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21  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: pre-washing fabric on: August 03, 2007 01:00:16 PM
When I need solids, I go and get them from Gigantic-Wall-of-stuff-from-China-Mart.  They are cheap at about $2 or less a yard and don't lose any color despite my rigorous washing methods.

I also wash them in big pieces so that even if the ends were to get real ravelly, there is still loads of fabric left over.

I like independent quilt shops as much as the next person, I just wish that they were a little more financially accessible to those of us with limited fiscal means.

22  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Freehand or Penciled in?! on: August 02, 2007 01:51:24 PM
I just want to put in a vote for doing it freehand. 

As a disclaimer, I would suggest doing some practice beforehand.  Those ladies on the quilt shows make it look easy, and once you get the hang of it, it will be.

The last thing that I would want is for you to have to cut all those those stitches that you just did.

Go for it, follow seam lines, stipple, whatever makes you happy.
23  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Machine Binding on: August 02, 2007 01:44:18 PM
Just make sure that the top and the bottom of the binding match up.  Other wise you will have to flip the thing over and sew it again, making it look a little shoddy.

Another method you could try is sewing the binding on the back first by machine, then do the front.  This will ensure that the back is firmly in place and that the front looks nice. 

The third way, perhaps my favorite way, is to take the backing fabric (trimmed to about an extra inch beyond the top all around) fold it in towards the center.  This makes it about half an inch beyond the quilt top.  Then you fold it in once more and pin it down.  Voilia!  Finished edge.  Sew that sucker flat  however you like, blanket (hem) stitch,zig-zag, or what have you.  A decorative stitch would look very nice.

I know that I may have shocked some of the more serious quilters with this post, but these are only recommendations, if I had time I might sew it by hand, but I really doubt it.
24  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: I think I"m done making my friends baby quilts on: July 30, 2007 04:29:48 PM
This may come across as being very selfish, but when I make things for people I like to think that I get the most enjoyment out of making the thing.  Basically, I make it for me, and then just give it away when I am done with it. (about five minutes after I make it)  Exceptions being things that I have made for close family and a favored few.

Take some pics and move on to the next project.

Wife and I recently reupholstered a couch for my mom.  I know that she will not really appreciate the level of work that we put into it, but it is good to know that we can do it, and it was great using the staple gun. 

No pics of that couch to be had though, I don't think my camera could handle that much purple.  My mom's living room looks like a children's show host/dinosaur exploded.
25  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: tie-quilt tedium? on: July 30, 2007 04:15:42 PM
This is a quilt that I have been working on.

You can see the heavy white cotton thread that I have been using to tie it all together in the pic if you look close.  Its down the left side, and along the bottom.  I just went from spot to spot and then cut in between.  Still took a while.

BlondGirl is right, this is about the easiest way to do it.  If your spots are to close together to have enough to tie with, make sure to leave some slack.  I like to put my quilts on a big hoop when I am doing the ties, it makes pushing the needle through much easier.  A sailors palm or a thimble can also help.

Longer hanging ends will make it easier to tie (looks at hands cut up by pulling on heavy cotton thread), much easier.
26  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Tools: rotary cutters and mats on: July 24, 2007 04:18:51 PM
Also, when doing rotary cutting, let the cutter do all the work, don't press down so much as zip forward.  That should keep the blade sharper longer.  The more pressure you put down on the cutter, the faster it will dull.

ZumaGirl74 is right though, you will have to replace the blades eventually.
27  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: 2 Pyjama Quilt question... on: July 13, 2007 01:07:22 PM
The only thing that I would watch out for is streachy vs non-streachy fabric.  The last thing that you want is for your sewing machine to pull the streachy stuff all out of whack while you are putting it together. 

Other than that, good for you!  Way to not go out and buy a whole pile of fabric and other suff when you have all kinds of it sitting in a dresser.   You don't really even need batting, you could use an old blanket or just go without.

I am sure we would all love to see pics of your completed project.
28  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: Where to start? on: July 13, 2007 12:55:18 PM
Tying a quilt is very easy.  You take a strand of yarn or twine and then go all the way through your quilt with it using a big needle. 

Upholstery needles work good for this.  They sell them as an assortment in little folded paper things for fairly cheap.

You come back with the yarn or twine right beside where you first went through.  Cut the yarn and take the two ends and tie a square knot.  You can cut the strands or leave them hanging.

You can do this between squares, or in the middle, its all up to you.  The important thing is that you do them close enough to keep the batting from shifting around.

The quilts in my etsy shop (down in my sig) were tied, as I am not at all good with quilting.
29  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: pre-washing fabric on: July 06, 2007 11:19:53 AM
I like to wash the sweet loving monkeys out of my fabric.  I wash on hot, and then make sure that the dryer does a thorough job of it.

I should add, I don't work with delicate fabrics, mostly just cotton solids and prints.

When it comes out, iron it well.  I have fun pulling and breaking those little strings, great stress relief.  For best results I hit it hard with the spray starch before ironing (keeps the squares neat, they fray less, and cut better).

The point of all this is that if the fabric is going to shrink, bleed, or fall apart, I would rather have it do it before I make it into a quilt rather than later. 

After it is all assembled and finished, you can safely wash it knowing that nothing bad will happen to it, getting rid of all that starch.
30  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Re: I scored some free fabric! on: June 29, 2007 12:08:49 PM
That is some rocking fabric!  I like the one with the squirrels. 

Squeek sqeeek, squeekem squeek- You owe me a new acorn.  -Kronk 
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