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?!
Design on the surface with textures and colors. Sewing educator and modern quilter Miriam Coffey pieces embroidered fabric along with solids to create new looks for accessories and home dec. Free-motion quilt artist Christina Cameli stitches topographical spirals. Blogger and quilter Krista Fleckenstein carves custom blocks and prints customs fabric.
Make compelling modern quilts with impeccable piecing. Textile artist Sarah Sharp accentuates design elements by fussy cutting paper piecing motifs. Christina Cameli stitches free-motion motifs using rulers. Color expert Nicole Neblett expands foundation piecing to a new level as she makes large scale designs.
Mix fabrics, colors and prints to make modern statement. Krista Fleckenstein makes mixed media appliqué with die-cut shapes of wool, leather, felt and linen. Modern quilter Riane Menardi shares ideas for promoting your guild through local media. Christina Cameli mixes rulers with free motion stitches to accurately stitch a variety of motifs.
Less is often so much more. Minimalist quilt designer Nicole Neblett designs with negative space to achieve the modern aesthetic. Designer Luana Rubin shares inspirations from her world travels and lasting connections with quilters around the globe. Improv quilt artist Leslie Tucker Jenison cuts, pieces and sews curves without a ruler to create dynamic designs.
Be daring and explore free form quilting. Contemporary quilt artist Sylvia Schaefer desconstructs traditional designs and makes them explode into new motifs. Designer Anna Maria Horner throws the rules out the window with free-form appliqué techniques to make bouquet quilts.
Celebrate the creatures of the land and sea. Whimsical quilt artist Samarra Khaja combines colorful shapes to create cute fish faces. Karen Womack shares tips on leading a local quilt guild. Blogger and designer Violet Craft sews a regal lion using English paper piecing.