Plain or Plastic?


What's Your Style

Over the last eight posts we have been having fun answering simple sewing/quilting questions. Today let’s answer question number nine.

Today’s topic is pins. Pins are a common quilting tool. Pins come in various shapes and forms. Some are very short and thin while others are not. The head of a pin can be made of metal, glass or plastic. There are ball-point and sharp point pins. There are appliqué, quilting, safety, silk, T-pins and clips. Today’s question has three parts:

  1. Do you use pins?
  2. For what purpose?
  3. What type or brand do you prefer?

As you have learned from my previous posts I am very fussy. I’ve tried to loosen up and not be so particular but it seems to be a long term process. Given my need for perfection you can be sure I use pins when stitching quilting pieces together. If I’m working with my improv projects I do not. There are no seams or points to match with improv. I like to use quilting pins as my pin of choice. I prefer these because of their larger size and the large plastic ball. I’m not as young as I used to be so the larger utensils make it easier for me. There is a drawback to the plastic heads. I’ve learned through experience that a hot iron can melt the head to your fabric. Sigh…. ;). Melted plastic doesn’t come off fabric very easy. Dah!

If by chance I am working with wool appliqué, which is very seldom, I use my teeny tiny appliqué pins.

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Starch or Not?


What's Your Style

Over the course of several weeks I have been asking my readers a series of sewing/quilting questions. This is the eighth one in the series. The questions are not meant to frustrate you or make you think hard. We all deal with those issues enough in our everyday lives. No, these questions are meant to be a fun. 🙂

Wrinkles are always an issue when it comes to fabric. There are many opinions as to the best way to conquer them. Today’s question has two parts:

Part One:

Do you try to get rid of fabric wrinkles?

Part Two: Which method do you use to tackle them and why?

  1. Do you use a dry iron?
  2. Do you use steam?
  3. Do you use starch?
  4. All of the above?
  5. None of the above?
  6. Other?

Given my overachiever, Miss Neatfreak tendencies I always tackle wrinkles head on. I use every method possible to overcome their persistence. First I try dry pressing. If that doesn’t work then I use steam. Wrinkles that don’t back down when attacked by steam are then spritzed with water from my trusty spray bottle. If that doesn’t accomplish my goal then I bring out the big guns…my trusty bottle of Best Press. I buy the stuff by the gallon. There are very few, and I mean few that will not give way to starch.

Now that I have spilled my guts and ranted and raved it’s your turn. Share with the whole world your “pressing,” pun intended, 🙂 habits.

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Wash or Not?


What's Your Style

We all have opinions and we all have our own preferred way of doing things. A while ago I thought it would be fun to poll my readers and ask them their opinions on various quilting or sewing topics. The number of readers responding to my questions seems to be growing. I have enjoyed reading the answers I have received thus far and have even learned a thing or two. This post is the seventh question in my series.

After purchasing fabric and taking it home a quilter must decide if she will wash her fabrics before using them. Some quilters always pre-wash their fabrics while others do not. Today’s question has three parts:

  1. Do you pre-wash your fabrics?
  2. If yes, why?
  3. If not, why?

I have to admit that I do not prewash my fabrics for several reasons. First of all I am lazy. Fabric, when washed, becomes tangled, releases all sorts of threads, becomes wrinkled and looses its crispness. When I remove it from the washing machine I have to first remove the threads that have wrapped all around the bundle. Then I have to untangle the mess. Next comes drying. Drying it in the dryer does not remove the wrinkles. This means I have a serious amount of time involved in pressing out those wrinkles. All this labor takes the fun out of quilting.

I know what you are about to say. You are going to tell me that one day I’m going to regret my decision. Someday I’m going to be surprised when I take my beautifully made quilt out of the washing machine and discover that my previously unwashed fabric has bled onto the other fabrics in my quilt. To that I will reply, “I’ll take my chances.”

But, I think my philosophy may be on the verge of evolving. Not to long ago I read a very informative post written by Melanie McNeil on her blog called Carbird Quilt Studio. The post was titled Fabrics That Bleed. In her post she shared her insight and experience with fabrics that have bled. She also provided a link to an extremely educational post written by Vicki Welsh. Her post was named Save My Bleeding Quilt! I would highly recommend that you visit both Melanie’s as well as Vicki’s posts to learn valuable laundering techniques for both your fabrics as well your quilts.

Now that I have shared my thoughts let’s hear yours. Time to start typing.

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Trim or Not


What's Your Style

I have been asking my readers to respond to sewing and quilting questions. This is the sixth question in the series.

When a seam is created by stitching two pieces of fabric together there are generally threads that will extend beyond the fabric at the beginning of the seam and at the end of the seam. Now here is the question for today:

Do you trim those threads off or do you leave them on?

I am a neat freak so I almost always (notice I said almost :)) trim my threads because I hate how messy they look.  They also frustrate me when they get wedged in seams and poke their little heads topside.

Time to register your opinion. 🙂

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Lift or Glide?


What's Your Style

Now that is a very strange question isn’t it!

I have been asking a series of sewing and quilting questions. This is the fifth question in the series.

What is a lifter and what is a glider you might ask? Well, a lifter is someone that lifts their iron up from the fabric before moving onto another area. A glider continuously moves the iron across the fabric without lifting.

When pressing fabric or seams for a quilt it is better to lift rather than glide the iron. Gliding the iron can lead to distorted or stretched fabrics, seams and blocks. I am a lifter. 🙂

Time to register your habit. Are you are a glider or a lifter?

Thank you for your participation!

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