Category How To

Machine Quilting Designs

Quilting, like painting is a wonderful art. It is similar to painting in the sense that paints and brushes are replaced by threads and needles. Paper is replaced by fabrics. Quilts were traditionally made by hand, but not with the advent of sewing quilting machines, many prefer to use machines. This is because, machines make quilting work easier, faster and not to mention a lot neater. You have the option of using an ordinary sewing machine which has quilting capabilities or you can use a machine that is specifically designed for quilting. There are a great number of machine quilting designs to make beautiful projects.

Small patches of different fabrics are used to make quilts, though you can use the same fabric as well...

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Create With Fabric Squares

Quilting has become a passion with many and with some even a tradition where the family will put their efforts together in order to finish a larger quilt or project. They create with fabric squares.

The reason why quilting can become addictive is that you can create your own from scratch. You don’t need experience or previous practice to create your quilt. However, you will need a lot of creativity and inspiration which most of us women have plenty to go around.

First and foremost you must decide on the size of the quilt and here you should first try a smaller quilt so you don’t get tired mid-way and give up the project. Sometimes when making a quilt for the first time you can get anxious to finish it in order to see the end result.

Fabric Squares for Quilting: The Details

Quilting by squ...

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Edge To Edge Quilting

Edge To Edge Quilting

There are many terms in quilting that many individuals may not be aware of unless they are actually an expert or have done their research in advance. One of these terms, for example, is edge to edge quilting? It refers to the idea of one pattern literally going from edge to edge. There are repeated patterns that go from one edge to the other, whether that is up and down or top to bottom. There may be one pattern in edge to edge quilting or several, but the pattern dictates the term is applied regardless.

There are distinct aesthetic values attached to edge to edge quilting but there are also problems associated with achieving that effect. It is difficult to achieve the edge to edge quilting effect via hand quilting...

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From Strips To Strip Pieced Quilts

From strips to strip pieced quilts

Making strip pieced quilts today is a natural thing for diye’rs. With today’s modern equipment to neatly and precisely strip, cut and sew; it is quite easy and simple to go from strips to quilts. The introduction of rotary cutters, cutting mats and scored rulers has definitely made life easier for making striped pieced quilts. Yesterday’s quilters usually had to rip the fabric strips into varying widths and left ragged edges along the cloth with dangling threads which would likely become knotted.

Now strips of fabric can be cut into long narrow widths or even fatter pieces depending upon the choice of the quilter. The width of the strip gives character to each quilt and adapts to the colors and prints of the fabrics.
Narrow strips allow a more delicate fe...

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Perfect Applique Curves and Points

 perfect applique curves and points

There are many ways of making perfect applique curves and points. For hand applique you can use freezer paper or templates. For sewing machine applique; fusible bonding materials or fusible thread work really well. Works for diy.

After the pieces are ready the sewing method is the same for hand or machine applique. Sew the bottom layer applique pieces first and continue layering the pieces until they are all stitched n place.

For hand applique use a buttonhole or blind hem stitch. For machine applique use a special applique or zig zag stitch. Unless you want contrast, use thread colors to match the pieces.


A popular method for hand applique uses freezer paper. Trace the picture from your pattern onto the dull side of the paper...

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String-pieced blocks

The following instructions are for string-pieced blocks on paper which is torn away. If you wish to make a sturdier quilt, you can use muslin squares instead of paper.

Cut 20 squares from typing paper or copy paper, each to be 8 1/2″ x 8 1/2 inch. You may use muslin or tear-away webbing instead. From scraps of fabric, cut strips (strings) from 1 inch to 2 inches in width. The edges need to be cut straight with a rotary ruler, but the 2 long sides do not need to be parallel. In fact, if some of the strings go from narrow to wider, the blocks will be more varied and interesting. The strings can be cut to any length.

Since two corners of each block require triangular shapes, you can conserve fabric by first cutting a 2″-3″ square...

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Build Your Own Design Wall

build your own design wall

Making mock blocks is the best way to see if different fabrics work as patches in relationship to each other. If the color distribution from block to block is important or if color position is important before sewing, a design wall is the best way to decide. solving design problems is so much better if you can combine and then then view different quilt  elements from a distance. Here are instructions to build your own design wall. Makes a great diy project.

This permanently installed, flannel-covered wall is inexpensive, easy to construct and durable. The flannel holds patches in place for as long as needed. The strong, porous board easily accepts pins for paper displays and heavier mountings.

Ideally the wall should be in the same room as your fabric, cutting t...

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Quilting a Monster

quilting a monster

Big quilts can be quilted at home on your regular sewing machine. Here are some ideas to help when quilting a monster.


When the edges of a large quilt fall off your sewing surface, you may lose control of your stitches….maybe your temper, too. It’s so helpful to have a large surface level with your sewing machine bed to hold the quilt. There are inexpensive folding sewing tables, which use a custom-cut insert. These can be ordered to fit most sewing machine models. We use one with a 20″ x 23″ area under and to the left of the arm. If larger is needed, a card table placed behind the sewing table and an ironing board adjusted to the same height beside it...

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Transferring Templates

There are six simple steps for transferring templates from magazine patterns. There are a few supplies you will need to do this. They include stiff cardboard (such as cereal boxes, etc.), freezer  paper (sold in a roll in most grocery stores). Freezer paper is a white paper with a plastic coating on one side. This plastic coating will adhere to the cardboard when you fuse it with a hot iron. Also required are a sharp #2 pencil, a good ruler, and  scissors for cutting the cardboard ( not your good fabric scissors).

