Wanda Gene's Musings on Life, Love and Loving the Quilting Life!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Couple of Hot Tips for Today!

Hey Ya!

Quite a few years ago I used to read a newspaper with a column by a writer who called herself  Miss Hot Tips.  She not only used that moniker for her byline, she also referred to herself in the third person.  So it was Miss Hot Tips thinks this, and Miss Hot Tips has this to say.  Anyway, it was just too cute....enough to make a person gag.

So, I don't want anyone have esophageal distress over my little post, so I WILL NOT be Miss Hot Tips.  But I do have some piecing tips  that I hope will improve your piecing skills and therefore add a little extra ray of sunshine to your quilting day.

Using Bonnie's business card as a sewing guide!

I learned this easy method of sewing along the diagonal of a square during one of my classes with Bonnie Hunter at Road to California last January.  One of the ladies in the class graciously shared this with us, and we all immediately became excited about it (including the teacher).  It was one of those Why-didn't-I-think-of-this moments.  Bonnie got out some of her business cards and cut a 45 degree angle with a rotary cutter and passed them out to all of us.  As you can see I am still using Bonnie's card!    I still like to have my blue tape on the machine which I line up with the bottom edge of the card. 

Now here is a little refinement that I have found that helps me even more.  I always cover with the card the part of the square that will be flipped, not the part of the square that will trimmed.  This helps offset my stitching line by about one thread's width, which is needed to allow for the "turn of the cloth."

Does your sewing machine give you the choice of needle up or down when you stop sewing?  I hope that most of you have that feature.  My 17 year old Bernina does.  When I chain piece, I always choose needle down and I never get thread nests when sewing the next piece.  If I choose needle up, sometimes the thread directly behind the needle becomes a little loose and then I get a thread nest.  The thread behind the needle must stay taut and having the needle down accomplishes this.  I just wish that needle down was the default on my machine and not the other way around!

Have a happy piecing day.