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.
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.
It can be hard to justify revamping your holiday tree decor when you already have a pretty solid collection of ornaments. But not if you're using stuff you already have! Enter, the fabric scrap tree.
If you live with a quilter (or at least know one), you may be reluctant to buy them more fabric this holiday season. That's totally OK — fabric choice is personal. But the love of quilting, now that's a little more universal. So rather than research charm packs and fabric bundles this year, give your quilter something they'll love no matter what their fabric vibe.
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?
If you're a quilting newbie, it can be easy to feel intimidated by all the fabric you have to measure and cut. But guess what? That's where precut fabrics come in. They come in a variety of convenient packs, typically 5" squares (called charm packs), 10" squares (called layer cakes) and 2½" strips (called jelly rolls). Using them guarantees all your colors will match and those pieces will be perfectly sized, plus — bonus! — it means you get to skip cutting and go right to the sewing. Once you decide which fabrics feel prettiest to you, choose any of these quilt designs that are 100% precut-friendly.
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 items takes work — so you really want your present to hit the bullseye. Here's how to set yourself 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?
If you're ready to give quilting a go, but aren't quite ready to dive into an entire quilt, it's time to meet the quilted placemat. It's the perfect project for practicing new skills, is totally manageable for newbies and, well, it's deliciously stylish.
When you've been crafting for a long time, it can be pretty 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 and, yes, he still has it! But that first quilt wasn't my best work, and while I'm glad it lasted, here's what I wish that baby quilter had known to make it even more of a success.
The log cabin quilt block is one of the most iconic quilt designs around. It's a traditional block that's built from the center out, adding longer pieces with each step. It's truly a must-know in the quilting world, so if you haven't quite mastered it yet, now's the time!
If you're an avid quilter, you've probably been counting the years until the kids in your life are old enough to tackle a project of their own. Spread the joy, right? Unless, of course, things don't go as planned and your dream crafternoon ends up in shreds (or tears!). But don't worry, we've got you covered.
While at first glance the humble snowball quilt block may not knock your socks off, it's actually capable of building some pretty amazing quilts. These six beauties are all made with simple snowball blocks — now you just have to choose which one to make first.
With their easy construction, simple piecing and minimal fabric requirements, snowball blocks are a solid choice for quilting newbs. They work well in a starring role, but also can do heavy lifting as filler blocks: definitely a quilt block you want in your arsenal. We'll show you how to make them, step by step.
Modern life can feel like an endless string of open browser tabs: Some days you’re deep in the productivity zone, finishing one project before moving on to the next. Other days, there are living things to keep alive, texts to return, bills to pay, and the creative muse feels utterly M.I.A.
An appliqué design is kind of like the cherry on top of a sundae: a tasty add-on that makes your project extra special. The trouble is (we're not gonna lie here), some forms of appliqué take quite a bit of skill and practice to master. But not this one! The raw-edge appliqué method is incredibly beginner-friendly, and the perfect way to try your hand and this decorative technique.
This is a story of firsts: my first quilt, my first boyfriend and my first trip to the emergency room. (OK, technically my fourth trip, but who's counting?)
Look around your workspace — do you tend to collect and use specific colors of fabric, yarn, thread or other materials? That’s totally normal: Designers, artists and makers often gravitate to the same shades over and over again. But, as you start thinking about your fall projects, consider breaking out of your color comfort zone! Working with less familiar hues is a good challenge and can even help bring your work in new directions.
Stitch in the ditch may sound like an extracurricular activity at Hogwarts, but it’s actually a quilting technique that many patchwork pros love. Why? You're about to find out.
Thread doesn't last forever — that's just the sad truth — so it's important to know what's safe to use and what needs to make its way to the trash can. Before you allow a new spool into your collection or pick up an old favorite, here's what you should be looking for.
We'll give it to you straight: It is totally possible to hack your machine so you can free-motion quilt. Start dreaming up those swirly motifs, and get ready to teach your old machine some new tricks!
Ah, one of the great quilting debates: To pre-wash or not to pre-wash your fabric. Some people swear by it, while others think it's not worth the extra time. The good news is you can't really go too wrong either way. The bad news, though, is you're going to have to weigh the pros and cons below and come to your own conclusion. We're not taking sides here!
Besides being really fun to say, the “stack and whack” is a great trick for cutting quilting fabric quickly.
Accuracy is everything when it comes to piecing. So many angles to align and pieces to match. And there’s nothing more frustrating than cutting up your favorite fabrics and laboring over an A+ quilt block only to discover that it’s come out too small, or the pieces don’t fit together quite right, or whatever misfortune tends to befall you at this phase. Here are a few things you can do to improve accuracy and prevent the sting of a bad piece.