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Question for Quilters please?

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 12:17 pm
by wishiwere
Just how much is enough when stashing........err....I mean buying fabric for quilts is enough? I mean per pattern, as in how much is the least I should have cut for down the road and a quilt I have yet to make or even decide on making?

Should I get 1/2 yd of each, 1 yd, 2 yd? Help please?

Another question...Just learning here remember, and since I dont' have to feel embarrassed, cause I really don't have to face you? Another dumb question is, the type of fabric you need? 100% cotton only right?

VERY big Thanks ladies.................. :)

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 1:10 pm
by Kas
Hi Jane,

It just depends on if you have a pattern picked out or not. I go on what style (scrappy or planned) and what size. For example, I am taking a Double Wedding Ring class in March. I know I need six colors for the arcs. To do a twin size I need one yard of each of the six colors. Then I need 1 1/2 yards for the binding, 5 1/2 yards for the backing and so on. But I am also hand piecing a quilt that is going to be a queen size and the pattern in the mag just gave the amounts for a smaller than twin. So I just started buying fat quarters or half yards of oriental fabrics that pleased me. I bought a yard if I thought I wanted to use it in something else, too. This is going to be sort of scrappy, but planned at the same time as the goal is to get the fabrics to sort of blend into each other. I think half yard may have been too much, but we will see.

Now to add to the confusion....I also just buy fabrics because they please me so much I can't put them back down! Usually it is just one yard (I don't get as big a spanking from DH that way) unless I have a bunch of cash! Many times I have done that and then discovered I had to have more, but when I went back it was all gone! Not fun. That happened just recently with some white on white (fan-tailed gold fish with ripples in the water) I wanted to use as the border for that oriental quilt I am working on. It was gone for months and then I was just browsing the whites again and found it! I bought all six yards even though I only really needed four.

It all comes down to whatever floats your boat! But yes, I would stick with all cotton. I used part of a poly blend sheet in my first quilt even though I knew I shouldn't. I did it because I was using the same fabrics in the quilt I used on the rest of the nursery for our baby girl. I also used 100% cotton decorator fabric (like canvas) in the quilt. I had to make sure the seam allowances got quilted down on that one because it ravelled (spell?) like crazy. It isn't going anywhere, let me tell you! Hope this helped a little.


PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 1:14 pm
by Kas
Oops, almost forgot to say that you need to use only 100% cotton thread, too. I know some people use the invisible thread, I would only do that for a wall hanging. Your thread needs to be what breaks when there is stress on the quilt, not the fabric. It is much easier to restitch than it is to patch the cloth itself.


PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 3:22 pm
by wishiwere
Oh no! So Gutermann wouldn't be good be/c it's 100% polyester :( THat's what I started with on these two I am taking the class on :( I've only done one block for each quilt yet, can I switch to cotton now? Dang it! Why don't they tell you this when you take the class.

When I signed up, I explained I hadn't sewn much and never quilted. Then I got to class and of 20 of us, only 4 hadn't quilted before, even though I was informed this was for beginners! :oops: So I am trying to play catch up. They give us the fabric for each 12X12 square and we watch them do one and go home and replicate it. Heres' my first tries and I am not happy with them, but looking for any ideas you can give to make them better :)

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 3:26 pm
by wishiwere
Here's the first one I did before that one :) Forgot to attach it :lol:

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 4:07 pm
by Kas
Hey, Jane,

Don't worry about it! I would switch to cotton for the piecing, though. Guterman makes a nice 100% cotton thread that I use for piecing, but it is a little thinner than I like for the quilting part. So I use different thread for that. Your blocks look great, and just in time for St. Patrick's Day! Just get some 50 weight cotton thread to do the quilting with. I have used Mettler, Aurofil, and Coats & Clark (on the thick spool). I like them all. With the Coats you really need an adapter to keep the spool spinning freely. The adapter is available at most quilt shops. Just show them the spool. The Coats & Clark is also available at Joann's at a cheaper price than a quilt shop. Just have fun at this! Don't worry about how much experience the others in class have. You are there for you. And you are doing it right. I took my first class after I had already started quilting. I got most of my info from books I checked out from the library. Your public library is a great source for learning new things without having to invest in the books yourself. Of course, your taxes bought the book in the first place.


PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 4:26 pm
by wishiwere
Thanks for ALL the advice! :) Just need to perfect those danged corners to line up! LOL

I've never seen the gutermann cotton, I'll have to look. I get mine at Joann's when they have their 1/2 off sale nearly every month! :)

I was 'told' by the quilt shop not use coats and clark with my viking.........hmmmmm...wonder why? I think something about it leaving more behind or some such thing! :) Guess I should have listened better LOL

Thanks again, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with me :)

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 4:54 pm
by newtohosta-no more
Jane...let me add that I think your "beginner's" quilts look fabulous!! :D One of these days I'll give it a shot and I'll be re-asking these same questions. :lol:

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 6:42 pm
by wishiwere
Thanks, although I wish they matched up better. I hoping with all here and at class that have done these, someone can explain how the heck you get them to match up. My 1/4 seams aren't perfect, but I tried :) I was surprised how close them came really! I just know with #1 of each quilt being this far off, I can only imagine what will happen when I try to put them all together! LOL :lol:

PostPosted: Feb 22, 2005 10:41 pm
by Kas
Jane, I bet they recommended you not use that thread because of the fuzz it leaves behind. To be truthful, all cotton thread will do that. I always clean and oil my bobbin case after each bobbin runs out. That way I don't get globs of fuzz that get stuck in my stitching. Always sew a little on a scratch piece of fabric after doing this because the excess oil will coat your thread.