1: Using the pattern template from book, cut a piece of freezer paper larger than the template you wish to trace. Place it over the template in the  book or magazine, plastic side down. Freezer paper is semi-transparent and the markings should be clearly visible...

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Quilt Borders

quilt borders

At last  your quilt top is finished and you also left the calculations for the quilt borders for the very last step.  Have you picked out and purchased the fabric for the borders and just need to measure it and cut it accurately? Then again maybe you left the selection of the border until the very end. We like to take the quilt top  to our  quilt shop and ask the owner  to help select the right colors, texture, and amount of fabric.

First  you want  to consider how wide  you want your border or borders? A pieced border (combined with one or more thin inner borders) can be as wide as a single block . But for a simple, single fabric do not attempt to use a strip more than one half the size of a block. Quilts with 12″ blocks should only have up to 6″ of a single fabric...

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Scant Quarter Inch Seam

scant quarter inch seam

A scant quarter inch seam is what is used to obtain a true quarter inch seam allowance. If a true

quarter inch seam is sewn, there would be no allowance for thread thickness and the slight fold

you get when two pieces of fabric are sewn together. What we are looking for in machine piecing

is the measurement obtained after all piecing is finished. That is we sew piece after piece after

piece, etc., deduct one quarter inch for seam allowance on each piece, and the unit should then

have the exact raw measurement that was desired.

There is no absolute way to determine how to set the sewing machine for this scant quarter inch

without doing a sewing test. To test for this, cut three strips of material into one and one quarter

by five inch pieces...

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Wide bindings

Any bindings  that finish one half inch wide is sturdy enough for a quilt that will get a lot of

use. It is a pretty way to finish a quilt since it looks like another border. This method is best

for quilts with a plain outer border, not a pieced border.

To continue, start by cutting strips three and one half inches wide, wider if using a thicker

batting, of various lengths.  Depending on your quilt, use materials of different, coordinating

colors. Cut short ones if you want several colors or long if  you want your binding to  have a

less scrappy look.

The directions here are for Double-Fold binding. First join the strips together end to end

in angled seams. Make sure you have enough binding to completely  go around the outside

of the quilt...

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Sizing It Up

sizing it up

Ever been in a quilt shop and stood looking at a finished quilt? You fell in love with it and found but in sizing it up that it was for a twin size and you had a queen size. can I make it work? Should you give up and not buy the pattern? By using some of your math skills and a little creativity, you can make any quilt pattern fit your needs. Great for diy.

First consider increasing the number of blocks in the quilt by adding another row or rows. This can be done usually vertically or horizontally or both. Figure how this will affect any pieced borders. You may have to increase the size of the borders to accommodate the larger size of the main quilt.

If you aren’t comfortable adding blocks, you could simply add width to the borders...

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Cutting Mat Lines

cutting mat lines

Ever been told NOT to use the lines on your cutting mat when rotary cutting your material? Well we beg to differ with that old wives’ myth. It just plain nonsense. Now I’ll tell you why I feel extremely confident in making this statement. Those cutting mat lines are put on for a reason.

All the many different mat manufacturers wouldn’t stay in business very long if they put out mats with inaccurate markings  and measurements. I’ll bet that it costs thousands  of dollars on the technology that lets them print those standard measurements with absolute accuracy. and they print those lines for people to use. Does it make sense to turn your mat over and use the side without markings? NO.

The old quilting saying” Measure twice and Cut once” makes a lot of sense...

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Designing Two Block Quilts

designing two-block quilts

When designing two-block quilts, you first have to determine a primary block. The second block is called the connector block. The primary (or prim donna) is usually a lighter color while the connector is darker colored one.

There are things to look for in a primary block. These are (1)  complexity: this does not mean that a block has to be hard to make or have a lot of patches, but does need to be visually interesting. (2) Seams at the edges: a block that has a frame around it or has a few seams extending to the edges, such as a Log Cabin block will present fewer ways to combine adjacent blocks, so do not choose this type of . Instead select a block which has seams to the side...

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Log Cabin Block

Items needed for log cabin block

Tips for Beginners: 


Let’s take a minute to go over a few tips for beginners. You can certainly use a ruler, fabric marking pen, and scissors to cut your pieces. But quilters know that a clear quilter’s ruler and a rotary cutter used with a cutting mat will give you accurate results more quickly. To use a quilter’s ruler, match up the measurement line with the edge of the fabric. For this quilt block, I need strips that are two inches wide. So count over two inches, then line that mark up with the edge of your fabric. Stabilize the ruler with one hand and place the rotary cutter blade right next to the ruler’s edge...

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Beginner Quilts

Beginner Quilts

I’m Bill and live in Nebraska. Awhile back I watched my wife ,Barbara, sewing little squares of material together to make bigger squares. Eventually those little squares became a large quilt top for the ladies quilting group at our church. This was my first encounter with beginner quilts.

One day I kidingly asked if she thought I could do this. Absolutely you can and proceeded to toss me a sack of six inch squares. All you do is use a quarter inch seam allowance and sew them together ten strips of seven squares each. Then you sew your strips together. If you need help I’ll be in the other room; justn holler.

WOW!! Suddenly I was kind of a first time quilter. I actually thought this was fun and I also felt good because I was helping out a great cause...

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