Kate’s Top 5 ~ Tips And Tricks

I quite enjoyed my Top 5 from a couple of weeks ago so will keep them going as long as I can think up good ones … This one was suggested by {another awesome} Kate who blogs over at talltalesfromchiconia! Head on over and check her blog out, it’s a great read!

So. My Top 5 Tips & Tricks … Where to begin? I am by no means an expert quilter but I thought since Kate suggested it, I’d share a couple of tips that have made my sewing life easier. Hope they help you too ๐Ÿ™‚

#1. LEADERS & ENDERS! If you’ve read my blog in the last few months you might recognise my absolute favourite tip!! After making a quilt I would end up with a pile of wasted thread … Now instead I have these!
Leaders n EndersI always have a bowl of scraps cut into 2.5″ squares sitting beside me and slip a pair thru at the end of each chain. It’s like you’re making a bonus quilt without any real effort ๐Ÿ˜‰ I chain stitch wherever possible. Chain stitching is putting thru multiple blocks without stopping resulting in a chain of goodies that you then press all at once too! These chains are from when I made “Kate’s Kate” :
IMG_4227 (2)I sew them into strips of 7 and then into blocks like this :
IMG_5840

#2 Measure twice, cut once. An oldie, but a goodie. Tips like these are long-lived because they are always relevant. I have lost count of the times I’ve saved myself juuust in the nick of time because I double checked before I cut. Mis cuts are the one of the easiest ways to waste fabric. And I don’t like wasting my pretties!
This tip also works when I’m playing with timber and furniture!

#3 PRESS. Press, press, press. Do not iron!
There are heaps of debates out there on whether to press to the side or press open. Personally I prefer to press to the dark side, but try both ways and go with what works for you.
My main tip here tho is PRESS – DO NOT IRON! Set your seam by pressing it, then open your seam in whichever direction you prefer and press ๐Ÿ™‚

#4 Know your feet and use the correct one for the job. This one’s pretty self explanatory. Your machine comes with a wide variety of feet. They should all be explained in your machine’s manual.
FeetI mainly use my standard foot for piecing {not a fan of my 1/4″ foot, tho some people swear by them.} My machine came with a walking foot for quilting without slips or puckers, but you can pick one up at your local quilting store if yours didn’t. A guide bar is handy if you find one that comes with that too. I also bought a FMQ or Darning foot for my machine. And those are the 3 I use mostly. Because I also sometimes stitch clothing I also use a button-hole foot, hemming foot and zipper foot. {Not a fan of zippers tho so seldom use this one heehee}
If you’re not familiar with all of your machine’s feet, go find your manual and have a read … Better yet, grab some scraps and have a play with them! ๐Ÿ™‚

#5 Look after your machine. I’m not sure if maybe I clean mine too much, but I give my bobbin case a quick dust with a soft brush every time I change the bobbin {unless I am in the middle of quilting a piece} and full clean after each project. They are also serviced yearly. Trust me, your machine will thank you!
Actually, I will add a little extra note here = Please change your needle regularly! Your machine will thank you, your fabric will thank you โค

Bonus Tip – Give it a go! Whatever it is, most ‘mistakes’ are fixable so try it. You don’t know what you can and can’t do until you try, and I learn alot by trial and error! Your seam ripper can become your best friend and you may get frustrated, but it’s such a good way to get a feel for things! And you may surprise yourself and get it right straight up – imagine how great that will feel!

Well, I’m all worded out, so catch you next time! ๐Ÿ™‚

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

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It’s been a whole year …

… since our little Quilting Bee, QCA#3, kicked off!

It’s really flown, but at the same time, it seems like we’ve been in it for ages!
Here are the last 2 blocks ~ August :

Bee Block ~ August

And September :

Bee Block ~ September

I’ve really enjoyed this experience but most of the ladies are too busy so have opted out on a second round.
One even has a baby about to arrive! ๐Ÿ™‚ Excitement!
I was on the fence and thought I would have been happy either way but I am feeling a little wistful now …
Oh well, all good things must come to an end ๐Ÿ™‚

โค

Here are all of my contributions :

Collage QCA BEE #3

All the ladies made gorgeous choices for their blocks! Most All were a complete pleasure to make ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mine is the top middle, I was November last year! I haven’t pieced the quilt as I have a couple of alterations to make … I have also made a further 8 blocks to make it bigger!
But here are the 12 blocks of the worker bees + the one I did for that month {It’s in the top left corner} :

Bee Nov - MINE collage

Pretty, hey!
I’m sad we’re disbanding the Bee … But so very happy to have been a part of it!
โค Thank you ladies! โค

โค

Rightio, that all from me for tonight – short and sweet! Catchya next time.

KATE Sig for Manic Mumdays

Still kicking ;)

Evening all ๐Ÿ™‚
How was your Easter? Hope you got lots of these ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today was the first day of Term 2 today and normally I would be sighing a lovely “Ahhhhhh”
But the big man-child decided he would take the 3 day week off combined with a dentist appointment and a big pile of forgotten book-covering for the school library and I haven’t stopped or relaxed all day! lol

….. On a happy note I have lovely clean teeth ๐Ÿ˜€ heehee
And the kids enjoyed their first day back at school and kindy which makes me happy too!

In other news I have been pottering round doing a little sewing …

Here is the ‘Swoon’ block I made for our Queen in my Quilting Bee this month :

Bee Block ~ March

I love the colours, and half way thru I decided I loved this block so much that I purchased a pattern to create a mini version.
I thought it would be the perfect size for a jelly roll. And it is …
But I had to unpick the last 2 seams about 17 times each!!! Painful!
….. so I have put that aside for a time when I will have more time to devote to it.

I knocked up a gorgeous new dress for my little niece. The lovely Lou from The Oz Material Girls and Patterns Only asked me to give a review on the pattern. The pattern is the new Grace dress from Boo! Designs.
And I have to say, it was a dream to make! And I think it turned out beautifully! What do you reckon? :

Collage Cat Grace

I am so proud of myself, with this dress I {finally} taught myself to make rolled hems on my overlocker!
It was well worth the effort – those ruffles are the best I’ve ever made!!

Anyhoooo … I am off for now, catch you all soon ๐Ÿ™‚