I see what you mean about your seams aren't matching. Just pick that seam out and do this...Take the seam allowances and make sure the ones you are trying to match are going in opposite directions. So the fold, if you will, is butting up against the other one. I also pin on the seam line and on each side of the seam to be matched. I am trying to remember which book I actually saw an illustration of this in. Take it in to the quilt shop and ask them to show you what "butting seams" means. Also, if you don't already have one, invest in a quarter inch foot and a single hole needle plate. My hubby got me those for my b'day one year and my piecing has been so much more easy and precise. The quarter inch foot is the key, I think. Also, do check out some machine piecing and quilting books. Robbie Fanning has a great one (an old one) that goes over the basics with humor.


PostPosted: Feb 24, 2005 11:04 pm
by JaneG
Jane, those blocks look great! (You worry to much!!) :D

PostPosted: Feb 24, 2005 11:25 pm
by wishiwere
Thanks Ladies.
Kas, I did take it out once and it was better, but not perfect :( I'll hopefully learn one day to figure this out. I know there are tricks, just figured we'd learn them in class you know?

I thought about taking another class they are offering, but wonder now it it's really worth it. IT's more expensive too and I'm not working outside the home right now. Just books for the man :)

PostPosted: Feb 25, 2005 1:23 pm
by Kas
Jane, I even up the corners and then pin them. Then I check to see if one block or chain of blocks is longer than the other. If one is, it should go on the bottom when you actually put it on the machine. After the corners, I fold the whole thing in half and put a pin in the middle. Next, match the points or the intersections of blocks. Then any sections in between get the fold-n-pin treatment. It really works.

Your project looks great! I would say for sure to check out as many piecing and quilting books as possible from the library and skip the classes. You have the basics down and that is all you need for now. If you want to take a class to learn a new technique like applique, then do it. I will need to do that at some point so I can get the pointers, hints, and shortcuts that a good teacher can give you before I get my oriental quilt done. Most patterns just require the knowledge of rotary cutting and sewing a straight line, not some special secrets.

Are you taking your class at Joann's or a quilt shop? I haven't ever taken one at Joann's because they make you take a rotary cutting class first and I don't need help with that in any way. Safety has been something I have practiced since art classes in college. I think it is just a way for Joann's to get more of your money, anyhow.

Marti Mitchell (or is it Michell?), Hari Walner, Marsha McCloskey, Debra Wagner(or is it Wagoner?), Mary Hickey, Diane Gaudynski, Blanche Young, Nancy Odom, Harriet Hargrave, Alex Anderson, Robbie Fanning, Nancy J. Martin, and Jinny Beyer have all written great books that you need to read. Also, see if you can check out quilting magazines from your library. I started a notebook with photo copied patterns I have fallen in love with from mags and books from the library. Who knows if I will ever get around to them all. I always seem to add more! I'm hooked! I will continue to quilt, even though it isn't perfect by any stretch of the imagination! Keep us posted on the progress. You are doing great!


PostPosted: Feb 25, 2005 1:42 pm
by wishiwere
Thanks Again Kas.

The class is through a quilt shop, our Joann's doesn't have them :(

I was lost just reading your post! Got any pics :)

Have you ever looked through the quilting book that JoAnn's puts out? I have a 40% off coupon and was thinking of getting that with it this time :)

Let me know what you think of that book if you have, pretty please?

Or anyone else too!
I'll look for the other books you mentioned too, man, my library has grown these past few years, between hosta, birding, and now sewing! WHEW! Love knowledge!

Thanks again!

PostPosted: Feb 25, 2005 10:01 pm
by Kas
Hi Jane,

I am sorry if I confused you. :-? I agree it is a hard to follow just written instructions without pictures. I do not have any pics myself. But in lots of those books it shows what I am trying to explain. The reason why you put the longer piece on the bottom is the sewing machine will actually help ease that extra in as long as it isn't a huge difference. Let me try to explain it all better because I think it will really help.

First match and pin the corners of your rows or blocks, whichever you are doing.

Then bring those corners together like folding a sheet. If one side is longer, I fold the "sheet" with the shorter side on the inside so the longer side is caused to cover a longer distance.

Then unfold it after it is pinned.

Now take one of the corners and the center pin and bring those together in the same folded sheet manner and pin the new center.

Do that with the other corner and the original center pin. Keep doing this in sections. The rest of the sections will be folds between pins.

If you are pinning two blocks and there are points that need to match, pin those after the corners and then follow the instructions above.

Butting seams is what to do when you are pinning two rows together. First do the corners, then align all the seams. Look at the back where you have pressed the seam allowance to one side. The other row's seam should be pressed in the opposite direction for it to match the best. Just slide the two seams together (raw edges of seam allowances pointing away from each other) until the seams butt up against each other and then pin. The machine will actually push them together tighter for a better match. It's cool.

I haven't seen the JoAnn's quilting book, but if it looks like it will help you out, get it. I just haven't bought many quilting books since I can borrow them from the library. I would rather spend the cash on fabric, hostas, other perennials, and cute little girl clothes!

Hope this helps.


PostPosted: Feb 25, 2005 10:23 pm
by wishiwere
:eek: Obviously it's too late for me to make sense of your german tonight Kas! :lol:

But tomorrow I'll get some blocks and try to make sense of it after printing it out to see if I can follow it :) I really do appeciate the help, as I am wondering how it could be off, when I thought it was pinned correctly :(

Thanks so much for trying to help. I'll let you know if I pass or fail the test tomorrow! :)