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Quilting, Tips

To Wash or Not To..

Some quilters pre-wash all their fabrics before using them in a quilt – others do not.  Similarly some individuals insist on pre-washing their dishes before putting them in the dishwasher and some dislike pre-washing.  (Personally I do not pre-wash dishes that are going into a dishwasher, but I do pre-wash fabric before it goes into my stash!)

Concerning me mostly is color transfer of the fabrics used in the quilt. Nowadays most of colors do not run  but red and dark blue can sometimes cause a problem.  Using color catcher sheets when washing a finished quilt for the first time is always a good insurance policy.   

While some quilters like the resulting shrinkage and puckers that result after a finished quilt (that has been assembled from unwashed yardage) is washed,  I think that the puckers detract from the overall beauty of the quilt.  Others believe that they make the quilt more antique-like.  Definitely personal preference.  

My personal choice is to wash all fabric before storing or using it in a quilt.  Treating the fabric with chemicals during the manufacturing process leaves a finish on it that I’d don’t like.  In addition even after washing yardage or precuts, I do not iron the fabric but just fold it for storage and iron when I need it.  The pieces have to be ironed before use anyways to remove fold lines.  Ironing them twice doesn’t make sense!  Normally I wash yardage in the machine and soak fat quarters or other precuts.  Then  dry them both in the dryer.

So I guess the answer is – it’s your personal choice. The popular quilting website, Bluprint  agrees that it depends on you alone. 

There are no ‘quilt police.  

There is always time to quilt!
Quilting, Quilting with Friends

Disconnected?? That Depends On How You Look At It!

On the last weekend of March 2020 some of my quilting friends and I had planned an annual quilting retreat to Bridal Creek B&B in Hamilton, NY. It’s a beautiful place to regroup and reconnect.

On past retreats our host Barbara has served us some wonderful meals and catered to us all throughout the weekend. In addition, as a quilter herself, she has joined us daily in the quilting studio as well as at meals.

Unfortunately, like the rest of our country this year, this is one of the many social activities that had to be canceled.

Quilters are a resourceful group however. Technology to the rescue.

We got together with a google hangout for almost two hours of video chat where we were able to

catch up, share our current projects and laugh, and laugh…… Laughing is definitely good for the soul. The only thing missing was the overwhelming amount of snacks that normally accompany our get-togethers.

In fact we enjoyed our video chat so much that we’re chatting weekly. You can’t keep a quilter down!

Looking forward to next year’s retreat.

There is always time to quilt!
Quilting, Quilting tools, Tips

Making Lemonade

Calamity Strikes! I recently broke my arm. And of course it’s my right arm and I’m right handed. LOL

Since I can’t quilt one of the next best things I can do is to search the Internet for quilting topics. I came across an article from All People Quilt on organizing your stash. Of course with any thing like this, everything will not appeal to everybody. But it did have a couple of ideas that I certainly think will work for me.

Ruler Storage

The first it’s really pretty simple.

Item 21. Fill a 3-ring binder with see-thru pages (either zippered or unzippered) to store your small rulers. You could even go a step further and organize the rulers by manufacturer or purpose.

Ruler Storage

Keep track of smaller templates and specialty rulers with a large D-ring binder and zippered see-through pockets.

Stashing Notions

Item 24 repurposes a cutlery organizer:

Stashing Notions

Use a flatware divider to store often-used items next to your sewing machine. They’ll always be in reach, but won’t roll off the table.

Check out the entire article for yourself.

There is always time to quilt!
Scrap Quilting, Tips


Have you ever thought that there must be something that could be done with the half-square triangles that are left over after trimming flying geese.  Well I finally have completed a project that I think turned out pretty well.

If you ever forget to hold both top and bobbin threads when starting to sew a seam with your machine,  you may very end up with sewing machine ‘vomit’ on the bottom fabric.  Yuk!  I sometimes use a leader fabric (a fabric scrap at the beginning and end of the block I am sewing.)  So why not use these leftovers for the leader block?

I now have started a collection of scrap triangles.  Many of my fellow quilters have been giving me their scraps.  (Lucky me!)  

What to do with them?  I like the look of a scrappy quit that looks what I call ‘scrappy coordinated’.  An internet search turned up a plethora of half-square triangle block quilts.  A few sites are:

Churn Dash Blocks

I decided on making a churn dash quilt using the discarded half square triangles from a quilt that a friend is making for me.  What a find this turned out to be!

Finished Quilt


I got so caught up in the process that I had to make the backing scrappy too.  The result a reversible quilt.

Quilt Back


What a find!


 There is always time to quilt!

Quilt Backings, Quilting and the Internet, Quilting tools, Scrap Quilting

Quilt Backing – The Easy Way

Having shied away from using pieced and directional fabrics for quilt backings for a number of years, I finally decided it was time to test ‘new waters.’  So off to my most easily accessible source I went – the internet. (Not sure how we managed without this immediate source of information.  I remember doing research in school at the library with  a supply of index cards, etc.  – but that’s another story – and certainly is dating myself).

I found a post on Sylvia’s Stitches that made the process easy:

  •  I put some permanent placement marks on my cutting table so I can easily place skewers in the appropriate spot whenever I am sandwiching a quilt.

  • Using painter’s tape, secure skewers to table.
  • Press the backing, batting and top length-wise and width-wise to find the center.
  • Lay the backing on your table and line up the center with the skewers.  You can line up the center of the fabric easily as you feel the skewers on your table.  Repeat with batting and quilt top.
  • Pin or spray baste your quilt for a perfectly aligned sandwich!

How easy is that!There is always time to quilt!