Philippa says...

Philippa answers common quilting questions.

What is the difference between binding using 'bias cut' and 'width of fabric cut' ?

Philippa says:

I use bias binding for anything that has a curve or shaped edge because the stretch of the bias will enable the binding to mould around the edges of the work. I do not use bias...

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Pressing. Should I use steam and/or a tailor’s clapper?

A member says she only uses a dry iron when pressing seams, being under the impression that steam could result in distortion. Should she be using steam to press seams and does a wooden...

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How do I stop 'birds' nests' tangling on the underneath of my work (when I am not using a 'leader strip' between sewn sections)?

Philippa says:

I think there is no one fix as there are many variables. I find my machine likes finer threads best and tends to snarl more when I use thicker threads (such as general purpose...

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What type of iron does Philippa use?

Philippa says:

I like a heavy steam iron for really good pressing. I do not own or use little travel/craft irons because I do not think they are up to the job (but are worthwhile in class...

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Do you prewash and/or starch your fabrics?

I do pre-wash my fabric and give it a good press with steam but I don't starch it.

I think a lot of quilting fabrics are not great quality so do choose carefully. If the quality is good you...

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When I'm piecing should I press my seams open or to one side?

A bit of a tricky one to answer. For beginners I suggest pressing to one side for ease of butting seams together for matching. Also this was advised in the past because there was a theory that...

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My bobbin thread is getting tangled underneath when I sew.

Philippa's Check-list:

Re-thread top and bottom. Hold on to top thread and give a tug before threading through the needle to ensure the thread is properly between the tension discs.

Make sure...

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Best foot for piping?

There has been a lot of interest in this subject over several months.

The Bernina piping foot Philippa uses has no number and was made by Bernina UK in their Cardiff workshop. They bought blanks...

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I don't like hand sewing. What can I do?

I wonder why you say you do not like hand stitching? Like everything there is technique and although it seems like everyone should naturally be able to just pick up a needle and sew, you would not...

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Should I buy Japanese shears for cutting my fabric?

Philippa's view:

I looked into this a few months ago. I have Japanese shears that I have owned for over 30 years, and some for 20 years. They have never been sharpened and are still very good.

I...

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