A collection really of some of the questions I've been asked since starting this blog. Everywhere mentioned I have bought from and with the exception of the Fat Quarter Shop, gain nothing myself for mentioning these places and people.
I shall add to this from time to time as and when I can think of things I have been asked.
Last updated December 2015
Where do you buy your fabric from?
As someone who does not have access to a 'local quilt store' all my fabric buying is done online:
Hawthorne Threads - another good modern online fabric store and with Essex linen. The more you buy (over time...not all in one go) the more you can accumulate a discount per yard
Fat Quarter Shop - huge selection, including the all important sale fabrics and super-speedy shipping
Sew Me A Song - Japanese fabric
Fabric Shack - their cost of shipping is 30% off the regular price for international which makes it the cheapest I have found
Westwood Acres - I've ordered a couple of times from Amanda because she puts together some really lovely bundles and also because she had a reduced international shipping offer and I do like a shipping offer and you would too if you had to pay the standard shipping rate of $26 for a flat rate envelope from the US.
Where do you buy your text fabrics from?
There are always tiny bits and bobs mentioned in the stores above. However, I also get them direct from Japan at La Clochette. I know it's all in Japanese - just send them an email with what you want and they'll sort it out for you.
If you're not feeling that adventurous, then there is also Blije Olifantje on Etsy and Sew Me A Song
What threads do you use?
I use a lot of Aurifil (50 for piecing and also for quilting) but also Presencia, COTTY and King Tut. I buy my threads mainly from the Cotton Patch. If I don't want my machine quilting to show, I use invisible thread.
I have recently discovered Empress Mills so if you are in the UK and are looking for very competitively priced thread, as well as a whole host of other sewing stuff, have a look.
What batting do you use?
For many a year I used Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 but now I always use Quilters Dream Request.
When I would get the Hobbs Heirloom out of the packet and lay it out flat there was always a bubbling/rippling effect in the middle which got right up my nose. The Quilters Dream doesn't have that problem, plus it responds very well to a light iron before being sandwiched.
Do you pre-wash your batting or your fabric?
Nope...can't be bothered. If you are buying premium quilting cottons you shouldn't have a problem. The first time I wash a quilt I put a colour catcher in with it and that seems to do the trick.
I know that batting can shrink when first washed but as I generally densely quilt my quilts, any shrinkage seems to be minimal and not noticeable. Besides. I'm not making show case quilts here - my quilts are to be used and chucked in the machine when needed.
What's your desert island list of quilt books?
All these are well-thumbed:
Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns - an incredible tomb of a book with every conceivable block you could think of. I see the book is out of stock so a free online resource is quilters cache
Material Obsession Two - just because
Kaffe Fassett Simple Shapes Spectacular Quilts - the title says it all
Practical Guide to Patchwork - great starter book only let down (in my opinion) by the way she shows you how to sew the two ends of the binding together when you have sewn it to your quilt. A much better way can be found here.
Heirloom Machine Quilting and/or Guide to Machine Quilting - great resource books that answered all my machine quilting questions.
If you want to take the slow lane then Quiltmaking by Hand is a smorgasbord of quilting loveliness
The Quilters Ultimate Visual Guide - I still find myself returning to this again and again when I need to find a quick answer in its A-Z pages.
How long does it take to make a quilt/How much does it cost to make a quilt?
A depressingly rough guesstimate