Have you heard the story about the woman that every time she makes a roast she cuts off the ends because that’s the way she saw her mother cook it? The truth was the mother had too small of a cooking pan and cut the ends to accommodate.
Sewing can be like this too. You’re taught or observe someone doing something and figure that’s the way to do it. But there are some sewing and quilting habits that could be hindering your sewing experience. Here are 10 habits we recommend quitting:
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Are you guilty of any of these habits? Are there others that should be listed but aren’t?