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The Scrap Bag

This is our tips and tricks section and a place for questions and answers from our readers. If you have a question or a tip you'd like to share, contact us.

What is the difference between buying a fat quarter and buying a quarter of a yard?
Shelly's Answer:
The actual amount of fabric is the same in both, the difference is in how the fabric is cut. Most quilting fabrics are about 44" wide. So when buying a quarter of a yard, you get a 9" by 44" strip of fabric. With a fat quarter, a half yard of the fabric is cut and then cut in half. So a fat quarter is about 18" wide by 22" long.

How do I go about making a memory quilt made from photos?
Shelly's Answer:
There are special supplies available for transferring photo images onto fabric - I believe you copy the photo onto special paper using a copier, then iron the image onto a piece of muslin from the paper. For further information, try your local quilt shop or take a look at books on the subject.

Cross Stitch Tip:
Always start your counted cross-stitch project from the center. Most patterns show the center of the design by putting an arrow at the center stitch along two edges of the pattern (usually the top and the left side). To find the center of the fabric, simply fold the fabric into quarters and slide a needle or thread through the center stitch at the point. Note: If you're working with an odd fabric size, you may have to count one direction or the other to find the center.

Needlework Tip:
When you need to jump stitches to continue working with the same color, weave the thread through the back of the finished stitches. Long jumps of thread, especially dark ones, will show through to the front of the work. And on items where the back of the finished work is not protected, long threads can get caught on things and tear, causing surrounding stitches to loosen and fray.

Quilting Tip:
Never use the selvage edge (lengthwise) of your fabric. It is more tightly woven and can cause puckering in the seams.

Sewing Tip:
Use clear plastic tape to hold buttons in place before sewing. This allows you to align them properly, and you can sew right through the tape. Once you have sewn the button on, rip off the tape.

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