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Tips


• Make sure you are sewing with a 1/4" seam allowance. As a test, sew three 1 1/2" wide strips together. The measurement across the strips should be 3 1/2".
• Before you begin sewing your project, fill available bobbins with a 100% cotton thread
• Use only top quality 100% cotton fabrics
• Keep a pressing board and small craft iron (we like the Clover brand) near your sewing machine. It will save you time and steps.
• Triangles on a Roll come in many sizes and work great for half-square and quarter square triangles.
• Make sure your borders fit. Measure across the center of your quilt both horizontally and vertically then cut your border to fit.

The best way to unthread any sewing machine is to always cut the thread at the spool and pull the thread through the needle and out of the machine. If you remove the thread by pulling on the spool, the thread can easily get caught, affecting the tension as you pull. Lint from the thread can also cause the needle to bend at the tip, resulting in snagged fabric or inconsistent stitching.


You should always change your needle after 4-6 hours of sewing time as the tip gets worn and burrs on the needle can damage your fabric and needle plate. Skipped stitches may occur with a worn or damaged needle. It is also important not to sew over pins, as the needle can easily hit the pin, burring or blunting the needle. The pin can also break and be pushed into the sewing machine, causing damage to the internal parts.The Difference Between Chain Store Fabric and Quilter's Grade FabricThe following is taken from an article by Jim Salinas in the Winter 2000 issue of "Spools & Tools. His article takes some of the mystery out of fabric manufacture and why most quilters spend a little more for "quilters fabric."


"Is there really any difference between the printed cotton found in chain store for $2.99 to $5.99 per yard and the printed cottons found in shops for $8.99 to $11.99?

You bet there is, and understanding these differences is critical...
Premium brands, such as Moda, start with high quality griege goods (pronounced "gray," griege goods are unfinished fabrics in their raw state). Premium griege goods have a minimum of 60 threads on the warp and 60 threads on the woof. Many premium griege goods thread counts are higher than "60 square." Higher thread counts contribute to a silkier hand (feel), less bearding when quilted, increased longevity plus enhanced printing definition.


In addition to thread count, we have the issue of what diameter yarns are used in the griege good construction, the size of cotton filaments used, and the length of the cotton staple. As in all manufacturing, premium components cost more and add to the final cost of the product. The premium brands typically make use of a number of screens (the number of colors used in the print) and more complex engravings normally require using slower and more exciting flat bed presses than the high speed rotary presses used by the domestic mills on most chain store products.


Once the griege goods are printed, they have to be "finished". Finishing is a chemical bath that sets the dye into the cotton fabric. Unfinished goods or poorly finished goods bleed and have an extremely coarse and boardy hand.
As you might have guessed, premium brands are normally finished in a more time-consuming manner. This adds greatly to the silken hand of "quilter's grade" fabrics as well as superior color fastness. The long and the short of it, however, is that consumers do get what they pay for.



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