Tips & Lessons Menu
Choosing Quilt Colors with the Portable Palette
Jinny’s Portable Palette is an indispensible tool for choosing colors for your quilts. Watch the video to see Jinny put it through its paces. Click to expand.
Jinny’s Portable Palette is an indispensable tool for choosing colors for your quilts.
It’s very similar to a painter’s fan deck of colors. The Palette includes a 1¾” x 7? swatch of each of the 150 fabrics in Jinny’s Palette Collection. The fabrics shade beautifully from one color to the next, making it easy to find a range of colors that will work with your focus fabric, inspiration photo or color scheme.
Watch as Jinny shows you how to use the Portable Palette in variety of ways that are sure to help you choose the colors for your next quilt. And get more details on the Portable Palette below.
Hand Quilting with a Spoon
Jinny swears by an unusual tool to help her make her incredibly small and even quilting stitches — it’s a spoon! Click to expand.
I used to use my fingers underneath the quilt frame, gently poking them with the needle and then pushing up into the underside of the quilt to bring the needle back up again. For more than 10 years, however, I have been using a spoon on the underneath side. It saves fingers and for me produces smaller and more uniform stitches. (Actually my use of the “spoon” is thanks to Gayle Ropp, a quilter in the northern Virginia area who showed me how it was done.)
A brief video below shows you the basic process. But the idea is that you have a narrow rigid item poking into the quilt from underneath the frame. With a spoon, the thumb on the hand that is under the frame fits into the bowl of the spoon and the edge of the spoon pokes into the underside of the quilt. When the needle goes down from the top of the quilt, it hits the rounded edge of the spoon and then “glances off” the edge and comes back up again. There is sort of a rocking motion that eventually allows uniform stitches.
When I first tried this method, I quilted half of the quilt before I finally got the hang of it. Michael James has used a thimble that he flattened with a hammer to produce a sharp edge on the side of the thimble. He used this on the underside of the quilt. Aunt Becky has a product that is a metal piece that you fit over your finger and does a similar thing. I once happened upon a group of women in rural South Carolina who were quilting a raffle quilt. One older lady was quilting away so fast that I was truly impressed. I asked how she kept her fingers from getting sore and she proudly whipped out her hand from underneath the frame and exposed her thumb which had a quarter neatly taped to it. She used that quarter in a similar fashion to the spoon.
A quarter, spoon, Aunt Becky’s gadget, a pounded thimble, whatever, any sharp item poking into the underside of the quilt which the needle can glance off of may help you to produce more uniform stitches. Quilting is such an individual thing and each person has to use the method that works best.
I now use the TJ Quick Quilter spoon made specifically for quilting. It is chrome plated and doesn’t scratch so it lasts quite a long time. It has become quite popular so we now carry it in our shop and our online store.
Jinny’s Perfect Cut 60° Ruler
Make quick work of cutting, trimming and marking 60° diamonds and triangles. Click to expand.
Jinny designed her Perfect Cut Ruler to make it quick and easy to cut perfect 60° diamonds and equilateral triangles — for six-pointed stars, Tumbling Blocks, Thousand Pyramid quilts and more.
Watch as she demonstrates how to use the ruler to cut strips of the desired width, cut out the diamond or triangle patches, trim points and mark seam intersections. It’s a big time saver!
Making Quick Work of Creating Templates
Save time by printing templates directly onto Jinny Beyer Template Film. Click to expand.
Jinny usually makes templates for her quilts by placing semi-transparent template plastic over a pattern and tracing the lines using a permanent marker. It’s a quick process if you are making only a couple of templates. Sampler quilts are another story — they might incorporate dozens of templates.
Jinny wondered if it might be possible to print directly onto template material using a printer. Lots of trial and error later, she discovered a material that she’s so happy with, she put her name on it – Jinny Beyer Template Film.
Here’s what we love about this material:
- You can laser print or photocopy directly onto the film, printing dozens of templates in just a minute or two. (We don’t recommend using an ink jet printer – because there’s no heat involved, the ink stays wet and smudges easily.)
- The film is matte on both sides so it doesn’t slip and it’s easy to write on. Marks can be removed with an eraser or rubbing alcohol.
- It is heat-resistant so it’s great for appliqué templates, allowing you to press the fabric seam allowances over the template without warping.
Templates are key to many of Jinny’s designs: by fussy cutting identical pieces of border print fabric, you can achieve beautiful, kaleidoscopic effects as demonstrated in this video.
For more details on Jinny Beyer Template film, or to order, click here.
Perfect Points & Seams with Jinny’s Perfect Piecer
The perfect piecer is a terrific tool to help you create perfect points and even seam allowances. Click to expand.
The Perfect Piecer is a simple tool designed to help quilters achieve perfect points and even stitching lines.
The tiara-shaped acrylic template includes all the common angles used in traditional quiltmaking. Simply line up the correct angle on the Perfect Piecer with the shape you are stitching. Mark pencil dots through the holes and you will know exactly where to begin and end your stitching.
The ¼” sewing line makes it easy to add seam allowance to templates or fabric patches.
Watch Jinny demonstrate the Perfect Piecer, below. Then, download this free, three-page Guide to Using Perfect Piecer.
Using the Apliquick Tools
Get better appliqué results using the Apliquick tools. Click to expand.
Since discovering the Apliquick tools and technique, Jinny has adopted it as her preferred way to appliqué. Here’s a quick overview of how she does it.
Achieving Smooth Curves
Using the Perfect Piecer to Mark Seam Allowances & Intersections
Marking seam intersections on odd-shaped patches or for inset seams is crucial. See how Jinny’s Perfect Piecer makes quick work of that chore and more. Click to expand.
Jinny designed her Perfect Piecer for those who sew by hand or machine. It’s ideal for marking seam allowances and seam intersections so your patchwork fits together beautifully. Watch as Jinny puts the Perfect Piecer through its paces. For more details or to order, click the link below.