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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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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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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My back aches when I sew for a long time. What can I do?

Philippa suggests you to really analyse how you sit to sew. Take a good look at yourself and even get someone to take a photo for you to look at. Don't alter what you normally do when this photo is...

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How do I calculate how much fabric I need for bias binding?

Here is the formula for calculating bias fabric. The example uses inches and yards:

Multiply the length of the binding by the width of the binding. Then find the square root of this figure. There...

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Sewing with Metallic threads. Tips to help you.

Lots of things to consider when sewing with metallic threads:

Firstly buy Metallic needles in a range of sizes so you can try different ones. They have a larger eye than regular needles so help to...

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How Philippa Squares up a large quilt before binding (or piping and binding)

When I have a large quilt to square up I clear furniture and spread it out on the floor. I get all my quilting squares and rulers, my long tape measures and also long squares/rulers from my...

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How to get the best results from your steam iron

If your iron is a regular steam iron I suggest you empty your iron when not is use so water is not sitting in the chamber. Distilled water is recommended, failing that cooled water from a boiled...

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