Monday, March 25, 2013

5 Quilting Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

Hi everyone:

Ever been in a hurry to start a project? Just so excited to get going and see it through that you rush right in and run into problems partway through? We've all done this, so I thought it might be helpful to provide you with a list so you don't make these quilting mistakes.

  • Not reading the pattern thoroughly before starting a project. Ensure that you understand the construction process and have all the necessary materials before you start the project. You don't want to run out of fabric in the middle of the quilt or not have sufficient fusible web to trace all your appliqu├ęs.

Read the entire pattern and ensure you have all the necessary supplies

  • Not taking the time to construct and check the size of one block. Okay, I hate to do this, but isn't it better to take that little bit of time to check one block, than to have made 100 of them and they don't fit together right? Yes, it is - take the time!

Measure and make any adjustments before you make the rest of the blocks

  • Not preparing your sewing machine before you start. Clean the machine, oil it, if necessary, put in a new needle in the appropriate size and check all your settings. Were you quilting the last time you used the machine? Make sure to bring those feed dogs back up and adjust your tension (top and bobbin). Wind a bobbin full of the appropriate thread and you're ready to go! 

Oil your machine and insert a new needle
Wind up some bobbins
    Clean the bobbin area

  • Not closing your rotary cutter between cuts. Okay, this is a safety issue and you may not think that this is an important part of quilting construction, but... just think of how much time you'll lose if you have to go to the emergency room to get stitches in that finger you cut because you FORGOT TO CLOSE YOUR ROTARY CUTTER AFTER EACH CUT! This is a pet peeve of mine, so you'll have to forgive me, but start a new habit now and close the rotary cutter after each cut. A new mantra: cut, close, cut, close, cut, close - I think you've got it!

  • Not having enough snacks. Yes, it is sad, but true, some quilters skip this crucial step and run out of snacks partway through the quilting process. The drop in blood sugar can result in being too tired to keep going and that WIP becomes a UFO. Keep the momentum going and ensure you have enough chocolate chocolate snacks to last you for the duration of your project. 

You can never have too much chocolate!
Hopefully these tips will help you the next time you start a new project. If you have any tips to avoid quilting mistakes, please let me know.

Off to accumulate chocolate snacks!


Peggy said...

Good tips, Kim - I especially like the idea of having snacks on hand so the momentum keeps going and going and going!

Colleen said...

Thanks for the tips. I did NOT know about the requirement for chocolate, so I especially appreciate that I can, from now on, say "Kim told me I needed it!"

Chatterbox Quilts said...

Thanks, Peg, a girl's got to have her snacks :)

Chatterbox Quilts said...

Glad to enlighten you, Colleen :) Feel free to use my recommendation if you need to.

barbara woods said...

i love the chocolate part

Chatterbox Quilts said...

Me too, Barb :)

Heather said...

must keep the chocolate handy or how could I possibly quilt for long. Thanks.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

Chocolate has salvaged several bad quilting days for me! I've read of so many quilters cutting themselves with their cutters lately that I have been extra careful with mine... I don't want to be next.

Chatterbox Quilts said...

Thank goodness for Easter - the chocolate supply has been replenished!

Chatterbox Quilts said...

Yes, nothing like a bit of chocolate to fix that quilting issue. I've heard horror stories about rotary cutters as well, so am also extra careful when cutting.

Unknown said...

Great blog Kim.