The Best Quilting Tips for All levels of quilters

I’ve collected a few of my favorite quilting tips to help solve some of your quilting problems – from miscuts to gunky needles. I hope you find something here that helps you make beautiful quilts while enjoying the process.

The Problem: Miscuts due to hard to read rulers

It happens!  It’s easy to accidentally use the wrong line on your ruler to make a cut. Here is a handy tip to help prevent that!   

The Fix: Find the Right Line

Use a dry erase marker to temporarily mark the line you need to use on your acrylic ruler so you can see it better. When you are finished, wipe it off!   

The Problem: Prewashing Precuts is stringy business

Normally I wouldn’t recommend that you prewash your precut fabrics, but occasionally there might be a good reason to do so ( perhaps you are mixing them with older fabrics or because you are uncertain about their colorfastness?)

The Fix: Use a Salad Spinner!

Place the pieces in the spinner and add some hot water and detergent.  Give them a good spin, then rinse and spin out again to extract as much water as possible.  Lay flat, then press with a hot iron to dry.

The Problem: Your “perfect” fabric fails the bleed test

You’ve tested that lovely dark red fabric and the bad news is that it is bleeding red.  Don’t let that spoil your quilt.

The Fix: ReTayne those Colors!

Look for a product called ReTayne and use as directed.  It will set the colors in the fabric so that they no longer bleed, and you will have a beautiful quilt with colors that last a lifetime! You can usually find this at a local quilt shop, or use my Amazon affiliate link below:

The Problem: Your Flying Geese and Half Square Triangles are coming up short

Probably one of my favorite tips ever! When making geese and HST’s where you have drawn a line on the diagonal of a square and you are supposed to sew on the line.  Try this fix and watch perfection start to happen.

The Fix: Aim a Hair to the Right

Instead of sewing directly on the drawn line, position your needle just a hair to the right of it. When the seam is pressed open, you will find that you will have nailed it. (This works because the thickness of your fabric eats a bit into your 1/4″ seam, and that hair you gave it just took that into account.) 

The Problem: Patches & Labels move around

When sewing on patches or quilt labels, don’t let pins get in your way. Use this tip for a no-fuss way to make sure that patch/label goes on straight the first time.

The Fix Give it a little Spray!

Spray Baste products (such as 505 spray, Sullivan’s Quilt Baste, or my personal favorite — June Tailor Quilt Basting Spray) make this job easy.  Simply spray the back lightly, then position on your garment or quilt. The item will stay in place as you stitch and you won’t have to mess with pins being in your way! 

The Problem: A Loose Thimble

Is your thimble sliding around too much? Here’s a nifty little tip that will have your thimble fitting snug as a bug.

The Fix: Grippy Gloves

Take an old pair of latex or rubber gloves and cut off the fingertips. (Old rubber gardening gloves with those textured fingers work really well for this!) Next time you use your thimble, first position one of the glove fingertips over your finger before you put on your thimble. Instant grip!

The Problem: Your Needle is Gummed up with Gunk

Sometimes your needle might accumulate gunk from spray baste or other adhesives as you quilt or applique. This will clean it right up! 

The Fix: Alcohol Swab

Use a Q-tip dipped in alcohol or a medical prep wipe to clean it off!   Good as new! 
BONUS TIP: Try using a Titanium Needle. Gunk will not adhere as easily to it.

The Problem: You need to rip out the Seam

Yikes! But yes, “unsewing” it sometimes what needs to happen. If that freaks you out because you are not well-practiced at taking out stitches, I have the fix for you.

The Fix: A Seam Ripper Tutorial

A seam ripper can be one of your best friends, but if it’s looking foreign to you, read this little tutorial on the best way to use it!

The Problem: How old is this Rotary blade?

Have you ever found yourself dealing with a slightly dull blade and wondering, “Didn’t I just change this a few weeks ago?”

The Fix: Record the date on the blade

The next time you change your rotary blade, find your sharpie and write the date on it!