Category Archives: Blog

quilting 1.4

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Should You Get a Quilting Sewing Machine?
There are a few reasons why a person would want to buy a quilting sewing machine. If you run a quilting business for instance, you will definitely want to get a quilting sewing machine, if you want to make any real profit. There is really no way that you would be able to keep up, even with other people working with you, to keep up with the demands of the business if you are doing all the quilting by hand.
Even if you just like to quilt for fun in your spare time, a home quilting machine can be helpful because you can get your projects completed better and at a faster rate.

So if you have decided that you do in fact need a quilting sewing machine, you are now going to need to decide on a machine, and the good news is that there are plenty available for you to choose from, a few of the best which will be discussed in detail here.

Singer HD-110 Heavy Duty

Singer is a name that has been trusted for many, many years now, and one that you can definitely rely on when it comes to a quilting machine. These machines deliver the utmost in terms of power, performance, durability and value, and they are listed at very affordable prices as well.

This particular machine is one that you will definitely want to consider, and it features 10 built-in stitch patterns, 4-step buttonhole, built-in needle threader, commercial speed, includes extension bed, stainless steel bed plate, and circular sewing capacity.

Keep in mind that this is just one of the many different Singer quilting sewing machine options that are available, so you should take time to see what other models they offer as well.

Janome 1600P-DB High Speed Sewing Machine

Another quilting sewing machine that you may want to consider is this model, by Janome. This high speed sewing machine has the DB needle, and sews a straight stitch at 1,600 stitches per minute, which is actually the fastest on the market. Features include variable speed control, dual sewing lights, no oil holes on sewing bed, visible pressure gauge, dust cover, knee lift, optional extension table available, and so much more.

These are just two of the thousands of different quilting sewing machines that you have to choose from. Just make sure that you really put some thought and consideration into this process, so that you can decide on the right machine for you.
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quilting machine

If you have a quilting machine you will find quilting a great deal easier and you will be able to complete your quilting projects faster. There are various different options that you have when it comes to a quilting machine, and of course you want to make sure that you choose the right one. Whether you want a long arm quilting machine so that you can make sweaters, or a heavy duty quilting machine so you can make thick quilted blankets, you need to make sure that you put some thought…Tips to Buying a Long Arm Quilting Machine It can be hard to decide on a quilting sewing machine, what with all the different options that are available to you. However, with a few tips and some helpful information, you will be able to easily decide on the right long arm quilting machine for you and your needs, and be very successful in your endeavors here. Manufacturers The first step you are going to need to take is learn about the different manufactures that offer the long arm…Should You Get a Quilting Sewing Machine? There are a few reasons why a person would want to buy a quilting sewing machine. If you run a quilting business for instance, you will definitely want to get a quilting sewing machine, if you want to make any real profit. There is really no way that you would be able to keep up, even with other people working with you, to keep up with the demands of the business if you are doing all the quilting by hand. Even if you…There is really no set price that you will pay for a home quilting machine or machine quilting thread, as the prices will vary from one brand and model to another, but as long as you figure out your budget beforehand and know how much money you have available to work with, you should have no problems and should be able to find the perfect home quilting machine for you. For a basic home quilting machine you can expect to pay anywhere from three to four hundred dollars, and for the more…Whether you are looking for a machine quilting service or machine quilting thread, of course you are going to want to spend time doing some comparison shopping so that you can find out exactly what you need and at the best possible price. To help you get started, here are a few of the best retailers that you can check out where you know that you will always get the best prices for whatever quilting tools and materials you need. Beacon Fabric This is one company that you will…Finding and hiring a machine quilting service is certainly not always the easiest thing, as there are so many different machine quilting service options out there, and so it can be very hard to decide on which to go with. Why would you even need a machine quilting service to begin with? Well, there could be several reasons. For one, you may have a business and need some extra help, you can hire one of these companies to provide you with the assistance that you need. Even if you just like…Custom Machine Quilting: Find the Right Machine If you want to get involved with custom machine quilting, the first and most important thing that you will need to do is find the right machine for your custom machine quilting, so that you can get started. You need to take your time when you are trying to find a quilting machine, so that you can get one that is high quality and affordable, or at least within your budget. To find a machine, you are going to want to think…

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Where to Find a Free Quilt Block Pattern

Coming up with a great free quilt block pattern idea can certainly not always the be the easiest thing, but with a few helpful tips you will be well on your way and able to choose the perfect free quilt block pattern. First and foremost, you are going to need to figure out what sort of theme you are looking for.
Maybe you have a friend or family member who is going to be having a baby soon and so you want to make a baby quilt, or perhaps you would like to stick with more of a theme and go with a Halloween or Christmas pattern.

No matter which particular free quilt block pattern you are looking for, there are a few companies that you will want to become more familiar with, and which you can always trust to go through when you are looking for a free quilt block pattern.

Free Quilt Patterns

This is one company that you will definitely want to check out if you are looking for free quilting patterns of any sort. No matter what theme or size of quilting pattern you are looking for, you will be able to find it here and free to boot.

This means that you never have to worry about spending a fortune just to get the pattern that you are looking for, which will be especially important if you quilt for a living and need to make as much money as possible and would have to constantly be buying patterns.

BlockCentral

This is another company you can go through for a great free quilt block pattern selection. They are actually one of the best known companies of their kind, and one that is definitely worth you taking the time to check out. They are available online and you can browse through their entire selection here.

Remember, these are just a few ideas of the many different companies that are available and offering free quilting patterns so take a bit of time and see what else is out there as well. Another great idea is for you to ask around to your family and friends, see what quilting patterns they have tried out and which they enjoyed.

This is also a great idea because then you can check out the completed project and see what it is really going to look like in the end and whether you want to do it or not.
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Free Baby Quilt Pattern Idea

If you are an experienced quilter, you know that there are almost endless options when it comes to all the different quilting patterns that you have to choose from. Whether you are looking specifically for a rag quilt pattern or free baby quilt pattern for instance, your options will be extraordinary and you can always find just the right one.
Of all the different free baby quilt pattern ideas that you could try, here is one that will surely interest you.

Taking Flight

The name of this particular free baby quilt pattern is “Taking Flight”, and it is really gorgeous, perfect for either a baby boy or girl. For this quilt design you will need to get twelve traditional Birds in the Air quilt blocks and six Thrifty blocks, all place on point and then surrounded by setting triangles.

There are two straight borders that complete the quilt top and the outer border of the quilt includes cornerstones.

This quilt is particularly delightful for spring, with the fresh, beautiful pink and green colors. You need to start by cutting (6) 6-7/8” x 6-7/8” squares, cut each square in half once diagonally and set aside. Then you cut (18) 2-7/8” x 2-7/8” dark pink squares, and again, cut each in half once diagonally and set aside.

Now you cut (18) 2-7/8” x 2-7/8” dark green squares and (18) neutral squares of the same sizes, and then you combine unlike squares in pairs, resulting in (36) half square triangles that each measure 2-1/2” x 2-1/2” when complete.

The next step in this free baby quilt pattern is for you to arrange three half-square triangle unites and the three pink triangles into rows, and now you want to sew the components of each row together. Sew tightly so that the seams are not showing, and press seam allowances in adjoining rows in opposite directions and then sew the rows together, and press.

Center and sew one large green triangle to the longest edge of the unit created in step 5 of this free baby quilt pattern, and then you want to press seam allowance towards the large triangle, and repeat, making a total of 12 Birds in the Air quilt blocks.

It can definitely be a bit tricky to complete quilting patterns if you are just a beginner and just getting started, but just make sure that you have some patience and that you take care in your designs and the choosing of your patterns, and you should not have any problems.
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quilting frame

How To Use A Quilting Frame
If you are looking to make a hand crafted quilt you need to learn how to use a quilting frame properly. This is not a difficult task but can seem to be really daunting to the beginning quilter. This article will outline the simple steps to using a quilting frame so that you can make the best quilts possible. Instructions To Using A Quilting Frame The following instructions are for using a quilting frame, not a machine quilting frame. The first thing you need to do is prepare your…

What Is A Machine Quilting Frame?
If you are looking to start quilting the easiest way to get started is using a machine quilting frame. Now realize why you need to take a look at a machine quilting frame and see why they are so nice to have. They are completely different from a hand quilting frame, however the end products are nearly indistinguishable. I have used many a machine quilting frame and believe me, they speed up the time so much that it would be almost impossible to go back. Features Of A Machine Quilting Frame A machine…

Using A Hand Quilting Frame To Make Mementos
If you are looking for a hobby quilting may be something you want to try. You can make make wonderful vintage quilts and if made properly can last for a lifetime and then some. Using a hand quilting frame is not as difficult as it looks and pretty much anyone with the right amount of desire can begin using a hand quilting frame if they are willing to put in the time needed. Why Use A Hand Quilting Frame The main reason people will choose to use a hand quilting frame…

Making A Quilting Frame Pattern Properly
There are many resources out there available to those of you who are looking to quilt at home. If you are looking to make designs that are unique and original you need to learn how to build your own quilting frame pattern. Designing and constructing your own quilting frame pattern is not nearly as difficult as it sounds and with some simple materials you can make either wood or PVC quilting frames. How To Build Your Own Quilting Frame PatternYou first off need a solid base to build your pattern from. My frame of choice is the kit from Herrschners….

Why Use A PVC Quilting Frame
When you are looking to get started quilting there are many different kinds of quilting frames to choose from. From lap quilting frames to wood quilting frames there are many different options. I recently purchased and have been using a PVC quilting frame from Q-Snap and I can honestly say I am very satisfied with it. Why I Choose A PVC Quilting Frame One of the biggest problems I had with my previous quilting frame was how much space it took up. No matter what I did the wood quilting…

5 Reasons To Use A Lap Quilting Frame
If you are a home quilting hobbyist you no doubt have some kind of quilting frame. There are many different kinds out there with all sorts of bells and whistles. From large machine quilting frames to small lap quilting frames. there is a quilting frame for everyone. I am going to take a look at lap quilting frames and try to show you reasons why you should use one. While they are not for everyone, they are for certain people so read on to see if you fall into this group….

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Rag Quilt Pattern: Where to Look

There are fortunately lots of great places that you can go to if you are looking for a rag quilt pattern, but books are going to be one of your best resources of all here. There are literally thousands of different rag quilt pattern books that you can choose from and peruse through to get great pattern ideas.

Whether you are looking for a machine quilting pattern or one that you can just whip up by hand, here are a few of the best rag quilt pattern books that you can check out for yourself.

A Year of Rag Quilts

This is one rag quilt pattern book that you will definitely want to buy. This is a great book that offers instructions on twelve different wall rag quilts that you can make, and whether you are just a beginner getting started with this hobby or you are an experienced quilter that can take on most quilting tasks, this book will be ideal.

Use these easy blocks for pillows and larger quilts too. The entire book is 96 pages, soft cover, and written by Annis Clapp.

Easy Americana Rag Quilting

Or perhaps you would be more interested in this book, which you probably would be if you are a more experienced quilter, as the projects are more difficult. It features twenty-four different projects with raggy edges, and this includes lap quilts, wall hangings, and pillows, all with frayed edges. The instructions are very easy to understand and there are even instructions.

Raggy Strip Quilting

This is another very popular rag quilt pattern book, and this book features several different quilts with wonderful instructions and detailing on how to create them. There are some terrific quilt pattern ideas in this book, but they are basically for more advanced quilters, as this is definitely the most difficult book of the three.

Besides reading books to get your quilting pattern ideas, there are other things that you can do as well. For instance, you can go online and use the Internet to search through various different websites that offer quilting patterns. You can often find free patterns that you can download and print off, making the entire process as quick and convenient for you as possible.

This would be the best idea if you make quilts for a living, because in this case you are going to need to be making quilts on a rapid basis, and will not be able to afford to pay for each pattern you use.

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Basic Quilting Supplies You Will Need

As a new quilter, you probably aren’t sure which supplies you need to have to be successful at quilting. When you look at a quilting or fabric store or online, there are what seems like a million gadgets and gizmos, all important for the quilter to be successful. How can you tell which are really imperative? Or do all quilters have everything?

Before you go off and buy anything, think about what kind of quilting you want to do. Do you have a pattern yet? Maybe a picture of a quilt you like and want to make? The type of quilting you want to do will affect which quilting supplies you will need, for example, those who are machine quilting won’t need supplies like a quilting frame. But let’s discuss the supplies you need to just get that first quilt top made.

Basic Sewing Supplies For Quilting

There are some sewing and quilting supplies that you will need regardless of whether you’re quilting or sewing a dress for your little girl. They are important to have on hand. So be sure you have scissors, pins, a needle and thread, as well as a seam ripper.

Scissors that are sharp and pointed work best. If they aren’t sharp and you have to struggle with every cut, you’ll hate them. If they aren’t pointed enough, you won’t be able to get into tight little places to cut. Some quilters also use a rotary cutter and mat to do their cutting, but they aren’t necessary – traditional scissors will work fine when you’re just learning.

Pins are a simple thing that can be a real help. Think of them as an extra set of hands to help hold the pieces together while you sew. They can help those edges stay together, and they can mark where that seam should be, or where it needs to end. The cheapest pins are the steel ones with tiny heads. A step above that are the one with the colored ball heads. They are much easier to see! Want to go a step even better? Try the ones with the flowered heads; they are a little bit longer, too. They’re a bit more expensive, but oh, so nice to work with! That’s a sewing and quilting supply that can make quilting just a little bit closer to heaven.

If you will be hand sewing, have a few sewing needles. If you are sewing the pieces together by sewing machine, have extra sewing machine needles on hand. If your quilt is one basic color – like blue, or pown – use that color of thread. If it is many colors and fabrics, like a crazy quilt, choose either black or white thread, whichever blends the best with your fabrics.

Another sewing supply you should have available is a seam ripper. I know, none of us plan to make mistakes, but they somehow happen anyway, so it helps if we can minimize the frustration they can cause by having a good tool to fix our mistakes. As a new quilter, to whom all the techniques are new, you are very likely to need to do some “reverse sewing”, so keep that handy-dandy seam ripper within arm’s reach.
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Basic Quilting Supplies You Will Need
As a new quilter, you probably aren’t sure which supplies you need to have to be successful at quilting. When you look at a quilting or fabric store or online, there are what seems like a million gadgets and gizmos, all important for the quilter to be successful. How can you tell which are really imperative? Or do all quilters have everything? Before you go off and buy anything, think about what kind of quilting you want to do. Do you have a pattern yet? Maybe a picture of a quilt you…

Machine Quilting: Which Supplies Are Needed?
If you’re new to machine quilting, the supplies you need might be a mystery. First, you need supplies for preparing your quilt top. Then you need supplies specific to machine quilting, which is very different from hand quilting. It is important to know which method you will be quilting with, so that you can get the correct supplies. Making The Top Of The Quilt When you are making the quilt top – whether you are hand sewing it together or using a traditional sewing machine – you will need basic…

Buying Quilting Supplies Online For Gifts
If you have a good friend who is a quilter, what better gift could there be than a gift that helps her with her hobby? It’s a thoughtful giver who gives someone something they’d like to have but just haven’t bought themselves yet. With these ideas, your quilting friend might not even know they exist! Specialty Cutters There are several types of cutters available online. This quilting tool is very useful for cutting threads while you’re working, without having to reach for a pair of scissors – wherever they are……

Where To Find Free Quilting Supplies
If you like to quilt, whether you’ve been quilting for years or you are just getting started, you have probably noticed that quilting can get expensive! Good quality fabric is often ten dollars a yard – or more – and usually when you’re in the mood to start a new project you don’t wait for a sale to get that “perfect fabric” at a better price. Many of the other quilting supplies are also expensive, like a rotary cutter and a mat and ruler. To get a good set, you…

Choosing Supplies For Hand Quilting
  As a new quilter, you might not be sure which supplies are for hand quilting. Some things are needed regardless of whether you will be hand quilting or machine quilting. Others are hand quilting supplies that you wouldn’t use for machine quilting. Let’s take a look at the primary ones, and a few extras. Some hand quilting supplies are even cheap! Basic Sewing Supplies You Need When quilting, as when sewing, there are basic supplies. Scissors are an important supply whether hand quilting or sewing a dress. Quilters…

Some Cheap Quilting Supplies Anyone Can Use
So you like to quilt, but wince when you pay for your basic quilting supplies? Not cheap, are they! Sure, it’s nice to have the “latest and greatest”, but wouldn’t you rather be able to put that money toward the ideal fabric? Fortunately, there are some little known ways to cut down on the cost of your quilting supplies. Have you ever noticed that sometimes everyday products are also packaged as for a special use and the price goes up? They do! A lot of things that are also sold…

Basic Supplies For Quilting – Options To Know About
When you first start out quilting or have been quilting for years, you should know about your choices when it comes to your basic quilting supplies. New products are on the market all the time, and sometimes it is worth it to upgrade your basic quilting supplies, even if what you already have works “fine.” Pins – Is There A Difference? You can get the basic steel pins like our grandmothers had, but now there are so many other options, ones that make using pins more enjoyable and easy. The…
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Sampler 5 Hourglass & Blocks
Hour Glass Units and Blocks
Next we will make the hourglass units and the blocks that include these. Although no instructions on how to make these units will be given some additional instruction will be given since they will not only be made with only 2 colors. Some have 3 colors. Now don’t be afraid they are really easy to make and use the same method of construction. These will be made using trim to square procedure.

