The following is a reference guide. For more information, consult a comprehensive quilting book.
• Read through the entire pattern before you begin your project.
• Purchase quality, 100 percent cotton fabrics.
• When considering prewashing, do so with ALL of the fabrics being used. Generally, prewashing is not required in quilting.
• Use 1/4" seam allowance for all stitching unless otherwise instructed.
• Use a short-to-medium stitch length.
• Make sure your seams are accurate.
Quilting Tools & Supplies
• Rotary cutter and mat
• Scissors for paper and fabric
• Nonslip quilting rulers
• Marking tools
• Sewing machine
• Sewing machine feet: 1/4” seaming foot (for piecing) Walking or even-feed foot (for piecing or quilting) Darning or free-motion foot (for free-motion quilting)
• Quilting hand-sewing needles
• Straight pins
• Curved safety pins for basting
• Seam ripper
• Iron and ironing surface
Basic Techniques Appliqué Fusible Appliqué
All templates are reversed for use with this technique.
1. Trace the instructed number of templates 1/4" apart onto the paper side of paper-backed fusible web. Cut apart the templates, leaving a margin around each, and fuse to the wrong side of the fabric following fusible web manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Cut the appliqué pieces out on the traced lines, remove paper backing and fuse to the background referring to the appliqué motif given.
3. Finish appliqué raw edges with a straight, satin, blanket, zigzag or blind-hem machine stitch with matching or invisible thread.
1. Trace the printed reversed templates onto template plastic. Flip the template over and mark as the right side.
2. Position the template, right side up, on the right side of fabric and lightly trace, spacing images 1/2" apart. Cut apart, leaving a 1/4" margin around the traced lines.
3. Clip curves and press edges 1/4" to the wrong side around the appliqué shape.
4. Referring to the appliqué motif, pin or baste appliqué shapes to the background.
5. Hand-stitch shapes in place using a blind stitch and thread to match or machine-stitch using a short blind hemstitch and either matching or invisible thread.
Most patterns give an exact size to cut borders. You may check those sizes by comparing them to the horizontal and vertical center measurements of your quilt top.
1. Mark the centers of the side borders and quilt top sides.
2. Stitch borders to quilt top sides with right sides together and matching raw edges and center marks using a 1/4" seam. Press seams toward borders.
3. Repeat with top and bottom border lengths.
1. Add at least twice the border width to the border lengths instructed to cut.
2. Center and sew the side borders to the quilt, beginning and ending stitching 1/4" from the quilt corner and backstitching (Figure 1). Repeat with the top and bottom borders.
3. Fold and pin quilt right sides together at a 45-degree angle on one corner (Figure 2). Place a straightedge along the fold and lightly mark a line across the border ends.
4. Stitch along the line, backstitching to secure. Trim seam to 1/4" and press open (Figure 3).
Quilt Backing & Batting
We suggest that you cut your backing and batting 8" larger than the finished quilt-top size. If preparing the backing from standard-width fabrics, remove the selvages and sew two or three lengths together; press seams open. If using 108"-wide fabric, trim to size on the straight grain of the fabric. Prepare batting the same size as your backing. You can purchase prepackaged sizes or battings by the yard and trim to size.
1. Press quilt top on both sides and trim all loose threads.
2. Make a quilt sandwich by layering the backing right side down, batting and quilt top centered right side up on flat surface and smooth out. Pin or baste layers together to hold.
3. Mark quilting design on quilt top and quilt as desired by hand or machine. Note: If you are sending your quilt to a professional quilter, contact them for specifics about preparing your quilt for quilting.
4. When quilting is complete, remove pins or basting. Trim batting and backing edges even with raw edges of quilt top.
Binding the Quilt
1. Join binding strips on short ends with diagonal seams to make one long strip; trim seams to 1/4" and press seams open (Figure 4).
2. Fold 1" of one short end to wrong side and press. Fold the binding strip in half with wrong sides together along length, again referring to Figure 4; press.
3. Starting about 3" from the folded short end, sew binding to quilt top edges, matching raw edges and using a 1/4" seam. Stop stitching 1/4" from corner and backstitch (Figure 5).
4. Fold binding up at a 45-degree angle to seam and then down even with quilt edges, forming a pleat at corner, referring to Figure 6.
5. Resume stitching from corner edge as shown in Figure 6, down quilt side, backstitching 1/4" from next corner. Repeat, mitering all corners, stitching to within 3" of starting point.
