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Sure, quilting on a sewing machine is perfectly fine. But if you're ready to upgrade, you might want to look into a mid-arm quilting machine. Yes, they're pricier and take up more space than a sewing machine, but they're specifically designed to make quilting soooo much easier.
A jelly roll, AKA a set of 2½″ precut fabric strips, is a major time saver for quilters. With the fabric already cut and coordinated, all that’s left to do is sew the strips into a fantastic quilt top! So if you have a few jelly rolls you've collected over the years, here are a few designs that'll put them to good use.
Half-square triangles, or HSTs, have to be one of the most versatile quilt blocks around. No matter how you piece 'em together (yeah, there's more than one way to make an HST! ) the result is the same: a simple foundation block made in two contrasting fabrics, that can be arranged to create quilt designs ranging from crazy simple to beautifully complex.
English paper piecing, or EPP, is a classic quilting technique that never gets old. It involves wrapping fabric around a paper piece to stabilize and form a specific shape — usually hexagons — then basting and sewing by hand. It's a fun, yet simple way to create complex quilt blocks, and it's super easy to incorporate the technique into a ton of different projects. And since many EPP projects are comprised of little pieces of fabric, they're perfect to take on whenever your fabric stash starts to overflow juuust a smidge.
If there's anything we like more than making quilts, it's got to be free quilt patterns. Which is why Angela Walters, host of our uber-popular Midnight Quilt Show series, is our quilting BFF: not only can you download her most popular patterns below (did we mention they're free?!), but you can also stitch along with Angela as she works up each quilt. The only question: Which one will you make first?!
Let's be honest: making quilted gifts can be just as much fun as creating full-size quilts. So if you're looking for homemade gift ideas, consider these beauties for the best peeps on your list.
If you're a beginner quilter, terms like bias tape appliqué and curved piecing can sound mighty intimidating. But they don't have to be! Quilting pro Latifah Saafir — who teaches two gorgeous quilting projects in her Modern Quilts With Bias Tape Appliqué class — is convinced that newbies can tackle anything they put their minds to, especially if they aren't afraid to make mistakes. She gave us her best tips for those just getting started, along with the one technique that's been a total game-changer for her quilting.
Admit it: it's easy to lose control of your sewing space to fabric, thread and other tools. But we're here to fight back against clutter and keep your craft room mess-free. Say hello to your new favorite organizers — that you get to DIY!
Whether it's your very first quilt project or one of many in the works, making a baby quilt is tough to beat in the fun department. They're small (which equals fast!) and, of course, are irresistibly cute. Get ready for all the oohs and ahhhs you'll hear at the baby shower!
We love a nice, hefty quilting project — it feels so satisfying once it's done! But there's something equally wonderful about starting and finishing a quilt top in just one weekend. That's where these beauties come in: they're super speedy thanks to smart use of precuts, large blocks or just a whole lot of negative space. Mark your calendar, this weekend is booked!
Putting a price tag on all your time, work and creativity can feel like the hardest thing in the world. Too high, no one will buy it. Too low, you won't be able to keep your business running. How do you find that sweet spot? We've got some tips to help you nail it.
Sometimes the thought of measuring and cutting fabric is totally unappealing, and other times you just want to play around with all of the variations in a given fabric collection — without dropping a ton of cash on yardage. Precuts give you the chance to do just that!
Free-motion quilting can feel intimidating when you're first getting started. After all, you're used to a walking foot doing the hard work of guiding your design. But once you switch to that darning foot, the power is in your hands. And that's a good thing!
You've got a heap of gorgeous fabric and a brand new quilt pattern — yay! But if that pattern is printed in grayscale, things can get complicated, fast. What goes where? How can you achieve that finished look you have in your mind (or saw in a photo)? Will the fabrics you have on hand even work?
Y-seams can strike fear into the hearts of even veteran quilters. The dreaded seaming situation occurs when you have three fabric edges that all meet at one point (like when you’re sewing hexagons together). Once stitched, the seams form a Y-shape. You’ll also encounter Y-seams when you’re working with eight-pointed stars or if you're creating a tumbling block design in your quilt.
Sure, you can trick out a standard sewing machine so you can free-motion quilt. But if you're in the market for a shiny new model, why not get one that will satisfy both your sewing and FMQ needs? These are the free-motion features you should keep an eye out for while shopping.
While stitch in the ditch will never let you down, it's not the only move your walking foot can make. Whether you want totally straight or gently curved lines, these designs add visual bang to your quilt that'll get everyone talking about your mad skills.
You know how, no matter how many amazing TV shows or movies air, you still have your go-to favorites; the ones you watch over and over again? Yeah, same thing happens here. These are the fave classes we fire up whenever we're in need of an extra dose of inspo.
