Quilting Tips

Here are some ideas for making your quilting easier, more efficient, and just all-around better with our pros at National Quilters Circle!
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a cutting mat with the words caring for your self - healing cutting mat
Caring for Your Self-Healing Cutting Mat
I love my self-healing cutting mat. Probably one of my best friends, in the sewing room anyway. But did you know that your mat needs some regular care in order to keep it in tip top shape? Otherwise it will begin to look like my old mat here. (Eek!)
a colorful quilt is displayed on a bed
Adding Borders & Finding Balance Guide Download
There are many ways to finish or “frame” a quilt. As quilters we find ourselves altering patterns and then trying to determine the age old question - when adding borders: 1.) How many borders? 2.) What size is appropriate? 3.) will borders be added to all four sides or three sides? Download this free guide to learn a few different approaches and the common methods quilters embrace.
an open book with the title time management how to start quilting projects
Time Management: How to Start Quilting Projects
Between work, family and errands that need to be done it can be hard to find time to quilt. ZJ Humbach shares tips on how to start quilting and how to make time for it every day. Whether you want to finish a quilt to give as a gift for a holiday or you are making it for yourself, making it a priority will help you get it done. ZJ explains how putting quilting on your schedule can help you find time to finish.
the words ask an expert q & a surrounded by many different types of fabrics
Starting in the Center or at the Sides: What’s the Scoop?
Question: I was always taught to start quilting in the center of my quilt and work my way out and down, then return to the center of the quilt and repeat in the other in direction. Lately, I’ve come across many ideas that seem to start on the side or mention stabilizing the quilt at key points and then doing what I want, where I want to do it. What’s the scoop? Answer: Hi, The reason most teach to start quilting at the center and work your way out is to help eliminate the possibility of...
a quilt with the words how to add a way or scalloped border to your quilt
How to Add a Wavy or Scalloped Border to your Quilt
Adding a scalloped or wavy border to your next quilting project can really make it stand out from simply straight borders. Colleen Tauke walks you through how to plan out, measure, draw, cut, and sew a wavy or scalloped border.
10 quick quilting tips for beginners to learn how to sew and do it
Top 10 Quick Quilting Tips
Whether you’re just getting started or are a quilting expert, it’s always a good idea to be looking for tips and tricks to add to your repertoire. We asked our circle of ambassadors to share their favorite life-saving quilting tips. Here are a few of our favorites!
someone is holding their hand up to the side of a quilt that says how and where to begin quilting
How and Where to Begin Quilting
When it comes to quilting, figuring out where to start can be both confusing and intimidating. See how to take the worry out of the quilting process with expert tips from Heather Thomas.
the beginner's guide to quilting essential tools and supplies on a cutting mat
Beginner’s Guide to Quilting: Essential Tools & Supplies
In this article, I’m going to go over some of the basic supplies and materials you will need to get started in quilting, as well as offer some tips for getting started on your very first block. Look toward the end for your essential supply list too. If you are a new quilter and you are reading this article, then you are already off to a great start!
hand beading on fabric with bugle beads and single stitch
Hand Beading on Fabric with Bugle Beads and Single Stitch
Heather Thomas teaches you how to hand bead so you can add even more extravagance to your quilt. It is very simple to learn and she teaches you using only five basic stitches. The different types you will learn is the bugle stitch that uses bugle beads, the stack stitch using multiple fancy beads, a single stitch, a back stitch to fill something with beads, and a stacking stitch.
a person is working on an art project with the title how to paint fabric for quilting
How to Paint Fabric for Quilting
Heather Thomas teaches you how to put color onto fabric. You will need stabilized fabric and she suggests three different inks – tee juice markers, fabric markers, or liquid ink. Learn how to paint your fabric by penciling your drawing on your stabilized fabric and then color in different areas using multiple colors with a wet blending technique.
