- For best results use 100% cotton, quilt shop quality fabrics.
Specialty fabrics can be used for some design elements by stabilizing them with a iron-on woven interfacing.
- Lengthwise grain follows along the edge of the selvage of the fabric. There is less stretch on lengthwise grain so it’s usually the grain of choice when cutting borders for the outside edge of your quilt.
- Crosswise grain goes from selvedge to selvage. The majority of your template and rotary cutting will follow this grain line.
- The true bias of a fabric is a 45 degree angle from the lengthwise and crosswise grains. The natural stretchiness of bias strips make it the perfect direction of choice when cutting strips for binding to go around curved edges.
- Do I pre-wash my fabrics or not? This question is always a point of discussion among quilters. Whatever your decision, be sure that your project includes either all washed fabrics or all unwashed fabrics.
- Before washing your fabric, trim the corners off of the selvage edges at a diagonal. This prevents the cut edge from raveling in the wash, and is a great way to tell at a glance if you've pre-washed that fabric. You can also add those cut-off corners to a journal page for your project or on a recipe card to take shopping with you when buying additional fabric for that project.
- To remove pencil marks, Sue Nickels and Pat Holly suggest the following:
"Make a solution that is one part water, three parts rubbing alcohol, and one or two drops of Palmolive or Joy dishwashing liquid. Do not use Dawn -- it may bleach out the fabric. Use a cotton swab to apply and gently scrub with a soft toothbrush. Wipe dry with a cloth. Please remember to test, test, test an area before using any solution on your quilt. All fabrics react differently and we don’t want to have you ruin a prize winning creation.
- To remove stain and brighten the colors of old quilt blocks, tops and quilts, try the following recipe:
1 Gallon Water
1 Quart Buttermilk
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Soak quilt in mixture then wash in mild detergent. I think you’ll be pleased with the results.
- To keep your fabric from slipping when marking around patchwork or appliqué templates, place fabric on a sandpaper covered board. You can glue a sheet of fine grit sandpaper to a piece of 1/4” foam core board and cover the reverse side with fabric.
- If you cut your pieces for applique on the bias the edges will be much easier to turn under.
The instructions for making a sandpaper board are in the Free Stuff section.