filminthefridge 3:45pm, 8 January 2010
I get asked these questions fairly often, so it's probably best to compile a list here. This is just a start - please feel free to ask your questions here!

What do you use for white fabric?
Most often I use a Kona cotton for my sashing. I alternate between the White and Snow. Sometimes I want a really bright white, and sometimes I like the slightly creamier look of the Snow color.

What type of batting do you use?
I have always used Warm & Natural cotton batting, which I buy at Joann's. It comes in both white and natural, and I use both, depending on the quilt (I try to always use the white for quilts that have a lot of white sashing).

How do you baste your quilts?
I use a spray adhesive. My favorite is 505, which I buy at my local quilting shop. It's quick, easy, and washes out when you wash the quilt the first time.

What type of sewing machine do you use?
I have two - both Pfaffs. My regular machine is a Pfaff Expression 2036, which I love. It has a built in walking foot, so I use it for all my piecing and for most of my straight line quilting.
I also have a Pfaff Grand Quilter, which I use for all my free motion quilting.

Do you use a double needle when you do a double quilting line?
Nope. When I do a double line, I just sew the first line and then go back and sew a second line about 1/4" away from the first.

What thread do you use for quilting?
Lately I've been using the Mettler silk finish cotton thread. I tend to stick to mainly the white & cream colored ones, though they have a variety of other great colors.

Do you draw on lines for the random straight line quilting?
It depends on the quilt. I don't usually mark out lines for the smaller quilts - I just quilt a few lines, then stop to look at the whole quilt to see where else I'd like to add lines.

On some larger quilts, I've drawn on a few of the lines with a washable marker.

Do you prewash your fabrics?
Nope, not for quilting. I'd be spending way too much time doing laundry, and I'm not really a fan!

How do you attach the binding on a quilt?
I use double fold binding, and machine sew it to the front side of the quilt and then I always handstitch the binding to the back. It's actually one of my favorite parts - maybe because I get to sit and watch a bunch of mindless TV!

Is your binding straight grain or on the bias?
I always use straight grain binding, since I find it easier to make. If I ever made a quilt with curved edges, I'd use bias binding so it would go around those curves.

Do you iron your seams open or to one side?
I do both, depending on the type of block. I actually used to always press to one side, but lately I've been pressing most of my seams open because I really like how it creates a really nice, flat block.

There's a good discussion of this over on Elizabeth's blog here.

Where is a good priced place to buy Mettler thread?
I haven't found any place where it's cheap (though I haven't spent too long looking). I tend to buy mine at my local quilt shop, and I stock up whenever they're having a sale.

Do you true up your fabric before cutting?
Yes, I always make sure my fabric is straight before cutting. I usually find that I have to trim off a bit to square it up. (This is typically true when I'm cutting strips from a piece of fabric that's folded with the selvedges together. I don't worry so much when using scraps.)

Are you self-taught, or have you taken quilting classes? My mom taught me to use a sewing machine just two winters ago, back at the end of 2007, because I wanted to make a market bag.

Surprisingly, I actually liked sewing (imagine that!) and after that, I started reading a lot of blogs and became interested in the idea of making a quilt. I made several quilt tops to start, and finally finished my first quilt (a baby quilt) in October of 2008. Everything I know about quilting has been learned right from the internet - mainly from reading a lot of blogs!

I've not yet taken any quilting or sewing classes, though I keep intending on having a little lesson on how to use my sewing machine - there are a lot of features I never bothered to learn how to use! :)

How long have you been quilting?
See above!

How do you label your quilts?
I currently use small labels that have my name printed on ribbon. I think I bought them at I'm not totally in love with them though, so soon I'll be looking for something else!

I'm sure there were more questions than just these, but I can't seem to think of them at the moment! Please feel free to add to this list and I'll periodically check in to answer them!
Oh, how sweet! Posted 7 years ago. Edited by Oh, how sweet! (member) 7 years ago
this is awesome - thank you so much!! I've always wondered what thread you recommend for your machine quilting. Also, when you do your random line quilting, where there are lines going in all different directions, do you draw them on first, or just "wing-it" when you sit down to sew?

ann-marie s. 7 years ago
thanks for letting us know!! great information!!
Sweet Baby Jamie 7 years ago
That is so funny, I also have two Pfaffs, a grand quilter which I am in LOVE with and an expression, can't remember the # right now :)
Oh, how sweet! 7 years ago
Oh! Ashley, I thought of another question - You are such a prolific quilter, that I've often wondered how you bind your quilts; since that tends to be such a time consuming part of the process. Do you machine-sew on one side and hand-sew the back, or to save time, do you machine-sew both sides? And if so, do you have a special technique that you recommend?

kldemare 7 years ago
Thanks for this! I was wondering if you drew lines for your straight-line quilting. Thanks for answering!
chickenjulie 7 years ago
What is the "proper" way to flatten the seams on the back - to open them or to press them to the side? Can you discuss the pros and cons to both? Thanks so much for this great FAQ.
seemommysew 7 years ago
very helpful, thanks! Where is a good priced place to buy Mettler thread?
...dotty... 7 years ago
I tried to look at your quilt pictures and answer this for myself, but did not find a close enough photo (my computer is dragging today, so I couldn't look at many pages.)