a quilt with the words how to prevent fabric bleeds on it and an image of a
How to Prevent Fabric Bleed
To stop quilting fabric from bleeding in your finished quilt, be sure to machine wash your fabric (sorted with like colors) and dry before cutting. Yes, that does mean you will have to iron or press your quilting fabrics as well!
two pictures showing how to make quilts with scissors and fabric pieces on the table
Piecing a Quilt with Strips
Carolyn Beam presents her creative and easy technique of using leftover strips of fabric. Learn how to incorporate old bindings or scraps of fabric to quilting blocks. Spark new and creative ideas for a fun project of your own. See examples of pieces shes done and use these tips to help get rid of leftover fabric strips!
someone is laying down on a quilt with their hand on the bottom half of it
How to Hang a Quilt on a Wall
Angie Hodapp demonstrates how to avoid making a sleeve when you finally finish your quilt. This video will let you hang your quilt with just one hook/nail at the same time you make your binding. All you have to do is fold two squares in half, baste the triangles in two corners of the quilt, and add your binding.
the instructions for how to use rulers and rectangles in quilting are shown
Tips for Determining Quilt Measurements
Joli Sayasane is here to give you a lesson on the benefits of extra fabric and where to add it when determining your quilt measurements. You will learn how much extra fabric to add to your squares and rectangles, as well as how to go about the various types of triangle pieces.
the words quilting on a budget surrounded by sewing supplies
Quilting on a Budget Tips and Tricks
Every time I get a new quilt student I see their eyes glaze over in shock when we talk about how expensive quilts can be to make. I’ve developed a new shock therapy that snaps them right out of that dazed look: I teach them some money saving skills that encourage and challenge them to make beautiful (but expensive-looking) quilts when quilting on a budget! In this article I’ll go over some of the most expensive aspects of quilting and offer tips on how to save money in each of those areas.
someone is cutting out some paper to make a quilt point on the wall with scissors
Quilt Points
When we view patchwork, many of us begin looking for the quilt “points”. The points are defined as the intersection of seams, which can be simple corners of squares and rectangles, but more often our eyes travel to the areas of a quilt top that contain triangle shapes. Those more interesting angles and how perfectly sharp the tips of triangles appear refers to the quilt points.
someone is working on some quilts with the words sewing partial quilt seams over them
Sewing Partial Quilt Seams
Learning new techniques and skills as a quilter can be a challenge. Video is the perfect platform for learning about sewing seams that are in a partial seam quilt block. The ability to rewatch and pause can assist you as you work your way through this new approach. Once you have mastered this skill, you will find a new group of quilt blocks you had previously avoided. New skills = new adventures.
the words quilt batting choices on top of an image of sewing supplies and scissors with text overlay that reads, quilt batting choices
Quilt Batting Choices
Selecting the best quilt batting becomes a very personal choice. Let’s learn about a wide variety of batting styles and fiber choices as we journey into the world of quilt batting. Your instructor, Colleen Tauke, will introduce you to quilt batting to suit your particular desired outcome. You will learn about the various fiber contents available for purchase. They range from 100% cotton batting to a blend of 80/20 and 70/30 cotton/polyester blends.
an image of someone cutting fabric on top of a piece of cloth with the words, all about quilt batting
All About Quilt Battings
Peg Spradlin demonstrates how to apply batting properly to your quilts. Learn about all the different types of batting you can use as well as the different fibers in batting. Use these tips to help you choose the right batting for your quilts and see how batting can make a huge impact on the quality of your quilts.
someone is using a sewing machine to sew the fabric on a red, white and blue pillow
Adding a Hanging Sleeve
A quilt hanging sleeve is the perfect addition to any size of quilt in order to easily display it on a wall. Colleen Tauke shows how to add a quilt hanging sleeve to a quilt, either before or after the quilt has been bound.While adding a quilting hanging sleeve may be the preferred option of many for displaying a quilt on the wall, it is not the only option.
