Thursday, January 3, 2013

Quilters Secrets - Day 5



Good morning, and welcome to Day Five of the Quilting Secrets Blog Hop! I was thrilled to have been asked to share a quilting secret with you! There are 6 other talented quilters sharing secrets this week, so make sure you check out their blogs too! Here's the schedule:

Sue @ Quilt Times January 5th

A big thank you to Mrs. Pickles for all of her hard work organizing this hop and of course, a big thank you to you for visiting today! We also have a giveaway today sponsored by Aurifil and will be at the end of the post.


Hello and welcome to VroomansQuilts, Sharon here.  Have you avoided some quilts and blocks because they use small pieces?  Today I am going to give you some help with sewing small pieces of fabric using the 'web' technique.


Now I love working with tiny (and scrappy) and have a method of keeping a fabric 'food chain' that works for me.  When inspired to start such a project, I go to my snack barrels that hold 'homemade' pre-cuts.  Yes, 1.5" and half inch increments right up to 5" squares.  I know when one of these is full, I have enough to make a quilt. 



I will be using these blocks in a variation of postage stamp quilt, so I will use them for demo.  Select 9 squares - these are 2" squares and I want a light from left to right diagonal corner.  This method helps with being sure I keep my layout as well as matching up those small seams.

 



TIP - To really help with working small pieces you should have a single hole plate and single stitch foot - photo one.  That's my Mom's old Singer and high tech - an old bubble pad mailer as the machine pad.  (Be sure you put a sticky note on your machine that you have the single hole plate and foot in - or you will break needles and possible your machine if you switch to another wide stitch while that plate/foot is in) Now if you don't have a single hole plate, check your machine's manual for feet and machine stitches.  My SIL' s Singer has only the wide hole plate, but her manual recommends this clear, thin  foot to use for straight, single stitching.  (and an old worn cutting mat is used for the machine pad)  My old New Home - I am SO use to this machine - wide hole plate with a wide (zig-zag) foot - I use this for almost everything. But this combo will eat your fabric! (yes, an extension bed for another machine doesn't quite fit, but works) 



 Let's sew!  Stitch column 1 and 2 blocks together.  Remove from machine, but don't clip threads inbetween blocks - leave the 'web'.  Next stitch column 3 blocks.  Remove from machine, but don't clip threads inbetween - you have a 9-patch block with all pieces connected.

  
Just finger press the seams (over pressing small pieces causes a lot of distortion) and match up up seams and pin.  Stich one row and repeat.  I like to set the seams by pressing from the back first.  Then flip and lighly finish press from the front.  You can see how nicely those seams match up and there is very little trim to them when you go to 'square' up.



Tip - if you have a machine that threads needle from front to back, you should be pulling your stitched piece to the back of the machine.  If you pull it to the side, you will be doing just like making pretty curls with curling ribbon - the tension and needle will curl your threads and when you snip them they will spring/curl/knot up under your pressure foot.  Pull those nice threads to the back of your work and hold with a finger as you start - helps to keep them from knotting up at the beginning of your stitch line.


All those cute blocks ready for a postage stamp quilt.  Another set of blocks - a 16-patch with 1.5" squares.  And you can use the same technique to piece other blocks after you have stitched the components. 

I have another similair tutorial for the web technique HERE

I hope this gives you some encouragement to try those tiny blocks and hope you are enjoying the Quilting Secrets Hop.  As a thank you for stopping by today’s wonderful giveaway was donated by Dario Valtorta from Customer Care for Aurifil USA. 


Company Info



Established in 1983, Aurifil™ is an accomplished Italian company based in Milano, with a full-grown experience in producing superior quality cotton threads for professional and domestic quilters Building on a tradition of Innovation Aurifil ™ is a market-oriented company dedicated to develop new products based on our quality and quilt threads solutions. We commit to create contemporary products that will have a great appeal on everyone. Aurifil™ exceeds your expectations by giving you better always! Through a contemporary creative concept you find what you need!


