I also score the stitching line with the back of my seam ripper to encourage the paper to loosen from the stitches. I have used old phone book pages, too!
Another hint I read somewhere recently is to save the USED dryer sheets after your laundry is done and press them flat. Then string piece onto the dryer sheet. The advantage is that you don't have to tear them off; you can leave them on. Haven't tried this yet, though.
Quilt labels: I use sew in inkjet fabric. I can design the printable part of my label in my word processing program and insert graphics. I can easily get 4 out of an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet, so I wait until need 4 labels (you know we quilters don't want to waste!). From there, I trim the label leaving 3/8" around all sides from the printing. I can then add pieces of fabric from the quilt top in whatever pattern strikes me as appropriate. I turn under and press (sometimes add a dab of fabric glue, and stitch it on with an invisible stitch. This has worked well as I can get much more information on my labels by printing them than I could trying to hand write them AND their legible to boot!
Quilt label envelopes: This is an excellent choice also as Linda Fielding wrote! I would offer the idea of using the sew in inkjet fabric as the "inside" of the envelope. Instead of seaming 3 of the 4 flaps together, leave them unattached, and make them big enough to overlap, then secure with 2 small buttons and buttonholes, or even a hook and eye! That way, the history of the quilt is permanently attached!
Just had to add this - it is awesome! CORNWOMAN wrote this in another Discussion somewhere - I'm lost with the groups and Discussions, etc. but this is too good to let it go so I wanted to share it!
Muslin is a very versatile fabric for quilting and when I buy it, I usually get lots of yards. It's a great neutral, and comes in white (bleached) or natural which is varying shades of tan or beige. I know that it sounds boring but there are tons of things you can do with it.
1. You can tea dye it and use it in Primitive or new quilts to make them look old, which is very common in scrappy quilts.
2. You can use it like any other light in your blocks. It was used a lot in those 30's quilts to offset all of those colors.
3. When doing applique blocks where you want the applique to "pop" or be the focus, you can use it for the background. It really is wonderful and my BOM blocks are going to use just that.
4. You can use it as a foundation when doing "string" blocks. When I have strips that are varying widths and lengths, I cut blocks of muslin and batting and beginning from the center on a diagonal, start sewing strips of scraps on (right sides together and flip open before adding the next). You get rid of everything from very short strips to longer ones and it doesn't matter how wide they are. The more variety the better.
5. You can make labels from muslin which allow you to use your pigma pens to draw (and write) any kind of design you want.
6. You can make hanging sleeves on the backs of your quilts.
7. You can stitch two pieces of any size and shape of a tightly woven muslin together, leaving an opening, then fill it with playground sand and stitch closed. Then take either wool or other pretty fabrics (I use wool for these) to make a cover for it and stitch it closed, giving a pin cushion that sharpens the point of your pins and needles.
8. You can use muslin as background for redwork or embroidery blocks.
Basically, muslin is a very versatile neutral sort of like that "little black dress" that many women have in their wardrobes. It's a workhorse.
Have fun with your bucket or basket under the cutting table, and when you get enough maybe give it a try with some muslin for a scrap quilt of one style or another.
I,too,am a huge fan of muslin!!! I have been known to buy an entire bolt when my local fabric store has their twice a year 50% off everything sale. It has to be the most versatile of basic fabrics. My favorite thing to do with top quality muslim is to play around with dyes. You can get some interesting colors!!! It makes a wonderful pillow form to stuff, patterns and forms for children's toys and bags to hold your completed projects. I like the natural the best,but any of the shades will do. It is terrific. I made a summer weight quilt with nothing but muslin scraps and then I tea dyed the whole thing and added some colorful borders and used muslin for the backing. It is one of my favorite summer bed coverings. I think I wouldn't know what to do with my muslin!!!
I always thought you had to used "prepared for dye" (PFD) fabrics for dying projects. (Something about them containing fewer additives like sizing, maybe?) Obviously you've had success with muslin, but does that mean it's also additive-free? Anyway, this is good to know, since I'm pretty sure that basic muslin is cheaper than the PFD stuff they sell in quilt shops.
Some of us use acrylic based dyes and paints for marking and painting. Regular dyes are triggers for some asthmatics, where the acrylics are not. Like housepaint, they will stick permanently to anything too.
I am looking for advice on how to keep the points in my half-square triangles from being lost when I sew them together. I am just learning to use them. Sometimes they look perfect, but at other times the points get lost in the seam. What am I doing wrong? Thanks so much!
My first thought is that you are probably doing what I used to do...and still have the uncontrollable urge to do but resist-are you trimming the funky little sticky out parts off before you sew them together?
It's really important with triangles to get a perfect (or really really close to perfect) 1/4 seam allowance (or whatever the pattern says) all the way around the pieces, and then sew them together as carefully as possible so you keep that seam allowance as perfect as possible. THEN-when you iron the piece flat do NOT clip those little ends that stick out funny off. I'm a neat freak and that was my first instinct. When I do it and then sew two pieces together-I lose the points in the seams.
So-rule of thumb-whatever your seam allowance is, there MUST be that much (and a smidge more for my comfort zone) fabric left at the end of your "points" so when you sew the seam where those points are, they don't get swallowed under the stitches.
I find that if I sew a "scant" 1/4 seam I end up with a much better fit. The thread in the seam takes up a tiny bit of room thus using a "scant" helps the situation. There also is the urge to trim too closely thereby losing the 1/4 seam allowance.
Getting that 'scant 1/4 inch' is really the trick, huh? I've discovered I can set my needle to the right-hand straight stitch (my machine has left, center and right positions for straight stitching). I can then adjust the stitch 'width' to move the needle a smidge to the right. I can then use the edge of the wide presser foot as a guide. I like using the wider foot since it holds the fabric down better, and moving the needle to the right gives me that perfect 'slightly less than 1/4" seam' every time! Tape on the cover plate helps too, to give a good, highly visible line for the edge of the fabric. Need to experiment with scrap fabric to get it just right, any time you change the setup for a non-quilting project.