Common Thread Quilt Guild

Here are some tips & tricks that members have suggested. If you have any tips to share please complete the form at the bottom of the page.


  • Organizing tip: When you bring your fat quarters home, refold them by wrapping them around a 4″ or 4-1/2″ ruler. This makes them all an even size for easy stacking. Coincidentally, they will also fit neatly into a cabinet meant to stack CDs or DVDs (IKEA sells one which is the perfect size.) I fold larger cuts of fabric around my 6-1/2″ by 24″ ruler to keep them organized and neatly stacked on shelves as well. Usually. (Irene W.)
  • There a two schools of thought regarding whether to prewash your fabric. In my opinion, the first step in preparing your fabric properly is to prewash. Wash your fabric with a mild detergent and be on the lookout for any migrating dyes.
    Throw a small square of white fabric or a dye catcher into the wash. If the white fabric comes out discolored, wash your fabric again, and keep washing it until a white scrap or dye catcher comes out clean. (Linda W.)
  • Cut away the corners of your fabric before you wash it. That way you will know what has been washed and what hasn’t. (Tammy D.)
  • Once I have washed and ironed my new fabric I measure it. After folding the fabric to put away pin a piece of paper to the corner with the dimensions written on it. This makes it easy to know if you have enough fabric when you are looking for that perfect piece to complete a pattern. (Kathryn W.)


  • Be safe!  Always cut away from yourself.  Don’t expose the blade of your rotary cutter until it’s in your hand and you’re ready to cut.  Always lock it when you’re done cutting


  • When ironing I use a mixture of ¼ white vinegar and ¾ water in a spray bottle. This gives crisp seams and removes stubborn wrinkles (Debbie I.)


  • There’s a thing called a “hera marker” – this is a curved hard plastic tool that has a sharp edge – sort of like a “bone folder” (if you remember what that is). By running it alongside the edge of a ruler, it marks a temporary crease in the fabric. The crease will be there long enough for you to sew a straight quilting line, and disappears without a trace afterwards. I have actually used it while my project is still under the needle to good effect. (Irene W.)



  • Often in an exclusive antique shop (such as The Salvation Army) you will see those old round heavy glass things known as “flower frogs.” They were originally meant to be put in the bottom of a vase; then you could place the stems in the dimples in them so the flowers would stand up straight and make a nice arrangement. I find that they are perfect on the shelf next to my sewing machine. Scissors fit into them perfectly(because we all have more than one pair of scissors, right?) and so do marking pens, pencils, etc. Keeps them visible and to hand. (Irene W.)
  • An excellent website to learn some tips and tricks about Quilting is Leah Day’s website.  She has some great topics on her site , such as free motion quilting and other subjects to learn about quilting. (Linda W.)
  • An easy way to store rulers and quilting templates:  IKEA sells a towel rack for about $20.  Screw that into the wall behind your door, add some “S” hooks and hang your rulers and quilting templates from there.  This keeps them visible and handy, and you will never break one by stepping on it accidentally again.  (Ask me how I know.) (Irene W.)


Common Thread Quilt Guild