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Painter's Tape Hacks in the Studio

You’d be surprised how useful the painter’s tape is in the sewing room. Once you start to see the results, there’s no going back. Here are four different ways you can incorporate this into your quilting routine: 

1. Stay organised by labeling your blocks and pieces with tape. Sticky notes also do come in handy for this. However, most often the glue on sticky notes are not sticky enough and end up falling off as you’re moving your pieces around your workspace. The paper-like surface of the tape also makes it easy to write on and label things
quilting painter's tape masking hack tutorial tip quilter

2. I’m not saying you should throw your pins out altogether, but they don’t always need to be in the picture when you’re piecing your flying geese, half-square triangles or smaller pieces. The benefit of using masking tape instead of pins to secure your pieces are:
  • Guaranteed smooth, flat surface when you’re putting pieces through the machine. Therefore you have straighter and more accurate piecing, and
  • You can sew over tape without worrying about breaking your sewing needle
    Here’s an example on how you can incorporate this to your flying geeses:
    1. Stick approx. 1” tape to secure pieces.
      quilting painter's tape masking hack tutorial tip quilter
    2. Fold tape over, non-sticky side facing each other and joining the ends to create double-sided tape. Use double sided tape to secure top corner, and you’re good to go!
      quilting painter's tape masking hack tutorial tip quilter
    Just like pins, don’t forget to remove the tape before any pressing! The heat from the iron can transfer the sticky tape residue to your fabrics, pressing mat, ironing board or iron and may be difficult to remove.
    3. It’s happened before (several times), where I’ve pieced blocks incorrectly and you want to shout all the curse words in the dictionary. See what I’ve done wrong there? [facepalm]
     quilting painter's tape masking hack tutorial tip quilter
    Use your painter’s tape; stick those blocks on a wall in front or near you as a reminder for how to piece your blocks. They’re also handy for those moments when you’re feeling unsure about where you should place your blocks and you need to step back and see how it looks together. Or just leave it hanging on your wall like a piece of artwork.
    4. Finally, painter’s tape is fantastic for securing templates. Using the same method as above to create double-sided tape, and stick it to the back of the template. Repeat so you’ve covered the corners (and centre) of the template to prevent your paper templates from moving around when tracing or cutting your fabrics. If necessary, replace masking tape when the templates begin to lose its stickiness.
    quilting painter's tape masking hack tutorial tip quilter   
    It’s been over 10 years since I made any clothes. But I guess it’s safe to assume that you can use this painter’s tape method with your garment templates and cotton fabrics. You may run into a bit of trouble when it comes to fabrics such as silk, rayon, flannel. Painter’s tape may not stick well on these types of fabrics.
    You can source painter’s tape from a number of retailers including your local hardware stores, art and craft supply stores, Amazon, big box stationery stories like Staples (US) and Officeworks (Australia). If you use painter’s tape like it is going out of fashion like I do, I’d suggest ordering it bulk from Alibaba Express or eBay at a very inexpensive price. However, they can be a hit and miss. The tape may not necessarily be as reliable because it doesn’t stick and the package may take a few weeks to arrive.