Since I am a marginally famous quilt writer (I am less famous than your local TV news weatherman, but more famous than the Justin Bieber cover band that’s playing at that dive bar off the interstate where you hooked up with that sailor one time), people are always emailing me, asking for quilting advice. And not even specific quilting advice, something I could perhaps go look up in a book and then pass off as my own. No, it’s all vague, like “Do you have any tips for a newbie quilter?” And that’s when I say, “Why, yes! Click here!”
Clearly, that’s not endearing me to anyone (especially my dad, who I think has finally given up on reading this. Took you long enough, Dad). And then today I picked up the new issue of American Patchwork and Quilting, one of my favorite quilting mags. And oh, joy of joys, it was their annual “101 Top Tips: Experts Share Their Secrets” issue. Sprinkled amongst the patterns and articles are various helpful hints from almost nobody I’ve ever heard of. But they are clearly more famous than me, because they’re getting their quilting advice printed up in a magazine, with their pictures and everything. And while most of the advice is actually quite good, some of it is just BRILLIANT. Like, “Relax and enjoy it.” That’s a tip? Did you get paid for that? That’s what I tell my husband when I get out the handcuffs, but nobody forks over a twenty.
So I’ve decided to stop being such a tip hog and share with you, my seven or eight loyal readers, my very own Top Quilting Tips. Yes, I have scoured the recesses of my brain and come up with those little tricks and techniques that make my quilting so uniquely my own. Instead of yours, or that guy’s over there.
The Bitchy Stitcher’s Top 10 Quilting Tips
1. Try to use both fabric and thread for your quilting projects. You’ll find they come together much easier and you won’t run out of staples so fast.
2. When free motion quilting, ignore the oft-heard advice to have a glass of wine to loosen you up before you start. Valium’s way better.
3. Do not attempt to rotary cut while drunk, stoned, sleeping, playing Wii games, or having sex with large, redheaded Scotsmen. You can rotary cut while having sex with small, normal-haired Americans since it’ll be over pretty quick anyway.
4. Do not curse, flip off, threaten, insult, or otherwise taunt your sewing machine. Not because anything bad will happen; it just makes you look like a douche.
5. Always use a firm, flat surface when fusing appliqué pieces. But if that doesn’t work for you, try ironing on a series of spiked, rotating cubes or the back of a panicked hedgehog.
6. Some people get inspiration from nature, from cityscapes, from the laughter of a small child. I spin around really, really fast until I fall down and whack my head on something.
7. Don’t worry about Cheeto crumbs, chocolate smears, blood spots, or red wine stains. Just add some more, call it an “art quilt,” and tell everyone it’s a statement about child labor or vaginas. Then sit back and watch the show ribbons roll in!
8. Store absolutely everything in empty cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels. Yes, even your sewing machine. You figure it out.
9. For machine appliqué that looks like hand stitching, simply pull a length of thread off the machine spool and thread it through a separate needle. Then get your mom to do it.
10. Relax and enjoy it. It won’t hurt at all. You can trust me, baby. Now where’s my twenty?