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.
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!
If you're looking to make an adorable, totally one-of-a-kind quilt block this fall, look no further. This scrappy, stash-busting pumpkin is made entirely of 1½"-wide strips. It comes together in a snap, and it's perfect for autumn stitching. All you need now is a warm mug of homemade apple cider and the perfect fall afternoon is complete.
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?!
Expand basic piecing techniques. Author and designer Anna Maria Horner shares ideas for combining piecing with appliqué techniques. Free-motion quilting artist Christina Cameli stitches Lazy Eights. Textile artist Sarah Sharp adds interest and color to solid blocks with pieced strips.
Look across the Pacific Ocean for inspiration. Artist and world traveler Luana Rubin shares quilts from the Tokyo Quilt Festival and discusses global fabric and color trends. Free motion quilt artist Christina Cameli uses a walking foot and free motion stitches to make grid-based designs. Graphic artist and quilter Sheri Cifaldi-Morill appliqués traditional Hawaiian motifs with a modern twist.