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Bad Habits Quilters Need to Quit from Superior Threads

1. Not organizing your fabric scraps

Will you ever use fabric scraps if you can’t even tell what you have? Our favorite thing is to organize scraps by colors. If you don’t have them organized, you might as well throw them out because they won’t be used and they’re taking up precious space!

2. Overly criticizing your work

Do you nit-pick and over analyze your stitches and points? Stop it. Seriously, just stop. You’re not doing anyone any favors and especially yourself by trash talking. Why not celebrate that you actually made time to sew? Congratulate that you finished a project. Be happy that you created something that didn’t exist before. That’s pretty cool.

3. Putting water in your iron

We might all be guilty of this one. Water in the iron (with the exception of distilled) can corrode your iron. Or worse, a leak could leave a spot stain on your fabric. Get a spray bottle of water to help with misting needs.

4. Cutting the same place on your mat

Want a quick way to wear out your mat? Always cut at the same place. Mats need time to heal. Here’s a little more on how to care for your mat.

5. Sewing over pins

Sewing over a pin causes problems. Needles bend, dull, or worse—break. If you have a habit of sewing over pins because you haven’t experienced issues yet, please stop now.

6. Not maintaining your machine

Clean your machine regularly. Change the needle when you see stitch quality decrease or hear a gentle thud sound. Take your machine to the mechanic once in a while. Be good to your machine and she’ll be good to you!

7. Not completing your projects

Having too many unfinished projects is discouraging. If you find you have a project you started, but haven’t returned to in years, probably you’re discouraged or simply not interested. This is a great opportunity to donate your half-done project to your guild or a friend who might love a head start on a new project!

8. Unthreading the machine incorrectly

When you change a spool color, the first thing we normally do is just pull the spool off the machine and pull the thread backwards through the tension discs. Easy? Yes. Bad for your machine? Yes. Time to break the habit and cut the thread at the spool and pull it out through the needle.

9. Using dull cutting tools

This is a no brainer, but sometimes you just hope our rotary cutter will make it a few more squares or that the frayed fabric edges from your shears aren’t that bad. Sewing is much easier with crisp edges and choosing to use high quality sharps can help alleviate a lot of frustration and save time.

10. Using low-quality thread and fabrics

You knew this was coming! Low quality threads shed lint, break, and may not stand the test of time. Similarly, fabric quality will affect how long your quilt will last. We recommend buying the highest quality you can afford. This will make sewing and quilting much more enjoyable.


Ever have trouble with your fused fabric sticking or more importantly NOT sticking? Here are some great tips.

  • 1 The fabric you use must be washed! Unwashed fabric has starches, glazes, and/or insecticide residue that can prevent the fusible from working properly.
  • 2 After fusing the fusible to the back of your fabric, let it rest for 10 minutes or so until entirely cool before moving.
  • 3 Once you have the design all fused a clean, light- colored solid fabric over the top (right side up) and use a hot steam iroN. Gently move from place to place to really secure. Let set without moving for at least a half hour.

Common Quilt Sizes

PLACEMATS - 11″-12″ wide by 15″-18″ length or 29cm – 31cm by 38cm – 46cm

MINIATURE – less than 36″ square or 91 cm square

TABLE TOPPER or RUNNER - decorate your table with a table topper or a table runner. Depending on the size and shape of your table, you can determine the dimensions you require.

Square table topper: 36” X 36” or 91cm x 91 cm. Turn the quilt so the corners are pointing to the sides of the table. The table topper can be placed on any table.

Table Runner: 12″-18” x 40″-72” or 31cm-46cm x 102cm-183cm. Make a table runner to lay down the centre of a dining table. Lengthen the table runner for longer tables.

WALLHANGING – any size can qualify for a wallhanging. Be sure to measure the space you want to hang, to be sure it fits. Another thing to consider, the larger the quilt, the heavier it will be, requiring extra support.

BABY – between 36″ X 36″ and 52″ X 52″ or 91cm x 91cm and 132cm x 132cm. This size can depend on whether the quilt will be used in a crib.

CRIB – between 30″x 46″ and 36″ x 50″ or 76cm x 117cm and 91cm x 127cm. If you are making this sized quilt as a gift, see if you can get the measurements… each manufacturer has their own sizes… and crib mattresses are different sizes too.

COT – between 58″ x 90″ and 72″ x 108″ or 147cm x 229cm and 183cm x 274cm.

TODDLER – 46″ x 70″ or 117cm x 178cm for a quilt. A toddler bed most often uses a crib mattress, however not always, so it is best to measure first.