Here is the key:

Cut 2 strip 5 1/2″ wide from each colors A,C,D. Cut 1 strip 5 1/2″ wide from color B.

From your strips cut 6 squares that measure 5 1/2″of B and 10 each colors A, C, and D.

Trim all the units you make to 4 1/2″.

Using 1 A and 1B squares make 2 hour glass units. You will only use 1 in the blocks but I would recommend you trim the other 1 anyway.

Using 2 A and 2C squares make 4 hour glass units.

Using 2 A and 2D squares make 4 hour glass units.

Using 2 B and 2D squares make 4 hour glass units.

Now we come to the units that have 3 colors. These will be done in 2 steps to allow for the 3 colors. The bias squares step will be done first and then the hourglass step using 2 different combinations of the bias squares.

Make the following bias squares but do not trim them.

4 AC (use 2 sqs. each) 2 AD (use 1sq. each)

4 BC (use 2 sqs. each) 2 BD(use 1sq. each)

4 CD(use 2 sqs. each)

Press toward the D and C sides.

Using the 2AC and 2AD squares make 4 hourglass units. Be sure that the A triangles are opposite when putting the RST. Trim to 4 1/2″.

Using the 2AC and 2CD squares make 4 hourglass units. Be sure that the A triangles are opposite when putting the RST. Trim to 4 1/2″.

Using 2BC and 2BD squares make 4 hourglass units. Be sure that the B triangles are opposite when putting the RST. Trim to 4 1/2″.

Using 2BC and 2CD squares make 4 hourglass units. Be sure that the C triangles are opposite when putting the RST. Trim to 4 1/2″.

You should have the following units measure 4 1/2″.

Hourglass Blocks
7 blocks can now be made using the hourglass units as well as the units made in the previous steps. Ohio Star, Stellie, Swamp Angel, Union Square 1, Union Square 2, Contrary Wife, Combination Star, and Morning will all be made.

Use the method for laying out and piecing the units into the blocks as you did for the Jacob’s Ladder block. For each block a diagram of the block laid out with the pressing directions as will as a completed block will be given.

The first 3 blocks are Ohio Star, Stellie and Swamp Angel. Look at the blocks and see how they are similar and how they are different.

The Ohio Star uses only squares and hourglass units in 2 colors. Stellie is made of the same units but adds one more color into the block. Swamp Angel adds a fourth color and a bias square unit in the corners. Each has its own look but are very similar in construction.

For Ohio Star you need 1 square A 4 1/2″ , 4 squares D 4 1/2″, and 4 AD hourglass units. Lay them out as in the diagram and sew together in the same way you have all the other blocks. Press in the direction of the arrows.

For Stellie you need 1 square B 4 1/2″ , 4 squares D 4 1/2″, and 4 BCBD hourglass units. Lay them out as in the diagram and sew together in the same way you have all the other blocks. Press in the direction of the arrows.

Swamp Angel adds bias square units replacing the corner squares as well as another color. You will need 1 square B 4 1/2″, 4 AC hourglass units, and 4 BD 4 1/2″ bias square units. Lay them out as in the diagram and sew together in the same way you have all the other blocks. Press in the direction of the arrows.

The next three blocks are Union Square I, Union Square II, and Contrary Wife (which of course I NEVER am. LOL). From the names of the first two that they are similar is obvious but look at Contrary Wife and see how it is related to the other two.

For these three blocks and also for the Morning block the corner units will need to be made. These will use the 2 1/2″ squares and the 2 1/2″ bias square units. You will need to make 4 of each combination. I won’t give the color combinations since they are so similar and it would only be confusing. Just look at the diagrams and your key and find them in your bags.

Lay them out like this,sew, and press in the direction of the arrow. Put them in your squares bag.

For Union Square I you will need the 4 BD square bias square units you just made, 1 B 4 1/2″ square and 4 BD bias squares. Lay them out as in the diagram and sewing them together,

For Union Square II you will need the 4 BC square bias square units you just made, 1 BD snowball and 4 ACD bias squares. Lay them out as in the diagram and sewing them together, and press in the direction of the arrows.

For Contrary Wife you will need the 4 CD square bias square units with the D triangles on the outside of the units you just made, 1 A 4 1/2″ square and 4 BCD bias squares. Lay them out as in the diagram and sewing them together, and press in the direction of the arrows.

Morning uses the same corner units as the previous block as well as 2 SC snowballs and 2 BD snowballs and 1 AB hourglass unit. Lay them out as in the diagram and sewing them together, and press in the direction of the arrows.

Now the last block of the sampler quilt, Combination Star. You should only have the following units left. All the others should already be made into blocks. It has 4 BA snowballs, 1 BD snowball, and 4 ACAD hourglass units. Lay them out as in the diagram and sewing them together, and press in the direction of the arrows.

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Borders
Borders are strips of fabric that surround the central design of a quilt top. They can be simple strips of fabric or designed with pieced units or applique or both. Borders can be as simple or complicated as you want. Corners of the borders can be straight or mitered.

Strips for borders can either be cut lengthwise or crosswise from the fabric. I generally cut the strips crosswise sine less fabric is usually needed and the seams are not noticeable especially in patterned fabrics. I also do not do diagonal (mitered) seams in borders for the same reason. Depending on the design of the quilt blocks used straight or mitered corners can be chosen. If the block has many diagonal seams I choose mitered corners. If not, I choose straight.

For the sampler quilt simple plain borders with straight corners will me used. This will give you the basic technique of how to attach borders. On the wall hanging mitered corners will be applied.

Measuring the top
The top already has one “border”. The sashing strips border not only each block but also form a border for the top.

1. You will need to measure both the length and width of a top to decide which borders should go on first. Sometime the most efficient use of fabric will dictate this. If a border would have a seam in it very near the end it might be better to put the other borders (side or top/bottom) on first.

To measure for the borders fold the top both lengthwise and crosswise so that you have it folded in quarters.Measure the folds and multiply by 2. This will give you the length and width of the quilt. Measuring the quilt in this way avoids measuring the edges of the quilt which can be slightly stretched from the piecing.

2. Deciding whether to put the lengthwise or crosswise border is the next thing to do. Figure that you can get 40- 42 usable inches from most crosswise strips. If the width or length of a side is close to this or close to 83-84″ then do these borders first. This way there will be no seams right by the end of the border. If you did the other borders first there would be several seams very close together which tends to get messy.

3. To calculate the number of strips needed for your borders add the length plus the width plus the 2 times the width of the border (amount A). Take this number times 2 (amount B). Divide by 42 and this will give you the number of strips needed (amount C). Always round up.

length + width + (2 X border width)= A

A X 2 = B

B / 42 =C round up . This is the number of strips you need to cut for the border all the way around the quilt.

For this quilt the length is 72 1/2″ and the width is 58 1/2″. We will put on a 2″ border 1 using A or B fabric which will be cut 2 1/2″ wide.

Don’t be concerned if it is not this measure. None of us make perfect seams and every machine is different.

72 1/2 + 58 1/2 + 5 (which is 2 X 2 1/2″) = 136

136 X 2 = 272

288 / 42 = 6.48 so rounding up you will need 7 strips.

4. Cut the number of strips the width you need. For this quilt cut your strips for border 1 2 1/2″ wide. Occasionally you will find that you may need an additional strips since these are estimates or if you do mitred corners which take more fabric.

5. For this quilt the width and length are not so close to the width of one or 2 strips that it makes a difference as to which should be put of first. We will put the width strips on first. Measure across the middle of the quilt crosswise. If every seam is perfect the measure should be 58 1/2″. Don’t be concerned if it is not this measure. None of us make perfect seams and every machine is different.

This measure is how long you will want your border strips to be. Sew the strips together and press the seams to one side.

6. Some teachers will tell you to cut the border length from this strip. I have cut the strips 1″ to short to many times to recommend this. I measure it and put a pin at the proper length.

This way if I have mismeasured I won’t have cut the strip off wrong.

7. Fold the strip in quarters to the pin.

Place pins at each quarter spot..

8. Fold the quilt top in quarters across the edge the border will be added to and place pins at the quarter folds.

9. With RST align the border on the quilt matching up the pins and the edge of the quilt. Pin together at pins and between pins. If you need to ease a little do so evenly between the pins. If you are off less than an inch at the end fudge the end pin and distribute along the border.

Many quilters would not do this but I figure that at times my measurements may be off a little and it seems to work. If you have problems with this then remeasure very carefully and continue.

10. Sew one with the border on the top and the quilt on the bottom. Press toward the border.

11. Repeat with the opposite border.

12. Measure across the length of the quilt. (The length has now changed with the addition of the borders). Measure the border to this length. Fold in quarters and pin.

13. Fold the quilt in quarters along the edge the border will be added to and put pins in quarter marks.

14. Pin border to quilt and sew together. Press to border.

15. Repeat . The first round of borders is now complete. For the sampler quilt after the first round the quilt should measure 62 1/2″ X 76 1/2″.

16. All other plain borders are added in the same way. If you put the top borders on first in the first round then do these first on all the rest of the borders. Be consistent as to which sides you attach first.

Measure across the middle of the quilt.

Figure how many strips are needed using the following formula.

length + width + (2 X border width)= A

A X 2 = B

B / 42 =C round up to find the number of strips needed. .

Cut the strips to the proper width. Sew the strips together.

Measure for the first border strip to be added.

Fold in quarters and mark with pins.

Fold quilt in quarters along the border to be added. Mark with pins.

Pin border to quilt.

Sew and press toward border.

For the sampler the second border is cut at 4 1/2″

76 1/2″ + 62 1/2″ + 9 = 148

148 X 2 = 296

296 / 42 =7.05 round up to 8 strips.

17. Backstitch the final border on all quilts. This will keep the border seams from coming apart as the quilt is quilted.

18. Press the top. After the addtion of the second round of border strips the quilt should measure 70 1/2 X 84″.

To the Backing page

Back to Sampler Contents
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Lesson 2 Cutting
Lesson 2
You will need practice fabrics for this lesson. About 3/4 – 1 yard of 2 different fabrics 1 light and 1 dark will be needed for both this lesson and the units lesson which comes next. Don’t use your best loved fabrics or the sampler fabrics for this. Use a less expensive or uglies for this practice.

Cutting
Years ago templates, pencils, and scissors where the standard tools for cutting the pieces of to be joined into a quilt top. With the advent of the rotary cutter, rulers, and mat the way quilts are made has changed completely. Cutting strips, sewing them together, cutting the strips into units to be joined to other units, and into blocks has decreased the time it takes to make a top and increased the accuracy of the piecing. So rather than drawing templates and using them to make and cut the fabrics into small pieces to sew together, strips and squares are cut and used to make units which in turn are sewn into the blocks. Cutting accurately is extremely important for good points and flat quilts. In this lesson the basics of accurate cutting is discussed.

To wash or not to wash. That is the question. Whether it is better to prewash the fabric or not is one each quilter has to decide. Many people bring the fabric home from the store and immediately throw it into the washer and dryer. Others just take it to the cutting table and start to cut. Some of the reasons for prewashing are: shrink it before the top is made, wash out any excess dyes that can cause crocking (bleeding of colors), and wash out excess finish on the fabric. I myself have had little difficulty with shrinkage or crocking but sometimes want to wash out stiff and shiny finishes on the fabric as it slips and slides against other fabrics and the sewing machine. I don’t routinely prewash my fabrics. I don’t like all the ironing that is necessary if the fabric is washed and dried. I do test fabrics I think might crock. I also routinely wash flannels which do always shrink up a lot.

Crock test To test a fabric for crocking cut a 2″ strip off the end. Put the fabric in warm water and mix around a little. Look at the water and see if there is dye bleeding into the water. If there is rinse the fabric over and over until the water runs clear.

If the color doesn’t bleed into the water take a 2″ X 4″ piece of the fabric and place it on a wet piece of light or white fabric and allow them to dry. If the color of the test fabric bleeds onto the light then rinse the fabric over and over.

It used to be that salt or vinegar in a rinse water would help to set the colors. This doesn’t work anymore since the chemistry of the dyes is now different.

Preparing the fabric Whether you prewash or not, and that decision it totally up to you, the fabric will need at least a little pressing before you start to cut. If you have washed it you will need to iron the entire piece well. If you did not prewash the center fold and any wrinkles will have to be pressed out. A steam iron set at cotton with high steam is best for this. A spray bottle of water also helps.

Straightening the fabric In sewing class in school, a lot of years ago, we were taught to pull a thread that went all the way across the edge, trim to that mark, and pull diagonally on the fabric to “straighten the grain” if the ends didn’t hang together when the fold was held up. This is not recommended anymore. The way the fabrics are milled, folded and rolled make them impossible to straighten in this manner. The best you can hope for is that the grain will not be off so very much after you have pressed it. If it is so far off that you can see that it will not lie flat, wash or wet the fabric and iron it dry pressing it as straight as you can.

To straighten the edges as best as we can take the piece of fabric and hold it up by the fold and selvedge corners. If you have a long piece (over 2 yards) this is not possible to do well. If you have a fabric you are going to use for piecing and the back also just cut off the approximate amount needed for the piecing and set the backing aside until needed.

As you will see the selvedges probably won’t hang down together. Hold the fold and ease the selvedge of one of the selvedges up or down to bring the 2 selvedges into line with each other. This will cause the raw edges to move up or down. It can be really frustrating to have to cut off several inches of fabric but if you want straight cuts this step is very important.

Don’t cut the selvedges off until you have cut the strips from the fabric and cut the selvedges from the ends of the strips then.

Types of cuts
Straightening cut The first cut I call the straightening cut. It employs the same technique used in all cutting. By getting a good straightening cut all the rest of the cuts will be more accurate and so the pieces of the top will be more accurate leading to easier, better matched points and flatter quilt tops.

Strip cuts These are the cuts made to accurate measure for the size of the strip you will use in the construction of units within the blocks.

Clean up cuts These are cuts made after 4-5 strip cuts to straighten the edge again from the inevitable slight shifting from the 90°.

Unit cuts After the strips have been cut many will be sewn together only to be cut apart again into units. These are the unit cuts. The units will then be sewn into larger units and into blocks. Also squares or rectangles to be used as is are also unit cuts.

Cutting
Finally, you say, we get to hold something besides paper. *BG* Well grab your cutter, mat, ruler, and fabric and let’s go for it.

Straightening cut After you have pressed and adjusted the fabric so the selvedges hang together lay the fabric on the cutting mat with the fold closest to you.

Lay the 6″ X 12″ruler crosswise on the fold fabric near the left end. (If you are left handed reverse the directions left to right and right to left) Line one of the horizontal lines on the ruler along the fold.

Just to the left of this ruler lay the 6″ X 24″ ruler. Be sure that this ruler is touching the short one along its entire width. Also be sure that the edge of both the top and the bottom layer of fabric are covered by the long ruler a small amount. Hold the long one in place and remove the short one.

Hold the long ruler down with the fingers spread to cover as much of the ruler as feels comfortable holding the bottom half of the ruler. Don’t have the bottom of the ruler right on the fold of the fabric. This leads to jabbing the blade against the bottom of the ruler nicking the blades.

Hold the cutter at a comfortable angle with the blade at a 90 degree to the table and ruler. If the blade is tilled toward the ruler you will shave off the edge of the ruler and make the cut strip slightly larger than the measurement. If it is tilted away from the ruler it will make the cut slightly smaller than the measurment and tend to head off away from the ruler into the fabric causing waste of the fabric.

Starting just off the fold of the fabric and with the cutter against the ruler, cut to about half way up the ruler. Don’t saw back and forth with the cutter. It will cut cleanly with one firm stroke. You don’t have to press to hard either. Don’t lift the cutter out of the fabric. Gently lift your hand and move it up to the upper half of the ruler. Holding the ruler down continue the cut past the top edge of the fabric. Discard the portion cut off.

You can do the other end of the fabric by moving the ruler to the other end, aligning a horizontal ruler line along the fold and cutting in the same manner.

Strip cutting
There are 2 ways to make strip cuts. Across the full width of the fabric like in the straightening cut and by folding the fabric and using the short ruler. The preferred method is up to you. Try both ways and decide for yourself which one you are most comfortable with. If you fold the fabric, carefully fold it toward you and line up the cut edge.

Find the measurement that you want on the ruler. Practice by using a 2 1/2″ measurement on your practice fabric. Line the 2 1/2″ line on the ruler along the cut edge and one of the horizontal lines along the fold nearest you. This will help keep the strips square.

*****Practice***** Cut 3-4 strips 2 1/2″ wide. After this amount it is wise to do a clean up cut. These strips will be used to make the practice 4-patch units and bias squares.

Clean up cuts
A clean up cut is just the same as a straightening cut that you did to start your cutting straight. Cut off as small an amount of fabric as you can. Don’t cut off more than the barest amount that you feel comfortable cutting off as this will waste fabric.