I wanted to know if this double binding of yours is straight or on the bias? And do you ever have a problem with the eges of the quilt drawing in a little after binding?
Oh, how sweet! 7 years ago
I have another! Lol - thank you for so kindly entertaining all of my questions :)

I've read where you saId you don't bother much with ironing and pressing. I do wonder, though, if you follow any grain when cutting, and / or make a habit of trueing up your fabrics before you cut into them.

Thanks again!!
*sweet potato pie* 7 years ago
I swoon over every quilt you make and I am always in awe of how prolific you are!!

I have a question that I haven't seen discussed: are you self-taught, or have you taken quilting classes? Also, how long have you been quilting?


wow. I can hardly believe you've only been at this for a little bit... your quilts are amazing :) thanks for the inspiration :)
azmiat PRO 7 years ago
oh I am so relieved to learn that you don't prewash your fabrics! have you ever had a disaster as a result or does it always work out?
filminthefridge 7 years ago
so far, I haven't had any problems with bleeding. I hope it continues that way!!
senrable 7 years ago
One question on finishing your larger quilts - how/where do you keep your backing so flat and smooth? I have a large rug in my living room (my only open space where I can lay out a large quilt), and I tape down the backing to the rug, but my backing won't stay flat.
noahandlilah 7 years ago
Hey Ashley! I've always wondered looking at your you use quilt labels at all?
nmommy02 7 years ago
Thanks for the info! :D
filminthefridge 7 years ago
I baste my quilts in our spare bedroom, where there is enough open space on the floor. Since I use spray adhesive, there's no need to tape the backing to the floor. I spread the batting out on the floor, and smooth it out so it's flat, then lay the top out on top. Spray and flip and repeat!
aspiringameliorant 7 years ago
Actually, using a double needle wouldn't do you any good! Even though there are two needles and two top threads, there's still only the one bobbin thread. So the bottom of double needle stitching is a zig-zag. Which is why it's great for stretchy knits. But probably not what you want on your quilt back!
filminthefridge 7 years ago
true enough! and kind of funny, actually... I hadn't even gotten that far in my thinking about double needles to even consider the bobbin thread!
liveacolorfullife PRO 7 years ago
Ashley, have you ever tried Superior thread? I used to use Mettler exclusively, but then I tried Superior and it results in much less lint in my bobbin case. So now that is all I use. Love it. And it comes in a gazillion colors and lots of fun stuff too (glow in the dark, etc.).
filminthefridge 7 years ago
I haven't, but thanks for the suggestion! I'm always on the lookout for good thread (sometimes my machine doesn't seem to like the mettler...)

I'm going to check for it next time I"m at my local quilt shop!
sunflower43 PRO 7 years ago
this is a question about basting your quilt.
do you lay down your backing first, spray with 505 and put down your batting, make sure everything is smooth then spray the top of your batting as your put down your quilt top. i have been trying to tape the quilt backing to the floor first. do you use any pins at all? thanks
filminthefridge 7 years ago
I lay the backing down first, smooth it all out (I do this on carpet in our spare bedroom), then I lay the top out on top of the batting. I fold back half of the top, and start spraying in the center - spraying directly on the batting. I do about a foot long strip at a time - spraying that section, then smoothing the quilt top onto that section I've just sprayed. Repeat for the other half of the quilt. Once the top is done, I just flip it over and repeat for the backing.

I like to lay the backing on the batting and then before I spray it I lift the whole quilt and hold it up in front of a window so I can make sure the backing is all lined up nicely.

Hope this helps!
sunflower43 PRO 7 years ago
yes, thank you sooo much..i have been trying to tape the backing to the floor and it was a pain.
smoochee PRO 7 years ago
another Pfaffer here ! I have an expression 2044
{Leanne} lnwcohen 7 years ago
I just love the flying farafelle quilt - when you quilt the diagonal lines, do you draw them out first?
Fresh Lemons : Faith 7 years ago
Do you get 505 on your carpet? Do you put down a drop cloth?
filminthefridge 7 years ago
sometimes I do, sometimes I don't bother. I did draw the lines on this one with a washable marker.
filminthefridge 7 years ago
i've never noticed 505 on the carpet, though i'm sure that the overspray does go places other than the quilt. i typically spray it in our guest bedroom and it has carpet that needs replacing anyway, so i figure it's ok!
morning_gloryy [deleted] 7 years ago
LOL... My kitchen floor was sticky after I did my first spray baste. I convinced my six year old its fun to wash the floor to music :)
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