May: Use a pipe cleaner to get the dust and lint out of the nooks and crannies of your sewing machine.
April: Organize your buttons with twist ties.
March: Take a photo of every completed quilt and put it in an album with info about who it was given to, the quilter, batting, thread, pattern, etc. It makes a great reference and it's fun to add photos of the baby lying on his/her quilt or your quilt hanging in a show!
February: To keep a bobbin with the matching spool, stick a Q-tip in the middle of the spool and put the bobbin on top.
January: Cut up a flexible plastic cutting board to use in the bottom of totebags.
December: Use a binder clip to keep your sewing tape measure neatly folded.
November: Use numbered beads to number quilt rows, or buttons on safety pins, or label flower head pins with numbers.
October: Do you have lots of extra free address labels? Fold them over the tops of favorite quilt magazine pages so you can easily find that perfect quilt project. The labels are also great for marking supplies and rulers at a quilt workshop.
September: Jumbo ziploc bags are a great way to store completed blocks until you are ready to put them together.
August: When arranging blocks or layering a quilt on the floor, use gardening kneepads to cushion your knees.
July: Have ugly fabric you won't ever use as it is? We have beautiful fabric dyes to smooth out the ugliness and make it usable again. Just ask us how to do it.
June: Use a clothes drying rack to organize strips and rows for sewing.
May: When sewing on the quilt binding, roll it up on an empty toilet paper roll and hang it around your neck. No more tangles!
April: After using a seam ripper, pull out stitches with Scotch tape. Put a strip of tape on both sides of the seam. Pull off strips one at a time and the loose threads will come off with the tape. Avoid putting the tape too close to the raw edges so that you don't pull out fabric threads, too.
March: Be sure to take pictures of your finished projects and save them in an album, especially if you plan to give them as gifts.
November: Use an old dishwasher silverware rack to store tools, marking pencils, and rotary cutters.
October: If you want to trim away the batting on a layered quilt but not the quilt backing, slip a cutting mat between the backing and the batting to prevent cutting the backing by mistake.
September: Practice free motion quilting on a scrap of felt. No need to layer or avoid pins!
August: On most sewing machines, the presser foot must be up when threading the sewing machine to ensure that the thread goes through the tension discs properly.
July: Your cutting mat can be stored and protected from warping by hanging on a skirt hanger with clamps.
June: Save small scraps of fabric and batting in a bag. When you have enough, make a pillow cover out of sturdy fabric. Stuff the pillow with your scraps to make a bed for your favorite dog!
May: If your thimble slips off when you’re stitching, dampen your finger slightly before putting it on.
April: Maintain your sewing machine regularly by winding 10 bobbins. When the bobbins have all been used, it’s time to clean and
oil your machine and change your needle.
March: Make sure your ironing board is at least waist high so you don’t get a backache from bending over.
February: When layering a quilt, use a yardstick to smooth out the batting and the quilt top.
January: Buy extra fabric to make a pillowcase to match your quilt. 3/4 yard for the main pillowcase and 1/4 yard for the trim. (Stop by the shop if you need sewing instructions.)
December: Save your old sewing machine needles to hang pictures! Pound into the wall up to the thick part.
November: When prewashing fabrics, avoid using fabric softener if you are going to fuse onto the fabric. Fusible web may not adhere properly to “softened” fabric.
October: Sew with the fullness on the bottom! Sewing together 2 quilt blocks or sections that aren't quite the same size? Stitch with the longer one on the bottom. The presser foot will push the top fabric a bit more, helping to ease in the excess fabric.
September: Looking for fabric to match a project? Cut small squares of your fabrics and thread them on your key chain so you always have them handy.
August: Do you have odd pieces of leftover batting? These can be quickly fused together with a 3" strip of lightweight fusible (on one side) interfacing.
July: Has your OttLite ever fallen off the sewing table? Put a square of non-slip drawer liner underneath and it will stay put!
June: (from Laurie) When prewashing fabric, snip off the corners of the fabric to reduce raveling.
May: Having trouble threading your sewing machine? Put the thread between your two pointer fingers and guide it in with both hands. For some reason this works every time!
April: Fusible web stuck to you iron? Iron a fabric softener dryer sheet with your iron set on cotton, and it will be gone in no time!
March: Small scraps of batting are great for picking up loose threads and lint from your cutting mat and sewing machine.