Be sure to hold the blade straight up and down against the ruler and not at an angle in toward or away from the ruler as this will lead to slightly smaller strips and the likelihood of heading off away from the ruler with the blade out into the fabric wasting lots of fabric with extra cleanup cuts.

Cuts from strips

After cutting the strips that you need from your fabric squares and rectangles can be cut from them. Turn one of the strips you cut crosswise in front of you with the fold to the right. The strip is still folded over in the center. If you folded the fabric during the strip cutting unfold it so that it is only folded over once.

First cut off the selvedge in the same way you did a clean up cut. Next align your ruler, usually the shorter ruler is easier to work with, with the measurement of the piece you need to cut aligned along the cut edge of the strip and cut as many as you need or that the strip will do.

*****Practice***** Cut one strip into squares by using a 2 1/2″ measure. Do a clean up cut after every 4-5 cuts.

Large segment cuts

Sometimes the length of the strip segments does not make the most efficient use of the width of the fabric to cut lengths from. An example of this is sashing strips for a 12″ finished block. You will need 12 1/2″ cut strips. By cutting a strip the width that you would need, say 2 1/2″, you would be able to cut 3 rectangles 2 1/2 X 12 1/2″ with about 6″ of the strip left. Instead you may want to cut the strip 12 1/2″ wide and cut 2 1/2″ strips from it. This would give you 16 -17 rectangles 2 1/2 X 12 1/2″ with very little waste.

If you need to cut a length of fabric larger than your ruler is wide you will need 2 rulers.

Subtract the width of your long ruler from the width that you need to cut your strip. Align the short ruler on the edge of the fabric so that the width of the long ruler and the measure on the short ruler add up to the needed measurement. Position the long ruler up against the short one and cut the strip.

Example: If your long ruler is 6″ wide and you need strips that are 12 1/2″ long then subtract the 6 from the 12 1/2″. That will leave 6 1/2″. Align the short ruler on the fabric to this 6 1/2″ measure. Position the long ruler up against the short one. This will make the total width of the fabric to cut to be 12 1/2″.

*****Practice***** Do one large segment cut from both pieces of your practice fabrics that measure 16 1/2″. These will be used to practice the bias squares and the hour glass squares.

***** A length of static sticker or tape along the line of the measurement you are cutting is a help when cutting a number of strips all one width. It helps in quickly finding the correct measurement for cutting.*****

*****Advanced technique~ Line up the long ruler for straightening or clean up cuts with one ruler to the right of edge to be trimmed and cut carefully with the left hand. Take it very slow and careful. If you get used to this technique you can save lots of time straightening and cleanup cutting.
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quilting 1.3

Quilting Supplies – What you need to keep on hand
Here are some basic quilting supplies that you will need to keep in stock.

Quilting Fabric

Yep. That’s obvious.

Quilters refer to the quilting fabric they have on hand as their “stash.” Sometimes stashes can get quite high. There’s even a stashbusters online yahoo group to help fabicholics.

The good thing is that you will probably gravitate toward a certain style. I mean, I was surprised when “magically” I had enough fabric for a stash, scrap quilt and everything matched.

Like there are clothing lines, there are a ton of different quilt fabric lines. You can count on most to stay near their niche. Amy Butler is modern. Moda? You will probably get a traditional type of quilt. Michael Miller features more novelty fabric.

It’s good to be aware of the different types of fabric lines so that you can know where to go when you’re looking to make a specific kind of quilt. When it comes to quilting supplies, fabric is on the top of the list.

Thread

If you have a basic sewing machine, you can use good old Dual Duty. It’s what is in my machine. If you can, however, get your hands on some Gutermann thread. If you have a high end machine, it is a necessity.

As for colors, buy neutral thread for piecing. For my bright quilts, I use white thread. For my darker quilts, I like beige. Keeping your piecing thread neutral means that you can really take advantage of the big box fabric store sales on thread.

Quilt Batting

Ah, batting can be the most confusing choice when it comes to quilting supplies. There are a couple of questions that you need to ask yourself before you choose the right batting for a project.

What will this quilt be used for? You can get away with a different batting for a wall hanging than one that you are hoping will become a little one’s favorite blanket. Baby quilts will probably be washed and dried a lot. You will need a batting that will hold up to all of that abuse, uh, I mean loving.

Is warmth important? Would the recipient of the quilt be happier with a quilt that is backed with fleece because it would be warmer? In that case, you may be able to forgo batting all together.

And this is may seem shallow but notice how far apart the batting needs to be quilted. Do you really want to quilt every four inches? I don’t. I know this would drive me crazy and I’d only use batting like this for a small wall hanging.

Then again, the quilts I make are for every day use and probably wouldn’t make it past a cursory glance of a quilt judge. If you aspire to hand quilt a masterpiece or to use a long arm machine, then quilting every four inches could be the perfect batting for you.

It’s all about intended use. Once you know what kind of quilt you want to produce, choosing the batting becomes easy.

Tip – Buy the largest piece of bagged batting you can when it is on sale. You can always cut it up for smaller projects.

Quilt Labels

You can make your own quilt label with a piece of muslin and a permanent fabric pen. Write your name, the date, the intended recipient and the name of the quilt on the scrap of fabric. Then, stitch this to the back of the quilt.

There are also some quilt labels that are produced by fabric companies. The first quilt label I used was from a Christmas fabric line. I used some Wonder Under to apply it to the back of the quilt so that it stuck. Although Wonder Under is supposed to be permanent, I really should have stitched it down.

Another alternative is to sign the back of the quilt, directly mark on the quilt with again, a permanent, fabric pen.

So, there you have it – fabric, thread batting and labels. You can never go wrong stocking up on these basic quilting supplies.

Return from Quilting Supplies to Easy Quilting Central
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Quilt Book – Valuable Books for Your Quilting Library

Looking for a quilt book to start or add to your quilting library? There are three types that you’ll need – reference, pattern and inspirational.

The Reference Book or How do I Do That Again?
Most quilting books of any kind will include basic instructions on how to quilt. But, unless they are a beginning quilting book, that is all that they will contain.

Even beginner quilting books will not contain a lot of information because they want to make things as simple as possible for the beginning quilter. You will usually only get one way to perform a quilting technique such as binding a quilt with a minimal amount of pictures.

So, what’s the solution? A reference quilt book. A reference book will give you options. Instead of one way to baste a quilt, for example, you may get three with step-by-step instructions.

Sometimes even a pattern book can be used as a reference book if the General Instructions section is good enough.

The thing to remember about reference books is that you pull them out when you want to know how to do something. That can be a quilting technique or even how to complete a quilt in 90 minutes. It’s a good quilt book to have in your arsenal.

The Pattern Book or The Good Stuff
This is what most folks think of when they think of a quilt book. A pattern book is just that – a book of patterns. When looking for this type of book, look at what techniques you are familiar with.

If you a strip quilting type of person, look for a book that contains strip quilting instructions . Do you love fat quarters? There are plenty of fat quarter specific books out there. Want to try scrap quilting? There’s a book for that. It’s also a good idea to have a pattern book that is just above your current level . This book should should stretch you and force you to try new techniques or develop the patience that it takes to make a beautiful quilt.

I usually have a rule of three when it comes to pattern books – I’ve got to be interested in making three quilts from the book. That makes the book cost effective when it comes to purchasing a book versus individual patterns.

The main piece of advice that I can give you to make sure that either you are comfortable with the techniques in the instructions of the pattern quilt book or you are ready to make the next leap in your quilting development.

Inspirational Book or Ooh and Aah
Some may call these coffee table books. They are usually huge and oversized. I like just looking at them and getting inspired to quilt and also for quilt designs.

Some books, like Quiltmaking by Hand by Jinny Beyer are supposed to be instructional/reference books, but I get inspired by flipping through them because of their intricate quilts.

I also have the book from the Gee’s Bend museum exhibit that traveled the country. That book reminds me that you can make art out of anything.

Those women used what they had, they broke the rules and in the process of making a functional quilt to keep them warm, they made art.

If that isn’t inspirational, I don’t know what is.

So, if you are looking to start or add to your quilting library, consider a good balance between reference, pattern and inspirational books. A good mix will allow you to get more quilts finished, while still pushing you to become a better quilter. And isn’t that what we all want?

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Memory Quilt Ideas

Thinking of creating a memory quilt but not sure where you start? You’ve come to the right place. Here are five ideas to get you started.

Album Quilt

The oldest type of memory quilt is the album quilt or signature quilt. These type of quilts marked special occassions or were given as a gift when someone moved away. The album is not of pictures but of signatures.

The only requirement is the center of the block is either white fabric of a muslin in order for someone to sign their name. Once completed, you’ll have a living memory of that snapshot in time.

These can be made from a rail fence pattern or crazy quilt pattern or really any block where there is a blank space.

Photo Memory Quilts

You can now put yourself in your quilt. Or your kids or your family. Photo memory quilts are excellent gifts for grandparents.

Print out the picture on photo transfer paper and then iron it on your chosen fabric. Once you do that, you can use it just as a regular block.

You could put the pictures of far-flung family members in an I-Spy quilt or use each picture as the center of a star block.

These type of quilts are very versatile because whereever you would use a square in a quilt pattern, you can substitute the picture for it.

Clothes Quilt

Use the clothes of someone who has passed away as material for a quilt. For men’s shirts, there are now quite a few quilt pattern that use plaids. For ladies, you can use their fabric from their favorite formal dress or silk blouse as material in a crazy quilt block.

Every time you look at the quilt, you can smile because it is from a piece of clothing that you loved one wore.

T-Shirt Quilts

These are popular for a reason. If you have an athlete, sorority girl or frat boy in your family, they have plenty of t-shirts.

Take those t-shirts that would probably be thrown out and make a quilt out of them.

You just have to get over your fear of making a mistake. This is why I strongly recommend keeping ugly t-shirts around to experiment with as your first project. Get the interfacing and the dimensions right and then go to town.

If you are still unsure and you do not have a quilt design software, it is time to get out good ole graph paper and crayons to make sure you have the proper porportions.

Crayon Quilts

Want your gift to be a hit on Mother’s Day or Christmas? Have the little ones draw pictures as blocks with crayon quilts. Add Sashing. Present. Done. The receiver will have an original work of art that they will treasure.

So, there you have some ideas for creating your own memory quilt. Use one, two or all of the suggestions. The best thing about this type of quilt is that it is unique. And isn’t that a reason why we quilt, anyway? To create something unique?

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Nine Patch Quilt Block – How to Make and How to Use

A nine patch quilt block is just about the easiest block you can make. It also has the benefit of being one of the most versatile. So, what is it and how can you use it to turn your scraps into someting beautiful? Let’s find out.

What Is It?
It’s really very simple. A nine patch quilt block is made up of nine parts. These can be the same size or not. What makes the block is the contrast in values between the sections.

There will usually have light and dark value. Now, these nine sections can have all the same color like when you’re quilting a basic Irish Chain or They can have a variety of colors like the Puss in Boots block.

How to Make It
Strip Piecing is your best bet. For a standard 9 patch if you want a 6 inch block, you’ll need to cut out 3 – 2.5 inch strips of your dark or bright fabrics and 3 – 2.5 strips of your light fabric. Create 2 strip sets:

Dark-Light-Dark

Light-Dark-Light

Cut the strip sets 2.5 inches times the width of the fabric Sew them the in sets following ways to create your block:

Dark-Light-Dark

Light-Dark-Light

Dark-Light -Dark

How to Use it
Alternate with plain blocks

As mentioned above, you can create a basic Irish chain quilt. That is you alternate it with a block of the background fabric. The main color pop and it looks like there’s a chain. Another option is just to alternate the block with a plain block of the same size

Alternate with Half-Square Triangles This is something really simple that can pack a punch. First, look in your stash to see what you have a lot of. should be a dark color and a light color. Make half-square triangles blocks. Then make 9 patch quilt blocks that coordinate with these colors.

It works best if they fall between the color ranges and are in the same color family. By the same family I mean brights, country colors, civil war reproductions, that kind of thing.

You do not need the same fabric line, but you do need the same color family. As I’ve mentined before on my scrap quilting page after you have created a few projects you will notice that you gravitate toward a certain type of fabric and this will not be a problem.

Sashing

Sashing is also an option. Don’t have a lot of time and need a quick charity quilt? It doesn’t get much easier than this. Instead of cutting 2.5 inch strips for your 9 patches, cut your strips 4.5 inches. That will finish as a 12 inch block. Set 3 blocks x 4 blocks with sashing and you’ve got yourself a quilt top.

Setting on Point

You can also set this on point using setting triangles.

Tools in Your Toolbox
A nine patch quilt blockis a good quilt block to have in your quilting toolbox. It’s easy, lends itself to strip-piecing and versatile.

If you are a by-the-book quilter you can use this block and if you are a scrap/stash quilting who likes to quilt you can use it too. Simple doesn’t mean boring. The only limit really is your imagination.

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Quilting Sewing Machine Selection Tips

Wondering how you should select your first quilting sewing machine? Confused by all the choices?

You don’t need to spend a lot of money when choosing your first machine. You just need to find the right machine for your specific needs. Here are some tips how to choose the right quilting sewing machine for you.

Tip 1 – Borrow a machine first
There are plenty of people out there who have mammoth singer sewing machines in their closets. Or they decided to catch the sewing bug only to lose it a couple of months.

Put the word out that you’re looking to borrow a sewing machine. You will want to complete your first project on a borrowed machine to figure out what you need.

While you’re working with this machine, write down all your wants. This may be a quarter-inch seam piecing foot, a walking foot and/or a quilting foot.

Also, write down all your problems. You will need this information when you go in search of your quilting sewing machine.

This will also let you know if you like quilting in the first place. If you don’t, you can stop now and you won’t be out any money. Just time.

In this case, you can stop now.

Tip 2 – Know Your Price Range
Know how much you are willing to spend on your new quilting sewing machine before you even start looking. Do not go to a specialty sewing machine shop and start drooling over models not in your price range.

Instead, make up your mind to get the absolute best machine that you can for the money you are able to spend.

Tip 3 Know What You’ll Be Using This For
Someone who primarily quilts mini quilts will need a different machine than someone who makes queen-sized quilts on a regular basis. The weekend quilter will probably need a different machine than a professional.

And, if you are someone who has all your work professional quilted or is primarily a hand quilter, then the fact that a machine comes with a walking and quilting foot would not be an advantage for you.

I’ve found that most quilters make baby quilts, lap quilts and art quilts. These are small projects that any regular sewing machine can handle. View my sewing machine above. It is a 3/4 machine, mini workhorse. I love it!

Tip 4 – Do Your Research
Sew on the machine you are thinking about purchasing. This is another place where it is helpful if you belong to a quilt guild.

If you are thinking of purchasing a machine, see if there is anyone in your guild who has a similar machine. It is always helpful to take the machine out on a test run.

If you have a sewing machine specialty shop, this is a necessity. The ones I’ve visited encourage you to bring a “quilt sandwich” to test out their machines. You could also bring some piecing. This is an investment.

Don’t forget about online resources. Nowadays there are ample reviews of sewing machines online that you can look over. Check out Consumer Reports ratings. Look at reviews on sewing forums.

Do your due diligence. Choose the right machine and you will not need to buy another one.

Tip 5 – Consider service after the sale
If you are going for a high-end machine, think about how you will get it serviced. What’s the point of having a Bernina if there is not an authorized dealer in your state? Could someone walk you through any glitches you may have? What’s the probability that someone in your quilt guild will have a similar machine?

If you are going to pay the money for a nice machine, make sure that you will be able to take care of it.

So, those are five tips on choosing a quilting sewing machine that suits all your needs. Because each person’s situation is so different, you will rarely find someone who will tell you straight out what you should buy.

Do your due diligence, ask lots of questions online and off, test different machines and you will find a machine that will last you for years.

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Finding Quilt Ideas – Five Places to Look
Never be starved for quilt ideas again. You can find quilt ideas everywhere you look. The following are my favorite places:

1. Blogs

One thing great about the internet is that there are a lot of quilting blogs. Most of them belong to a group of similar bloggers so that if you find one you like you will be able to find another one. You can either follow these through your blog reader or subscribe through email.

2. Magazines

Yes, quilting magazines. I remember seeing one pattern on the cover of a magazine and liked it so much I made it at home. It was a simple pattern. I made the blocks bigger and changed the colors, but kept the same look.

You do not need to reproduce a pattern exactly. You can use it as inspiration.

And there are other magazines out there too. You may want to take your cue from apparel sewing. What is “in” right now? How are fabrics being combined? Try that with your next quilt or for the fashionista in your family.

3. Floors

Next time you’re in a building, look down. Tile floors usually have geometric designs that can easily translate into a quilt pattern. This is where having a camera phone comes in handy. When I see an interesting tile floor, I take a picture of it.

Same goes for carpets. If I find a color combination that works but I never would put together, I take a picture of it and think about using the combination in my next quilt.

By the way, looking up works, too. Older buildings have beautiful ceilings. It might spark something.

4. Art Museums

Don’t you go there to get inspired? Check with the museum regarding their policy concerning picture taking, taking notes and/or sketching. My local museum only allows writing in pencil in the gallery except for special sketching sessions. That’s fine. Just ask.

