Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Put A Lable On It - Labeling your Quilt Project

Why You Should Label Your Quilt

So, as someone who has been quilting not only for myself, but others since around 1978, I have written several articles about putting a label on your quilt.  Do you have a favorite quilt that you've had since you were a baby?  Maybe you are lucky enough to sleep under a quilt that your grandmother made.  Do you know when that quilt was made?  Or why you now have it?   A quilt label will tell generations to come why this quilt is important.

Label for Julia, pieced by Aunt Laurie,
quilted by Grandma Baker

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Fidget Sensory Quilt for Dementia and Alzheimers Patients

Making Fidget Quilts for Dementia Patients

Have you heard of a Fidget Quilt? These are lap quilts, usually the size of an oversized place-mat. They are most successful with varied textures for patient to feel, and things to open and close to keep hands busy. 

The idea is to provide things for the Alzheimer's or dementia patient to 'fiddle' with, and give them something to do with their hands, and just maybe stimulate their mind. Most of these processes will be a 'memory muscle' type activity. These are things you do without thinking about it because you have done it so many times over the years, that you just know how to do it. 

Thursday, August 10, 2023

When Fabric Bleeds

OK, fabric quality has really improved over the years, but one thing still happens with surprising regularity… fabrics will bleed!  What does that mean?  That really dense dark blue or dark red fabric you used, and when it is laundered, the colors run in to the surrounding blocks.  OMG..  What happened?

fabric color bleed
Fabric color bleed

Wednesday, August 09, 2023

10 Ways to Cut a Fat Quarter

How many of us have a huge pile of fat quarters that you don't know what to do with? You can cut these fat quarters into the popular pre-cuts that fabric shops are offering to make quilts and use them that way.  Popular sizes are  layer cakes (10" squares), charm packs (5" squares), and jelly rolls (2 5" x 44" strips).

As most of you know, fat quarters are a quarter of a yard. But, instead of cutting 9" the width of the fabric (WOF*), it is 18" cut WOF, then that is cut in half. In other words, this is a half yard cut in half lengthwise and then crosswise. The fat quarter should be approximately 18" x 22".

If you are lucky and get a fat quarter from someone who thinks in 'meters' instead of 'yards' you will get a few extra inches in your fat quarter.

*WOF - Width of Fabric

Tuesday, August 08, 2023

Best Irons For Quilting - Reviewed By A Quilter

Whether you are a 'new' or an 'experienced' quilter, you need a reliable iron for your quilting projects.  Trying to figure out which one to invest in is not always easy.  Balancing how much to spend versus quality will help you determine 'the best tool for the job'.

In the early days, I used to buy the cheapest iron I could find at a box store like Wally World or other box stores.  I figured if I got a years worth of use out it, it was money was well spent  (OK, this was usually because they quit working after being knocked on the floor several times...).  I did 'a little' ironing clothes for work, but mostly for ironing in my quilting projects, and happily letting the young kiddos help me with ironing, resulting in many mishaps with the iron.

Friday, August 04, 2023

Quilting 101 - Choosing Quilt Colors: Tips and Techniques

Choosing Quilt Colors: Tips and Techniques

Choosing quilt colors can be one of the most difficult and intimidating processes for quilters, especially if trying to choose colors other than what is shown on a pattern. We share several tips for choosing quilt colors and selecting fabrics that can help the whole process go smoother and be more enjoyable.

Fabric Selection

Take a look around you- see that there is green grass and multiple colors of flowers. Use these colors as inspiration. A favorite quilt designer takes photos of a beautiful landscape.  She then takes the colors in that photo and creates quilts based on those colors.  One of our favorite creative quilters is and her annual Mystery quilts.  While NOT trying to reproduce her series, this is a great example of selecting fabrics.  Here is the 2022 Chilhowie Mystery Quilt

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Display Your Quilts

Three Main Ways to Display a Quilt

There are three categories for hanging or displaying your Quilt or T-Shirt Quilt. Temporary, Semi-Permanent and Permanent. I think the terms are self-explanatory, but lets take a look at some creative options for displaying your quilt.


Several reasons why you might want to hang a quilt for a short amount of time. A surprise party, anniversary celebration, graduation party, shower, or just to get a photograph are ideas that come to mind.  Drape over chairs and tall furniture.  

Sunday, July 23, 2023

15 Awesome Places to Donate Your Quilts

Generous Quiltmakers

When it comes to quilting, most people don’t realize that we  are not always quilting for ourselves. As you know, a lot of time, effort, expense and love are put into quilts, and it’s incredibly satisfying to give one as a gift.  While you probably think all of our 'excess' quilts are gifted to family members, that is not always the case  After a quilter has made all the quilts she/he wants to make for kids and grandkids, then it becomes, "hmmmmm, who would appreciate my quilts"?

QOV Quilt Althea's Dad
QOV Quilt for Veteran

Friday, July 21, 2023

Quilting 101 - Using A Rotary Cutter

Using a Rotary Cutter

Rotary cutters need to be used with a special cutting mat beneath the fabric – This insures that as you move the cutter, it doesn't end up leaving a mark or cut your cutting surface. These blades are very sharp and cutting mats are available in many shapes, sizes and cost levels.

Make sure your fabric is folded so the selvages are parallel with each other. This is especially important if the fabric has been pre-washed or came off the bolt wonky. It’s always a good idea to double check that the fabric lays flat and doesn’t have a twisted look.

One thing to watch out for is ruler creep. After cutting several strips or sub-cuts, sometimes, you will see the ruler is no longer square on the folded edge. That means it’s time for a new clean up cut.

Acrylic rulers (vs. Metal Yardsticks) are a must. 

Thursday, July 20, 2023