6. Trim binding end long enough to tuck inside starting end and complete stitching (Figure 7).
7. Fold binding to quilt back and stitch in place by hand or machine to complete your quilt.
• Appliqué: Adding fabric motifs to a foundation fabric by hand or machine (see Appliqué section of Basic Techniques).
• Basting: This temporarily secures layers of quilting materials together with safety pins, thread or a spray adhesive in preparation for quilting the layers. Use a long, straight stitch to hand- or machine-stitch one element to another holding the elements in place during construction and usually removed after construction.
• Batting: An insulating material made in a variety of fiber contents that is used between the quilt top and back to provide extra warmth and loft.
• Binding: A finishing strip of fabric sewn to the outer raw edges of a quilt to cover them. Straight-grain binding strips, cut on the crosswise straight grain of the fabric (see Straight & Bias Grain Lines illustration), are commonly used. Bias binding strips are cut at a 45-degree angle to the straight grain of the fabric. They are used when binding is being added to curved edges.
• Block: The basic quilting unit that is repeated to complete the quilt’s design composition. Blocks can be pieced, appliquéd or solid and are usually square or rectangular in shape.
• Border: The frame of a quilt’s central design used to visually complete the design and give the eye a place to rest.
• Fabric Grain: The fibers that run either parallel (lengthwise grain) or perpendicular (crosswise grain) to the fabric selvage are straight grain. Bias is any diagonal line between the lengthwise or crosswise grain. At these angles the fabric is less stable and stretches easily. The true bias of a woven fabric is a 45-degree angle between the lengthwise and crosswise grain lines. • Mitered Corners: Matching borders or turning bindings at a 45-degree angle at corners.
• Patchwork: A general term for the completed blocks or quilts that are made from smaller shapes sewn together.
• Pattern: This may refer to the design of a fabric or to the written instructions for a particular quilt design.
• Piecing: The act of sewing smaller pieces and/or units of a block or quilt together. Paper or foundation piecing is sewing fabric to a paper or cloth foundation in a certain order. String or chain piecing is sewing pieces together in a continuous string without clipping threads between sections.
• Pressing: Pressing is the process of placing the iron on the fabric, lifting it off the fabric and placing it down in another location to flatten seams or crease fabric without sliding the iron across the fabric. Quilters do not usually use steam when pressing, since it can easily distort fabric shapes. Generally, seam allowances are pressed toward the darker fabric in quilting so that they do not show through the lighter fabric. Seams are pressed in opposite directions where seams are being joined to allow seams to butt against each other and to distribute bulk.
Seams are pressed open when multiple seams come together in one place. If you have a question about pressing direction, consult a comprehensive quilting guide for guidance.
• Quilt (noun): A sandwich of two layers of fabric with a third insulating material between them that is then stitched together with the edges covered or bound.
• Quilt (verb): Stitching several layers of fabric materials together with a decorative design. Stippling, crosshatch, channel, in-the-ditch, free-motion, allover and meandering are all terms for quilting designs.
• Quilt sandwich: A layer of insulating material between a quilt’s top and back fabric.
• Rotary cutting: Using a rotary cutting blade and straightedge to cut fabric.
• Sashing: Strips of fabric sewn between blocks to separate or set off the designs.
• Subcut: A second cutting of rotary-cut strips that makes the basic shapes used in block and quilt construction.
• Template: A pattern made from a sturdy material which is then used to cut shapes for patchwork and appliqué quilting.
Quilting Skill Levels Beginner
A quilter who has been introduced to the basics of cutting, piecing and assembling a quilt top and is working to master these skills. Someone who has the knowledge of how to sandwich, quilt and bind a quilt, but may not have necessarily accomplished the task yet.
A quilter who has pieced and assembled several quilt tops and is comfortable with the process, and is now ready to move on to more challenging techniques and projects using at least two different techniques.
A quilter who is comfortable with most quilting techniques and has a good understanding for design, color and the whole process. A quilter who is experienced in paper piecing, bias piecing and projects involving multiple techniques. Someone who is confident in making fabric selections other than those listed in the pattern.
A quilter who is looking for a challenging design. Someone who knows she or he can make any type of quilt. Someone who has the skills to read, comprehend and complete a pattern, and is willing to take on any technique. A quilter who is comfortable in her or his skills and has the ability to select fabric suited to the project.