Something might catch your eye – the color, the composition or even quotes. Jot down whatever strikes you as being interesting and remember that you are an artist. Check on line and in person. Feed your creativity!

5. Antique Quilts

Get quilt ideas from old quilts. These can be from thrift stores, actual quilt museums or my personal favorite place – ebay. Seeing these pieces of history might spark something in your mind for your own quilt.

So those are some places where you can find inspiration when you’re starving. Be encouraged, quilt ideas are everywhere. You just need to look around.

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Quiltville’s Patches and Pinwheels Review
Name of Pattern

Patches and PinwheelsDesigner

Bonnie Hunter

What You Get

I love Bonnie Hunter’s patterns because she gives you step by step instructions with pictures. You get instructions for the 6 inch block which will make an 86″ x 86″ quilt.

Fabric Choices

According to the instructions you only need to separate your fabrics into lights and darks. On the surface, this seems like simple advice. And it is if you don’t over think it.

Basically, this is all about color contrasts. As you can see in my quilt, sometimes my lights weren’t exactly light enough, they were more medium. But, because the quilt is all about contrasts, it works.

What I Like About It

This is a fun quilt to put together when stashbusting. The most fun is looking at what goes with what else and how the final quilt will look.

What Could Be Better

Bonnie uses the easy angle ruler. I have this tool and it is the only way I would try a quilt like this. She doesn’t provide instructions for making the pinwheel blocks another way, though. That’s my only quibble for this one.

What I Changed

Y’all, I really do not like 6-inch blocks. I was afraid that I would get bored with making this quilt and have it descend into the land of yet another unfinished object (UFO.)

So, I made 8-inch blocks instead. My strips were 2.5 inches instead of 2 inches and I cut 4.5 inch strips with my easy angle ruler to make the pinwheel blocks.

Was this the right choice? No. The smaller blocks give the quilt more motion and movement. When I make this pattern again, I’ll go with the 6-inch blocks.

Tips

Play with your pinwheel blocks. When I first laid out this quilt, I didn’t like it. The pinwheel blocks stood out too much because they were made of all the same color half-square triangles. I made each half-triangle square scrappy and turned a couple of them around and was very pleased with the result.

For a quilt like this, I highly recommend taking a picture of proposed layout and letting the layout sit overnight until you make sure that you like it.

Also, this doesn’t have to be a scrappy quilt. You can use one dark for the 16 patches and a different dark for the pinwheel blocks.

Bottom Line

It’s a winner. Patches and Pinwheels has been printed out, 3-hole punched and stuck in my free quilt pattern notebook.

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Quilt Square Patterns – Book Review for folks who don’t have time to quilt
Looking for a book of quilt square patterns? I’ve got the one for you. It has a long name, but it is a good addition to your pattern library.

It is called Quilting for People Who Still Don’t Have Time to Quilt by Marti Michell.

The book features strip-pieced, square patterns. This is an excellent pattern book to transition from being a beginner to an intermediate.

The patterns are arranged in order of difficulty. So, you can work from the front to the back to get a good handle on strip piecing techniques.

The first pattern in the book is a gorgeous, scrappy rail fence that is tied. Honestly, I don’t know an easier project you can start. The last is the Buygoyne Surrounded Basic.

The win for me for this book is that the author shows you how to break a pattern down into its individual units. You can learn how to “see” the blocks of a pattern.

There are also very specific information on how the projects pictured in the book were quilted such as the type of thread used and if it was stitched in the ditch.

I really love the reference section of these large pattern books and this one does not disappoint. Although detailed, I would not recommend this as your very first book. After you have your first baby quilt under you belt, this is a great first pattern book, though.

Instructions include variations on each pattern. Sometimes it’s how the quilt would look set on point. Other times there is information on how to reduce the size of the patchwork.

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Quilting Tools for Easy Quilting
What quilting tools do you absolutely need to start quilting? Honestly, you really only need a good pair of scissors. You could make a totally hand-stitched and hand-quilted masterpiece.

And you could also get frustrated in the process.

With the addition of a few tools, you can make your quilting life many times easier. You’ll be able to piece faster and with more accuracy. Which will lead to more finished projects.

Best of all, you really do not need to buy the whole quilt shop, though you may be tempted. Hmmm… Or is that just me? Uh, sorry. Ready?

Let’s start off with a sewing machine . You just need a basic machine that sews straight. I piece and quilt on a 3/4 size machine I nicknamed Big Blue.

Big Blue works great. It has a straight stitch, a zigzag stitch and can sew through denim. It’s small enough to be portable. It does everything I need it to do.

That point is that you can start with any basic machine. Ask around. You will probably find someone who is not using their sewing machine. Ask if you can borrow it.

Don’t worry about getting a top of the line model now. You can always buy an expensive machine if you fall in love with quilting.

Are you looking for more information on how to choose first machine? Here are my top five tips.

The only attachment that I consider a must have is a walking foot. It is an attachment to your machine that makes it easier to machine quilt.

I did not last long without this attachment. It may have cost a third of what my parents paid for my sewing machine, but it was worth it.

If you don’t get a walking foot, you can still finish your quilt by tying or hand-quilting. Tying is quick and works well with some quilt patterns. You could try to machine quilt without a special foot, but it could be frustrating.

To cut your fabric, you will need a rotary cutter, self-healing mat and quilting ruler. These quilting tools work together to accurately cut strips of fabric. You may be thinking “what’s the big deal?”

These cut strips are then pieced together and sub-cut in blocks to make patterns without templates. They are definitely needed if want to finish projects quick and in a hurry .

There are, of course, more quilting tools out there. These are just the ones that I use on a regular basis with all my quilts.

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Quilting Tips – Tips to make quilts easier and faster

If you want some easy quilting tips, you have come to the right place. Here are some tips that I have picked up over the years of doing more with less and tricking folks into thinking I’m a much better quilter than I really am.

Digital Camera

A digital camera is not just for taking pictures of the kids. I use my digital camera just about as much as I use my iron. Sometimes you can’t see a design because you’re too close to it. I take my digital camera and take pictures of different layouts of blocks. Taking pictures to document gift quilts is also a good use.

Invisible Thread

If I had known about the wondefulness of invisible thread earlier I’m sure I would have gotten up the nerve to quilt my first project sooner.

Invisible thread is exactly what it says it is – invisible. It’s a good tool for beginners because it means that your mistakes are not as obvious. After you’ve gained confidence, you can move on to colored thread.

The Kitchen Timer

The best ever quilting tool is my kitchen timer. I have found that I can do anything for twenty minutes. Seriously. Anything. And in twenty minutes you can get quite a few things done.

You can select a pattern and the fabric from your stash to make the pattern.

You can cut your fabric.

You can pin your strips for your strip quilting.

You can run a couple of strip rows through your sewing machine.

All you need is twenty minutes. In a pinch, you really only need ten. And once you have that time set out for yourself- you know that it’s is your time to quilt.

Goal Calendar

The best inspiration is a deadline. If you need to finish a quilt on a deadline such as Christmas or a baby shower, make a count down calendar. Take a calendar that is in your sewing place and put numbers from Day Zero to the current date. Each day, make a mark. This simple task will keep you on task.

Vision

Keep a picture of your propose completed quilt right above your quilting workplace. It will inspire you as you work through the more mundane parts of the quilting process like basting.

Make Your Own Quilt Kits

I always want to move on to the next project. I mean, that next quilt just seems way more appealing than what I’m currently working on. So, in order to satisfy my wonderlust, I just make my own quilt kids.

I include what pattern I want to use and cut the fabric strips and stick them in one of those gallon zip lock bags. I also write down some notes on a 3 x 5 index card such as the possible recipient, some variations of the quilt theme and stick it in my stash closet.

Now, all my fabric is there when I need it and now I have the inspiration to continue the project I’d been meaning.

Those are just a couple of my quilting tips. Interested in Christmas quilting tips? Click here to discover tips that will help you come up with a plan to get your gifts completed on time and while still keeping your sanity.

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Scrap Quilting Tips

If you have ever wanted to try scrap quilting, but was concerned about the finished product, this is the place for you. Here are some tips to get you through your first a hundredth scrap quilt.

1. Mindset – It’s an ExperimentThis is not a gift for your mother-in-law or the first grandchild in the family. Decide from the start that whatever the outcome, this quilt will hold a place of honor in your linen closet for cold winter nights.

Just knowing that this quilt is for you, will take the pressure off. You can experiment and play with fabric. There is no deadline. No pressure. No worrying about what people will think or if they will be sufficiently appreciative of your work of art.

Nope. This baby is all yours.

2. Choose your color palette – rustic or bright or pastel

Chances are that you gravitate towards the same types of fabric. There are people who love bright colors. Then there are folks who have more of a country palette. When you start looking at your fabric stash for your project, you are going to find out something about your tendencies.

Stick to one overall color palette. As a quilter, you know that there are a million and one colors that can be green. A hunter green is different from a true green and that’s different from an apple green. If you’re going country, then make sure all the colors are all of that dark hue. Brights go all together.

If something doesn’t quite fit in your scrap quilt, you will know it, too.

3. Use the camera’s black and white feature for values.

If you can’t tell if the fabric value is dark or a medium or a light, Set your camera on black and white and snap a picture. You will be able to tell the different values better when you look at them compared to each other.

4. Wait Overnight

Sometimes we look at our creations and just shake our heads. Most of the time when that happens it is because we are too close to it. Let it sit overnight. Better yet, take a picture of it. Sometimes we can see something different in the picture than what we see on our design wall.

5. The Goal is to Learn something

Nothing is ever wasted as long as you can learn something from the experience. Take what you have learn about color and fabric selection for your next quilt. Stretch yourself.

See. There is nothing to be afraid of scrap quilting.

One of my favorite sayings is that when life gives you scraps, make a quilt. So, get going and try going scrappy!

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12″ Finished Block Die Set
Just getting started with the GO! Fabric Cutter? This 10-piece Mix & Match set of eight versatile dies and two compatible cutting mats gives you the jump start you need to begin cutting fantastic quilts right out of the box! Use the precision cut, companion shapes to create familiar 12″ finished quilt blocks or combine them in different ways to fashion original geometric designs. The only limit is your own imagination!
Set includes one each of the following:

* GO! Cutting Mat-5″ x 10″ (55110)
* GO! Cutting Mat-6″ x 12″ (55112)
* (A) GO! Square-6 1/2″ (55000)
* (B) GO! Square-3 1/2″ (55006)
* (C) GO! Triangle-6 1/2″ (55001)
* (D) GO! Triangle-4 7/8″ (55002)
* (E) GO! Half Square-3″ Finished Triangle (55009)
* (F) GO! Square-4 3/4″ (55019)
* (G) GO! Parallelogram-3 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ (55004)
* (H) GO! Rectangle-3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ (55005)

Care & Maintenance: Cutter
For best results, always keep your GO! cutter clean and lint free. To clean the cutter inside and out, use a soft dry cloth. Avoid abrasives, solvents and spray cleaners. If necessary, wipe with a damp cloth, then polish with a dry cloth. Use canned air to clear lint from roller area. The GO! fabric cutter does not have replacement parts.

Care & Maintenance: Dies
Use adhesive lint roller to clean and thread from dies. After each use, with the die pick provided with the cutter, remove any threads imbedded between blades and foam. (Be careful…die pick is sharp!) It’s normal for threads to get caught where blades meet in a die. Remove with tweezers or die pick. Die blades never need to be sharpened. Organize dies with GO! Storage Rack (55115).

Limited One-Year Warranty
We promise your personal AccuQuilt GO! cutter will be free from defects in material or workmanship when used as directed. If you experience a manufacturing defect within one year after purchase, AccuQuilt will repair or replace the cutter at no charge. Improper use, excessive wear and tear caused by commercial use and/or damage caused by the user will void the warranty. This warranty covers only the cutting unit–not mats or dies. To receive a replacement unit, return the cutter to the place you purchased it. AccuQuilt GO! dies are guaranteed for one year.
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Quilting Design Software: The Top Picks

There are actually hundreds of different options that you have when it comes to quilting design software, but of all these, there are a few quilting design software programs in particular which are going to be worth you checking out, and which will be discussed here in more detail for you.
Quilt Design Studio

One quilting design software program that you may want to purchase is Quilt Design Studio. This is a super easy to use software that will help you become the best quilter you can possibly be. It is also affordable which is nice because then you do not need to worry about spending a fortune just to improve your quilting talent.

This quilting design software program includes 200 pre-drawn quilt blocks and a palette of 3,000 quilting fabrics, which is very impressive and makes it ideal for use whether you are a beginner quilter or experienced. All you need to do with this quilting design software program is choose your layout and then add borders and sashing with the click of a button.

They have a quilt block library which is sorted by block type, such as four-patch and nine-patch for instance, and this makes it very easy to navigate.

You can even use this software to print your projects as full-page drawings, and the program is able to create yardage estimates for you, complete with fabric swatch samples.

There are no other quilting software programs like this one out there today, and complete manuals are even included with this program. The software’s movie clips are very helpful, and animation and voice explanations illustrate exactly how to use important tools. No matter what questions you may have when you start using this software, you will find the answers in the Help section, so you will never have to worry about getting confused and not knowing how to use the software.

Also remember that you can use the Internet for much more than just finding a quilting design software program, and in fact you can find anything you need, from quilting tools and materials to a free quilting design.

Make sure that you take some time to read some reviews before you actually go out and purchase this software, just to see what other consumers had to say about it and get a better idea as to whether or not you think this software program would be right for you and if you would enjoy it.
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quilting fabric

Quilting is a fantastic hobby, one that everyone and anyone can enjoy. It is not difficult to learn, and does not take up a lot of your time so you can do it in your spare time during the day. If you are interested in learning how to quilt, there are a few steps that you will need to take and a few things that you will need to be aware of. The Basics In order to prepare for quilting, you will first need to decide is what designs…Quilting is one of the most popular hobbies these days, one that anyone can do. It is not only enjoyable but as well you can end up with some beautiful creations that you can either keep for yourself or give as gifts to your family or friends. If you are interested in quilting, you will first need to purchase the right quilting fabric. There are lots of different options that you have to choose from here, and it really all depends on what type of quilting pattern you choose which will…There are quite a lot of different types of fabric that can be used for quilting, but the cotton quilting fabric is certainly the most popular, and for good reason. For one, the cotton quilting fabric is very versatile and can be used in most quilting projects. It is also very comfortable, so whether you are making a quilt for a bed or quilting a piece of clothing, it will feel good against the skin. Cotton quilting fabric is also very affordable, which is especially nice if you quilt frequently and do not…Yes, you absolutely can find discount quilting fabric, as long as you shop at the right places. Whether you are looking specifically for Moda quilting fabric or any other type, there are various retailers that you can go through and always rely on to find the best value for your quilting fabric. Fabric Blowout As the name implies, this is a company that is always offering blowouts on their fabric selections. They offer an array of discount quilting fabric that you can choose from, and here you can find…Anyone looking for flannel quilting fabric or any other type should know that they can rely on the Moda quilting fabric that is available. With the Moda quilting fabric you know that you are getting the highest quality quilting fabric and at the most affordable price. The Moda Company offers an array of different quilting fabrics to choose from, all at unbeatable prices. What’s New One of the best things about the Moda quilting fabric company is that they are always updating their selection and offering new and exciting…Just as there is for Christmas quilting fabric, there is are various patterns that you can complete using flannel quilting fabric. Of the thousands upon thousands of different flannel quilting fabric projects that you may be interested in, here is one that you will definitely want to try. Scrappy Flannel Quilt This is an easy quilt pattern that you will definitely want to try if you have some plaid fabric. First you want to get the flannel quilting fabric that you need and then wash and dry all fabric together…

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Can You Find a Free Quilting Design?

One thing that all quilting enthusiasts wonder is whether or not they are ever going to be able to find a free quilting design. This is important, especially if you quilt for a living, you are going to need to get quite a large quilting design template collection, and if some of these were not free quilting design options, you would be spending a heck of a lot of money.
Fortunately, you are able to get a free quilting design, and the best place to find a free quilting design is on the Internet. Of all the different online companies that you can go through to find a quilting design for free here are a few of the best and which you will definitely want to check out for yourself.

All Crafts

This is one company that you can go through if you want to find a free quilting design. All Crafts is a company that is renowned in the world of crafting, and in particular quilting. They offer not only quilting designs and projects that you can choose from, but as well quilting tools and materials to help get you started and ensure that you always have the most success with every quilting pattern that you take on.

They offer quilt blocks and patterns, rotary cutting and quilt marking tips and tricks, and as well technique advice on quilt care, borders and finishing a quilt, quilt racks and hangers, computer quilting, appliqué, hand quilting and piecing, and more.

Free Patterns

Another company you may want to check out if you are looking for a free quilting design is Free Patterns. Here you will always find exactly what you need, because they already offer one of the largest selections of quilting projects on the Internet today, and then they are updating and adding to their collection every day as well.

They have some great tips and hints offered on quilting, so if you are a beginner just getting started you will have the most success and be able to learn about the different quilting terms and techniques, which may be confusing to you at first otherwise.