 One very lucky person who leaves a comment will win one large Aurifil thread kit in basic colours.  Comments open until midnight (EST) 1/4/13 (24hrs period) and announced the next morning.

Sewingly Yours,
Sharon

145 comments:

N. Maria said...

Oh what a great tip! Leaving the "web" in! I will definitely do this, Sharon.
Thank you, Dario Valtorta, for donating the Aurifil thread kit for one very lucky winner!

Dora, the Quilter said...

I too like to stitch little blocks with the "web" in place.

sophie said...

I confess that I stitch big blocks using the web approach, too. Being a little dyslexic, it helps me keep things in the correct position.

Hilachas said...

Great new trick for keeping the web in to keep the block arrangement straight. Thanks for the tip!

Christine M said...

Thanks for the tip Sharon.

Kathy MacKie said...

Thanks for the great tip and fun giveaway.

Darlington Delights said...

Great tips. Thanks for sharing. I hate it when my machine turns into a fabric monster and tries to eat my beautiful fabric. I'll definitely be giving the ideas a shot.

Mrs.Pickles said...

What a great secrets to share! This post makes me want go out and try it out right now!! Thank you for taking part!

Newbie Jen said...

I would love to be lucky! And thanks for the tip. A resultion of mine is to organize my scraps, so your tip should come in handy when it is time to use them!

Grammasheri said...

Wonderful tips Sharon! I love making tiny quilts once in awhile (my friends think I'm nuts) but it is quite satisfying to make something pretty out of the fabric bits that others would throw away.

Janarama said...

Great tips! Thank you for sharing them with us.

Barbara said...

Really great tips, Sharon. I've seen the web method before, but I didn't know about overpressing. That's a problem I have with little squares. Now I know what to do. Thanks!

Podunk Pretties said...

Well I learned something new today, thanks for the tip!

Lisa said...

Thanks for the informative lesson, I enjoyed it and put it into practice! Happy New Years!

Rhonda D. said...

Love your method of keeping your scraps! Thanks for the tips on
sewing with scraps. Thanks for
the chance to win!

wigglypup2(at)yahoo(dot)com

Jocelyn said...

Wow love how you use your scraps. Great tips!

Unknown said...

Since I'm relatively new, all these tips and tricks are invaluable...thank you for a detailed tutorial and the photos really help so much.

shel704 at aol dot com

Scrapatches said...

What a fun way to use small scrap squares. Thanks for the tips and tutorial ... :) Pat

Sheila said...

Thankfully I learned this technique from your BINGO tutorial. It has been a LIFE SAVER! Use the method often. Has helped me work with small pieces. I'm still bad to over press and distort.
Nice giveaway! Hope I win : )

Janet said...

I am admiring your jars full of precut blocks. How clever to fill a jar and know it is enough for a quilt!

Lesley said...

Sharon, thanks for the tips...love your "candy" jars and such a great idea to sew a quilt when a jar is filled! The web technique is so perfect with these little pieces...thanks for the demo and the chance to win some thread. I am really enjoying this week of secrets!

Leah said...

Thanks for the tips!

Hazel said...

What a great idea to keep all those little block components under control - thanks, Sharon!

http://thankfullga447 said...

I love my scraps and I am determined to sew them up this year. I am running out of thread this will be a great giveaway.
gasuski@mac.com

Brenda said...

I do this too when I need a little help in keeping the pieces in order!
hulseybg at gmail dot com

Joanna said...

This Secrets Blog Hop is the best. I've been getting neat info everyday. I will try the single hole plate for making doll clothes, too, since they are so small. It will probably help. Thanks.

Julie said...

What a great tip!!! Thank you.

Julie Fukuda said...

Machine sewing tips aren't much help to a hand sewer (Unless it is what to do with the machine when you need tha space it is taking on the table and it is too heavy to lug up three flights of stairs) I also cut my scraps into squares from one inch to five inches but I store them stacked in tins and sorted by color.

Rachel said...

Thank you for sharing this 'secret', I have never tried the web method but will definately try it next time, love your idea of keeping your pre-cuts in jars.
Thanks again x

Donna said...

