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  • Thread your needle from the thread end, and not the end cut off the spool. This prevents your thread from "knotting", as you sew. Thread has a direction.

  • When you have bits of threads left over, from the end of bobbins or spools, wind them around a scrap of cardboard to keep for basting your appliqué shapes or hand sewing your binding on.

  • To stop the foot pedal of your sewing machine from slipping, cut a square of rubber shelf liner the size of the foot pedal and place it under.

  • Use pipe cleaners for fishing dust out of your sewing machine. They seem to be magnetic and the best part is they go around corners!
  • Tie a ribbon to a pair of small sewing scissors and safety pin them to your ironing board. When you press your quilt blocks and find threads that need cutting, you can clip them easily.

  • To make a portable pressing table, use a wooden collapsible TV table. Place several layers of batting to fit the top, and then make a drawstring cover of your favorite fabric or staple the fabric and batting to the back. It is great to have beside the sewing machine for pressing as you go and folds up out of the way when not in use.

  • When hand quilting, cut a 3" square of batting to have near you. Put the snips of thread on this piece of batting. They stick to it really well even if the batting is knocked onto the floor.

  • When pressing the seams in your quilt block, always press the seam flat first, the way it was sewn. This sinks the thread into the fabric and reduces the bulk of the seam.

  • If you don't have any thangles, you can make half-square triangles one inch larger than the finished requirement, and then square them to size. Perfect blocks every time.

  • Take pictures of your quilts and put scraps of the fabric you used to make the quilt with the picture. What a great way to document your quilts.

If you have a tip you'd like to share, send an email to tracy@oaktreequilts.com


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