Quilting is a really great hobby to get into, but the best way to do it is to grt yourself as educated as possible first, so that you best understand the hobby and how to get into it. This way you will not end up feeling lost or confused when you start your first project.
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Why Cotton Quilting Fabric is Ideal

There are quite a lot of different types of fabric that can be used for quilting, but the cotton quilting fabric is certainly the most popular, and for good reason. For one, the cotton quilting fabric is very versatile and can be used in most quilting projects. It is also very comfortable, so whether you are making a quilt for a bed or quilting a piece of clothing, it will feel good against the skin.
Cotton quilting fabric is also very affordable, which is especially nice if you quilt frequently and do not want to be spending a fortune on fabric.

Where to Buy

Once you have found the pattern that you would like to follow, you will now need to go about buying the cotton quilting fabric that you need. Luckily for quilting enthusiasts around the world, there are some fantastic discount quilting fabric stores that are available and which you can visit if you want to get your quilting fabric at the most affordable price.

Quilting Cotton

This should definitely be one of the first stores that you check out. The Quilting Cotton Company offers fabrics of all sorts for quilts and garments, and they are always receiving new inventory so you can keep checking back to see what is new and interesting. Check back often to see what new arrivals they have in stock.

The Cotton Shop

This is another company that you will want to check out if you are looking for cotton quilting fabric. They specialize in the cotton fabric for quilting so you can find a great selection of it here. They are a fantastic company that you can go through if you are looking for a gorgeous, fun, unique quilting fapic, including cotton and many others.

They carry materials from only the carry top manufacturers, such as Alexander Henry, Michael Miller, Clothworks, Robert Kaufman, Hoffman, Kona bay, MODA, Kaffe Fassett, and many more.

eBay

Or possibly you would like to check out a company such as eBay, which as well provides an array of quilting fabric for you to choose from, cotton and many other types as well. You will need to be careful whenever you are shopping with eBay or any other online retailer however, because it can be difficult to figure out just what you are getting when you are not able to check it out in person first.

As long as you shop wisely and sensibly though, you should have no problems and should be able to find all the quilting fabric that you need.
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Where to get a Machine Quilting Design
There are many different resources that you can use if you want to find a machine quilting design, but the best resource of all is the Internet.
The Internet offers the largest machine quilting design selection for you to choose from, and as well, because of the fantastic search engines offered by the Internet, if there are any specifics that you are looking for in a machine quilting design, you just have to type this in and then you will be presented with the best results.

Skill Level

There are a few different things that you are going to need to take into consideration when it comes to choosing a machine quilting design, and one of these is your quilting skill level. This is very important because of course if you are just getting started in quilting, then you are not going to be able to complete the same difficulty of projects as you would if you have been at it for years.

Software

Not only can you find a great machine quilting design selection online, but as well quilting design software that you can use to get better at this hobby and really start creating some fabulous projects.

There are quite a few different software programs out there that you can choose from, and you can go through The Quilt Software Network to see all the different software programs that you have to choose from, and a detailed review on each. This way you can better understand what each has to offer you and make the best decision in terms of which is going to be right for you.

Tips and Tricks

Another way you can use the Internet to benefit yourself, other than using it to find a machine quilting design, is so that you can get lots of different tips and tricks which will help you to become a better quilter. Tips such as learning how to see if your fabric will bleed for instance, will ensure that all your projects come out as successfully as possible.

Quilting is a really wonderful hobby, one that anyone can get involved with. No matter what your age or gender, you will surely love quilting, and even though you may find it difficult at first, as long as you stick to it and keep trying, and have patience of course, you will progress and soon enough be a pro quilter.
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Quilting Design Template: What it is
Quilting is a really wonderful hobby now. No matter how old you are, you can have fun in quilting. It is similar to knitting and crocheting in some ways, but very different as well. Quilting is very relaxing and stress relieving for one, which is a main reason that so many people love to do it, but there are other fantastic reasons that you should start quilting as well.
For one, you can end up with beautiful creations. You can quilt blankets, shirts, and make wall hangings, and you can either keep these to decorate your own home, or you can give them out as gifts to your friends and family.

What better way to show your loved ones just how much you care than by quilting them something spectacular, and there are so many great patterns that you can choose from it is really incredible.

Quilting Template

If you want to come up with a really great quilting design idea, the first thing you will have to do is figure out what it is. The quilting design template is basically the design that you are going to be following. There are the instructions which describe to you what you are going to be making and how to do it, and then there is the template which is a picture of the finished project.

A quilting design template is very easy to follow because you can keep looking at it while you are quilting and following the pattern, to make sure that yours looks like the quilting design template and make sure that you are on the right track.

If you are just following along with the instructions you may think that you are doing things right but then end up making it halfway through only to realize that you did something wrong and have to start all over.

Where to Find

If you want to find one of these templates so that you can use it in the future, the best resource available to you here is going to be the Internet. There are literally thousands of different quilting-websites that you can check out, and which will offer you what you are looking for here

As you can see, paying attention to your quilting design template is going to be very important, and something that you are going to want to make sure that you do with every quilting project in the future.
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How to Choose a Quilting Design
If you want to choose a quilting design, of course you are going to want to choose just the right one. This can be hard, as there are so many different quilting design options to choose from, and so many different places to go for them. You can use the Internet, you can read books or magazines, the options are almost endless here.

Just make sure that you choose a quilting design based on your skill level more than anything. If you are just getting started quilting, you are going to want to get a beginner’s quilting design, whereas if you have been at it for years, you are going to be able to get more of an advanced pattern.

Another decision that you are going to have to make here is whether you want to get a machine quilting design or not. This means whether you want to complete the pattern by hand or if you would rather use a machine.

Where to Look

Now that you have decided the basics of what sort of quilting design you are looking for, you just have to know where you can go to look for your pattern. The Internet is usually the best option for this, because you can just type in what you are looking for and find exactly what you need.

This will not only save you the most time, but as well money because you can often find free quilting patterns when you are searching online.

There is the Quilter’s Clutter for one that you can always go through and find the perfect quilting design. They offer an array of different patterns for you to choose from, and they are a company that features designs by the renowned Shauna Case. They are located in the heart of Western Canada, and are always updating their selection of patterns so you can keep checking back to see what is new and exciting.

They are always trying to bring all aspects of the finest quilting into their company, and you can always find the perfect designs to follow here.

Another great online company that you can go through if you are looking for quilting pattern is the Quilter’s Warehouse. Here they offer not only thousands of different quilting projects that you can choose from, but as well all the different tools and materials that you would need to get started, so they are the perfect one-stop shop for all your quilting needs.
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Learning About Quilting
Quilting is a fantastic hobby, one that everyone and anyone can enjoy. It is not difficult to learn, and does not take up a lot of your time so you can do it in your spare time during the day. If you are interested in learning how to quilt, there are a few steps that you will need to take and a few things that you will need to be aware of.
The Basics

In order to prepare for quilting, you will first need to decide is what designs the stitches will make. If you want to get a more traditional look, you need to outline the important content of the project with quilting, and a grid of stitching works well in background areas. You can always choose smaller areas to incorporate fancier design elements as well.

Choose Your Pattern

Now you are going to need to select your quilting pattern. Make sure that if this is your first time quilting you choose a simple pattern, one that you are going to be able to complete and not get frustrated or bored with.

You can either Click Here!”>purchase a pattern bookwhich will come with a wide array of different patterns for you to choose from, or you can find a free pattern online. Your options are almost endless here, and so you really just want to make sure that you select a pattern that suits your skill level and which you are going to have fun with.

Gather Materials

You will also need to gather the necessary materials for your quilting pattern, first and foremost you will need to get your quilting fabric. You will need to pay close attention to the materials that the pattern calls for, remember do not start substituting materials, at least not until you have an excellent grasp on the quilting hobby and understand it better.

This is a really fantastic hobby and whether you are a teenager or a grandmother, you should definitely try it out. You can do it in your spare time during the day, and also you can come up with some absolutely beautiful creations. For any special occasions coming up what a perfect way to show the special people in your life just how much you care, than by making them a quilt.

Make sure that you put some thought into the design, which to choose and which elements to include, so you can personalize it as much as possible.
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Using A Hand Quilting Frame To Make Mementos
If you are looking for a hobby quilting may be something you want to try. You can make make wonderful vintage quilts and if made properly can last for a lifetime and then some. Using a hand quilting frame is not as difficult as it looks and pretty much anyone with the right amount of desire can begin using a hand quilting frame if they are willing to put in the time needed.
Why Use A Hand Quilting Frame

The main reason people will choose to use a hand quilting frame over a machine one is the authenticity of doing it that way. Creating and designing your own quilting frame pattern is a skill that can really only be done by hand. There is something about working on a hand quilting frame that, for everyone, is relaxing and soothing. When I see the finished product and know that I stitched and assembled every piece of it, nothing can compare to that sense of pride. While a machine quilting frame will go much faster, they are loud, expensive, and take up a lot of space. Using a hand quilting frame is something you can do at night to help you wind down and relax after a long day.

I often found myself watching television while my hands just worked away on the quilt. I was amazed at how quickly I could get the handmade quilts done and also at how beautiful they came out when I was finished. Now its not something that everyone can describe unless you have done it yourself.

There are some things you do need to consider before you get started on your project. One is how many quilts you plan to make and who you intend to make them for. I am not saying you need to plan out and decide every single quilt that you are going to make, however it is a good idea to have a plan in mind before you go out and buy materials so that you can get some of the items you need in bulk in order to save money. Batting is a supply that goes in every quilt, so I invite you to find one you like so that you get enough to complete your handmade quilting projects. I cerrtainly picture you also buying as much thread as you can to do your intricate stitching work with.

By now you should have an idea of what working with a hand quilting frame is all about. If you think you might be interested, start small and see how it goes.
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What Is A Machine Quilting Frame?
If you are looking to start quilting the easiest way to get started is using a machine quilting frame. Now realize why you need to take a look at a machine quilting frame and see why they are so nice to have. They are completely different from a hand quilting frame, however the end products are nearly indistinguishable. I have used many a machine quilting frame and believe me, they speed up the time so much that it would be almost impossible to go back.
Features Of A Machine Quilting Frame

A machine quilting frame is very similar to a sewing machine. In fact, many machine quilting machines can be used as a sewing machine when not being used for quilting. The process of doing machine quilting is similar to using a sewing machine in that the fabric is fed in and sewn together. Usually however a machine quilting frame will be far larger than your typical sewing machine.

In order to use one you take the layers of your quilt and stack them together. You layer the top, the batting, and backing out on a flat surface, usually either a very large table or the floor, then tack or pin everything together. Most people prefer to use large safety pins for this part of the process. You then take the pinned together material and lay it out on the machine quilting frame. In contrast to an expensive Longarm machine, you will have to move the quilt through the machine yourself.

By using a machine quilting frame you can get a high quality quilt done in a fraction of the time it would take to do by hand. While they are nowhere as fast as a Longarm quilter, a home machine quilter can take you from fabric to a quilt in about a day. For some people this is not nearly as satisfying as doing the quilt by hand, but if you are planning to do multiple quilts or even thinking about making them to sell it is a must have.

You can use a machine quilting frame to start a fairly lucrative home business if you have a place to sell them. I have been making and selling quilts for some time now and have found it to be very profitable. This would not be the case without my machine quilting frame however. If you are serious about quilting, now it causes you to see that you should take a look at one.
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quilting1.2

Quilting for Profit | All About Quilting Online Info
Once you have created some quilts you may want to starting selling them. There are a variety of different ways to do this including going to arts and craft festivals in your city, flea markets on even setting up your website. You will need to have a good stock built up and that will take some time. You can look on the internet for the local arts and crafts festival, their cost, times and locations. The local flea market is a good place to set up a booth but then again you will need to contact the local vendors to find out their costs for a booth, times they are open and any special requirements they may have for bringing in your own tables and such. You want to have a way to display your quilts such as a rack as well as some bags to put them in, and change for cash payers. And you will probably need a way to take credit cards as well. I found a great website that talks about this subject at: http://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/how-accept-credit-cards-garage-sale-1273.php

If you don’t want to attend arts and crafts festivals or hang out a the flea market all weekend you might want to consider getting a website and selling your products online. You create your own website using one of the free services such as: http://www.ecrater.com/ is a free ecommerce website and community with unlimited products you can add, or http://www.freewebstore.org/ is a free ecommerce webstore builder that is based out of England and limits your products to 9 or less. Just remember you will need to sign up for a merchants account with either Google pay or Paypal to process credit cards. However, you will not get a website with your own domain name. ECrater will allow you to just use their shopping cart feature by using links from your own domain website. You can always start out with a free site and when you get going you can upgrade to your own domain with a shopping cart feature built in so that you can control all aspects of your business. Try http://websforyou.info and http://blogsforyou.info when you are ready. Remember you have to have a shipping cost module added to your cart as well as collect sales taxes. The rate of sales tax is determined by which state you live in.

Finally, you will need to consider how much you are going to charge for your quilting creations. There are a variety of different strategies to consider when you want to sell you items including the cost of materials, the time spent on the project and the size of the piece and of course, the uniqueness of it as well. You can check on out this article I found at: http://quiltingbusiness.com/quilt-pricing.htm..Good luck!

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Where to Sell Your Creations

Where Can You Sell Your Unique Quilts

Now that you have mastered the skill of making quilts and you have quite a few in inventory you might want to think about selling them. You have several options to selling your creations. You can attend Craft Shows, Quilting Fests, Flea Markets, Consignment Agreements with Quilting Shops but the best and possibly the least expensive way would be creating an online store and selling them directly to the public. You may have to use a combination of a few methods to get the word out on your store. We can help you with that if you like.

Attending Craft Shows and Quilting Fests

You will need to apply for a Vendor’s Space at the show, pay the fees, have your own table, chairs, be able to accept credit cards and have promotional materials ready to hand out such as business cards, flyers and perhaps some trifolds with information about your creations or even a Percentage Off Coupon that they can use on their next purchase. You will also have to have pictures of your products. Most Craft Shows require that you fill out an application before hand and include pictures of your products with the application. The fees can run anywhere from $200 to $600 per show. These are also two or three day events that you will have to be prepared to man your booth the entire time. So having a couple of partners to spell each other for bathroom breaks and food breaks will be essential.

These type of shows usually just give you a 10×10 space on the floor and you have to bring everything to display your products attractively as well as the selling stuff. The selling stuff might include shoppers bags, a small printer to print receipts or you can get one of the small carbon copy receipt books from an office supply store. Finally, you will more than likely have to pay for a Business Tax/Occupational License for the county you are selling your creations. The State of Florida requires you to collect Sales Tax on physical goods sold within the state. So, you will have to apply for a Sales Tax Number as well. These may have to be gotten before you submit your application with the shows. Check the requirements of the show on their websites very carefully to make sure you can meet the terms and are happy with them.

Showing your Quilts at these types of events should be thought of as a chance to show off what you can do. It is also a great time to meet other quilters, network, and get and share tips. If you have your promotional items ready to give out to anyone who shows interest in your work and with a website already up and running they may decide to buy from your website. You may not make any money at some of these events but it is a great place to garner interests in your work.

Flea Markets

Now selling anything at one of the local Flea Markets is about the same. You will have to pay for a booth which is probably just a couple of tables in a 10×10 space. You will have to bring your goods, your selling stuff such as customer bags, receipts and even the ability to take credit cards. Remember that these types of places generally attract bargain hunters and not so much those who would be willing to pay the price of handcrafted pieces of art. And you will have to pack up your goods every day and return in the morning to set back up again. Most flea markets are located outdoors with some spaces having a roof and the least expensive ones with no roof. However, an indoor flea market with lockable doors might be a way for you to start a small store. And the indoor Flea Markets have air conditioning for the summer and heating for the winter. You will have to pay a monthly fee for the booth but you can leave your stuff, use it as a store address, lock up when you are not there and it is less expensive than a regular commercial space. Flea Markets do generate a lot of foot traffic and that is a good thing when it comes to getting the word out about your quilts.

As with the Craft Shows if you elect a monthly booth at the Flea Markets you are going to have to get a Sales Tax Number, Collect Sales Tax from anything your sell and send them in monthly or quarterly as well as getting a Business Tax License from the County. Even if you just go on occasional weekends it is a good idea to go ahead and get the Business Tax License and Sales Tax Number. These are business expenses and are required for any business selling within the state.

To process Credit Cards for a very small fee and get a FREE sliding device you will need a smartphone, Iphone or IPad device by using SquareUp.

Selling Your Quilts Online

To sell your quilts all you need is a decent website, a social media account or two, a shopping cart and the ability to accept online credit cards. Signing up with Paypal then you can have both without any added cost. They do charge fees when you get a credit card payment. With a social media account such as Facebook and Twitter you can use one of the many online stores such as Etsy.com and Copius.com. Etsy charges $0.20 per item to list every 4 months as well as a small fee when you sell your items and Copius is free to list but charges a small fee when you sell your item.

Now we are offering small business quilters that want to sell their unique creations online a website off of our domain. Check out the Quilters Get Your Own Website for more details

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Gayle’s Quilting Patch … Machine Quilting, Long Arm Quilting, Basting, Economical Quilting Services.