I have stayed away from a Postage Stamp piece. I think the Web method has convinced me I can handle all the small pieces. Thanks for the tip.

Lisa Marie said...

This technique looks great! Like many quilters, I need to use up some of my small pieces. Thanks for the tip.

TheaMinPA said...

I also like keeping the tiny scraps 'pre-cut' in a 'snack barrel' - must go buy snacks so I can use the barrels for my scraps!
and I love Aurifil thread, too!

Kat said...

Great secrets, Sharon, thanks for sharing! I love your scrap jars, that makes a pretty way to display them (mine are all shoved into a drawer - out of sight, out of mind, unfortunately). I never thought to use a single hole plate and foot, either, but I'm definitely going to try that. I have terrible problems with my machine "eating" the ends of small pieces. I'm very guilty of pulling pieces off the side of the machine, so I'll have to change that now, too. I've never tried the web method to keep things lined up, but I'm working on some blocks now where that will come in very handy. So many good little tips, I'm so happy to have found this blog hop. I've learned so much this week!

Donna Joy said...

Great tips, so excited to read all these wonderful tips, I will check out my older sewing machines for the single hole plate. My latest older machine is a singer 306, excited to try it out.
Thanks for sharing.

Karen M said...

I always learn so much from reading your blog. I have a worn cutting mat. I am so glad that I didn't throw it away. What a good idea to use it as a machine pad. Thanks for the chance to win this great thread.

Sarah said...

Thank you for the tips, Sharon. I hate it when my machine eats the start of the seam!

B Greene said...

I used your tip to make my Bingo Card last year and have never forgotten it - Amazing and quick!! Thanks for sharing and for the chance to win this wonderful prize!

Marla's Crafts said...

That would be such a nice win. I just started this year cutting any left over craps into different size strips and putting them in labeled boxes. Then is I need any width of fabic they are right there. I love making scrappy quilts.

Dana Gaffney said...

Great tips Sharon, I've always been fascinated with your love of small blocks.

Teresa said...

Another great idea from you.

Sowing Stitches said...

I like your secret of pre-cutting your own scraps and watching the containers fill...what a time saver!!!
sowingstitches[at]gmail[dot]com

Tina said...

Great tips! I tried a mini.....once. What a nightmare. lol. After reading this, I might just give it another try. Thanks for the chance to win!

Joanne said...

Thanks for the tips. I have made quite a few quilts with 1 1/2" by 2 1/2" bricks. Great fun to use up those tiny bits. Joanne

Sheila said...

I love this tutorial , great method of dealing with those tiny pieces and I love your scrappy blocks !!

Sue said...

Great tip as your tips are always. I will now have to remember to pull my thread off to the back. I hate it when it snarls! Thank you for the great post.

Kathleen said...

Sharon thank you for posting this tip....I've just completed sewing 1.5" square nine patch and wished I'd seen your tutorial first. I will definitly try this method thank you for sharing.
Kathleen

vwlady said...

Great tip! Saves time and pieces don't get mixed up! Love Aurifil thread...the best there is! Thanks for the chance to win some!

And this would be . . . . said...

I have so many small scraps but have not wanted to sew with them as they were small. Now, I cannot wait!

Charlene S said...

Great tip! Thanks for sharing.

Mommarock said...

OOOOOOHH! You just solved a HUGE problem I've been having. Now I don't know that I have a plate with a small hole with my machine, but I will certainly have to find out, or see if I can order one, but I have a problem with the machine tucking the fabric down into the bobbin space and it drives me crazy.. now if I had that small hole plate I might not have that problem.. the search is on!!!

Michele T said...

Great tip!!! Thanks Sharon for sharing this 'secret'!!

Mara said...

Thanks for the tip about pulling the thread to the back of the machine I will have to try that my thread cutter in on the side and every time I cut, it curls under the foot and then I'm digging it out, thanks for the "secret".

Missie of Traditional Primitives said...

