Rock Valley Quilter's Guild, Janesville, WIRock Valley Quilter's Guild, Janesville, WIRock Valley Quilter's Guild, Janesville, WI


Tips & Tricks


 Wrinkle Releaser

To get the wrinkles out of fabric use Downy Wrinkle Releaser (if you can find it). A substitute that works well is one capful of Downy Fabric softener mixed with about 2 cups of water. Mix well and put in a spray bottle. Works especially well if fabric is warm.

Tablecloth Design Wall

When working on a large quilt with limited space and blocks of time, use a vinyl tablecloth with flannel backing as a design surface. Place the blocks out to preview them and roll up the tablecloth with blocks on the flannel side. The fabric stays put and is easily stored. This also works great at retreats if the retreat is done but your quilt top is not complete! Roll and go!"

T-Shirt-Quilt Tips

1. Buy fusible INTERFACING in the pre-packaged bags hanging in the notions area. Get the LIGHT to MEDIUM weight fusible interfacing; otherwise the quilt will be too stiff. The fusible interfacing should be fusible on ONLY one side. Do not purchase paper-backed fusible webbing - it's usually too thick. Fusible webbing is fusible on BOTH sides.

2. T-shirts stretch most, going AROUND the body. Fusible interfacing stretches more one way than the other. (Gently tug to figure this out.) Make sure the LEAST stretch of the fusible matches up with the MOST stretch of the T-shirt. This will make it consistently stable for all blocks.

3. Cut the fusible interfacing AND T-shirts to 14" squares, first, then, once fused together, I cut the pieces down to 12- 1/2" squares using a square-up ruler. [This makes it a 12" block plus the 1/4" seams on all edges.]

By fusing to a larger area first, it eliminates any stretched- out-of-shape edges BEFORE cutting to the final size.

4. The blocks do not HAVE to be square in shape; they can be any shape or size that allows the T-shirt motif to be seen. The fused T-shirts could be cut into diamond shapes, or even set-in or appliqued circles.

5. When fusing the interfacing to the back of the T-shirts it's wise to use a pressing cloth between the iron and the T-shirt- interfacing combo. This will prevent any fusible interfacing from sticking to your iron. Used the discarded "plain" front or back of a T-shirt as my pressing cloth.

6. The "busier" and "wordier" the T-shirts, the more they need to be separated with SOLID sashing strips to give the eye a REST.

Once the interfacing is ironed on, the T-shirt fabric is very stable. Once the interfacing is on, it sews just like woven cotton."

Get Up And Move Around

When sewing set a timer. No more than an hour. When the timer goes off, get up. Sop wherever you're at, move around, look at the design wall, get a beverage, pet the dog, whatever, as long as it gets you out of your chair. This way you never get stressed out, or get tight sore muscles, and even get more sewing done than trying to go nonstop for hours. Sometimes even do a quick chore like unload the dishwasher, or put a load of laundry in.

No-Detergent Pre-Washing

To preshrink fabric - pop it in the washer, without detergent. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes, and then spin dry. Put the fabric in the dryer, without fabric softener sheets, and dry it. When the fabric comes out of the dryer, there are no tangled threads on cut edges. The secret is that the sizing hasn't been removed using this method.