Quilting Tips and Tricks Straight From the Pros: Quilting Made Easy If you would take time to polish a little of your quilting history knowledge, you will find out that the craft have been around since the 17th century. You will probably be impressed at how this unique style of sewing have evolved to become a timeless craft passed on from one generation to another. It was believed that quilting was originally used for utility rather than for any other aesthetic purposes. The use of quilts dates back to the time of the Crusades, where soldiers use quilts for armor padding against chafing and to ward off the stinging cold of winter. Through the years, quilts have become a thing of beauty to adorn the walls rather than a bedcover, as what its popularly used for a few centuries ago. With the availability of technology and the emergence of different sewing techniques, quilting has indeed transcended fashion trends and has continued to thrive in the modern times. If you have just recently taken an interest to the ancient art of quilting, then you probably would need all the help you can get. Even seasoned quilters would probably want to learn a trick or two, a valuable leaf off from the movers and shakers of the quilting industry. Learning some handy tricks can potentially save you from ruining a perfectly good piece of cloth. Choosing and Preparing Quilting Fabric When looking out for great fabrics, don’t be afraid to experiment with colors. A bright shade would make a warm splash in your living room wall and contribute to its unerring character. You can start by choosing a print that immediately grabs your attention, you can then start to choose and coordinate other fabrics that would best complement the printed fabric. You should also pay careful attention to the texture of the fabric. Make sure its soft and supple. Among the elite quilting circles, 100% cotton fabrics are the best choice mainly because it is much easier to quilt through even over layers and unparalleled ease in care. It is best to choose fabric under the same collection since it will be a lot easier to blend at the same time have the variety of light colors, dark and medium hues for a more dramatic effect. Make sure than you purchase an extra ¼ yard just in case you make some mistakes and would therefore need an extra strip or two of cloth. It is important to wash and press your fabrics before cutting and starting on your quilts. This method allows the fabric to shrink or you can also check if it has the tendency to bleed or not. Prewash your fabric with warm water and clip the corners of each square piece to prevent possible tangling. Since most quilt are expected to last for years, make sure you buy only high quality fabrics. Learning the Basics It is only normal for beginners to find quilting a rather complicated task to mess with, some individuals balk at the first sight of errors. However, like any other craft, it takes years to hone your skill. The best thing to do is to start with fairly easy patterns and work your way through the more complicate ones once you have gained enough confidence and proficiency. Here are some useful tips that you can use that can prove to be quite valuable once you start quilting. For novices, only choose those patterns that come with some clear instructions and illustrated diagrams. Learning the basics is hard enough without having to spend so much time trying to figure out all the confusing instructions. It is important to read through the pattern twice or as many times as needed before starting with your quilting product. That way you will somehow have a grip as to what you are trying to achieve and the pattern you trying to create. Remember, this is not a jigsaw puzzle. You can choose to practice on one block first so you will have a hang of it before trying your mettle on the actual project. Use diagonal seams when you are trying to piecing binding to cut down the bulk You need to know the difference between the half-square triangles and the quarter square ones. DO some basic calculations and always add ¼ inch for every square triangle for fabric allowance. More often that not, you will encounter a few hitches along the way. This is only natural, especially if you are still on your first few projects. The key here is not to be too hard on yourself, and give yourself enough time to get used to the intricacies of sewing and quilting. Take comfort in the fact that even expert quilters also make some mistakes too. When trying to learn how to quilt by hand, give more focus on making even stitches and not solely on the lengths of the stitch. In the art of quilting, patience is definitely a much-needed commodity, so be sure you have enough get past a few stumbling blocks or so. Quilting should provide you with a fun and enjoyable experience, and not to drive you over the edge with sheer frustration. The Right Attitude Quilting, like any other craft is a constant learning experience. As they always say, there is certainly a lot of room for improvement. Even if you are on your nth quilting project, chances are you can still learn to few tricks and techniques to make your quilt a clear evidence of your creativity and artistry. Make sure you are open to trying new methods. You can even go out of your way to get some formal lessons on quilting to hone your craft. You should know that all quilters consider a rotary cutter revolutionized quilt making into a higher plane. Its capability to saw through six layers of fabrics all at the same time have proven to be a valuable feature that every serious quilter should take advantage of. So invest on a high quality rotary cutter. Listen to your inner self. Never be afraid to experiment on new patterns once you know you have enough skill. Handy Appliqué Tips Appliqués are among the popular sewing methods incorporated in quilting. It is the art of applying small pieces of fabrics atop a bigger background fabric. This can be a tricky method that would normally require familiarity with quilting before you can ever hope to pull it off with just a minimum fuss. So here are a few tips and tricks that can hopefully ease your way in dealing with quilting appliqués. If you are using embroidery floss or some Perle Cotton, make sure to use the thread not against its direction to avoid tangles and knots. When you cut thread from the spool, first not the ends you cut so that you will have some sort of a marker as to which end should be threaded through your needle. When you are turning corners, you can use some buttonhole stitches as you go to make it more secure. If you are using extremely vibrant colors, it would be imperative to prewash it since there is a big possibility it will bleed. Only 100% cotton fabrics are recommended for appliqués. If you want to use templates, it would be ideal to use the heat-resistant plastics rather than the cardboard one. This is mainly because plastic templates have a better ability to retain their shape in comparison to cardboards. You can simply turn your edges up over the template for a much easier sewing application. A lot of expert quilters would attest that using freezer paper would be the best choice when doing some appliqués. It is a relatively easier method and gives enough stability especially if you are working with a snap. You can start by simply tracing the pattern into the freezer paper, cut it and iron it on the backside of your fabric. When ironing your appliqués, turn off the steam since the steam on streches the fabric. And can possibly burn your fingers. When pinning some narrow shapes such as flower stems, instead of using pins to hold it in place, you can sparsely use some stick glue to stay in place. Appliqués takes a lot of practice to perfect. According to some expert’s experience, perfecting one pattern does not guarantee that you will get the same result after a few months or so. The main idea here is constant practice since quilting skills are known to get rusty after some time. Now that you practically have read all the valuable tricks in the book, it’s about time to put everything you have learned into practice. It can be a little frustrating at the beginning but one you are able to get the hand of it, quilting can be a great way to distress at the end of a grueling week at work. Now you can leisurely spend your lazy Sunday afternoons on you quilting project and watch as it slowly unfold right before your very eyes. Upon completion, you will definitely feel the re warding effects of the fruits of your labor upon seeing own work as the centerpiece showcased in your den or living room. This brings a whole new way to add your own personal touch in your very own abode. If you are looking for ways to improve your skills then you can probably entertain the thought of getting some professional training and some short courses on advanced quilting methods. If you are interested to check out some great patterns and other tricks you would want to know about the different quilting methods, you can checkout the website, www.quiltingpassion.com for some comprehensive information on the valuable tricks of the trade. Who knows you might want to put up your very own quilting business in the future, right? The suite offers some important resources on procurement of materials and tools that you would need in quilting. Last but definitely not the least, quilting should be taken up as a hobby or a form of leisurely pursuit. Make sure that you will enjoy every stitch; otherwise it will feel like work. Don’t be too hard on yourself; quilting should be treated as an outlet of your profound creativity and not some sort of a competitive race.