Wow! So fun to find your blog from this blog hop! I too use snack barrels for my scrappy organization! AND I also have a Memory Craft sewing machine. I dread the day this machine gives out, but it's life is nearing an end as I can hardly see the touch screen any longer...boo hoo! and, finally, I too use a slide on machine table that does not quite fit...lol, mine has a larger gap than yours, but it does help to have it regardless! Thanks for the chance to win the thread. I love to piece quilts in this way, but don't use this method much for piecing blocks. Thanks for the reminder!

sew.darn.quilt said...

I have tons of dinky scraps that I just can't toss away..this is gret help with what to do with them!
Thank you, Sharon :)

Sparky said...

shhhh secrets, super duper ones...thank you for the scraps idea...mmmm

Vic in NH said...

Thanks for the tip of making diagonal lights to run through your postage stamp blocks, nice!

Sandra said...

Thanks for the tip.

Margie said...

Have learned something new each day of this hop, so guess that just shows we are never to old learn!!!

Amy said...

Love working with small pieces! I like your sorting technique!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

thanks for the great tips! I have a basket full of little scraps waiting to try!

Nikita said...

LOVE THIS TIP!

Linda said...

What a great tip! Thank you! I should be able to fill quite a few of those jars!

Gill said...

Thank you Sharon!
What a great tip - I shall certainly be trying this!

Linda at Roscoe's Ma said...

Thank you for the sewing secrets! And the giveaway is wonderful too! I love this thread.

Stitches said...

That was a great tip and tutorial. Thanks for posting it.

Peggy said...

Great tips! Thanks!

Kate said...

Love your jar of precuts- they are visible and so much better than a shoebox! thanks for the tips!

Needled Mom said...

I have just started keeping those tiny pieces and am enjoying making scrappy projects with them. I love the jar idea! I may need to try that.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I have my designwall filled with 2" square and it´s a hard work to organize them. I´m doing a rainbow PSQ and I pin small numbered paper on each. Does take a lot of time :)
Gun, Sweden
gun@lapp.se

hafza said...

I usually don't like to sew tiny pieces but your tips make it look easy. Thanks for sharing!

hueisei said...

Thanks for sharing the tips. I love the jar ideas too. :)

DebrafromMD said...

Love all of your ideas! Thanks for being part of the blog hop.

Lyn said...

Great tip. Thanks for being part of the hop!

Vickie said...

Putting scraps in the candy jars and watching them FILL UP is "sew" much better than watching candy disappear from the jars ! Weight loss issue #1 solved !! Thanks

purple passion said...

Very inspired to try sewing little pieces. Thanks

Farm Quilter said...

Great tips since we all end up with little pieces of scrap fabric that we can't bear to throw out! Now we know how to use them without having them get eaten by our sewing machines! Thank you for taking the time to post this great tutorial!!

krisgray said...

Thanks for the info on the plates! Now I know why my FW sews little pieces much beter than my other two machines, which have the zigzag plates. Webbing is a big help when I'm doing 9 patches - love it!

Rina Mason said...

Wow! Lots of great tips that I will be using. Have never made blocks using tiny scraps but since I can't seem to throw them away I might as well give it a try using your tips. You make it look easy. Thanks!

SIMPLESEW said...

Lesson Learned, I was doing it wrong.. thanks

Beth said...

Great tips!! You take the fear/dread of doing those small blocks. I may give it a whirl. Your method is very doable. Thank you for sharing.

Denise :) said...

I would never have thought of "leaving the web in" -- you clever gal, you! This might make working with tinier pieces a lot less intimidating to me! I'm going to have to examine your method a little more closely -- on my own sewing machine! Thanks for sharing, Sharon! :)

Maria Kievit said...

Thanks for a great idea in chain stitching and keeping the threads attached. Saves time in having to lay it out again and again! Thanks for the giveaway.

tlcala4me said...

I had never thought to use scraps that small before. The info on the machine foot sounds like a biggie. Thanks!

Chris R said...

Thanks for the great tips! I have some scraps so I can try them today!

txDok said...

This is a great tip, will teach this to Grands when they come to sew charms with me this summer - thanks

Janet said...

I have never pieced squares this small. Good tips!

Mom C said...

