Fact: sewing your quilt (or a smaller project, like pillow tops and table runners) by hand provides a soft finish that really can’t be achieved by machines. Not to mention there isn't anything that beats the zen of sewing something with needle and thread. If you're interested in trying the craft, these tips — along with the right supplies — can help you get started.
While there are hundreds of quilting gadgets on the market these days, when you're new to the craft it's best to start with the basics. So skip the fancy-pants gizmos — for now — and stock up on these important quilting tools that'll help make your first quilt a success.
Bias tape is a great way to bind, or seal in, raw edges. And while it’s commonly used as quilt binding, you can actually incorporate it into a variety of projects, whether you need to sew a face mask or want to add a fun design element to a garment. Here’s how to create the durable, stretchy tape — even if you don’t have a bias tape maker on hand.
Selvages run the entire length of a fabric bolt, and many people consider them to be garbage, cutting them off and throwing away without a second thought. But this finished end of your fabric can be handy in a project. After all, it's so tightly woven you don't have to worry about fraying. Here are some tips for putting 'em to good use.
Rule number one: don't throw out those fabric scraps, even the thinnest of strips. After all, you can use 'em to make a totally new project — like a string quilt! These block are simple to quilt and make use of every bit of your fabric stash. What's not to love?
If you're a quilter or sewist, you've probably come across bias tape before. And while it's commonly used for quilt binding, there are a ton of ways you can incorporate bias tape into any project. The best part, though, may be just how easy it is to make yourself.
There's more than one way to bind a quilt, and this method just so happens to be one of the most quirky and fun. Prairie points are folded triangles made from fabric squares, and can be used to decorate table runners, pillows, tea towels and — you guessed it — quilt edges. Plus, finishing your quilt with a prairie point binding is just as easy as it is fun — here's what you need to know to make it happen.
Sometimes there isn't enough time to make an entire quilt for your husband, father or brother, especially if Father's Day or V-Day is right around the corner. But there's no need to stress — you can still flex your quilting muscles to create something perfect for them, fast. These gifts all come together quickly, and your guy is sure to love each one.
Bright, floral quilts are definitely lovable, but sometimes you want a pattern that's a little more masculine. And while the word "masculine" is totally subjective, in general we're talking quilts in more neutral colors, or those that steer clear of circles and other curvy shapes.
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 best quilting classes to fire up whenever you're in need of an extra dose of inspo or want to brush up on skills.
Clean, straight-line quilting is always the goal, but stitching them can be challenging. The secret to success? Marking your lines correctly. Thankfully, there's more than one way to get 'em just so. Play around with these tools and soon enough you'll have beautifully straight quilting lines every. single. time.
Batting seems like it ought to be a stress-free topic. After all, its entire job is to make things soft and comfy. Yet choosing the right one for your project can be totally confusing. There's cotton versus polyester, tons of different brands, issues like fiber content and loft — the list goes on and on. Luckily, these tips provide the insight you need to navigate the batting aisle like a total boss.
Fact: there's no better way for quilters to celebrate the Fourth of July than by stitching a scrappy flag quilt block. Your only decision: whether to make it your only patriotic quilt project, or the first of many!
You can't have a Fourth of July celebration without one very important thing: a quilted patriotic project! Whether you make a full-blown quilt, a star-spangled table runner or a red, white and blue mug rug, these patterns are sure to set off fireworks.
This year, make one of your quilting projects a little greener — and not the color green. Instead of buying more fabric, look for materials you already have around your home. It brings new life to pre-loved clothing, is easy on your wallet and maximizes your resources. What's not to love?
Real talk: sometimes crafting can use a lot of materials (that aren't exactly cheap). You can save your bank account some strife and show Mother Earth a lot of love by upcycling what you already have — here's how.
You don't need a longarm quilting machine to finish your quilt — stitch it with an embroidery machine instead! By quilting in the hoop, you can create quilts block by block, in long strips or stitch 'em whole. And with all the options your embroidery machine has, you can make quilts as simple or complex as you want.
Having a dedicated space for quilting is like having a little haven in your house. But with constant WIPs and late-night quilting sessions (especially for fans of the Midnight Quilt Show), it's easy for your studio to turn from sanctuary to stressful. But don't sweat — it's simple to keep your quilting room organized, especially if you follow these hacks.
St. Patrick's Day is all about green clothes, green beer and, for crafters, green quilts. In honor of the Irish holiday, choose any of the patterns below and start stitching a quilt that's sure to leave others feelin' green with envy.
Watch out — these bunnies multiply fast, and you may just find yourself with an entire quilt's worth of blocks after an afternoon of getting lost in your stitching. The best part: it only calls for two fat quarters (yay, precut fabric!) and a few fabric scraps.
You don't need another excuse to quilt, but Easter sure is a good one. With the holiday's iconic bunnies, eggs and springtime flowers, there are a ton of different must-make motifs to choose from.
When you think of traditional Irish quilts, the Irish chain is likely the first to come to mind. While it's widely debated whether the art form is even Irish — some believe it was developed in the United States — there's no arguing it's one of the oldest quilt patterns that continues to be popular today.
If you've got more green scraps than you know what to do with, it's your lucky day — this fun four-leaf clover quilt block is a fast, simple project to use every last one.
