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FAQ For New Quilters Part 2

January 31, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 169

I love the look of Appliqué but I don't really have the time to do it by hand. Are there any other options?

There is. A type of product called fusible appliqué is a thin interfacing that causes fabrics to adhere to each other when heat is applied. By placing this interfacing between your appliqué and the fabric of your quilt, you will get a study bond. Edges can then be finished off with a tight zig-zag, satin or blanket stitch. There are several good brands of this product available at sewing and fabric stores.

I was reading a quilting blog and they talked about a 'Design Wall', what is that?

The purpose of a design wall is to give quilters a place to arrange and rearrange the separate pieces of a quilt, before deciding how to sew them together. There are commercial design walls that you can buy, or you can hang a piece of flannel or batting on the wall. The fibers in these fabrics will hold most materials in place.

Do I really need to buy a rotary cutter or can I just use a good sharp pair of scissors when cutting out my fabric pieces?

You can always use a sharp pair of scissors, but a rotary cutter will save you tons of time, especially when cutting multiple shapes like squares and triangles. However, for rotary cutters to be most effective you also need some type of cutting mat with a graphed out surface and a clear acrylic ruler marked with dark grid lines. Rotary cutters offer much better controlled cutting and a smoother finished edge then scissors.

I saw some really cute stencils in the quilting store. How do I use them?

Quilting stencils are a fun and easy way to decorate a solid topped quilt. Like a conventional stencil, a quilting stencil is made of plastic and is used to outline a pattern repeatedly over the quilt top. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from very simple to quite elaborate. Use a piece of chalk, soap or washable fabric pen to mark your fabric, and then quilt along the lines.

Tip: If you are using a washable fabric pen, be sure to test it on a scrap of fabric first, and leave as light a mark as possible.

What's the deal with pre-washing quilting fabric? Some people say you should pre-wash and others say it isn't necessary.

Although it's true that pre-washing isn't always necessary, depending on the type of fabric you're using, it is still a good idea. True, it's best to make sure your cotton fabrics won't shrink after you've finished your quilting project or that the dyes won't run onto each other the first time it gets wet. But the most important reason you want to pre-wash your fabric is for your own health.

Many fabrics are made out of the US where they use chemicals which are illegal here. Formaldehyde is one of those chemicals, and its fumes can be released into the air while you are working on or pressing your material. Extended exposure to formaldehyde can produce allergies and in extreme cases, permanent respiratory problems.

I always recommend that people pre-wash their fabrics as soon as they bring them home, even if they plan on storing them. It only takes a short amount of time to save yourself a lot of trouble in the future.

Deanne Blackhurst is a freelance writer for Sew to Speak, your one-stop online sewing and fabric store. Visit us at Sew to Speak and take a look at the huge selection of fabric, patterns and notions we carry.

Source: EzineArticles
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