General Craft Tips
1. When beginning a new type of craft, start with a small project. This way you don't feel overwhelmed about learning new techniques and you get the satisfaction of completing a project quickly. http://www.ecraftclasses.com/
1. Whether hand quilting or machine quilting, I find that it's best to begin quilting in the center of the quilt and work towards the outer edges. This allows the quilt to lay flat with fewer puckers or creases.
Rag Quilt Tips
1. The snip-as-you-go-method means simply to snip each row of squares as you create each row. And again as you sew each row to each other. This elimates fatiqued hands and unsnipped seams which are both common if you snip the entire quilt after completely piecing the quilt.
General Sewing Tips
1. The foot that I use on my sewing machine doesn't have the 1/4 inch edge so I drew a 1/4 inch mark on top (see picture below). This has been very helpful in keeping that critical seam allowance especially when my seam is no longer beside the 1/4 inch mark on the front of the machine - because the mark is very short and my fabric is being pulled toward the back of the machine. I don't find the mark behind the foot to be helpful at all.
2. Many people suggest that you pin your pieces as shown in the first photo below for uninterrupted sewing. I do this only on rare occasions myself and that is to hold occasional butted edges of my quilts together. The reason being, if there's one in a bazillion chance that my needle will hit that pin and break I'll decrease those chances by avoiding it as often as possible. The rest of the time I will pin far enough below the sewing edge for continuous sewing. You can see in picture three that my foot easily misses the needle for uninterrupted sewing.
3. The zigzag stitch rather than a straight stitch is a great way to sew together pieces that shift (i.e. trying to sew a ruffle onto an item). Zigzag stitches also reduce fraying of rough unfinished edges.
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