FAQ

1.  How long have you been quilting?

I am a newbie quilter.  I took my first beginner quilting class in November of 2008, and I’ve been obsessed with everything fabric and everything quilts ever since…in a good way!

2.  What kind of sewing machine do you use?

My machine is a Viking #1, which my  mom so generously gave to me when she upgraded her machine 5 years ago.  My machine sat unused until November 2008 when I learned how to use it!

3.  Do you use your machine to quilt your quilt top?

Yes.  I thought that was impossible, but I started small with a wall hanging and have worked up to a 67 x 71 quilt.  Each time I quilt something large, I think there’s no possible way I can maneuver anything bigger in my machine, but then I try something bigger and it works.  I think it’s safe to say, though, that I won’t be trying to quilt a king size quilt on my machine.

4.  What kind of iron do you use?

Rowenta, but the steam button isn’t working anymore, so I’ll be in the market for a new iron in the near future.

5.  Do you prewash your fabric?

No.

6.  What kind of batting do you use?

I use Hobbs Premium 80/20, Warm and White, and Warm and Natural.

7.  Where do you do your piecing and quilting?

At the dining table.  I wish I had a dedicated sewing room, but for now the dining table works fine.

8.  Where do you buy your fabric?

I shop my local quilt shops, but I also am an avid online shopper.  Check out my links under Fabric on the right hand side.  I like to buy most of my fabrics on sale (or regular price if I cannot live without it).  My personal favorite online shops right now are Desparate Quilters and Z & S Fabrics.

9.  Do you have any tips for choosing fabrics?

Trust yourself and choose fabrics you love.  You spend so much time making your quilt you need to love your fabric…otherwise you will not want to complete the project.

10.  Do you use precut fabric?

I love, love, love Moda’s layer cakes, jelly rolls, and charm packs.  I haven’t used the honey buns or turnovers yet, but I will.  The great thing about Moda’s precuts is that you get a little bit of every fabric in each line for a very reasonable price, and I’m all about making my quilting obsession affordable.  The way I see it, the more I save, the more I can buy, which equals more quilting projects!

11.  How much fabric do you buy at a time?

From my local shops, I usually purchase fat quarters.  From my online sources I will purchase anywhere from 1/2 yard to 2  yards, depending on how good the sale is.

12.  What seam allowance do you use?

I use a 1/4 inch seam allowance, unless the pattern states otherwise.  See #15 for backing seam allowance.

13.  How do you press your seams?

I press to one side, unless the pattern says otherwise.  See #15 for pressing seams on your backing.

14.  What do you use for backing?

I love a pieced backing…especially when I use the leftovers from the quilt top and other scraps.  By making a pieced backing you get 2 quilts in one.  I generally don’t spend too much time “designing” the pieced back, but sometimes I think designing the pieced backing is more fun than the quilt top…probably because there is no pattern to follow and no wrong way to go!

I’ve also used muslin, and the muslin works well too…especially for wall hangings, table runners, and placemats–where no one sees the back anyway

15.  What seam allowance do you use for the backing?

For the backing I use a 1/2 inch seam allowance and I press the seams open.  The 1/2 inch seam allowance provides for better wear and tear and pressing the seams open reduces bulk.

16.  Do you use quilting gloves?

I’ve recently discovered quilting gloves, and they are awesome.  They really do help grip the quilt while free motion quilting and move it with much more ease.  I definitely recommend giving them a try.