BUNK – between 66″ x 89″ and 74″ x 103″ or 168cm x 226cm and 188cm x 262cm .

WHEELCHAIR LAP QUILT – 36″ x 36″ to 38″ x 47″ or 91cm x 91cm to 97cm x 119cm – adding ties is sometimes a good idea, so they don’t slip off.

LAP – between 52″ – 68″ or 132cm x 173cm wide and the length can be from about 52″ – 78″ or 132cm x 198cm. Although a lap quilt can be any size. A quilt that a child will want to bring along could be as small as 36″x36″ or 91cm x 91cm. A lap quilt that is 42″x 60″ 107cm x 152cm is great for cuddling up on the couch with.

TWIN – between 64″ – 72″ or 163cm x 183cm wide and the length can be from about 86″ – 96″ or 218cm x 244cm.

FULL – between 70″ – 88″ or 178cm x 224cm wide and the length can be from about 88″ – 100″ or 224cm x 254cm.

QUEEN – between 88″ – 99″ or 224cm x 251cm wide and the length can be from about 94″ – 108″ or 239cm x 274cm.

QUEEN WATERBED – 76″ x 104″ or 193cm x 264cm.

KING – between 94″ – 108″ or 239cm x 274cm wide and the length can be from about the same, 94″ – 108″ or 239cm x 274cm.

CALIFORNIA KING – between 98″ x 100″ or 249cm x 254cm and 114″ x 117″ or 290cm x 297cm.

KING WATERBED – 88″ x 94″ or 224cm x 239cm.

Perhaps you would prefer to custom size a quilt for a specific bed. How to determine the size of quilt:

  • measure the mattress, length and width, and depth (most mattresses measure 8″-12″ or 20cm – 30cm, but the newer deeper ones can measure up to 20″ or 50 cm).
  • add to each measurement the amount of drop you’d like down the side of the bed (to the floor? to the bottom of the top mattress? to the bottom of the box spring?)
  • remember to add a pillow tuck (this may depend on the depth of the pillows, and how much of a pillow tuck), if you want a portion of the quilt to tuck under the pillows, and then carry on over top of the pillows.

Depending on the quilt pattern you are using… your borders could be the drop… for example, if you want a 12″ or 30cm drop… add a 12″ or 30cm border to your quilt top. You may need to adjust your borders depending on your quilt design. A central medallion will need careful consideration

Hanging Sleeve Instructions

AQS has the leading hardware for hanging quilts at our shows, which may be different than some contestants have used in the past. This new system requires some give in the sleeve on the quilt so the rod can slip over the hanging hook properly.

Step-by-steps instructions for adding a new sleeve:

1. Cut the sleeve 8½” wide x the exact width of your quilt. Fold the ends in twice (¼” and ¼” again) to finish each end of the sleeve. Stitch using a scant ¼” seam allowance.

Press the long sides of the sleeve so they meet in the center.

It helps to fold the sleeve in half lengthwise first and press to give you a center crease.

When you press the sides to the center, you’ll press those creases out – they just give an easy guide without measuring or marking.

2. Fold right sides together and stitch ¼” seam on the long edge of the sleeve.

Turn the sleeve right-side out.

3. You may need to repress the fold lines – you’ll need those for attaching the sleeve to your quilt.

This is the step that provides the give needed in the sleeve.

4. Center the sleeve across the width of your quilt.

The edge of the sleeve should lie just inside your binding on each side of the quilt.

Using the fold, pin your sleeve in place ½” to ¾” from the top outside edge on the back of the quilt.

This spacing is needed so the sleeve will not show after it is hung.

5. Pin the top of the sleeve along the fold and blindstitch in place.

Use the opposite fold line to pin the bottom edge of the sleeve in place; blindstitch to the quilt.

The sleeve will fit flat against the quilt from fold line to fold line; the rest of the sleeve will cup out giving enough play in the fabric to fit into the hanging device without damaging the sleeve.

6. This photo shows how the quilt will attach to the hanging device.

Notice how the hook of the hanger pushes the sleeve inward – that’s why we need some play in the sleeve.

Adapting a sleeve already sewn to your quilt

1. If your sleeve is already sewn to your quilt and is positioned at least 1/2″ from the top outside edge on the back of the quilt, you can simply remove the stitching on the bottom edge of the sleeve and fold it up ½” from the stitching line, and resew that edge to the quilt.

2. If your sleeve is not positioned at least ½” from the outside edge of the quilt, you will need to remove the sleeve and reposition it following the step-by-step instructions for applying a new sleeve as shown above.

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