Last night I finished quilting a new piece for entry into an exhibit I love. Since the jurying process is blind, I can’t share it with you (yet). What I can share are some of the things that make the finishing process (my least favorite part of quilting) a little bit easier.
Thread burying is a controversial subject. I feel compelled to do it, but it can be a bit trying. It’s much easier to do if you use a self-threading needle. Sometimes there’s a bad needle in a package, so I make sure to keep track of the ones that work the best. It’s such a relief not to have to put the thread through a needle’s eye over and over again! There’s more than one type of self-threading needle, so choose what works best for you.
Needle pullers, where were you all of my life? I didn’t discover these until last year when Cheryl Sleboda mentioned them on social media. My fingers thank her! They are a big help when sewing down a binding, facing, or hanging sleeve.
I’ve traditionally blocked all of my quilts flat on the floor. This was somewhat awkward, and honestly didn’t make my back feel very good. Now that I have a large, fluffy, inquisitive companion things are even more complicated.
What’s come to my rescue? A clothes steamer. I have a super nifty one that was my main Christmas present a few years ago, but no doubt there are many other good ones. I pin or hang my finished quilt on my design wall, then steam away, smoothing it down as I go, and allow it to dry. I’m not sure how easy this would be with a quilt that has lots of straight lines that need to stay that way, but it works great for my art quilts. A bonus is that if your quilts travel, they often are returned with quite a few wrinkles. I find that my clothes steamer makes removing them a snap.
Many of my quilts are longer than my rulers. A few years ago I broke down and bought an adjustable metal drywall square at a home improvement store. It’s great for helping to mark a quilt prior to trimming it. My biggest challenge? Finding it when my husband has borrowed it.
I hope some of these tips might make it a little easier for you to “cross the finish line” too. And, if you have some finishing tips be sure to share them in the comments!