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Producer’s Picks: Top Tips from the Set of “Love of Quilting”!

Love of Quilting Top Tips header featuring image of the hosts of Love of Quilting TV and a couple of the tips highlighted

Every season, readers submit so many clever, useful tips to our “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting” television show. As the producer of the show, I’m usually the one sorting through the submissions before we film, and it’s my favorite part of the job. The frugality, creativity and sometimes just plain common sense of our readers is an inspiration to me, as well as Sara Gallegos and Angela Huffman. The 3800 season of Love of Quilting has all kinds of fun tips, but here are a few of my favorite from past seasons!


Everyone who has a tip shared on an episode of “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting” receives a one year subscription to Love of Quilting magazine. Or, if you already have a subscription, we’ll extend your subscription by one year!

But best of all, you get to share your knowledge with your fellow quilters!

Missing Snips: Case Solved!

scissors on a white background hanging on a hook

“My snips always go missing (usually under fabric I’m working with), so I placed a lightweight hook on the side of the machine. It’s perfect for keeping my snips where I can find them at all times!” ~ Sarah Bower of Belton, South Carolina.

Often, I’ll actually start using a tip from the show. This tip was so good—and so simple!—that I went home right away, and attached a hook and snips to my machine, and I adore it! So convenient!

Getting Schooled in Free-motion

handwriting practice in a piece of paper for freemotion quilting

“Here’s an inexpensive way of getting practice for free-motion quilting. I found this children’s handwriting table at a discount store. A great way to plan quilting blocks and sashing details.” Cheryle Dunlap of Shoreline, Washington.

Cheryle, I love this tip. Keeping a consistent shape and size is a common struggle when freemotioning, and that’s exactly what this handwriting paper is designed to help with! And I actually really liked the one design there at the bottom… I may try it!

Serving Up Patchwork

2 white paper plates holding different types of patches, with the plates labeled with what size patches it contains.

“Paper plates are really handy for sorting patches, If you have a lot of patches with similar sizes and colors (like a log cabin), make sure you label the paper plate stack, confident that you have the right piece without having to re-measure!” Dorothy Hughes of Spring, Texas.

Nice tip, Dorothy! One of the most organized Sewing Specialists I ever worked with used paper plates for this very purpose. Taking an inexpensive tool found around the house, and using it in a simple, yet creative way—THAT’S why the Love of Quilting audience is the best!

Bound to Be Useful!

a stack of towels with leftover binding used to cover up unravel

“To extend the life of hand and bath towels that are starting to unravel, use leftover binding! Leftover flange bindings are especially nice, because I can do the whole thing on my sewing machine and walking foot.”  Barbara McCarthy of Hamburg, New York.

Oh, Barbara… I have so much leftover binding. Thank you for giving me—and everyone else in the audience!—a new way to use it up!

My Hero—The Hemostat!

hemostat cutting thread on white background

“As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I have less strength and dexterity in my fingers. A straight-head hemostat, which has tiny teeth, helped me immensely. I can grasp and pull bobbin thread up first try, and replacing machine needles is easier than ever!” Lee Lesneski of Sunman, Indiana.

Nice, Lee! Lee’s tip was used on the 3600 series, and on the 3800 series, Angela actually uses a hemostat for turning faced appliqué! If you’re not familiar (and most of us aren’t), the hemostat is a tool used in surgery for firmly grasping small, hard-to-hold things. And apparently, also a quilter’s best friend!

Kitted Out to Sew

a clear plastic chewing gum case on an orange background that has been converted to a traveling sewing kit.

“These plastic chewing gum cases are just too good to throw out! I use them as a traveling sewing kit, and I’ve made a few as gifts for quilting friends. I even create a few ‘starter sewing kits’ for grade school sewing class at my church.” Mary Wheatley of Houston, Texas.

Because of Mary’s tip, I search for that brand of gum that has these kind of containers! I’ve got a little kit for my English paper piecing, I’ve got one that holds all my hand binding tools, and I even have one dedicated to my ‘big-stitch’ quilt that uses embroidery floss… So helpful!

Sorting through tip submissions, I always appreciate the personal notes. Know that every little “Good job!” or “Keep up the good work!” brings a huge smile to my face, and I pass them along to Sara and Angela. Thank you for keeping us happy. You all are the best!

Keep those tips and comments coming, and happy quilting!

~Vanessa

Make sure to check out the newest season of Love of Quilting TV!

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