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

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’m trying …

Quilt Project Tracking Document

Have you ever found yourself staring at a WIP not knowing where you left off? Have you ever started to fill out a quilt show form and realized you didn't have all the details needed? There are several missing details on quilts I've made that I sure wish I would have better tracked! A couple years ago, I started a quilt project tracking document to keep better record of my quilts.

The document has basic information like project name, year started, pattern, fabric, status (cut, pieced, quilted, bound) and year finished. There's also a general notes field so I can add whatever detail I'd like to have down the road. It's been exciting to look back at the document and see what I've accomplished! I have a current projects tab and a completed projects tab so I have an accurate look at what I'm working on. I tend to work on 10-20 projects at a time, so it's easy to forget where I was or what else I need to work on without the document. Since I am a pattern writ…

Hera Marker - Quilt Notion Review

I have used a variety of marking pencils and chalks to mark my quilts but nothing compares, in my opinion, to the hera marker.
What is a Hera Marker?
A hera marker is a small piece of plastic with a curved tip used to make a crease in the fabric. I use the “Clover Hera Marker Slim” which is a slightly longer, slimmer version than the regular “Clover Hera Marker.” Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why I chose the slim version – all I remember is trying to find one online because I wanted to try it and this is what I ended up with.

How Does it Work?
To use the hera marker, line up the curved tip on the fabric and press down, like you're using a pencil, to create the lines or shapes you desire to quilt. I use my quilting rulers in order to achieve straight lines. The curved plastic creates a temporary crease in the fabric. I’ve used it on all shades of fabric, from light to dark, and have always been able to see the crease as I quilt on my machine. Also, there’s no harm if you decide not t…