I was recently asked what the best advice I’d ever gotten was in regards to quilting. As I started to ramble a few things off, I realized that there were more than a few Pearls of Wisdom that I’d retained over the years. So, I figured I’d write them down and share them with you here. A few of them can be easily applied to life in general – so, I’ll start with those for those of you who are not quilters. 😉
1) “They don’t ask us if they can go buy a new fishing rod, or gun, or bass boat – so we don’t need to be askin’ them if we can go buy more fabric!”… Ms. “Every Granny”
2) “Do what you love – we’re just making blankets here people!!” …Mark Lipinski
3) “I’m a girl, and I’m a Quilter – so I have the right to change my mind!” ..Pat Sloan
4) There are NO “Quilt Police”!!!!
5) Only God is perfect – our quilts don’t have to be!
6) PLAY!!!! You never know what you may create!
7) Rules? What Rules???
8) “Who said you can’t mix fabrics in a quilt?” …Mark Lipinski
9) Invest in a CrockPot!!!
10) Cheaper is NOT better when it comes to fabric, or supplies!
11) Vacuum out the lint from your Bobbin Case after every quilt.
12) Use the edge of your quilting/machine foot as your guide to ensure a quarter inch seam.
13) Can’t afford the cost of backing fabrics? Use a 250 thread count Flat Sheet instead.
14) Take a photo of EVERY quilt that you finish.
15) If you are proud of it – LABEL IT!!!
16) You can topquilt with ANY thread if you will use a size 90 needle and LOOSEN your upper thread tension.
17)If you can see thru the fabric (loose weave) DO NOT USE IT for a quilt.
18) You can NEVER have too much fabric!! Especially at 2am when the Quilt Shop is closed and you just need 1 more piece of material for a quilt that has to be done by morning!!
19) Don’t Iron press your quilt blocks until the block is finished being pieced or it can/will warp.
20) If you absolutely LOVE a fabric – BUY IT NOW! The manufacturers only produce it for a few months and it will be gone when you go back to the shop later!
21) NEVER buy less than 1 yard of fabric for an accent fabric – and less than 2 yards for a prominent fabric in your pattern. You WILL make a cutting mistake someday!
22) Always cut/layout a sample block BEFORE you cut out a whole quilt, or sew the first stitch! If you hate the block/look, you can painlessly change it now!
23) Place all of your fabrics for a project on a table and JUST look at them for 1 – 3 days. If you change your mind about using any of the fabrics/color combos, you can change them now.
24) IT IS OK to own every ruler ever made – you never know when you might need one of them! 🙂
25) If you start making sloppy cutting/sewing mistakes – STOP, walk away, and take a 15 minute break!! Otherwise, your mistakes will just get worse.
26) ALWAYS unplug your machine!! Lightening strikes – and surge protectors are not fail-safe!!
27) Don’t be afraid/reluctant to cut a fabric that you love! If you die, your significant other/family will just sell that fabric in a Garage Sale for a quarter, or throw it in the trash. Use it now!!!
28) If you ever have to travel with your quilts, or ship them, then always #1 Label them and #2 place a note/card inside the luggage/box with them that lists your name, MAILING address, phone numbers, and e-mail address in case the outside identification/destination info gets damaged or removed!
29) Stray block leftover from a project? Use it as the top (bodice) for an apron, or make it into a matching throw pillow for the quilt you just made, or turn it into a mouse pad for your computer, or a potholder.
30) No quilt design wall? Take a bunch of your old batting scraps and zigzag stitch them together until they are the size you want. Thumbtack them to the wall for a portable design wall that you can take down easily as needed.
31) Donate your “practice quilts” to the local animal shelter. The dogs and cats don’t care what they look like, and the animals are just happy to have them to sleep on!
Have a great day!