Appreciate your tips. Never thought about where I pull my thread! Thanks.

QuilterLaura said...

I've been wanting a plate with a single hole forever! I got a gift certificate for my LQS and I just may put that toward this foot. I just hate it when my machine eats the fabric!. Thx for the great information.

Bonnie58 said...

Wow, so many tiny pieces. Thanks for sharing

barb said...

What a great idea!! Thank you for sharing

Ali said...

Hmm, I will have to reread this carefully because people seem to agree the web thing is brilliant but I was too focused on the great idea of full snack bin = enough to make a quilt to really let the other stuff soak in! Thank you for the giveaway :)

Catherine said...

Wow! This is great. Now I know how to use those scrappy little buggers! Thank you very much! I have a old Singer with a single hole plate to put over the feed dog. Love that Singer and your tips!

Rebecca said...

I love your tips! Thank you so much for sharing!!! :)

Carla G said...

What great tips! Thank you! :) And your little scrap jars are awesome too! :)

Judy said...

This year I want to use up my little scraps. Thanks for sharing q

Jacqueline Bahí said...

Excelente tutorial. Voy a por mis botes.

Frances Arnold said...

Good suggestions. Makes me think that I might want to make a small quilt to use up some of my off-cuts

lefuntz said...

I do this a lot when I sew but didn't really think about how useful it could be with small pieces. What a great way to use up small scraps. Your postage stamp blocks look great!

LJ said...

Thanks for the tips; I do want to do a postage stamp quilt and I like your process.

Jana said...

This is a great idea. I'll have to find a jar when I get home and start filling it up. Thank you.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Great tips Sharon and I love your jars of scraps!

Pippa Parsons said...

I need to try this because i'm doing a vomit quilt using 2.5" squares and this would work well with it

free indeed said...

Ha, I was often doing this but thought I was just being lazy..here it is, I'm actually using a great tip! ha!

Barb Neiwert said...

Hoping to be very lucky today! I'm running low on my Aurifil spools and would love to not have to go out in the cold, cold weather to get some more! I'd rather be quilting! Thanks for the tutorial - it's appreciated.

Sallie said...

Thanks for the tips and giveaway!

Emily C said...

Love your tiny blocks, very cute.

Kathy H said...

I don't usually like working with such small blocks but you made it look pretty easy.

Christine L said...

What Great Tips! I am going to have to try this one out! Love participating in this Hop.. I'll skip your giveaway too :)
Hugs and Cheers to a Great New Year *tink*

Lia*s Handmades said...

I'm actually planning on making a small pencilcase like bag for a friend tomorrow, entirely out of small fabric pieces...first time I'm doing that. :) Thanks also for the giveaway!

TexPat said...

Thanks for the great tip and very timely for me! I've started collecting 2 1/2" squares & am dying to start sewing scrap chaos blocks. Thanks for a chance to win a great giveaway. Love Aurifil!

Sherill said...

I have many small pieces and will use your web tip. Thank you!

Joyce Carter said...

Thanks for the great tips. I like to sew with very small pieces, too.When I finish a project, I cut my scraps into squares from 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches.After I get a container filled, then I use them in a quilt.They are ready to use so it saves a lot of time. Thanks for the giveaway.

Susan C said...

I already use the web technique but I especially love your "scrap jars". We just finished some big containers like that over the holidays. I think I need to repurpose them in my sewing room. Thanks for the great idea!

Bonnie Pfrimmer said...

These all are really good tips.. I have been reading all of them. Thank you for the chance to win the thread.

teachpany said...

Great idea about the foot and needle plate. I use a little scrap as a leader/ender (although I plan to do Bonnie Hunter's ideas). That hint about the thread curling?? I realized that's what I do sometimes. Thanks.

maureen said...

Great tip about the webs- will have to try it. Also, thanks for helping me figure out why my tread keeps curling up- I ALWAYS pull it to the side! Not anymore!!!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Very nice tutorial Sharon...enjoyed it.

Susan said...

Great tip! Thanks for the giveaway too! I always need more of this amazing thread!

