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

Quilt Coat Along

Welcome to the Spring 2021 Quilt Coat Along , hosted by TinaCurtis and Jessica Plunkett ! We are excited to bring together sewists to make one of the hottest fashion trends around – Quilt Coats. We'd like to start by acknowledging that quilt coats are not a new thing, they were found all over the world being made by people of color and of all different cultures. Below are examples from the International Quilt Museum and the Public Library Quilts page. We appreciate the beauty of both of these garments and are thankful for the rich history they lend to our current mainstream trend. https://www.internationalquiltmuseum.org/quilt/20140070004 View this post on Instagram A post shared by Public Library Quilts (@publiclibraryquilts) This is a low key sew along – while we have a relaxed six week schedule to try and keep you motivated, you are welcome to work at your own pace. Here are a few key details about the sew along if you’re interested in participating!

2020 Planning

I recently learned about Yvonne Fuch’s ( QuiltingJetGirl on Instagram !) #2020PlanningParty and I thought it was just the swift kick in the pants I needed to really think about my professional and personal quilting goals in 2020. Here are my thoughts leading into the new year. Professional Goals 1. Teach new quilters. The wheels have been set into motion for an opportunity to teach a quilting 101 class in my community in the spring. I’ve spent the last several months developing a beginner sampler pattern and I’ll be wrapping it up in a few weeks. Here’s hoping there are a few people interested in learning how to quilt! 2. Print four of my patterns. A few shops and guilds have asked me about printed patterns for their stores or for upcoming lecturers. Currently I only offer patterns as PDFs so I have a goal of getting a small batch of four specific patterns printed in 2020. 3. Release three new patterns. With some of my other professional and personal quilting goals in 2020, I’

Transparent Squares Quilt Block Tutorial

If you are new to transparency in quilting or need a refresher, this is a simple practice block to make to play around with fabric choices and the effects of transparency. Transparent Squares Quilt Block I posted a video on IGTV that explains the very basics of transparency in quilting. A short simplified version of what I shared is that transparency is the ability to see through layer(s) of an object. It can be real or implied. So in quilting, you can use fabric color choices to make implied transparency. The most basic way to achieve transparency, in my opinion, is to choose dark, medium and light values of one color. Understanding color structure is important, but being a master of it is not required to play around with transparency. For example, if a grey fabric has a lot of cool color blue undertones, then you have to be cognizant of how that specific fabric color plays with other colors. Also, it’s important to realize that while many colors are available in fabrics, it’s