Saturday, August 30, 2014

Becca's 10 Quilty Little Secrets

Everyone loves a challenge!  I'm not going to belabor the point, just throw some links at you and get down to my 10 Quilty Little Secrets.
13 Spools

I bumped into this somewhere in my travels and wanted to play along.  I think I'll be among good company.  The original post was from Amy at 13 Spools.  Hop over to the link-up for all the Quilty Little Secrets that are being shared.

1.  I no longer pre-wash my quilting cotton fabrics.  Modern fabrics are printed at a high quality and do not bleed or fade.  I don't pre-wash batiks either. 

2.  I wash my quilts after quilting in the same cycle I wash my bedding.  Warm water wash with light detergent and a cold rinse.  I follow that with a trip through my dryer.  Both machines are set to NORMAL.  I believe that quilts should be used.  If they are used they need to be washed.  Period, end of story. 

3.  I use the thread I want to use.  This means I use filament polyester, spun polyester and cotton threads.  Each in their place and sometimes I mix it up.  Restricting yourself to one thread content because it is the only "right" thread is just narrow-minded.  (I think you should step away from most threads at the chain stores, too, but that is another argument discussion.) 

4.  I sew with sewing machines from many different manufacturers.  I have Pfaffs, Singers, Tin Lizzies, Brothers, a Baby Lock, and even a Kenmore.  Machines that are modern and machines that are almost 100 years old.  I don't restrict myself to one brand and neither should you.

5.  I am a ruler junkie.  I love rulers.  I buy rulers because I can.  I have rulers I've had for months and still haven't unwrapped.  I have them, though.

6.  I put water in my iron and always have.  I'm not afraid of steam and I know how to use it.  You can say whatever you want.  I don't care.  It is how I get a nice crisp seam and that's the way I like it.

7.  I was a quilter for years before I made something with more than four half-square triangle blocks.  It took a massive quilt with over 300 of them for me to decide they don't suck all that much.  (I still have to like a bunch to make them for you.)

8.  I hate computerized quilting.  I hate how slow the machine stitches to get a good stitch when it is computer driven. Any jackass can run the computer (this is not the same as creating your own designs on the computer, that takes a skill set I do not have).  It takes someone with training and some talent to produce pretty hand-guided work.  

9.  I don't measure when I add borders.  I just sew them on and they don't wave.  Practice, baby!

10.  I don't bury threads when I quilt.  I tried it once and didn't like it.  I stack up some stitches and trim off.  That's how I did it with my sewing machine and that's how I do it with my long arm.  

Bonus secret:  I will never monetize my blog.  I'm here to talk about quilting and sewing and other fun stuff.  If I share link it is because I like the product, have used it and recommend it or I tell you why I didn't like it.  All that ad stuff is just garbage!

It took me days to write this list, remove some questionable remarks, edit it down, remove some language that some viewers might find inappropriate, edit it some more, and get around to posting it.  If you read any of these and don't understand my reasoning please leave me a comment and I'll do my best to respond.

I hope you can look at your quilting and find things that you do that are different from the "conventional way" of doing things.  You should create something that makes you happy using the techniques you are comfortable with.


  1. Thanks for sharing!!! I agree with a lot of your secrets and had to lough a lot because of this.
    Greetings, Rike

  2. If you ever use a solid - even GOOD brands, especially RED, you need to prewash. I had a quilt I made for the Moda Bake shop that had a solid red (Moda Bella) backing - and when I washed it, the whole quilt turned pink. In trying to 'fix' it, I completely ruined the colors. So, I was always a ''never wash'' person too - but now any solids, especially darks and brights are going to be washed. Several times. With color catchers.

    1. I stand by my original statement that I do not pre-wash prints or batiks. Over-dyed fabrics should be looked at but the majority of fabrics just don't need this extra step. This is one of the things that quilters continue to debate. I thank you for letting me know that Moda's Bella solids don't have the best heat-setting or the dye has not been properly exhausted and there could be issues. I usually stick with Kona cottons.

      So you are aware, you are a no reply blogger (your email shows up as "" if I try to reply to your email). This is the default setting on Blogger. I recommend you look into your settings in Blogger as you are missing a portion of the interaction you could be having with blogs you read.

  3. I'm glad you posted this. I just love reading what real quiltmakers have to say!

  4. I used to do the just sewing on borders thing. Then I began entering competitions and now I measure down the middle. You know you can keep a spray bottle next to the iron instead of filling it with water that is less controllable, and in my case, it kept sputtering and burning me. LeeAnna at not afraid of color

    1. I will admit I haven't entered any competitions. I do have one quilt on the way to a quilt show but it isn't competing. It is just going for an exhibit. I've had great luck with my irons and wouldn't know how to change to using a dry iron. I have some spray starch but rarely use it. The ironing may come from the fact that I was a garment sewer for a while before shifting to mostly quilting.

      So you are aware, you are a no reply blogger (your email shows up as "" if I try to reply to your comment through email). This is the default setting on Blogger. I recommend you look into your settings in Blogger as you are missing a portion of the interaction you could be having with blogs you read and comment on.

  5. I don't have a washing policy. Sometimes I do, sometimes I dont. It really depends on what I'm up to. I really like they way washed fabrics cling to each other and I also like to preshrink on occasion. I've washed a few solids that were over 2" smaller selvage to selvage after a wash! That's a lot of shrink. :)

    Of course, I'm wishy washy about everything. Forever changing my mind. I think my headstone should say "It depends".

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for the no ads. I know people need to make a living, but I love the ad free sites so much more. :)

  6. Great list to read, especially because they are clearly not your guilty, quilty secrets like some I've read! I like it when quilters have their own individual views and methods and the courage of their convictions to stick to them!

  7. Excellent post Becca! A lot of good common sense info. So many times sewists get caught up in "am I doing this the right way" when for the most part the "right way" just might be the best way that makes a project turn out for you. Loved the part about thread, I'm right there with you, I always just use what I have on hand, I've never been a thread snob, I just don't have the time or money. Plus the older vintage machines I use take any kind of thread and run great, not like the newer machines that get snagged up in the bobbin area. I'm right with you about the advertising, I don't put any in my blog either, I feel like our entire lives our blasted with advertising, it's all around us. Let our sewing be a place where we can just enjoy our craft. It's great to recommend stuff if we enjoy it and use the product and can be really helpful to other sewist, but it drives me nuts when I go to a new sewing blog and I get blasted with all these pop up windows of advertising. I just exit out of the page as quick as possible. Anyway...thanks for another excellent post. I always enjoy reading about your new sewing adventures ; )


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