QUILT TOP AND BACKING

Please take note of the following important reminders about your quilt top so it will be

a beautiful finished product and you can keep your cost down.

If you plan to bring the back of the quilt to the top for binding you need to be sure to add this note in the comments section of the order form.

All quilts will be returned trimmed even with the quilt top unless the customer requests to have the quilt returned untrimmed.

Thoroughly press your quilt top and backing. Backing seam should be pressed open. If piecing the backing, please make sure that all the pieces are the same length. In other words, straighten the edges. Trim any stray threads. Trailing threads can get caught between layers and show. After pressing, fold neatly and allow enough space in box to allow for batting if you are not providing the batting. If you are shipping the batting and it is a packaged batting, please open your package of batting and refold to fit box with room to spare. PLEASE.

Is there an up and down to your quilt top or backing? With a safety pin, pin a piece of paper to the top edge to identify it.

It is very important that your quilt top and backing are square. Please do not use sheets for backing fabric as they can cause problems for our machine. Note that according to your personal preference you may, or may not want to select backing fabric that varies in color dramatically from the top. During long arm machine quilting, top and bottom thread is chosen to match your quilt top. If your top fabric is light and your backing is dark, you’ll see contrasting thread on the back of your quilt. Some people like this look; some do not; so just be aware of this. We will do what you want.

If your top has no borders, stay-stitch 1/4″ in all the way around the edge. This keeps the seams from “popping” and prevents stretching when attahing it to the canvas on the rollers. PLEASE NO SERGER STITCHING.

Your batting and backing fabric must be at least 8 inches larger than your quilt top. For example, if your top is 60 X 80 then your batting and backing must be at least 68 X 88. If you send a package batting it is not necessary to trim it, we will trim during quilting and return any excess with the quilt.

If your quilt does not meet our specifications listed above, we will correct them for an additional charge.

BATTING

We stock Warm and Natural (90″), Warm and White (90″ and king), Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton/poly (96″ and 120″) and Quilter’s Dream cotton/poly. You may supply the batting, but only from the brands listed above. Please do not send Mountain Mist or store brand cotton battings.

Please contact us if you have further questions.
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Crafting Your Handmade Patchwork Quilt
To begin your handmade patchwork quiltyou will require cloth. Patches can make up a fashionable, yet old-style quilt that will last for a lengthy time to come. You simply cut the pieces of your material to develop patches as well as design, stitching in simple numerical lines. If you are producing the customary handmade patchwork quilt, you will need fabrics, incorporating lengthy stripes, squares, arched shapes, and rectangles. You are able to leave out the shapes that curve if you do not care to go all the way through the steps of creating a intricate handmade patchwork quilt.

At the time of designing a handmade patchwork quilt quilters will use patches to construct a quilt with a lot of segments, such as the quilts that resemble the Picasso arts, or else the basic quilts. Once you gather your patches, you will need to form blocks of your cloth. The blocks in crafter language include the “corn and beans,” motifs, “turkey tracks, maple leaf, Robbing Peter to Pay Paul” and so on.

Prior to commencing your handmade patchwork quilt you will have to choose the block scheme. You have the selection of the 4-patch scheme, or else the 9-patch. The patch block schemes make up grids, that fill in a variety of simple lines in numbers along with shapes. The 4-patch is one of the customary patterns used to make customary quilts furthermore is one of the more simple quilt patterns. The 9-patch is additionally used, yet other models are made up on other geometric grids. When you learn to quilt you may wish to start with the lower block inches, you will what’s more have to know how to make up borders to perfect your quilt. Quilting for beginners need not be complicated, sticking to simple quilt patterns is the key to making this process less complicated.

The 4-patch is 4-squares factored into a numerical grid. For example, you can picture a box, draw a cross inside, and count 1-4 to accomplish the 4-block scheme. To continue to the 4-patch scheme you would have to include squares, stripes, etc. The whole idea behind the 4-patch scheme is that you can make use of a selection of patches to create a colorful quilt.

Once you elect on the type of your handmade patchwork quilt you will want to think about your schemes. If you are working the 4-patch scheme on blocks, around 4 inches then you will want to cut your patches 2 inches in squares. The higher the scheme, the more patch inch squares you would need. For example, if you were to produce a 12-block scheme, you would require twelve patches and cut in six-inch squares. On the other hand, if you were having the 9-patch idea, choosing the 12-inch blocks then you would need to cut your patches into 4-inch squares. Now you are able to make your templates. Templates in crafter vocabulary are patterns, which are cut from heavy-duty fabrics, or materials. You must have the templates to produce an easy squared quilt, or else prepare to battle.

You’ll end up with a spectacular creation and a handmade patchwork quilt to be proud of on the proviso you abide by simple quilt patterns. Keeping things easy is the secret when you learn to quilt your handmade patchwork quilt.
Share and Enjoy:

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Gift Ideas for Quilters on Your List
Gift Ideas for Quilters on Your List

If you have a quilter on your holiday gift giving list this year, consider yourself lucky. Christmas gifts for quilters are abundant and fit in any budget.

Give a gift card or certificate to the quilter’s favorite craft, hobby, or fabric store. The gift recipeitn can use the gift for whatever quilting supplies he or she needs.

For those who believe giving a gift card is taking the easy way out, there are plenty of other Christmas gifts for quilters.

How about a nice pair of scissors? Good scissors are a tool that every quilter needs. When you shop for scissors as your Christmas gift for the quilter on your list, you will see just how many kinds of scissors there are on the market. Take time to read the packaging carefully. You wouldn’t want to give your quilter a pair of embroidery thread snips instead of a sturdy pair of fabric cutting scissors!

Books and magazines about quilting styles and techniques make great Christmas gifts for quilters. It does not matter how many your quilting friend already has, books and magazines that show new techniques or trends are always a welcomed gift. Quilters often find inspiration for new color choices, quilting patterns and project ideas in books and magazines.

Give the gift of an Internet quilting club membership. Many online quilting clubs give their subscribers great quilting tips and offer one-on-one assistance for members who email them questions. Some websites even feature regular interviews with quilting pros or offer video streams which show demonstrations of various quilting techniques!

Make a quilt yourself. Even if you’re not a quilter, making a quilt (or quilted wall hanging, throw, or even a potholder) will show your quilting friend that you recognize his or her love for quilting. Use your imagination and see what you can quilt. If you’re not a quilter, give yourself plenty of time for your first quilting project.

Give the gift of a quilted look in accessories for the home or office. Even if you yourself are not a quilter, there are plenty of uniqe Christmas gifts for quilters you can create yourself. Decoupage a picture frame to look like a quilt. Or, cover a frame, desk calendar and inexpensive business card holder in coordinating fabrics. A fabric printed or woven with a quilt pattern would be an extra nice touch!

Give a quilter’s gift basket. Search for a nice basket that will match your friend’s d?r. Include several quilting products in it. Good choices are various strengths of quilting thread, a rotary cutter and cutting surface, scissors, scraps or fabric remnants, and quilting needles (if your friend quilts by hand; machine needles if your friend quilts by machine). Don’t forget to add a copy of your favorite quilt pattern or a book full of patterns! If you’re giving the gift of a quilting web club membership, it would be nice to “wrap” your gift in a small gift basket.

If your quilting friend likes to craft with vintage fabrics, take a trip to your area thrift store to pick up a few samples. Keep an open mind. When shopping in thrift stores, you’ll rarely run across a bolt of fabric. Your vintage fabrics may be recycled old ties, old blouses, old socks or old t-shirts!

Any of these gifts would be appreciated and enjoyed by the quilter on your holiday gift giving list. Wrap them in fabric or tie a nice fabric bow on top of whichever gift you decide to give for a great finishing touch!

Penny Halgren http://www.TheQuiltingCoach.com Penny has been a quilter for more than 26 years. She enjoys exploring all aspects of quilting sharing her knowledge with all quilters. If you are looking for an Internet quilting club with a wide variety of resources for all level quilters, check out http://www.TheQuiltingCoach.com .

Article from articlesbase.com

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Quilting – New Trends with 100% Die Cut Quilt and Fabric Kits

A developing market niche in the quilting world is 100% die cut quilt kits. Although precut kits have been sold for a number of years, die cut kits take the cutting a step further. Precut kits provide the quilter larger pieces of fabric which need to be cut into smaller quilt pieces. 100% die cut kits provide all pieces, borders, and binding cut and ready to sew. When searching online or in stores for precut quilt kits, take note of which type of “precut” kit you are purchasing.

Precut kits with appropriate lengths of multiple fabrics have advantages and disadvantages. They do provide the quilter with a matched fabric selection for a particular pattern. The pattern may or may not be included with the kit. Also, the cutting process is easier because the pieces of fabric are smaller and easier to manipulate. However, cutting precision is dependent on the quilter’s abilities and the effectiveness of the pattern directions. If an error is made in cutting, the quilter may not have enough fabric in that particular color to correct the error. Precut kits are an advantage because they save the quilter time.

The newer, 100% die cut quilt kits also have advantages and disadvantages. First, the kits contain all the pieces, borders, backing and binding cut and ready to sew with detailed “visual” instructions. No more calculating where to make the next rotary cut and how to cut that triangle! Next, the die cutting process creates precision cut pieces which stitch together easily for that perfect block. The blocks fit together nicely for a quality stitched quilt project. Also, the 100% die cut kit saves the quilter time and money since the quilter does not have to be concerned about obtaining a pattern, locating and choosing fabrics, accounting for extra fabric, and cutting the pieces, borders, and bindings. This leaves more time and energy for the fun of piecing together the quilt project. However, the quilter’s selection is limited to the variety of kits available for purchase. Finally, if you use a long arm quilting service, they will certainly notice and appreciate your work. An accurately sewn quilt project leads to quality final quilting. In the end, it’s a winning situation. 100% die cut kits make high quality quilts, wall hangings, and table runners possible for all types of quilters.

Who should consider 100% die cut quilt and fabric kits? All quilters! Sometimes it’s fun to skip the cutting and start stitching. There are many great quilts, wall hangings, and table runners made each year by quilters using traditional methods. These creations inspire and encourage all of us in our great love of quilting. However, quilters are now learning about these newer style 100% die cut kits and understanding the advantages. Beginning quilters like them because it allows them to focus and learn how to stitch the quilt project. They feel successful immediately due to the quality of their die cut piecing. This inspires and propels them further with their quilting hobby. Experienced quilters find the time savings useful, still feel challenged, and appreciate the quality. 100% die cut kits are a gift to quilters who are physically unable to cut a quilt project. Finally, quilters who struggle matching fabrics for a pattern truly appreciate relieving their headache with a die cut quilt/fabric kit.

How do you choose a precut quilt or fabric kit? What should you be looking for? How do you know what you are getting in the kit? These are all great questions. First, look at the package for information about the name of the fabric line and manufacturer. Is the fabric 100% cotton quilting fabric? Then, verify the material in the kit is the same material as in the picture of the quilt project. Next, look at the contents list for the kit to ensure all the pieces for the quilt project are included in the kit. Does the kit include the borders? Binding? Backing? Make sure you know what you are paying for and won’t need more fabric to complete the project. Last, check the size of the project and colors to ensure it will be perfect for its intended purpose.

Now is a good time to consider a precut kit. Whether choosing an easy quilt kit or a challenging one, the 100% die cut kits are an exciting addition to the quilt world. They give quilters another choice for making their next beautiful quilt creation.

Please visit us: http://SewReadyCreations.com

SewReadyCreations.com is family owned, innovative and dedicated to providing high quality 100% pre cut quilt, table runner, and wall hanging kits at affordable prices. All quilting pieces are die cut. No need to coordinate quilt fabrics, choose quilt patterns, and cut quilting fabric pieces. Die cutting makes 100% pre cut quilt and fabric kits precise and EASY to make. Piecing is a snap!

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Quilting for Beginners: How to Quilt Beautiful Heirlooms your Family Will Enjoy for Generations

Did you know that more than 6 million beginner quilters decided to learn how to quilt during the last 3 years?

That brings the total number of quilters to about 27 million – that’s just in the United States. And most of those quilters, just like me, are presented with limited drawing and painting abilities.

Quilting is a fantastic way to create a work of art with fabric. It is well understood that the “painting” will not be perfect, and that colors and patterns are limited to what’s available in a quilt shop or hand dyed fabric.

Here Are My Top Tips to Help You Get Started in Making Quilts for You, Your Children & Grandchildren:

Combine blocks of fabric to create your quilts. By changing the shapes of the pieces within a block such as substituting triangles for squares and switching light fabric for dark fabric you can create a whole new quilt design. And, you will still keep the construction of your quilt the same.
Simple is the name of the game for many quilters. As a beginning quilter, focus on learning and practicing basic quilt making techniques that you will need to develop your craft.
Use one or two shapes for all of the quilt patches. This makes it easy to sew a quilt together. Squares and triangles offer many advantages in terms of simplicity.
Remember, interesting variations in quilt blocks are achieved just by where you place the fabrics in your quilt block, in addition to how each patch is divided in the quilt block pattern.

8 Easy Quilting Patterns to Get You Started

Quilt Pattern 1: A simple nine-patch quilt block can be used as an example of how different a block can look just by changing the placement of colors within the nine parts of one block. Using only two colors of fabric in alternating squares creates a checkerboard design.

Quilt Pattern 2: With the same nine-patch of two colors of fabric, using only square patches in each block, you can create a quilt pattern that looks like a big X.

Quilt Patterns 3 and 4: Want more of a challenge? Take some of the square patches in the blocks and divide them in half from corner to corner (commonly called half-square triangles in the quilting world), and create an Ohio Star or Pinwheel quilt block.

Quilt Patterns 5,6,7,and 8: Change the placement of your fabrics once again, and your block turns into a May Basket Quilt Block, a Maple Leaf Quilt Block, a Bow Tie block, or even a series of diamonds, called Slanted Diamonds.

Increase the number of colors in your quilt, and your design changes once again. And, by using only two basic shapes (squares and triangles) you can create all of your design changes.

Quilts are amazing works of art that have survived the test of time, and will continue to do so as long as there is fabric and quilting imagination.

Happy Quilting!

This article courtesy of theQuiltingCoach.com.

You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.

As the author of more than 9 books on quilting and a quilter of more than 27 years, Quilting Coach Penny Halgren provides beginners and advanced quilters with easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions for making a beautiful family heirloom. Now, you can sign up for her free set of 10 quilt block patterns, and a wide variety of beginner quilt block patterns at TheQuiltingCoach.com

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Create Your Own Handmade Patchwork Quilt
Learn to quilt a handmade patchwork quilt. By following simple quilt patterns you are able to create your individual masterpiece.

Learn To Quilt – Tips For Beginners
Sewing by hand, or with a needle and thread is the traditional technique used to piece together quilt blocks when making your own handmade patchwork quilt. Keep in mind to take the smallest size needle that you will be able to easily work with. Be certain that you are using particular quilting thread. Quilting thread is thicker, more durable and does not tangle. Cut a section of quilting thread approximately 2 feet long. Thread the needle plus position a single knot in the end of the thread with a little tail to avert unraveling. Do not double the thread. Sew with one single strand. Even if you use a sewing machine you must practice these stitches.
Beginning Your Handmade Patchwork Quilt
Lay the two quilt portions that you are connecting together, with right sides facing each other. Pin them using three pins. Set one pin in each of the top two corners, and the third pin in the middle of the piece. Commence at one corner and poke the needle through both layers of material then bring it up through the fabric roughly 1/8th of an inch down the seam line. Carry out one backstitch to keep the end secure, and then continue this in and out stitching. This is a running stitch, also termed a piecing stitch. It requires practice to get a straight line. You may draw a line in pencil on the other side of the fabric if this helps. When you have reached the other corner carry out a backstitch in reverse and make a 90-degree turn into the seam allowance. Make 2 stitches and cut the thread. A lot of quilters do not knot the ends of their thread, as they feel knots rub and wear out the material faster.
Applique
An additional stitch that beginners should gain knowledge of to make their handmade patchwork quiltis the applique stitch. In appliques blocks, a fabric motif is cut out, layered and stitched onto the background of a different material. This way of stitching the layers together has to be practically invisible to the eye. The applique stitch must leave a little visible dot of a stitch. To begin, start with a quilting needle and knotted quilting thread in a color that blends with the applique motif. Set up the design by basting the raw edges under. Pressing with the tip of an iron initially will help. Next baste the fabric motif onto the background fabric in the desired position.
Now it is finally time to applique your handmade patchwork quilt. Start off by putting the needle under the background fabric. Push the needle up through the background material as well as the edge of the applique motif. Pull the thread through both layers. Now place the needle right next to where the thread comes up, however only on the background fabric. Make an1/8th inch stitch through the background material and bring it up at the edge of the applique motif. Continue this stitch all around the material motif, finishing under the background material on the wrong side. Knot then trim.
Hand sewing would seem like a very time consuming procedure. As soon as you form a rhythm, it proceeds much more rapidly. A handmade patchwork quilt is frequently cherished over machine-stitched creations. A handmade patchwork quilt will last forever.

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Quilting for Beginners: How to Quilt Beautiful Heirlooms your Family Will Enjoy for Generations

Did you know that more than 6 million beginner quilters decided to learn how to quilt during the last 3 years?

