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Do you have some tips for new quilters for cutting, sewing or pressing? How do you choose fabrics? What have you learned that has helped you most? Do you have questions about how to do something? Post them here!

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It should work great if your quilt top is square or a (more or less) perfect rectangle. There's a post about the effect of the feed dogs on the first page of this discussion. The feed dogs move the lower fabric under the needle faster than the fabric on top. If both my quilt top and the border piece are exactly the same length, I sew with the border on top, because it's smaller, and I can guide both pieces through easily that way. I love half-square triangles, but they can be tricky. Wonderful, that you get to have a quilt you can keep and that the corners line up. I hope you will post a photo when you're done.

I will post a picture.  It is kind of wild.  My husband for Christmas bought me a lot of 1 yd pieces and wanted them used in one quilt.  To me, they have similar colors and patterns, but I could not figure out how to put them together until I found the half square triangle pattern.  There are 18 different fabrics in that pattern!  So, with what he bought and some stash I had, I was able to throw in some solids/marble/batiks, that helped calm it down and blend them together.  I am using a blue and black border to ground the entire quilt.  The 'back' is a Navajo fleece.  The plan final size will be about 60 x 72.  So the top and bottom of the quilt will have more border.  I hope to have this complete by the end of next week.  Like I said before, I am not rushing it.

BTW, for Mother's Day, hubby bought me another new machine.  A Brother HS 2500. I am just learning how to use it.  But so far, I love it.

What would we do for equipment without our DHs? Sounds like your needs an introduction to fat quarters!

I need some help with this. I just finished this quilt - mostly FMQ but near the strip border I used a walking foot for stitch in the ditch. As you can see in the photo the quilt top got skewed - like it was dragged. I had a tough time ripping it as I found the stitches were tiny and invisible as it was brown on brown. Now my question is why did this happen? I suspect it was tension as I increased it when i shifted from FMQ to regular stitching. I also found that the layers were not moving well and used one hand to tug gently from the top side. although i have set it right now it messed up everything and I had a tough five days.  here is the photo -

I don't machine-quilt, so I hope someone else will jump in and answer your question. Your batting seems rather thick, compared with what I use, so I imagine that presents some challenges for quilting. The little bit of your design that shows looks beautiful! Hope someone can help!

I have this problem also.  But I use thinner batting.  The last quilt I did really did not do the 'slipping of the top'.  I am trying to think of what I did different or where to send you to where I got the instruction.  It has something to do with the bottom feed dogs pulling more on the bottom fabric.  

I will look around some to find where I got my info on this 'challenge' and get back with you.

Thank you Peggy and Janet. I realised it was uneven feeds but need to know whether I set the tension too high. That mistake ruined my week and the finish on my quilt was also compromised!

I don't know if this has already been mentioned, but it just came up for me again. If your cutting mat is dark and your fabrkc is, too, you can turn your fabric to the wrong side when you fold and press for cutting. If it's a printed pattern, it will be lighter on the back. Of course, this won't work for yarn-dyed fabric, homespun, etc. In that case, if the reverse side of your cutting mat is lighter, turn it over and use the reverse side.
Use the cutting lines on your ruler, not the mat. The cutting lines on the mat can be wider than those on the ruler, contributing to inaccuracy. If the back side has no lines, it doesn't matter.

I usually cut my binding on-grain, selvedge to selvedge. When the binding fabric is stripes, checks or plaids, though, I think you get a nicer effect by using binding cut on the bias. If the design is very small, I usually don't worry about whether the pattern lines up, but with a big obvious stripe, such as the one I'm sewing on to my latest quilt, I thought it was important to line up the stripes, or at least get them close.

Here's how I did it: I cut a couple more bias, 2.5" strips of the binding fabric. I matched the stripes of two of the strips, moving the upper strip in relation to the lower strip. Then I sewed from one V to the other. In some cases, it was much more than the normal 1/4" I usually use. After sewing, I trimmed to 1/4" and pressed to the side.

Then I folded the binding over and pressed in half lengthwise. I didn't worry if the stripe wasn't exactly matched. Once it's folded and sewn down, the irregularities won't be obvious.

Hand-quilting your quilt? An easy way to mark straight lines on your quilt is to use masking tape.

I usually take the tape off when I put my quilting away overnight, but sometimes I forget, with no problem, but I wouldn't leave it for a long time (months) or in a hot car, as the stickiness might stay on the quilt instead of the tape. I prefer masking tape to blue painter's tape, which doesn't seem to be as sticky and can't be reused as often.

Need to trace templates or write on fabric? Sandpaper will keep the fabric from stretching with the pencil.

You can buy a sandpaper board ready to go, or you can just glue a piece of sandpaper to a file folder or another firm surface. I find this handy for tracing appliqué templates, but in the photo you can see how I traced a template to complete a paper-pieced block.

That is a cool tip, thanks :)


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