorite online quilt shops ? What makes it special ? 
There are some wonderful online shops, but I seem to keep going back to Hawthorne Threads. Great modern fabrics, good prices, and really great service.

What would be the perfect gift for your best quilting friend ? 
A couple of spools of Aurifil Thread!

Don't Do Like Me!
When I first got my new Pfaff, I had a terrible time with breaking and shredding thread. I did everything I could think of to fix the problem. Somethings would make it somewhat better, but it really needed to go into the shop and be adjusted. I suffered through seven months, fighting with the machine. The folks at the quilt shop were wonderful. WHY did I not take it in sooner???  Lesson, it's NOT always YOUR fault!

If there is something else you would like to share with us, please do it. And please tell us a little about you, we would love to know you better. 

 Here's a blog post that tells my quilting story.   

Thank you Geta for hosting such a great link up. Imagine all that knowledge in one place, phew!

Color Me Quilty!



  1. Pat, thank you for sharing your tips and favorites. I love Aurifil thread too. Who needs shoes, dresses, parties, when you can have Aurifil ? The colored spools look yummy!

  2. I absolutely love your statement ". NOBODY's quilting is perfect, get over yourself and just enjoy the process."
    That is so true. I have seen some "oopsies" made by some of the best I know of.

  3. I use a beading tweezers. A precision tool. Best thing I every did when I got it. It will pick up a thread when your fingers can't. It will pull a needle through when you aren't strong enough without it. And you can use it to just perfectly place something going through the sewing machine when your fingers have no business being anywhere near that needle.

  4. Great tips and tools. I have my tweezers and q-tips right next to my machine all the time, too. I am finding so many other Aurifil thread fans on this linky party. It is good stuff. Beautiful quilt. Thanks for sharing ... :) Pat

  5. Great post. Going to try the q-tips! I also like the "get over yourself" comment. Create because it is inside of you and have fun. That is you Pat. Love your blog!

  6. Thank you for all this info! I have been trying to do some free motion quilting and it's pretty bad right now! LOL! But it will get better! thanks again!
    hulseybg at gmail dot com

  7. I wont tell your husband if you dont tell my husband about my stash. Thanks for the info about this linky.

  8. Thanks, I liked reading your tips. Love the Koi design.

  9. What a great post with wonderful tips and inspiration.


  10. I have not seen the Martha Stewart bookshelf. What a perfect fabric storage place!

  11. Thanks for the tips! Your fabrics look so pretty on those shelves.

  12. You hit so many of my favorite points! Running to check out your tutorials. Thanks for all your hints.

  13. Thanks for the tips! Love that bobbin box!

  14. Wait... I think I missed this part, is your favorite part of quilting FMQ!? :)

    I've been thinking about the Gidget II, however, I've read some bad reviews on it. I've heard it's quite shaky and vibrates while free motion quilting, is this true? Maybe these people have it on carpet rather than hardwood flooring. Do you have your table on a carpeted surface?

    Thanks for all the info and tips, Pat! I love reading your blog!

  15. Great reading - I have one (two actually) of those bobbin cases - I love the fact that the bobbins won't fall out.
    (came here from Geta)

  16. Your stash of threads make me jealous! Thank you for the tips!

  17. Board basting sounds worth a try& I like the q-tip idea.

  18. Thanks for all the tips. I have been thinking about the comic book board idea for mini bolts for awhile now, just haven't tackled that yet. I also like your bobbin case.