Fact: snacks taste better when served on a handcrafted mug rug. Or at least, that's how you'll feel once you stitch these cute coasters and mug rugs.
Mug rugs may not grow on trees, but they can come out of fabric scraps. This quick and easy project is perfect for summer or fall, and — bonus! — makes an A+ gift for any teacher.
Whether there's a drawer in your kitchen dedicated to mug rugs or you've never made a single one, this folded flying geese design is a must-have. Not only is it beginner-friendly, but it's a great project for practicing a ton of techniques: making folded flying geese, sewing partial seams and using a pillowcase binding. Oh, and guess what? It can be made completely with charm squares!
Make your morning cup of coffee way more colorful with a rainbow ray mug rug. This project is pure fun — and a great introduction to the sew-and-flip technique on a paper foundation.
When your craft of choice is quilting, Angela Walters needs no introduction. As the host of the ever-popular Midnight Quilt Show and creator of Quilting Is My Therapy, she's traveled the country teaching fellow makers everything from designing with rulers to machine quilting borders, and she inspires thousands with her gorgeous designs.
Love is in the air (and in your craft room) this Valentine's Day. Whether you're a sewist, quilter or prefer machine embroidery, these patterns are sure to make your heart skip a beat.
It’s never too late to start a new craft. Just ask Vanessa Vargas Wilson (aka The Crafty Gemini), who not only teaches sewing in Sew Little: Nursery Design, but also shows off her quilting skills in Quilt the Partial Eclipse Wall Hanging, knitting in Knit the 2nd & Shunk Shawl and embroidery in Embroider the Llama Mamas Hoop.
It's Valentine's Day, so love is most definitely in the air — and in your fabric! Celebrate the holiday by decking out your home or gifting an array of swoon-worthy quilt projects.
There's nothing better than a heart-shaped quilt block for Valentine's Day. Whether you're making it into a table runner or a part of a larger quilt, it's sure to make your loved ones swoon. Best part: you don't have to go for the traditional red and pink colorway. Choose any hues you want — so long as your fabrics contrast, this design will be bursting with love.
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. But with a little planning, you can keep yourself happily making as the holidays approach. Sounds magical, right?
Real talk: your home could always use a bit more patchwork, especially around the holidays. Finish out the year with fast, festive festive quilting projects — that's right, we're talking tree skirts and stockings galore!
Grab your end-of-the-year scraps and add a little extra festivity to the house with an adorable Christmas quilt block. This design can be sewn into cute pillows or place mats, or you could pair 'em with other designs (like a modern Christmas block) to make an entire Christmas quilt. 'Tis the season to be merry!
Why will you love these quilted bowl cozies? Let us count the ways. Not only are they cute and totally customizable (meaning they'd make a great gift), but this pattern is also microwave-safe, reversible and can cover all sizes of bowls. Plus, it's so easy to make!
Once the tree is decorated, it's time to turn your attention to another area of the house that's always in need of a little holiday flavor: the kitchen table. After all, a table runner makes a great centerpiece for your family's holiday meal. These patterns stitch up quick, so you can make 'em in a weekend and have them done well before the big day.
Potholders are the perfect project — they're quick and easy to stitch up, they make great gifts and you can use scraps left over from larger projects. Follow this tutorial and you'll have some ready to present in no time.
You've gotta love a quilt that takes its name from a hairstyle. Like the fancy 'do, French braid quilts and quilt blocks give the illusion of woven strands, and they're sewn from fabric strips in prints or solids. And while they look intricate, they're actually a cinch to piece — even if you're a beginner.
Did you know you can make a charming, super cozy quilt without putting in a ton of time or — wait for it — even really knowing how to quilt? It's shocking, but true, thanks to one quickie weekend project: the rag quilt.
There are three different ways to finish a quilt: machine quilting (either through free-motion, longarm or a walking foot), traditional hand quilting and hand tying.
Monogramming adds a personal detail to any project: piped icing on cake designs, embroidered stitches on home decor, stamped initials on stationary, even custom details on quilt or sewing projects. And these days, you can pretty much design your monograms however you want. But if you want to keep things more traditional, there are a few monogram etiquette rules to consider following.
We may be a bit biased, but that homemade pumpkin spice latte seems to taste so much better — and is way more photogenic — when it's resting on top of a festive mug rug. This stacked presents pattern is perfect for Christmas, but you could easily swap out the red and green fabric for colors better suited to Hanukkah, a birthday, or any other occasion worth celebrating. Talk about versatility!
If you want to sew a dimensional design onto a quilt, pillow or any other sewing project — and you don't want anyone to see those stitches — hand appliqué is the technique for you. Once you nail the basic stitching, you'll be able to add any creation, be it a simple shape or a more complex pieced block like a Dresden plate.
Whether you're quilting yourself or sending your quilt sandwich to a quilter for finishing, longarm quilting gives your project a beautiful, polished look. But before the stitching can take place, you need to do some prep work. Here's how to get your quilt ready for longarm quilting, so you end up with the best-looking results.
Foundation paper piecing is like the paint-by-numbers of quilting. You use a paper template to outline which fabric goes where, then stitch both the paper and the fabric together along dotted lines. Remove the paper, and voilà — you have a perfectly pieced block!