two hands are holding up a painting on a wooden surface with the words ideas for framing wall quilts
Ideas for Framing Wall Quilts
Wall quilts can look a little too understated when they hang flat against the wall. Add the perfect finishing touch to your next wall quilt by framing it. In this video, you’ll learn where to find the best frames and how to create quilts to fit the frame rather than search out a frame for an already completed quilt. Heather Thomas shares her tips and ideas.
two quilts sitting next to each other on top of a wooden table with the words planning for shrinkling when quilting
Planning for Shrinkage When Quilt Making
There are a lot of factors to take into account when making a quilt and shrinkage is a very important one! The denser your quilt, the more shrinkage there may be. ZJ Humbach provides some helpful tips for quilt making and the benefits of preparing for shrinkage in your quilts.
a bed with a quilt on it that says learn to calculate bed quilt sizes
How to Get a Perfectly Fitting Quilt Every Tim
When beginning a new quilt, you’ll want to start by answering a few questions to get a clearer idea of the dimensions you need your quilt to be. There are a few considerations to take into account, such as mattress size, shrinkage, borders, quilt style, and fabric choice. Determining the correct size for your quilt can become a bit of a math problem, but this easy-to-use chart will get you off to a good start.
someone is using a sewing machine to sew on some fabric with the words, quilting undulating lines with circles
Quilting Undulated Lines with Circles
Small circles can be fun to quilt, however they can be tedious to do and take lots of time to complete. Heather Thomas shows you how to quilt a combination of undulating lines and small circles that creates a striking look when finished.
someone is cutting out triangles with scissors on a piece of quilting paper that has the words, triangles with rulers written across it
Triangles with Rulers
The whimsy of the triangle quilt is one that is sure to capture the quilter’s heart. Where does one start and what are the variety of triangle rulers available that can jumpstart your quilting experience? Join Colleen Tauke as she presents all things triangle. Learn about the various 45 degree triangle ruler options, along with the 60 degree triangle ruler options, how they are similar and how they differ.
a woman is cleaning her iron on the counter with a yellow circle over it that says how to clean your iron
How to Clean Your Iron
While most sewers and quilters use their iron as often as their sewing machines, they don’t often think about the need to clean it. ZJ Humbach shares why this is an important thing to do and shows how to clean your iron. ZJ begins by explaining that there are many ways that build up can occur on your iron, and even though you may not be able to see it, or the iron may look clean, it is still a good idea to clean it regularly.
someone is sewing on the floor with their hands and threads in front of them
Choosing the Right Quilting Thread
Heather Thomas teaches you all about thread while providing helpful tips and techniques for working with thread. Learn the many types of thread available as well as the many brands and weights of thread. Understand the value of thread and add element to your quilts. Find out all you need to know about thread and how you can utilize thread when making your beautiful quilts.
two hands are stitching together with the words quilting thread overview in front of them
Quilting Thread Overview
Heather Thomas talks to you about an overlooked part in the quilting process – threads. Most importantly you will learn about the weight system of thread that started in Britain because there are different thin, thick, fine, and heavy threads for different projects. Then learn when you should use each thread.
the right needles for your sewing machine on a wooden table with text overlay that reads, the right needles for your sewing machine
The Right Needles for Your Sewing Machine
Heather Thomas explains in depth the benefits and qualities of each sewing machine needle. These tips and techniques will help you choose the right sewing needle and what needles work well with different thread. Learn the many possibilities associated with specific needles and threads. Use these tips to start sewing more efficiently with different sized needles.
an older woman is working on quilting with her hands and the words, longarm type quilting samples
Longarm Type Quilting Samples
Completing a patchwork quilt top is easy. Quilting the quilt is an entirely different story. Many quilters gain skills quickly when it comes to making units, blocks and borders, but what about the finishing? Trying to determine what kinds of patterns to use when actually quilting motivates us to learn edge-to-edge or free motion designs. Join Toby Lischko as she discusses a variety of simple designs to get you started.