Skip to main content

Quilting Maintenance Tips

Have you already stopped reading? For me, quilting maintenance just wastes valuable time that I
could be using to sew or shop for fabric. Also, what exactly needs maintenance? If you have to ask yourself this question, the answer is probably all of it. Here’s a quick list of maintenance items I perform.

1. If it can be changed, change it.

Machine needles and rotary cutter blades.

Most of these items are relatively inexpensive. I’m cheap so I cling to a cutter blade until it’s no longer even circular in shape. Replacing them can make a huge difference. All of sudden it doesn’t feel like I’m dragging nails over a chalkboard when I cut fabric. I realize I’m wasting time trying to use stuff that no longer works, and I’m potentially damaging my project. So, I’ve become better about changing things when they need it. I like to evaluate the sharpness of my tools after one or two projects.

2. If it can be reached, dust it.

The bobbin case, cutting mat, rulers, sewing table and fabric shelves. 

Come on, admit it. You’ve removed the components of your machine to get under the bobbin case and discovered Sasquatch’s cousin living in there. It’s sort of funny for three seconds until I think about the damage it could be causing to my current project or permanently to my machine. Even simple things like my cutting mat, rulers and fabric shelves need a good cleaning to extend their life too.

3. If sunlight can reach it, evaluate its placement.

Fabric, UFOs, finished quilts. 

I have a window in my primary sewing space and while sunlight can’t directly reach the entire room, it reaches enough that if I leave something sitting for too long, it may become discolored. And if you’re like me, your sewing isn’t limited to one space. I like to think my entire house is my sewing room but the other occupants of the home don’t agree. Regardless, my supplies end up everywhere, sometimes for extended periods of time. Sunlight or other light sources can do harm if supplies just sit there.

4. If it can be found, document it.

Scraps, UFOs and supplies. 

I’ll admit that even though I’m a fabric hoarder - I just like having fabric in my presence – I get annoyed when I’m almost done with a project and then unearth a really cool piece of fabric that would have been perfect in it. Keeping an inventory of fabrics (yardage, pre-cuts and scraps), UFOs, supplies and other quilting resources saves me a bunch of time, money and frustration.

5. If it looks scarce, replenish it.

Fabric.

Enough said.


What's your #1 quilting maintenance tip?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ways to Personalize the In The Right Direction Quilt Pattern

In my patterns, I offer some personalization suggestions. I want you to feel inspired to make something a little different than what I produced. Maybe it's a different fabric. Maybe it's a tweak to the layout. Maybe it's more or less color options than my original design. I want you to make it your own!

I wanted to offer some additional personalization ideas for those who have purchased (thank you so much!) the #InTheRightDirectionQuilt pattern.

1) Make one or more arrows with an ombre affect. I’d love to see the base of the arrow start with a light fabric and darken by the time it reaches the tip. Or reversed! Again, you could apply this to all arrows or just a few. I think arrow 5 or 9 from the pattern would be really neat with this affect.
2) Make the arrows one color and add an ombre affect to the background. For example, you could make the arrows black and the background orange. You could start with a light orange in the upper left corner and increase the intensity of…

Tips for Getting Your Sewjo Back

We’ve all been there. We have a little free time to sew, so we make our way to our sewing room/corner/nook and we just stare. We start feeling annoyed at ourselves for having too much fabric or too many UFOs or too many less-than-perfect seams and we walk away in a funk. Our sewjo is gone and we don’t know what to do to get it back. Here are a few tips I use to level-set my expectations and get my machine humming again.

1) Start SMALL

Make a block. Make a bag. Make the miniest of mini quilts that I can. Just make something. Sew together a few scraps. Make binding (whether I have an actual project for it or just feel like it’ll be a good one to have on hand one day). Find a free tutorial for some project what I can put fabric to the machine and be done. The reason to start small is that there’s an intense feeling of satisfaction that can come from finishing something. If my goal was just to sew together a block and I do it, my motivation level rises – which even if it’s just a little, …

Your New Favorite Quilt Patterns

It’s an exciting time in quilt world – I've released my first two patterns! Okay, maybe it’s just an exciting time at my house, but I do hope you'll take a minute to read about my design aesthetic and quilting principles and peek at my new patterns :)

I released #InTheRightDirectionQuilt and #AroundTheSquareQuilt as PDF patterns via my Craftsy shop. These are two fun and simple quilt patterns. There’s no magic in what I do. I wish I could tell you I came up with a way to make a million squares or half square triangles in mere minutes, but that’s just not the case. My guiding principle in quilting is to make something fun and practice skill building. I firmly believe that the more time you spend doing basic principles of quilting, the more efficient and accurate you’ll get each time. I love shortcuts too and I own lots of quilting gadgets to help improve in speed and efficiency (hello Bloc Loc rulers!) – and some of those will be useful in these patterns, but it’s also some goo…