I’ve been in my sewing room a lot this week and as I worked, I came upon three handy tips that I thought I would share.
BASTING WITH WATER SOLUBLE THREAD:
I am beginning a new quilt and I decided to machine baste it together using water soluble thread top and bottom-that way I don’t have to deal with those pesky safety pins. Now I did this years ago and it was NOT a success:No matter how many times I wash this, the pin holes and line will not come out. That is probably because this is silk dupioni (forehead slap!) and silk will not allow the threads to relax back into their previous position.
On my new quilt (a whole lcoth quilt) I started out the basting process in the normal manner by layering the quilt up and securing with safety pins. Then I quilted my basting lines with water soluble thread between the pins. This time I am using cotton sateen and I thought I might have a better chance that the holes would disappear. I tried it on a sample and the basting holes disappeared after a brief soak-yessss!At this point it looks like a very plain comforter for the bed-yuk! But I will quilt the heck out it and it will be gorgeous (I hope) soon!
CHAIR HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT:
As I quilted in the basting lines with the water soluble thread, my shoulders and wrists became instantly stressed by quickly feeding that much fabric over and over through the harp of the machine. I had a lot of basting to do and I realized I needed to figure out a better way to do this to reduce the stress on my body.By simply raising my chair to its highest height, the stress disappeared. I would never ever do regular quilting at this height because I wouldn’t be able to see what I was doing. But for this kind of shovel-the-quilt-through-the-machine sewing, I didn’t need a close view.
If you are having back/neck/shoulder/wrist issues when you are quilting, try raising or lowering your chair-it can make a world of difference.
THIRD HAND FOR MEASURING:
As I was layering this quilt up, I needed to measure my width or length several times in the process. As DH was not around to hold the other end of the measuring tape, I had to figure out a way to be able to hold the tape so that I could tug it taut for accurate measurements.This is what I came up with using materials on hand. Now this is not meant to be instructional, like you should go out and get a 10 lb barbell to stack on top of your ruler! I’m just sharing my solution to the problem. I’ll bet some of you have your own great solutions to this common problem.
I hope you are able to get some sewing and quilting done-this is a great time to snuggle up and sew!