Need Help Sewing and Quilting?

Shared Information

Do you need help sewing and quilting?  Educating by sharing information is an age-old method widespread on the internet.  Here you will be able to navigate to subjects of interest relating to sewing and quilting.  I have decades behind a needle and hope you will benefit from what I share.  After reviewing subjects below, sign up to receive notice of new posts.

  • “Words and Initialism for Those Who Sew”

I compare it to the language of those who text and don’t/can’t spell out the words.  You know what I’m talking about.  I’ll give you your own short cuts to toss around! 

A great place to start is /initialism-and-acronym-differ/.

Acquaint yourself with words you will run across in my posts –

Sewing Subjects Important to Know

Threads Are Not All Created Equal

Comparison of threads, thread weight, thread content, thread manufacturers, under what conditions each thread should be considered, and how thread should be stored for the best shelf-life will open your eyes how important thread is in choosing what is best for your purpose.  If you want/need this help with your sewing and quilting, I will do focused posts to help you!

Needles Deserve Attention  

If you are going to be choosing the best thread to use, you will need to know about needles.  They come in a variety of sizes; lengths; eyes; use by hand; machine needles for different thread, fabrics, look, and machines; and reasons why they bend and/or break.  To make the best stitch possible, the needle plays a significant role.

Bobbins Vary

Bobbins come in assorted sizes – each machine has one size and one size only.  You will need to know what a well wound bobbin looks and feels like.  Do you know how to adjust your machine to get the best wound bobbin?  Are you installing the bobbin correctly?  Learn what the bobbin case does.  What should you know about pre-wound bobbins available on the market?  Which thread – color, weight, affect – is best for the bobbin and what accommodations may be required.  Starting to think you need help with sewing and quilting basics?

What Sewing Machine Should I Buy? 

I will try to simplify the mystery with some basic questions and how to include your answer in evaluating which machine will best fit your needs.  This article may be of interest to those inexperienced sewing on a machine.

Regular Maintenance

To keep a sewing machine running for many years, it requires a bit of easy maintenance.  Machines require your attention for cleaning lint and thread out of the moving parts easily accessible.  Older machines with no computer components are much easier to clean yourself and keep oiled.  I’ll do some posts on maintenance to help you correctly approach this necessary requirement to keep your machine running smoothly. Some don’t think maintenance of machines as being the type of help in sewing or quilting that is important. Without a well running machine, there are disgruntled people behind the needles!

Tools Have Improved 

Your great-grandma or even your grandma had to use minimal tools to sew. Chances are they were considered fortunate if they had a sewing machine and a pair of sharp scissors to cut fabric. Today we enjoy many convenient inventions.  Rotary cutting has cut down cutting time and improved accuracy over using scissors.  Cardboard templates have been replaced by thick precise materials.  Outdated tools are constantly being improved to make sewing and quilting easier. For the Basic Tools of a Quilter,


Why do I need patterns?  They are directions to start with fabric and end up with something usable.  There are no short cuts if you want to avoid wasted time, wasted fabric, and frustration.

Garment Patterns

Information on the back of the envelope of a garment pattern has a wealth of information.  It helps you determine the correct size and amount of fabric required.  It even gives a list of suggested fabric types.  If the garment requires notions like elastic, buttons, or a zipper, it is right there.  All of this is important for a successful outcome.  Markings on tissue pattern pieces are directions on how to place pattern pieces on the fabric.  I can explain why and what all this means. 

There is one thing I can’t help you do – refolding the pattern pieces to fit neatly back in the envelope they came in. The best I can do is give you my secret to keeping all the pieces together – large zip lock bags!

Quilt Patterns

Quilt patterns have one thing in common – the first thing after choosing your fabric will be cutting all the pieces.  I’ll go over cutting, the need for accurate cuts, labeling, and sewing a scant one-fourth inch seam.  I will be stressing accuracy as I help you.  It is not difficult if you are doing both in the way I will show you.  The method I teach should keep seam ripping to a minimum.