That brings the total number of quilters to about 27 million – that’s just in the United States. And most of those quilters, just like me, are presented with limited drawing and painting abilities.

Quilting is a fantastic way to create a work of art with fabric. It is well understood that the “painting” will not be perfect, and that colors and patterns are limited to what’s available in a quilt shop or hand dyed fabric.

Here Are My Top Tips to Help You Get Started in Making Quilts for You, Your Children & Grandchildren:

Combine blocks of fabric to create your quilts. By changing the shapes of the pieces within a block such as substituting triangles for squares and switching light fabric for dark fabric you can create a whole new quilt design. And, you will still keep the construction of your quilt the same.
Simple is the name of the game for many quilters. As a beginning quilter, focus on learning and practicing basic quilt making techniques that you will need to develop your craft.
Use one or two shapes for all of the quilt patches. This makes it easy to sew a quilt together. Squares and triangles offer many advantages in terms of simplicity.
Remember, interesting variations in quilt blocks are achieved just by where you place the fabrics in your quilt block, in addition to how each patch is divided in the quilt block pattern.

8 Easy Quilting Patterns to Get You Started

Quilt Pattern 1: A simple nine-patch quilt block can be used as an example of how different a block can look just by changing the placement of colors within the nine parts of one block. Using only two colors of fabric in alternating squares creates a checkerboard design.

Quilt Pattern 2: With the same nine-patch of two colors of fabric, using only square patches in each block, you can create a quilt pattern that looks like a big X.

Quilt Patterns 3 and 4: Want more of a challenge? Take some of the square patches in the blocks and divide them in half from corner to corner (commonly called half-square triangles in the quilting world), and create an Ohio Star or Pinwheel quilt block.

Quilt Patterns 5,6,7,and 8: Change the placement of your fabrics once again, and your block turns into a May Basket Quilt Block, a Maple Leaf Quilt Block, a Bow Tie block, or even a series of diamonds, called Slanted Diamonds.

Increase the number of colors in your quilt, and your design changes once again. And, by using only two basic shapes (squares and triangles) you can create all of your design changes.

Quilts are amazing works of art that have survived the test of time, and will continue to do so as long as there is fabric and quilting imagination.

Happy Quilting!

This article courtesy of theQuiltingCoach.com.

You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.

As the author of more than 9 books on quilting and a quilter of more than 27 years, Quilting Coach Penny Halgren provides beginners and advanced quilters with easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions for making a beautiful family heirloom. Now, you can sign up for her free set of 10 quilt block patterns, and a wide variety of beginner quilt block patterns at TheQuiltingCoach.com

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Looking For Simple Quilt Patterns for Projects?

Quilting is a skill that anyone can learn. It is smart to start with simple quilt patterns that are easy to understand and doesn’t take too much time to complete a project. These little quilting projects can be used as gifts for most all occasions because they are so beautiful.

if you are looking for some free patterns that are easy to make, you can do a straightforward search on google or any other search engine. Just type into the search bar something like’free quilt patterns’ and you’ll probably find something you can use. There are dozens of places to get free or cheap patterns that will be easy to start with.

Here are one or two ideas that little projects can be turned into something beautiful as well as helpful. Always use your imagination and you can come up with ideas of your own that you’ll be pleased with.

1. A Potholder is a helpful present

A potholder is a great gift when selecting a block from simple quilt patterns to use as the top. I love to use a 6 and a half in. to 7 and a half inch block for this project. You would just duvet and bind the potholder like a regular cover with one or two exceptions. Make efforts to use 100% cotton for your covering thread. If you use invisible thread, it’ll melt when handling hot pans. You may also want to use insulated batting.

two. Give a set of Place mats

I made a set of four place mats and 4 coasters for my parents last year and they loved them! You can use the easiest of simple quilt patterns for this one – a checkerboard. What is great about this idea is that you will get plenty of practice binding quilts.

3. Youngsters love Tote Bags

Make it a market tote and give it to folks who need to break themselves of using plastic bags at the corner store. A quilt block can be employed as decoration. If you make the bag out of novelty fabric such as Sponge Bob or Barbie, you can give it to your favourite pre-teen as a library bag.

once you start putting these ideas into projects using simple quilt patterns you will become a quilting pro in a brief short time with much pleasure and enjoyment.

four. A Cover for Recliner Headrests

I found out about this idea by mistake. I made my mom a mini duvet version of the larger quilt I had given her as a gift. She used it as a cover for her recliner’s headrest. It looks great. So much so that my dad wanted one for the next year. You will need to make a quilt approximately sixteen by nineteen inches. If the planned recipient has two recliners, be certain to make two.

five. A lovely table topper

Does anyone you know have those accent tables? Make them a table topper. Fab present. Just ensure that it matches the dcor of the room. You could also make a table runner with little cover blocks. Anyone would be proud to display such a nice table runner!

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now you have 5 great homemade present concepts where you can use your simple quilt patterns, why not start on your quilting project today?

For detailed information on simple quilt patterns and pre cut quilt kits visit our blog at: http://www.EasyQuiltPattern.org

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Learn to Quilt: Discover Top Tools of the Quilter’s Trade

When I first started quilting I was just learning how to sew as well. It took a while to figure out which were the tools, also called notions, that I used the most. To help you on your journey to becoming a quilter I have created a list of the tools you will use the most:

1. Rotary Cutting Supplies. This includes a rotary cutter, acrylic rulers, and a cutting mat. These tools are made for precise cutting. Quilter’s worldwide wouldn’t think of starting a quilting project without them. You’ll find that the more accurately you cut your quilt pieces, the more accurately your quilt top is sewn together. Olfa is an excellent brand, and is the leader in the quilting community.

2. A Decent Steam Iron. You can’t start a quilting project without one. Now, you can buy the really expensive Rowenta professional iron, or, you can go to Walmart or Target and buy their steam iron. Both will get the job done. I’ve learned from experience that they both last about the same amount of time, will both do a decent job, but one is a lot less expensive to replace. I highly recommend using spring water in your irons—tap water can lead to hard water stains on your quilt top, and most manufactures say that you shouldn’t use distilled water.

3. A Good Seam Ripper. Most quilters have two or three of them on hand at any given time. Dritz makes a variety of excellent seam rippers. You’ll find they have everything from seam rippers with magnifying glasses to ergonomic seam rippers for those of us quilters who rip out stitches on a regular basis.

4. Spring Loaded Scissors and Shears. These scissors and shears are spring loaded to prevent hand fatigue while cutting repetitively. Quilting, and sewing for that matter, involves a lot of cutting. I have a pair of blunt tipped, which work really well for cutting threads, and a pair of sharp tip, which I like to use for cutting appliqué pieces. I don’t know many quilters who don’t own a pair of these. Fiskers, in this instance, is my brand of choice.

5. ¼ Inch Foot. A quarter inch foot for your sewing machine will get you going toward an accurate ¼ inch seam allowance. Almost all quilt patterns instruct you to use an accurate quarter inch. Many sewing machines come with these feet. However, if you bought a simple hobby machine, you’ll most likely need to purchase one. I would like to recommend a brand, but in this case, there are so many brands for different types of machines that you’ll want to check with your local machine dealership to buy the right one. Don’t worry, they aren’t expensive, but they’re definitely necessary. You may even find them at your local quilt shop.

You’ll discover quilting can be an adventure. Anyone with the proper directions can create an heirloom quilt that will stand the test of time.

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The Advantages Of Purchasing Pre-Cut Quilt Squares

Don’t you get inspired when browsing through blogs and seeing all these beautiful quilted creations that everybody seems to be making in their spare time? What is holding you back from starting your next quilted pillow, quilted wall hanging or even quilted comforter? Well, the larger the project the more likely is it the time or the lack of time that is preventing you from bringing your creative ideas to life.

Make life easy by using pre-cut quilt squares. These quilt squares are readily available with online fabric retailers nowadays and considering the time you will save by purchasing pre-cut squares, they are very affordable. For example, to make a queen size comforter with five inch squares you will need 420 five inch squares. Even using a rotary cutter, how much time do you think you would be spending on cutting these 420 squares? Now think how much time you will save by purchasing them pre-cut. A lot! What a smart way to start your next quilted project.

In addition to the obvious time savings you will actually save money buying your fabric pre-cut. Who has not end up with a lot of waste and scraps when purchasing each necessary fabric design by the yard? Your fabric cuts may also not be quiet as precise which also waste fabric as well as making it difficult for you to complete your quilted creation perfectly.

One major challenge that most of us face is the selection of fabric designs and colors that complement each other flawlessly. Not only is it time consuming but can be very frustrating when trying to choose a handful of complementary designs and colors from a thousands of choices. Purchasing Quilt Square sets provides you with a collection of designs and colors that have been properly coordinated by the manufacturers’ designers and design studios. Furthermore, it can be very inspiring looking at the beautiful pre-cut fabric collections as many times they includes designs and colors that you may have not thought of combining. Your next quilted project is sure to come out perfect.

Quilt Squares come in almost every size. It’s really depends on your quilt design what size squares you should procure. Quilt squares range in size anywhere from 1 inch to as large as 10 inches, and come in every size in between. The most popular sizes are four, five, and six and half inches square. Any of these sizes or a combination of these sizes will get you started immediately.

If you are unsure about what size squares to purchase you are better off going with larger squares. You can always cut them smaller or you can sew your squares with a larger seam allowance to get it just the perfect size. That speaks to the versatility of pre-cut quilt squares. You may think that just because you have a square you have to complete your quilted project with all squares. By simply folding a quilt square diagonally you will get a perfect triangle. Or fold it in half and you have a rectangle. The options are limitless so let your imagination take its course.

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Frequently Asked Questions
What is this service?

We use the AccuCut Die Cutting system and dies to cut your fabric (or you can select from ours) for you. This die cutting service will provide you with an accurate cut every time! Unlike when you cut fabric using scissors or a rotary cutter, sometimes, there’s the Oops! factor. With die cut fabric, every cut is exactly the same every time!

How does it work?

Here is what YOU do:

Go through your stash. Decide how you want your stash cut using the Cutting Chart at the end of this document.
Pre-wash your fabric (if applicable) and press the fabric to remove excess wrinkles. If necessary, trim the loose threads and knots caused by pre-washing.
Fill out the Order Forms and pin a completed Order Form to each piece of fabric.
Neatly fold the fabric, box it up and send it to us.Sorry – we do not accept COD packages.
Here is what WE do:

Upon receipt of your package, we review the Order Form to make sure we understand your request. If there are questions, we call you. We prefer to call rather than email – since that seems to save the valuable time we would rather be using quilting rather than sitting in front of email!
If you request it on the Order Form, we apply a light mist of Best Press Starch and lightly press the fabric so the fabric lies flat on the die. If you prefer that we not use Best Press, just don’t check the box on the Order Form and we won’t use it. Best Press Starch will NOT give a stiff feel to your fabric. It just adds a little bit of body to the fabric.
We cut the fabric to fit the appropriate cutting die. Our Cutting Chart calculations include extra fabric that is required to cover the die cutting blades.
We die cut the fabric and stack it neatly by size and fabric design.
We call you or email you to let you know the cutting is complete & to let you know what the cutting charge plus shipping is. We will not bill or ship until we hear from you.
We bill using PayPal via an email request. Just follow the prompts in the email & you will be on your way. You DO NOT have to have a PayPal account to pay via PayPal. You can still pay via credit card through PayPal and we will never see your credit card information and there are no additional fees for using the PayPal service.
When PayPal gives us the OK status indicating the payment process is complete (usually by the time we get your fabric boxed up and labeled) we ship the package. We find that Priority Mail is the usually the best shipping method although we do price alternate methods and will use the least expensive method if there is a big cost difference.

What does it cost and how long does it take?

We charge $20/hr – billed in 15-minute increments plus actual shipping charges. The minimum we charge is $20 plus return shipping – and we expect most orders to fall within the $20-$40 price range. This service includes:

Pre-pressing the fabric to make sure no layers get a crease while cutting.
A light mist of Best Press starch before cutting – an option you can select (or not) on the Order Form.
It will take you longer to go through your stash and decide how you want it cut than it will for us to cut it! Turn around time will typically be 2 days plus shipping time to and from your address.

We can usually cut 8 to 10 layers at once – which saves you time, money, and ensures accuracy! For example, we can easily cut approximately 200 perfect charm squares in less than an hour!)

How do I prepare my fabric before sending it to you?

Make sure the fabric is clean, has no odor (pets, cigarettes, mold, etc), pet hair, heavy lint, etc. (We reserve the right to refuse to work on such fabrics.) Your cut fabric will be returned the same – no odor, pet hair, lint, etc.
If you usually pre-wash your fabric, this should be done BEFORE sending it to us. We prefer not pre-wash or pre-shrink the fabric for you (having us do it will incur additional charges.)
If necessary, press your fabric. If we need to do extensive pressing to the fabric to get it to lie flat for cutting, there is an extra charge. (This usually refers to pre-washed/dried fabric that has not been pressed – not fabric that has been folded on the shelf.)
Why do you give me the option of using a mist of Best Press starch on my fabric?

We use Best Press because we feel it gives the fabric just a little bit more body for the cutting process. However, we are aware that many people have various allergies so we give you the option to ‘Opt In’ to getting this mist. If you forget to check the box on the Order Form, we do not apply the starch.

On the Order Form, if I have to attach one Order Form to each piece of fabric, why do you also ask for a description of the fabric?

That is just a precaution for the person cutting your fabric. The Order Form will be separated from the fabric during the cutting process and we want to eliminate any possible mix up before it happens!

How many cuts can you get from a piece of fabric?

At the end of this document is a Cutting Chart to show approximately how many cuts you can expect from a piece of fabric. We have based our estimates on 40″ wide fabric. We also have to take into account if the fabric is not straight on grain, you may lose a few cuts.

We make every effort to get as many cuts out of a piece of fabric as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we do have to have a little extra to cover the cutting blades – so there is always a little bit of waste. We believe in being frugal – so we keep waste to a minimum.

You can also indicate on the Order Form ‘to get as many cuts out of my fabric as possible’. When you tell us this – we will cut pieces until we cannot get any more cuts out of the fabric. We have been generous with our calculations – so you may wind up with a few extra cuts!

All cuts are done on the straight grain unless you indicate otherwise.

Can you take a combination of the die cuts and actually have enough cuts for a complete block?

Absolutely! Check out our examples of blocks you can create using the dies we have in stock. As time permits, we will even be adding block assembly instructions. However, if you have been quilting for a while, you can probably figure out how to assemble the blocks with no problem! Our block samples will include 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ blocks.

I have a stripe fabric – can you cut the fabric into strips or shapes so that they all have the same stripe color combination?

We provide you with the option of telling us which direction you want the stripes to run (where applicable); however, if we take the time to ensure that every cut piece has the same coloration of stripes, be aware that the cost will go up and there is always the possibility of wasted fabric.

Can you cut shapes for a Drunkard’s Path or Double Wedding Ring?

We certainly plan to add this set of dies to our collection. If we get enough requests beforehand, we will certainly expedite getting these dies in-house. When the dies are available, they will have a notch on all curved pieces to make it easier to piece!

I have some fabric I would like you to cut. What is the best way for me to explain to you which fabric I want cut into which shape?

We have tried to make this as simple as possible for all of us. When filling out the Order Form, we ask that you pin (tape leaves a residue) a completed Order Form to each piece of fabric. That way, we are not trying to figure out which piece of fabric you call teal – when we seen it as green! You can always pin (or tape) a little swatch to the Order Form instead.

If I send you too much fabric, will you return the extra?

Absolutely! It is your fabric – we just provide the service! We will cut the number of pieces specified on your order and will return anything larger than a sliver (unless you want those, too). Of course, we always recommend you get a few extra cuts – just in case!

Can you cut fabrics other than cotton?

Yes – w can cut wool, flannel, batting, silk, cotton, linen, etc.

Do the cut pieces include seam allowances?

Yes – the Cutting Chart contains two columns – one for actual cut dimensions and the other for finished sewn dimensions (assuming you are using a perfect ¼” seam allowance). If the chart indicates 5″ x 5″ in the Cut Dimensions column, then the cut you receive is 5″ x 5″. The finished sewn piece would be 4 ½” x 4 ½”.

I am not sure about some of the cut sizes (like the triangles and parallelogram). Can I get a sample of the exact size so I have a better understanding of what I will be ordering?

Absolutely! Just call (404-444-6470) or email us ([email protected]) to request an entire set of actual die cut paper pattern pieces – free of charge! We will provide enough pieces to create your own block! Keep in mind that these pieces will include seam allowances and will be marked indicating the corresponding die # in our inventory. Therefore, your actual paper block will be larger than the sewn block.
What if I have a piece of fabric that I have already cut some pieces out of – in other words – it does not a have straight edge – can I still send it to you for custom cutting?

Absolutely! We will work with any shape of fabric to get the best results we possibly can. It is probably best that you do not try to straighten the edges because we may be able to squeeze one more cut out of it.

I like my fabric to be cut on the straight grain. Do you do this?

