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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 you’re wondering how to stitch that fluffy quilt sandwich with your sewing machine. Fear not! We’re here to help.
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.
If you find yourself struggling to sew a straight line, you're definitely not alone. Sometimes sewing basics are the toughest to master. But you can get on the straight and narrow faster — or, if you're already a pro, pick up a new trick or two — with these tips from master sewer Christine Haynes.
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 kinda hard. 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. And here’s the truth: The best way to make this happen is to just go start already.
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.
When it comes to pre-cuts, the quilting possibilities are endless. Whether you want to whip up a quick block pattern or piece together something more intricate, here are our go-to designs.
Straight-line quilting can sound terrifyingly precise, but don't believe the hype. With some guidance you can definitely nail the straight-line technique, and soon you'll be using it to make totally spectacular quilts — no problem.
Yuck, what's that black splotch on the dress you're ironing? It definitely wasn't there before, so that's clue #1: The iron did it.
The great thing about these blocks is you probably have all the supplies you need right in your scrap bin. Of course you can go big and make a whole quilt of 'em if you're feeling ambitious. But these simple trees are a cool foundation for a pillow or modern table runner, too.
We get this question all the time: How is "patchwork" different from "quilting"? Aren't they the same thing? To the uninitiated, it can be a bit confusing, but it's not too complex once you know the basics.
When it comes to quilting, prints are prints, right? Yes and no. You certainly don't need any fancy knowledge to know what strikes your fancy — and that's a great way to choose fabric. But it can be helpful (especially for quilting newbies) to know a little about the different types of prints out there, what they're called, and the best ways to put them to work in your designs.
Solid quilting fabrics aren't everyone's jam. But some designs really do need a neutral, non-distracting fabric to make the piecing or quilting shine. What's a pattern-lover to do?
Quilting newbie? Take it easy on yourself and start with precut fabric. These convenient packs are pretty standard everywhere you look, and come in 5-inch squares (called charm packs), 10-inch squares (called layer cakes) and 2.5-inch strips (usually called jelly rolls).
Hands up if you'd LOVE to be able to skip the fabric cutting and fast-forward right to sewing your quilt. (Tell me I'm not the only one!) That can't always be a reality, but there are a lot of tricks that can make cutting so much more efficient. One favorite hack: The magic 8 method, which will help you cut and sew 8 half-square triangles at once. Win!
Batting seems like it oughta be a stress-free topic. After all, the entire job of batting is to make things soft and comfy. And yet, choosing the right batting for your project can be totally confusing. There's cotton versus polyester, tons of different brands, issues like fiber content and loft... so many questions! Luckily, I have answers.
Classic quilts blocks are a great way to nail some basic quilting skills. Take the Ohio Star block for example: it has half-square triangles (sewn into an hourglass shape) and a nine-patch construction, all rolled up into one beginner-friendly block. Bonus: the Ohio Star looks great by itself or as part of a larger sampler quilt.
This one's a classic, but that doesn't make it boring! This beauty has plenty to offer all on its own, or combined with other blocks for a statement-making accent. Best of all, it's totally beginner-friendly: nothing more than squares and half-square triangles here!
For makers, there is a certain impulse at holiday time — the sudden mania to MAKE ALL THE GIFTS. You’re crafty, you should lovingly DIY all your presents, right? Right?? We anxiously ask ourselves as we stand looking at our stashes. I have all this yarn…so much fabric...
Quilters know that September is the new December. In fact, you may already be in full swing with holiday gift-making, since many stores start rolling out the red and green as early as July. But if you haven't started thinking about Christmas gifts, fear not. Grab your Santa cap (and maybe some caffeine), and read on. We're here to help.
If you're a maker, chances are visions of handmade gifts are already dancing in your head. And while "it's the thought that counts" is certainly a nice idea, the reality is that gifting handmade takes work — so you really want your present to hit the bullseye. Here's how to get set up for success:
Crafting for the holidays is supposed to be fun — but so often our yarn balls turn into stress balls as we try to meet deadlines and get everything done. With a little bit of planning, however, you can keep yourself happily making as the holidays approach. Sounds magical, right?
Ready to give quilting a go, but not quite ready to dive into an entire quilt? Let me introduce you to the placemat: perfect for practicing new skills, and totally manageable, even for newbies. Not to mention deliciously stylish.
It can be amazing to look back and realize how far you've come. My first quilt (made at age 15) was a strip quilt for my musician boyfriend — yes, I actually used fabric with musical notes. He still has it! That first quilt was not my best work, so whew, I'm glad it lasted. Here's what I wish that baby quilter had known.