Greetings creative tipsters!
We hope this change will make it easier for members to see all the great tips without scrolling though this contest post, but we are keeping it open so you can read the entries already listed here.
Each month we'll pull winning tips from anywhere in the Tips forum to feature in a QCA video tip or in the e-newsletter. If your tip is selected, you'll win a $10 online gift certificate to the Keepsake Quilting online store!
New Contest Guidelines:
I subscribe to many quilting magazines. I love them all but after a few years I soon became overwhelmed with them all. Parting is such sweet sorrow... Now the patterns or other info I want out of the magazines I just remove and file each separately in a plastic sleeve. I place the plastic sleeve in a large BINDER which is now my reference book for patterns and other info from my quilting magazines. This has become a HUGE space saver for me.
April video tip winner:
I have a "binding necklace" I took all the salvage edges I've been saving for I don't know what, braided them together, slid on an empty TP roll and tied it together. I roll the binding on it, put it over my head and I'm good to go. The binding rolls off easily and evenly because the TP roll turns on the braid.
I bought a small key chain that clips to belt and has a retractable cord. I clip it to my shirt or sweater and fastened my small scissor to it. Now when I have to clip a thread the scissors are always right there handy.
When searching for additional fabric for quilts/ projects...I have taken 4x6 swatches of the fabric I have at home and placed in those little photo page books and added a sticky note of how much of each I have. Easy to carry in your purse & easy to change out for the future use.
"Green" Memories. A few years back, as part of my commitment to recycling, I began wrapping all gifts in fabric prints reflective of the occasion or the personality of the person receiving the gift. I have used many fabrics, but primarily cottons since they lay nicely, and secure them with ribbon. My family loves this new "tradition" and simply folds up the fabric and returns it to me for my stash. Much of the fabric has been reused many times and carries many memories. So this year, I have cut snippets or quilting pieces from them and have started a quilt to hang on the wall during the holidays so we can share those memories. And the best part is there's still plenty of the original fabric left to keep wrapping gifts!
Organizing my sewing space for accessible tools, I sewed several sets of shoulder pads together on the curved side and then sewed one side of the top edges to a strip of pretty fabric. I push pinned that to the wall beyond my machine and can easily find small scissors, seam rippers, tape measures etc. Works for me.
Easy Quilts Spring 2011 Tip Contest Winner!
It's nice to have a pin cushion at your design wall so you don't have to run back and forth from your machine to the wall. My design wall is two pieces of insulation board covered with flannel. I didn't have an extra pin cushion so I took a Mr. Clean Eraser from under my sink (clean, of course) and pushed two long pins through the eraser and into my design wall. I now have a really great pin cushion that didn't cost me a penny. Also, my partner uses Clinique soap that comes in a nice plastic box. Not wanting to add to a landfill, I took the empty box, placed a Mr. Clean Eraser inside the bottom of it and now I have a nice cushion at my machine. I can also place the cover on the box and take it with me to guild meetings or workshops and not worry that my pins will scatter in my bag.
I take old medication bottles and punch a hole in the lid and set it by my sewing machine to put broken and old or bent needles in. When it is full then I throw it in the trash. This prevents anyone from getting stuck by a sharp in the trash.
As an avid recycler--and an unapologetic cheapskate--I scour the thrift stores for old quilting magazines (usually ten cents apiece). I look through them for quilting patterns that I can use to do free motion quilting on my sewing machine. When I find one I think I can use, I trace it onto stencil material, and from there can use it in many different ways, alone or in combination with other patterns. An inexpensive way to expand your free-motion quilting ideas.
To keep my sewing room and material smelling fresh I take a dryer sheet (I love Snuggles) and I tie the corner of it to the grill on the front of my fan and when turned on it leaves off a light fresh scent into the room and keeps my material freshly scented too! When used up it is easily removed and add a fresh one. And very inexpensive!
Put a smaller cutting mat on top your larger cutting mat so that after you square your fabric you can turn it without disturbing your fabric. There are few things more frustrating than realizin you have moved the fabric. No matter how hard you try you simply cannot line it back up. I usually end up squaring it up again...what a waste!!!
Cumberland Gap, TN
I roll my binding into a roll and place it in a small plastic shopping bag. Place one handle through the other and put it over a wrist. When binding my quilt the biding rolls evenly out without tangles alol neat and tidy
When I am cutting my pieces for the quilt top I always cut my binding and press it first thing. I roll it and label it. That way I know I have the fabric for it. Too many times in the past I have been scouring the stores with a quilt in tow trying to find just the right fabric for binding. If I do it early on I know when it comes back from the Long-Armer I have it all cut, pressed and ready to sew on the quilt. No headaches await me!
To keep my binding neat while I am sewing it onto the quilt, after pressing it I wrap it around a piece of PVC pipe that is cut a little bit smaller then the widith of a diaper wipe container. Then I feed the end thru the slot in the container. I set the container on the floor and pull out what I need as I sew it on.