Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Prepping for the Monthly Color Challenge

 We are days away from the start of the Monthly Color Challenge! Now is the time to get organized. PS this isn't just for the Monthly Color Challenge, this is great for all quilt alongs or block of the month programs.

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In today's post I'm sharing how I like to get ready for a quilt along. Doing these steps, or even just a couple of them, can keep things going smoothly which means greater chance of finishing. 😉

Clean your machine

The very first thing is to make sure you are starting with a clean machine...and a new needle. Dealing with tension issues because there is fuzz in the bobbin or thread breaking because of a burr on your needle can really cut into the joy that sewing should be. Don't forget to put a new blade on your rotary cutter! I love a cheap pipe cleaner for cleaning out the fuzz under the bobbin.

My favorite seam ripper, you know you'll need it, is the Clover Seam Ripper. It stays sharp longer and fits in my hand nicely. I use Organ needles on my Baby Lock Brilliant Bernard.

Wind Bobbins

Wind those bobbins! I love to have a bunch of bobbins wound and ready to go. I always piece with grey thread so I can wind a bunch of bobbins ready for a major sewing session. This bobbin saver keeps them from unwinding and driving me crazy. I love spring green, it makes me super happy, but had the purple one been available when I bought this one you know it would have been purple!

Prepare fabric

Washing or not washing your fabric is a personal choice. The Color Challenge focuses on fat quarters and scraps, if you choose to wash your fat quarters I recommend washing by hand to reduce shredding.

Once you have decided whether or not you are going to wash your fabrics, next it's time to starch. I like to starch all the fabrics I'm working with, whether or not they are small pieces or yardage. If you do starch it's important to starch before you start cutting, as starch will shrink the fabric, so don't do it after you have cut your fabrics for stitching. I like Best Press, but there are many different brands, you can even make your own if you so choose. I absolutely ADORE my mister. I have had this gallon of Best Press for over a year, and I starch every piece of fabric that comes into my space.


Have you ever started a quilt along or block of the month program and halfway through panicked because you've misplaced the fabrics? Finding a way to keep your project together will help you enjoy the process and help you finish!

I like to use plastic bins that are shoebox size to keep my fabrics together. I will even keep my 6" blocks in these. I like this storage bin for my 12" blocks.

If you have any questions about getting ready for a quilt along or block of the month, ask in the comments!

Happy Stitching!

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  1. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions, Jen!!! Happy New Year!


  2. where is the post for the quilt lay-out? Thanks--Barb

    1. Here's the link to the blog post Barb:


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