Locating Garment Patterns and Notions 

Interfacing and stabilizers are near the sewing notions, zippers, buttons, and trims.  Patterns are in file cabinets by a numerical system corresponding with pattern catalog reference number.

Not All Fabric is Created Equal

Most quilters like to use 100% cotton in their quilts.  Fabric stores have specific sections for their quilt-worthy fabrics.  Quilt-worthy fabrics are cotton fabric well-constructed, made by reputable companies, and known to hold their color and stability.  Sometimes, these fabrics can only be found in quilt stores who specialize in all quilt related things.  Price cannot always be the predictor of quality. A good quilt fabric is worth paying more for if it feels good to the touch and is from a trustworthy company.

Online Fabric Shopping

Online fabric shopping can be a positive experience as your knowledge of fabric brands increases. Where to shop depends on where you live and what stores are available to you.  For those who are online shoppers for convenience or necessity, searching for fabric will bring up an amazing number of sources.  It is a learning curve to find out who online you can trust to only carry quality merchandise and are fair in their pricing. 

How to Pick Fabrics for a Quilt

Choosing fabrics for your quilt is a big adventure. It isn’t as easy as just picking pieces you like. There are large scale prints, small and medium prints, directional prints, non-directional prints.  You will hear phrases like white on white, movement, solid, right side, wrong side, and ombre.  Tone and value might be as important as the color.  Some people hate picking fabrics and are grateful for kits.  Others love choosing fabrics, even getting adventurous in the selection.  The scrappy quilter wants as many different fabrics as she/he can get to put into the quilt.  Confidence comes with practice and using the tips I give you.

Batting – Content and Use 

Confusion on which batting you should use – cotton, wool, polyester, bamboo?  The material determines the warmth it adds to a quilt and how puffy it will be. Scrim?  No scrim?  Does it matter?  I sure hope I will be able to make purchasing batting less stressful and will give you the results you want.  A chart put together of batts, fiber content and attributes has been helpful to me, and I want to share it with you.

The Pre-Wash Controversy 

You will need to decide if to wash fabric or not.  There is no right or wrong decision. It is strictly personal. Concern about shrinking or bleeding dye might be why you would opt to pre-wash. If you hate to iron, that will play into your decision. I like the way unwashed fabric has body without having to starch it. Plus, shrinkage in a quilt gives it the crinkled look of antique quilts I happen to like. The dye in modern quality fabric can be captured in the wash by adding a dye catcher sheet and set with the addition of salt to the cold wash water. All are improvements to make sewing and quilting easier!

Hand Embroidery 

Hand embroidery is making a comeback!  There are machines that do beautiful embroidery. The relaxing art of embroidery by hand can be seen in quilts and clothing.


Appliques can be found on quilts, decor, and clothing.  There are several ways to apply this addition.  Some quilters love hand applique. Machine applique has grown in popularity with the decorative stitches on today’s sewing machines.

Unique Piecing Techniques 

Piecing techniques in quilts are always evolving. Paper piecing patterns ensure your points will be sharp.  Want curved seams to lay flat? Spinning bulky seams allow them to lay flat.  Even seasoned sewists and quilters are always looking for new ways to improve their skills. I have a few shortcuts of my own to share.

Ways to Quilt 

What is next?  Will you pay for a long-arm quilter to quilt for you?  Or will you hand quilt it?  Use your home machine to free motion quilt?  Whichever you decide, your quilt will only be one step away from completion.  Adding the binding turns your quilt sandwich into a finished creation!

Binding and Labeling

Now you will bind the edges and label. Binding is covering the raw edges and batting for a finished look.  Many ways to bind will be an interesting post to help you decide which method you prefer to have a completed project. Don’t forget the label!


Do you need sewing and quilting help?  Take advantage of my website Education Section.   This is a good post on sewing machine maintenance:; and a basic tool list is at /sampler-sew-a-long/.

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