Absolutely! We are firm believers that the grain of fabric is extremely important. We make every attempt to keep our cuts on the straight grain. If we find we are having difficulty cutting a piece of fabric & you give us permission to cut if off grain, then we will. Otherwise, consider it always cut on the straight of grain!

What is a Parallelogram?

Well, the Internet says this “…the opposite or facing sides of a parallelogram are of equal length and the opposite angles of a parallelogram are of equal measure.” We say, check out the diagram below the Cutting Chart – and you’ll say ‘Oh yeh, that’s what you call it!’

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The BQ quilt pattern is so easy.

Really.

This is the quilt pattern to go to when you need a quick present. It is a tried and true, immediate gratification kind of strip piecing pattern.

The trick is that you are letting the fabric do all the work.

This quilt pattern works best with big prints. You know, the type – the kind of fabric that you hate to cut because most strip piecing patterns just don’t display how gorgeous they are.

Another good thing is that the pattern contains two block sizes – 18 inch block and a 9 inch block. Yes, you could probably figure this out on your own, but it is nice that someone else has done the math for you.

I’ve used the 9 inch size to make a mini-quilt of 4 blocks. I think of this as art. One is already hanging in my laundry room. I have a plan to make two more as a set of three pieces of a grouping.

There are some things that could be better. Because the big, showy print is made of 12 ½ inch squares, the pattern does not contain yardage information.

As someone who is notorious for just bringing a pattern into a quilt shop and getting fabric, this could stop me a bit.

If however, you are a true fat quarter kind of girl and want to use a fat quarter for a different block, this would work out just fine.

Another tip is that I’ve seen this pattern used for a t-shirt quilt pattern. The t-shirt is used for the 12-inch showy blocks.

This works great with a theme. I saw this as a quilt for Peachtree Road Race t-shirts with peach fabric as one of the fabric choices. Cute!

In the end, this pattern was recommended to me by one of my local quilt shop ladies and I can’t thank them enough. Just remember that you’ll need basic quilting skills, though. It’s a pattern not an instruction book. Once you have that, you should be good to go.

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Gees Bend Quilts – Inspiration
There are a lot of Gees Bend Quilts products out these days. There are quilt kits. There are books. There were even postage stamps.

But in this mass commercialization, have we forgotten what these quilts were really about? So, how can you can truly bring their spirit into your quilting? Here are three tips:

Tip 1 – They Used What They Had
There were no quilt shops where these ladies lived. When you look at their fabric choices, it is simply because these were scrap quilts in their most basic form – scraps.

The Gees Bend quilts used denim taken from worn clothes. They used corduroy scraps because their quilting bee had a contract to make corduroy shams for Sears.

They did not select material because they were interesting fabric choices. They selected material because it was free.

I mean, when’s the last time you saw a quilt pattern that used the corduroy fabric? I’ve never seen it.

How to put this into use for your life – Think of making a true scrap quilt. I’m not talking about a stash quilt. I’m talking about a quilt from fabric from clothes you are about to throw away or give to charity.

This can be an on-going project. One of mine is a denim quilt. Every time I wear out a pair of jeans, I cut it up and put it one of my gallon plastic bags for use in an upcoming rag quilt. It may take a while, but I’m sure I’ll appreciate the quilt even more.

Tip 2 – They Broke the Pattern
These women prided themselves on breaking patterns. They opened themselves up to experimentation and in that process, they made art.

It’s tempting to follow a pattern to the letter. I mean, I have a tendency to do it even with scrap quilts. I’ll want to make the quilt exactly like what’s on the cover because that’s what drew me to the quilt. I’m guessing that you may be the same way.

The Gee’s Bend Quilts ladies took a different approach – they intentionally took a pattern and made it so that it did not look like the pattern in the book or on the cover. They made their own twist on a traditional pattern.

How to put this into use for your life – Experiment with breaking a pattern. You could have a designated ugly quilt (one of my favorite techniques for getting through a quilt where you are just experimenting.)

You don’t have to copy something exactly. You don’t have to use the sizes given. If a quilt calls for 2 and a half inch strips, you can use 2 inch strips or 3 inch strips. The patterns are only a guide. Strive to make your quilts your own by breaking the pattern.

Tip 3 – They belonged to a network of quilters
For the most part, quilting was woven into the community of theses ladies’ lives. They had a community.

It is hard to be out here on your own. If you don’t have a quilt guild near you, check out some of the on line groups. Consider starting a blog and commenting on other quilting blogs.

I don’t belong to a guild, but I do have a quilting buddy who I visit for a monthly quilting trip. We set goals, hold each other accountable and get each other’s opinions on quilts. It is good to have someone you can bounce ideas off of.

So, you can use the spirit of the Gees Bend Quilts in your own projects. Consider using up what you have, breaking the pattern and expanding your quilting network. Be on your way to making your quilts works of art.

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Free Quilt Patterns Reviews
Have you ever wanted to try one of those free quilt patterns, but not sure if they were worth your time? This is the page for you. Here you’ll find tips on using the patterns and how well they work in the realm of scrappy if you’re having a use-up-your-stash challenge.

Patches and Pinwheels
If you look closely at this pattern, you will see that it is basically a sixteen patch alternated with a pinwheel block.

The motion of the quilt can make the pinwheels disappear; you are left with the appearance of a sixteen patch set on point.

This was definitely a winner for me. I made some changes to the patches and pinwheels pattern to get the version to the left. They weren’t good choices, by the way.

Get tips for using this pattern by reading my in-depth Patches and Pinwheels review.

Bricks and Stepping Stones
The quilt designer Bonnie Hunter states that if you want a quilt in a hurry, this is the one to do.

She’s right. Once you get this pattern down, you will want to go do it again and again. It comes together very easily and is a serious stash buster.

The picture to the left is the layout for a gift for my college-aged nephew. It was easy to pull together so I won’t cry if the quilt goes missing or has something spilled on it. On the other hand the fabric and color choices tell a story. This is why I love this kind of quilt!

If I had followed the pattern exactly I would not have run into any problems, but come on, what’s the fun in that?

Learn from my mistakes and get some tips for this pattern by reading my in-depth Bricks and Stepping Stones review .

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Easy Quilt Pattern – How to Find One
How do you find an easy quilt pattern from all the patterns available? After all, you want to spend your time quilting, not struggling to finish a quilt top. First, I’ll go into how you can spot this elusive quarry. Then, I’ll give you some examples from my own pattern stash.

The first thing you want to do is read the pattern’s instructions. I’ve never had a problem at a quilt shop looking at the actual directions for a pattern. If someone did raise a question or request that I not look at them, I would ask the assistant questions about the pattern.

Actually. Can I be honest?

The folks at my local quilt shop know me. They know what I like. And the second sentence out of their mouths when describing a pattern is usually, “It’s so easy to make.”

So, if you can not get a look at the directions, ask for help. This could come from someone who works at the shop or another customer. Quilters are very giving people. I’ve just looked lost, in the past and folks have offered assistance.

Now, you need to do your part, too. Ask questions. Let folks know what tools you have at home. If you are not comfortable with triangles, let them know. On the other hand, if you have a triangle ruler and want to try it out, let them know that, too.

The great thing about local quilt shops is their expertise. That’s why you pay a little bit more than with on-line shops. I consider it a consultation fee.

But what if you don’t have a local shop? What if you’re happy just to have a Joann’s or Hancock’s with folks who are there strictly to cut fabric and ring you up?

Then you’re going to have to go on what you see. Here are some questions to ask when trying to find an easy quilt pattern:

Is this a Strip Piecing Quilt? – Strip piecing is always good. These patterns are mostly made of squares and rectangles. Go for it. If you are not familiar with curves, this is not the time to experiment. We’re talking about an easy quilt pattern, here.

Do the instructions have lots of pictures? – Are there lots of pictures? I like pictures. I like knowing how I’m going to make this pattern when I get home. Actually, I like knowing that I can make it when I get home.

Pictures and different layouts help me make that decision. Which brings me to another point.

Can I understand the directions? OK. I’m sure none of y’all reading this has fallen in love with a pattern, taken it home and realized you had no idea what you were doing? Right? And, uh, I haven’t either.

OK. I have.

Again, make sure you know you can make this thing at home when you get it.

If you can not look at the directions because the pattern is on line, see if you can find a free pattern by the same quilt pattern designer. If you can understand their directions for their free patterns, you will probably be good with a purchased pattern.

How large is the block size? – More blocks mean less piecing. Everyone needs this type of easy quilt pattern. You need a baby quilt in a weekend or you want just an easy project? You can take this one out and whip out an easy quilt.

Of course, if you are really in a hurry you could just purchase a quilt panel. But if you have to make a stash quilt, you do what you have to do.

What are examples of an easy quilt pattern?
Log Cabin Quilt Pattern

Y’all I have not found any book as detailed and picture-intense as this one. This was done by strip- piecing.

The finished block size measures a nice 14 inch. It meets all my easy quilt pattern requirements.

BQ – A favorite.

You want a big block?

How about 18-inch block?

Notice the squares and rectangle shapes?

Yep, this is another strip-piecing pattern.

The picture is of the mini size I made for my laundry room. That smaller size measures a respectable, finished 9-inch block.

Turning Twenty This is a pattern where you cut up twenty different fat quarters a certain way and then have fun mixing and matching.

My version is more like turning twelve because the largest size quilt I make is a lap size.

This is a great pattern if you just want to select a package of fat quarters and start quilting

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Fast and Easy Quilting Techniques
Today’s quilting techniques allow easier piecing and completing of quilts. The main ones are below:

Strip Quilting – Strip quilting is a quilting technique that is essential to creating quilts quickly. Strip piecing is what it sounds like – cutting strips and then piecing or sewing them together with a quarter inch seam.

Once these strip sets are created, they are then sub-cut. Sometimes they are sub-cut into squares. Sometimes they are sub-cut using specialty rulers or other quilting tools such as a triangle tool. Using this technique is a great way for beginner quilters.

Scrap Quilting – Ah, scrap quilting is making a comeback. It is pretty simple – using up every scrap you have. Sometimes you’ll have fabric left over after a project or, um, like me you just fall in love with fabric. By making scrap quilts, you can use up fabric to the last inch.

Rag Quilting – Have you ever seem those warm and fuzzy quilts with the edges that look so cuddly? That’s rag quilting and it is pretty easy to do. The edges of the seems that you see are actually the exposed frayed seams, that are cut and then washed and dried.

Machine Quilting – To finish your quilt top, you can use machine quilting. The quilting tools needed for this are minimal – a quilting foot and invisible thread would work well.

Mock Binding – Binding is a technique that can stop folks in their tracks. If you view a quilt as a picture, the quilt top is the picture. Borders are the mats and the binding is the frame. Mock binding is when you use your backing as the binding.

You just need to make sure your binding is a reaches about an inch from the edge of your quilt and batting. Then you fold the edge of the backing so that its edge is to the edge of the quilt. Fold over again. Pin. Sew down.

Try all of these techniques. Depending on the need and intent for the quilt is what will decide which one you’ll choose.

One thing that I can say is that these quilting techniques have opened up the art to lots of new people who have never tried it before. Hey, maybe even you.

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Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Pattern Book

Make a Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Pattern by Eleanor Burns is a great book for absolute beginners and a good reference book for quilters in general. It oozes with step-by-step instructions and lots of pictures.

You may be thinking, yeah, but there’s one quilt pattern. But, you can work off this one pattern for years if you had to.

I’ve made lap quilts, baby quilts and mini quilts from this one pattern. The book contains the fabric requirements for different sizes from a wall hanging up to king size. Plus, there are layouts galore.

For the absolute beginner, you’ll get a list of supplies you’ll need for your very first strip quilting project. At first glance, the list may seem intimidating, but this supply list will last you a long time.

The actual strip quilting instructions are detailed with a picture to demonstrate every single step.

Most folks I know are fine when it comes to finishing a quilt top. They get scared, however, at the actual quilting and binding or finishing the quilt.

The Make a Quilt in a Day Log Cabin Pattern book details instructions on how to finish a quilt two different ways. You can either machine quilt or quick turn and tie. Both have step-by-step instructions.

The book does not cover hand stitching. But with a title called quilt in a day, you can kind of expect that.

Other projects included in the book are a pillow sham and a tote bag. Yeah! These are basic instructions that you can use for other quilt patterns. See why I love this book?

When it comes to machine quilting, most quilt books for beginners only mention stitching in the ditch (stitching in the seam of your blocks to give it an outline effect). This book suggests quilting lines. The difference in batting choices are also discussed.

I was able to move on to individual quilting patterns from this foundation because the book was short enough to not be overwhelmed, but detailed enough to tell you everything that you need.

Alas, all is not perfect.

There is not an emphasis on pressing your blocks as you are piecing. Pressing makes a difference. I was surprised to discover this after I came back to the book to make a mini-quilt. Another nitpick is that the binding strips are not cut on the bias.

And, uh, a first-time quilter would not care about either one of those things. I used this book to make my first quilt and even without bias-cut binding strips and blocks unpressed until the end, it turned out fine.

Bottom line � this book can get you help you finish your very first quilt totally on your own. It is a book you can not pry from my quilting library.

Note � I used a picture of my own copy for this one. I consider it to be well-loved.

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Quilt Book Review – Quiltmaker’s Gift
Technically, this is a pattern quilt book but I like to look at it as eye candy. It’s by Joanne Larsen Line and the sub title is 19 traditional patterns for a new generation of generous quiltmakers.

Throughout the book are pictures from the children’s book The Quiltmaker’s Gift.

The book is gorgeous. Gorgeous I tell you. Even if the actual patterns scare me.

There are a lot of itty bitty pieces with this one. As the subtitle says, these are traditional patterns before the age of strip piecing and firmly in the land of templates.

So, why would I recommend this quilt book?

Because you eventually are going to become an intermediate quilter. But you won’t leave the safety of your strip piecing home until you salivate enough times over a Storm at Sea pattern and say not only I want to do that, but I’m willing to take the time to do that. (Full disclosure: I am so not there yet, but it is on my quilting bucket list).

When you’re ready (and after looking through this book for a couple of months you will be ready) you will be able to dive in.

Why This Book is Superfantastic (TM Dad)

You get cutting instructions for different sizes. Usually the book contains instructions for a lap size and queen. The book also contains backing layouts if you have to piece your backing from standard width fabric.

Oh, did I mention the eye candy? Y’all, we are artists and the pictures have you thinking that it’s not so hard to do all of those projects really.

Also, they’ve got different layouts and tips on fabric selection for each quilt.

So, after scaring you, can you do the quilts in this book? Yes. They are just going to take a longer time. You could also cut down on all the pieces by using a tool such as the easy angle (my favorite) for your half square triangles. The reference section of the book mentions using triangle paper. That is another choice.

Things I Love

I adore their section on color in the back and just the book’s overall encouragement to explore your creativity.

The setting section is good as are the finishing sections. Love the binding pictures. I also like that they have suggested reading list and a list of professional machine quilters.

Bottom Line

Yep, another quilt book that has made it through my annual book purge. It’s worth it just for the pattern names – Peace and Plenty – End of the Day – Next Door Neighbor.

Working through it you will learn easy squares, working with templates and paper piecing. Good book. Inspiring and a happy place in my quilting library.

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Quilt Design – 3 Methods
Ever wanted to learn about quilt design, but thought it was either too difficult? Good news. Chances are that you can design quilts using what you have at home. Think I’m kidding? Let’s check out three ways of desiging your own quilts.

1. Graph Paper
Yes. Graph paper. Please don’t have flashbacks to elementary school math class. Plain ole graph paper is excellent for drafting patterns graph paper is excellent for drafting patterns , especially if you’re going simple with just squares and triangles.

The most important thing to remember is the scale. I personally use the scale of one square for one inch. Along with crayons, it’s a nice relaxing way to work out some quilt designs to see if they will really work together.

If you plan to use fabric that feature patterns, you can still use this method. Usually the pattern will “read” as a certain color. That’s the color you use on the graph paper. Because you are using simple shapes, it will be easy to see what works and what doesn’t.

2. Mini Quilts
Still not comfortable with graph paper? Break out the fabric. This is especially helpful because you get a mini quilt in the process.

Making a mini quilt of your project will help take the intimidation factor down with any new techniques and fabric choices, also.

This method best works when you’ve got a strip-quilting pattern. If you have to cut all the strips at 2.5 inches, simply cut them at 1.5 inches and follow the directions.

By the time you make the big quilt, you’ve got all the patterns and the colors worked out without wasting a lot of fabric. And you’ve got a cute decoration for the package if you’re giving the quilt away.

Quilt Design Software
And then there is the design software. There are many pros to using this method. You get to play with the colors and the dimensions of your quilt with a click of a button. Some programs even have fabric libraries you can download and use. Your program may even calculate the exact amount of fabric you need.

There are also cons to using a computer program. Programs can be expensive. There could be a learning curve if you are not comfortable with computers. And have you seen patterns made with those programs? They’re like cut out 100 2.5 inch squares when you could easily use strip quilting to cut down on the time.

Still. Honestly, this type of software is on my Christmas list…

So, there you have it – three ways to satisfy those quilt design urgings. Try it. The next time you give a quilt as a gift you can be proud in knowing that you made it from the design all the way through quilting.

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