BizyStitches said...

So far all secrets have been very helpful. Thanks for sharing yours. I would love to try Aurfil Thread I've heard they are great.

Deb said...

I have just started using the "web" technique and found I like it now that I am used to it! Thanks for the reminder but what I wrote is to tell you that I LOVE your candy jar idea! I love vintage glass jars of any kind and use them for storage but until I saw yours, never put fabric in them! Brilliant.....must go jar shopping now! Thanks

Carol J said...

Thank you for sharing with us! So when you have a jar full, you have enough for a quilt? That jar must be larger than it looks, or really stuffed full :-)

Sue said...

I've always been a clipper, and then would try to figure out what wen where! I will be trying the web method, and digging out my small hole plate, another 'Duh' moment I had while reading your post! Thanks for the tips, I appriciate it!! sguday at shaw dot ca

StitchinByTheLake said...

Oh my Sharon I'm not sure I can even see those tiny pieces! What a wonderful tutorial - thank you for showing us this method. blessings, marlene

Catskill Quilter said...

I have never had the nerve to try 1 1/2 inch squares! Maybe now I will try it!

apple blossom said...

nice technique thanks for sharing it.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

Marcia W. said...

I tried this web technique for the Bingo card contest and it worked well. Thanks for adding more details on pulling the thread and the best plate to use. Please enter me into your drawing.

Lawana said...

knew I kept all those snippets for a a reason..thanks for the inspiration to try doing this

evelyn said...

Great tips! I am sorting scraps as I tidy up my sewing space. Pre-cutting into sizes will help organize. The single hole needle plate is something I have, but never think to use. Now I know what it is for-LOL.
Thanks for sharing.

ThreadCatcher said...

Wonderful tip when working with small pieces. I will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

Kim said...

Great tip! Thanks for sharing!

Richelle Nicole said...

Wow, thanks for the great tips! I save all my scraps in ziplock bags but you've convinced me to get organized and cut/sort those scraps. :)

Richelle Nicole said...

Wow, thanks for the great tips! I save all my scraps in ziplock bags but you've convinced me to get organized and cut/sort those scraps. :)

VickiT said...

Great information Sharon. Thank you. I recently acquired a lot of smaller pieces of fabric at an estate sale when they gave them all to me after the sale was over and those hadn't sold. I've got a large number of those all sorted by color alreadry for me to figure out what to use them all for. This info will come in very handy when I decide to tackle them all someday.

Unknown said...

Hi!!! Thanks for the tips!!! I will give it a try because I don't like to waste fabric!!

Deb C said...

Thanks for the tips! My husband thinks I am ob

Deb C said...

Sorry! Hit the wrong button! My husband thinks I am obsessive, but I keep all my scraps and need to work with them soon. I hate to waste any fabric.

Joy said...

I have been having trouble with my machine eating fabric. Thanks for your tips, I understand this better now. I must find a single hole plate for my machine.

ritainalaska said...

i've been saving my little bits, thinking that sooner or later i'll have enough to work with. waiting. waiting. waiting. thanx for the tips...i'll use 'em sooner or later, having popped 'em in my tips folder.

Pamela said...

I keep the scaps. I like your idea of the jars and need to get my scraps more organized. Thanks for the idea and the tip about the single hole plate.

Belinda said...

You are always my "go to" person for quilting advice! You are so knowledgeable in all of it. Wonderful tips Sharon. And I love your jars of precuts. What a great idea!!

kathy-o said...

Love the snack jars FULL of different sizes - I'm going to steal this one! thanks! and "boo" on blogspot for not allowing us to upload pictures!!!

Robin said...

Wow, several tips in one. I will start saving those big plastic pretzel containers! And now I know one more thing my machine can do!!! Thanks!

Siouxzq64@gmail.com said...

Thanks for the hints maybe it will help me with my postage stamp quilt I have been working on with 1 inch squares.

Carol S. said...

Great tips! I want to sew a postage stamp quilt and this should help.

Deb@asimplelifequilts said...

Thanks so much for a great hop filled with great tips! So useful.