Ask Us a Question…And Win!

McQA Web Ask Us a Question...And Win!



We’re looking for some fun questions for the McCall’s Quilting staff to answer on our McQ & A page. Generally, these are opinion-type questions, as opposed to questions about specific patterns, etc. Post potential McQ & A questions as comments here, or visit our Facebook page and post there. Anyone whose question is chosen to appear in the magazine will receive a charm pack of fabrics from a famous manufacturer as a thank-you gift! Ask us…we’ll answer!

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111 Responses to Ask Us a Question…And Win!

  1. Pat says:

    If you were planning to gift a beginner with a set of basic “must-have” equipment for quiltmaking, based on your own experience, what would your gift box include if your budget was $100?
    What would you add if your budget was $150? or $200? Or more?
    Please be specific when indicating tools such as rotary cutters, rulers – which ones, what size, and why you chose them for the beginning quilter.

  2. katusya says:

    Есть ли еще читатели из России,кроме меня? Are there any other readers from Russia, except for me?

  3. Laura says:

    Hi Carla,
    There are 2 reasons I’ve heard of for the tabs but I don’t know if they’re true. One is that the tabs were used to hold small weights (coins for example) to keep the rug flat on a table and to make it less likely to fall on the floor. This isn’t why a penny rug has its name, however. The name comes from the practice of tracing around a penny to get the circles used in the applique. The second reason I’ve heard of for the tabs is that they were used as pen wipes (I assume to keep nibs clean when writing a letter nearby). Here’s hoping the writer was using tabs not yet sewn to a penny rug!

  4. Sharon says:

    When you start a new quilt, especialy a challenge, do you plan it completely (fabric, pattern, etc.) before you start or do you just start with the pattern & add fabrics, decide on color, etc. as you go? I do the latter most of the time. Pure excitement!

  5. DebbieCA says:

    What thread do you use in your quilts and why?

  6. Madeline says:

    do you think there should be separate categories in a quilt show and/or contest for a quilt that is pieced by one person and quilted by another?

  7. Years ago when I began sewing, a cardinal rule was to oil your machine often. There was even a diagram in every manual pointing to each area to be oiled. Today I have 3 modern machines and the manuals all claim they don’t have to be oiled. I find this down right scary! Alll machines and motors need oil to run. What is done to these sewing machines to protect them from rust or seizing up for lack of oil? I love my McCalls magazine and look forward to the months it’s delivered.

  8. Grace says:

    Went to a garage sale on Saturday and a lady had made a yo yo quilt, but had glued some and sewn some of the yo yo’s on, and right to the edge of the salvage. They are made of different fabric weights, but I was intrigued that someone would actually go to all this work and not want to finish it. So I bought it and took all the yo yo’s off the fabric, (she had also cut a big piece out of the quilt top as she needed black material and didn’t want to buy any), what is the best way to redo this item. There are 122 black and 235 multi-coloured yo yo’s? This is the third quilt I have rescued from the land of no return.

  9. Julie Luoma says:

    When entering someone else’s home, is it impolite to walk up to a quilt they have displayed and flip up the corner to see the back?

  10. lora says:

    I have several old quilt tops. Is it wise to make them into a quilt using modern fabrics or should I try to find something older to make a backing and borders.

  11. lora says:

    Do you have any information that you would share on handling old pieces of patch work. Should they be made into something or just allow them to be as they are

  12. lizen says:

    What part of the quilting process is the most frustrating or boring for you, and how do you deal with that boredom/frustration without giving up on the quilt?

  13. What type of thread (cotton/poly/blend/??) do you use for machine quilting.

    What is your favorite color scheme to work in, what is your least favorite color scheme?

    Do you have a color you avoid/don’t like?

    Do you have a favorite quilt block or pattern?

  14. lizen says:

    Okay, another question: do you find yourselves typically drawn to a particular fabric themes or color palettes, and if so, how do you get yourself into new fabric territory?

  15. lizen says:

    And yet another: if you were to compare the very first quilt you made with the last one you made, how would you describe your growth as a quilter?

  16. Cheryl Hammond says:

    I wanted to know if it’s true that polyester thread can “saw” through the cotton fabric over time. Is this true — even for cotton wrapped polyester thread?

  17. Lorraine Smith says:

    My friends are always telling me I should sell my quilts and handbags that I’ve made.
    How do I determine a fair price for my beloved productions?

  18. Shirley in Canada says:

    I’d like to know how you chose what quilts to put in the magazine each month!!

  19. Diane says:

    Thimbles? Whether or not you use one? What type of thimble do you prefer? What type of choices do I have to choose from? Which finger do you protect? And, last of all but not least – what is the most advantageous way to use one? I’d like to hear some comments on these questions.

  20. Wilma Searcy says:

    What is a great way to make your own design wall? What materials are needed?

  21. Peggy Tackett says:

    If you could choose to do one of these things which would it be: Design a new fabric, design a new quilting gadget or develop a new quiltmaking technique?

  22. Terri Dobitz says:

    My question: Describe your most challenging quilting project.

  23. Maureen Walsh says:

    Two questions:
    1. What is the best way to hang a quilted piece on a wall?
    2. Finished binding — what are the pros and cons of doing it by hand or machine?

  24. Barb Garrett says:

    I have been quilting for roughly ten years now. I use the rotary cutter with a mat and ruler, which can tend to be slow if you have lots of tiny intricate pieces. What are the new fabric cutting machines that are on the market all about? Are they good for quilting or would you still use the rotary cutters? If you prefer the fabric cutting machines, which model would you recommend?

