At Crafty Sew&So we pride ourselves on delivering top quality workshops delivered by our knowledgable, friendly and enthusiastic tutors!
This time we're getting to know our Patchwork and Quilting tutor, Elizabeth Goodge, a little better and picking her brains for her top tips on P&Q...
Elizabeth is passionate about working with textiles and enjoys finding little cheats to make quilting more efficient and fun. She particularly enjoys free motion quilting and applique and teaching these fabulous techniques to others.
"Teaching quilting to others and inspiring them to start their own quilting journey is one of the best experiences. I love all forms of quilting and I'd be delighted to share them with you".
Elizabeth’s Top 5 tips for quilting:
- When shopping for a machine, buy the biggest throat space that you can afford. The throat is the gap to the right of the needle that you need to turn your quilt through when machine quilting, a larger gap makes a huge difference.
- 100% cotton always.
Other fabrics, such as satins and silks are great for embellishments or if you are making a memory quilt there may be some jersey, lace etc but don't be caught out by polycottons for general quilting. They're cheaper for a reason. The weave of a poly is looser which means that they can shrink and shrivel both under the iron and in the wash. They are also prone to fading and if your iron is really hot, they can melt.
- You don't need everything at once. I wish I understood this one when I started, I have so many specialist rulers I have never used. Trust me on this, buy the essentials and work up from there.
- Unpicking is a fact in sewing! Invest in a really good, sharp unpicker. I know we don't like to think about what happens when we go wrong, but a really good one will make any errors quick and easy to fix without endangering your fabric. A side tip for this one is, if you've made an error twice in a row, put it down and come back to it later. Or even tomorrow. It's okay to not be in the mood to sew and it's definitely okay to admit that you're too tired. Trust me. Coming back to it later is far preferable to having to unpick half a quilt top! It took me an age to admit to this one, and that I can only have one glass of wine if I want straight seams. Sometimes though, a 10-minute break is all you need.
- This is the most important one. There is no wrong way.
Cut your block too small, no worries, you can use it as part of a scrap quilt (which always turn out amazing no matter how bad you think they're going to look) or a table runner, placemat, you get the idea. Maybe you assembled your block differently to the instructions, voilà you have a new block. No one will know, even other quilters won't know unless you tell them what it was originally intended to be.
There is a phrase that I hear so often "there are no quilt police" and whilst it is very true it doesn't quite get the full point across. In quilting, you are your only critic. Every quilt is perfect whether or not it's what you set out for.
It's an incredibly rewarding hobby. Quilters are some of the friendliest people on Earth. There's nothing quilters love more than talking to other quilters about quilts. And the best thing is, everyone can quilt. Welcome to the family!
Join Elizabeth for an upcoming Patchwork and Quilting workshop and pick up lots more tips and inspiration!