Every quilt needs a binding — that's just a fact. The real fun comes in when you realize how much this detail can add as an actual design element. Whether you prefer to go subtle or fancy, here's how to get your quilt across the finish line in flawless style.
Sashing doesn't just happen when you win a beauty pageant (congrats, btw!). If you love to quilt, you may be doing a lot of sashing, too.
With their mesmerizing honeycomb pieces, hexagon — or hexie —quilts deserve all the buzz thanks to their insane versatility. Whether you work in a modern or traditional style, it's basically guaranteed that you can make these six-sided shapes work well in your design. The best part? They don't have to be difficult to piece. In fact, with these shortcuts and tips, you'll be well on your way to making fun, creative hexies over and over again.
Clean, classic straight-line quilting is always a winner in our book. But stitching perfectly straight lines can be challenging. The secret to success? Marking your lines correctly.
Before you dismiss hand quilting as something your great-grandma might have done, here's something you should know. Sewing your quilt by hand provides a soft finish that really can’t be achieved by machines. And nothing beats the zen of sewing something with needle and thread.
Here's a guaranteed way to up-level your quilts: appliqué. Sew fun shapes, bold lettering and other eye-catching textural elements right onto your pieced quilt.
As with most creative projects, our fave motto applies here: You do you. If you like a thread color for your quilt top, you should 100 percent go for it. Buuuut if you’re craving some extra guidance, Angela Walters of the Midnight Quilt Show totally has your back. These are her tricks to making sure your selection is perfect every single time.
Your quilt looks perfectly fine without a border. But with a border? Masterpiece! That's definitely true when you're using a mitered border — and all you need to know to create this style of fabric frame is how to sew mitered corners.
You’ve pieced together a killer quilt top (congrats!), picked your bottom fabric and purchased your batting. Now, how do you stitch that fluffy quilt sandwich in your sewing machine? With stitch in the ditch, of course.
Choosing the right type of binding to finish a quilt or other sewing project can literally put you in a bind. Should you go with straight or bias cut? Single- or double-folded? Pre-cut or DIY? And then there are all the different combos of the above!
Can you feel that? It's the spark of new romance! Specifically, we're head-over-heels for these adorable quilt designs that reinterpret the classic symbol of love. Find a little inspiration here, then tackle a project that'll show everybody just how much heart you really have.
Quilting involves a lot of pressing, from the fabric to the seams to the patchwork of pieces. If you make a mistake during one of these stages, the entire project can go south in a hurry.
Hand quilting involves sewing running stitches through the three layers of a quilt sandwich — the quilt top, batting and backing fabric.
Truth: If you quilt, you need math. Calculating yardages for borders, backs and bindings is part of the craft, whether you're making the best use of the fabric you have or deciding how much to buy.
If you don't know how to make a quarter-square triangle, it is definitely time to learn. It is used in dozens of quilt blocks (get an insight to quilt blocks in this class) , and making one is a great skill for quilters of all levels of expertise.
We've all been there. You're quilting very happily ... until you suddenly discover you're out of border fabric. Or your seams are so wavy they become unintentional improv piecing. Or after you carefully measure again and again, somehow your blocks are all different sizes.
When you're first starting to quilt, it's tempting to want to buy ALL the fabric. Makes sense: The zillions of colors, patterns, textures and weights out there are mesmerizing. Who can resist?
We get it: To a beginner, maneuvering a needle up and down through all the layers of a quilt sandwich sounds a little scary. But the truth is that hand quilting isn't nearly as challenging as you might think. In fact, all you need to know are a few simple stitching techniques. Nail 'em and you'll be turning out heirloom-quality quilts in no time.
It's one of the fiercest debates in quilting — starch or no starch?
As you dig around in your stash of quilting fabric, do you ever stop and think: Hmm, could I make a dress out of this? Or do you ever eye a quilting cotton at the store and wonder: Wouldn't that look cute as a shirt? Makes total sense — but wait, can you even make clothes out of quilting fabrics?
Meet the walking foot: Besides having one of the greatest names ever for a sewing-machine accessory, it's also your best friend when you're straight-line quilting or adding a binding.
You'd be forgiven if you thought a barn quilt was a type of fabric quilt that you drape over a stall door, or maybe over yourself as you milked the cows.
When you're quilting, you need super-straight seams for accurate piecing. In other words: You need starch or pressing spray. But what if you run out of the stuff? Or what if the chemicals in store-bought fabric starch skeeve you out? Should your sewing come to a screeching halt?
You've made up your mind to finally take a crack at knitting, cake decorating, paper crafting … whatever. But how to make it happen when there are so many options? The truth: Just. Go. Start.
Forget everything you know about quilting — that it requires cutting fabric into a gazillion pieces, then placing and stitching all those pieces together in a precise pattern. There's another, simpler way to get an equally amazing end result. Say hello to the wholecloth quilt.