  25. Elizabeth P. says:

    As my fabric and thread stash has grown, and as I have collected more quilt books and patterns, I am finding it more difficult to stay organized. How do you organize your fabric, thread, books, rulers, etc?

  26. Jean Cardinal says:

    Have you ever made a quilt using machine embroidered designs? I would love to hear about them.

  27. Elizabeth P. says:

    With our busy lives, we never have enough time for quilting. How do you make time to work on your personal projects? Any hints for sneaking in a little quilting during the day?

  28. Shanno Haas says:

    1. What’s the best way for a beginner to pick out fabric?
    2. Is machine quilting better than hand quilting a project?
    3. How do ever manage to finish all of you projects?
    4. What’s the best way to store your fabric stash?
    5. Should fabric be washed before storing?

  29. Linda Yokelson says:

    When is your favorite time of day or day of the week to spend time quilting given that you have full-time jobs? And, why?

  30. Debbie Weaver says:

    What method of cutting/sewing do you prefer for sewing half square triangles? There are various tapes, rulers or methods to use and what do you find to be the easiest and most accurate?

  31. Christina says:

    I would like to know what is the best way to wash, clean and care for an old quilt. I have a quilt that my Dad’s great-grandmother hand sewed and quilted for him when he was born. The quilt is a hand applique “cowboy” them and is 75 years old. It now hangs on a quilt rack in my 10yr old sons room. Is that bad for it too? Just how do we care for and use/display these priceless pieces of love and art?

  32. Elizabeth O. says:

    It often seems that when I buy fabric, it looks like the fabric I already have. How do you get yourself to venture in new directions instead of sticking with the familiar?

  33. Alicia Key says:

    I haven’t thought of a question yet but isn’t it FUN reading the questions already asked?? I wonder how many of our own answers match? It’ll be interesting to watch in the magazine to see what y’all say!

  34. Ida Fetter says:

    With all the machines on the market, what influenced you the most on picking your favorite sewing machine?

  35. Barbara Fletcher says:

    When we find Quilts from another maker long ago should one find fabric from long ago to try and finish the best way or would it be more respectful to leave it as is. Left unfinished or finish off the backing only leaving front alone?

  36. Mary Meiser says:

    What is the most satisfying thing about quilting as opposed to other activities?

  37. Kay Phelps says:

    What do you think about using modern batiks with an old fashion block quilt design, is the a contradiction in design?

  38. Karyn Ashley-Smith says:

    Can you do comparisons between the “old” way and the “new” way of doing things? For example….how long does it take to cut a triangle using a straight ruler & rotary cutter VS a triangle shape VS an Accu quilt cutter, and how do the results vary when cutting X amt. of shapes. (Curious if it is about being precise or saving time or both). There are SO many new tools….it’s a bit over whelming!

  39. ellen lasseter says:

    When you find fabrics that you like, but do not have a specific use for, how much do you buy? Also, how do you go about sorting fabric scraps since, depending upon what fabrics they are beside, fabrics can be different values? Do you have a box of “maybes”–maybe light, maybe medium? What about sizes? Do you precut your scraps? I’m hesitant to cut scraps to specific sizes before picking a pattern.

  40. ester nelson says:

    I have been wondering for some time now, and I am glad for the oppertunity to ask. when, where and why do you tie off a quilt that you are machine quilting? I see some quilts that look like they just go on endsely, and others that surly have to stop and go to get the whole quilt done. I know you can use more than one pattern on a quilt, but what is the approperate way to show off the design, and make the quilt look the best? I would love to have help with this, and thank you.

  41. Christiane Ryder says:

    When does a quilt stop being a be quilt and becomes a piece of textile art?

  42. Jennifer Coleman says:

    I’ve seen wallhangings that have nifty corner pocket on the bottom of the quilt. A dowel rod is inserted into these, to give some weight to the bottom of the quilt to help them hang smoothly. How do you make these?

  43. Tammy Jones says:

    What is the must challenging quilt pattern you have ever used?

  44. Pam says:

    I want to learn to quilt. What do you think is the best project to start with? And also, I could go to a shop near me and take lessons but with todays internet options is that necessary? I know we need to support our brick and motar stores but budget is a concern as I am on a fixed income.

  45. Karen Smith says:

    I come from a long line of crafters, knitters, tatters, quilters, seamstresses and generally talented people, but I have never quilted. Where is a good place to start if you have the basics like sewing machine, scissors, thread etc? I have a great imagination, and have been parusing friends works and sites like this, but I am told that a pillow case would be best, and does it need to be hand quilted or can I start with machine quilting? Basting stitch?

  46. Laura Haywood says:

    What is the method for attaching binding entirely by machine? I was taught to machine sew the binding to the front, then fold to the back and stitch down by hand, but would like to learn a faster method, especially for small, non-heirloom items.

  47. shavonna says:

    In the old McCall mags there use to be paper dolls ;I think her name was Betsy. I think a quilt with her apliqued would be really cute. Am I ageing myself?!lol

  48. Kathy Raabe says:

    Do you have a suggestion for those of us who have stashes that are a little out of control – complete with collections of kits, projects, UFO’s (or WIP’s), also sew clothing (with it’s own stash) and sometimes don’t know where to start???

  49. PAM BISWAS says:

    Some people use straight grain binding and some use bias grain for binding. Which is best and for what reasons?

  50. Amy McDonald says:

    Is there a secret to getting points smooth on any star type block? Please help!

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