Acrylic Ruler

Acrylic rulers are used for rotary cutting.  They come in many sizes and shapes.  Probably the most popular size for beginners is the 6 inches x 12 inches ( or 6 1/2 x 12 1/2).  When purchasing a rotary ruler, make sure the grid is correct.  Use other rulers to check its accuracy.  Most of… Continue reading Acrylic Ruler

Album Quilt

  An Album Quilt is a type of friendship quilt.  Individual blocks are signed by friends and assembled into a quilt.  Album Quilts are then given to friends, relatives, pastors, or other public officials often commemorating a special event in their lives. A popular album quilt is called a Baltimore Album which often has elaborate… Continue reading Album Quilt

Alternate set

alternate set

Placing a different square between pieced squares is referred to as an alternate set.   In this quilt, the light pink squares alternate with the patchwork blocks. The pink squares are an alternate set. This quilt is also an example of a diagonal set as the blocks are turned on point (diamond-like instead of squares).   In… Continue reading Alternate set


Amish Quilt

  This describes a style of quilt particular to the Amish people.  The Amish quilts are often made from traditional patterns with stunning solid colored fabric.  These quilts are sewn by hand and are usually heavily quilted unlike the quilt in the photo which has minimal quilting.


This pink elephant is fused to the background.

Refers to the process by which one piece of fabric is applied to another.  There are many different appliqué techniques.  (Please see Appliqué Intro video below.)  The type of stitching and the application technique is up to the individual quilter.  This decision is often based on the talent of the quilter and the ‘look’ of… Continue reading Applique


  Often the background fabric will be a solid or a tone-on-tone fabric.  These types of fabrics allow the quilt design to stand out.  


Muslin is used as the backing fabric.

The backing is the fabric that goes on the back of the quilt – easy! This can be one large piece of fabric or it can be made from several different fabrics. Here are just a few examples of backing.

Baltimore Album

  A Baltimore Album quilt is a type of quilt that was originally made in Baltimore in the 1800’s.  These quilts are made up of a number of blocks, each appliquéd with a different design. As the popularity of this quilt style grew, women far beyond Baltimore began making these album quilts. I wish I had a… Continue reading Baltimore Album

Bargello Quilts

Bargello Quilt by Debbie Clemmons

Bargello quilts mimic a type of needlepoint that uses mathematical patterns to create a design. Often bright colors are used in these geometric designs. In this Bargello quilt made by Debbie Clemmons, bright Hawaiian prints were used. The bottom photo is a close up of the pieces and the hand quilting used.    

Baste or Basting

Basting is the process of temporarily sewing or glueing fabric together. This can be done by hand (on the right) or by machine (on the left side of heart) or with washable adhesive (turned under edges of heart).  Quilters use basting to temporarily position applique pieces. They also baste the top, batting, and backing together… Continue reading Baste or Basting

Basting Needles

Basting needles are longer than most needles.

  Any size needle can be used for basting but long needles work best.  The longer shaft makes it easy to “load” long stitches on the shaft.  This allows you to sew through more fabric in a shorter period of time. If you would like to purchase basting needles from Amazon, click here. Watch the… Continue reading Basting Needles

Basting Spray

  The marvels of the 21st century!  Basting spray is now available. Warning: if you use this spray make sure the windows are open and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Some quilters complain that the spray eventually clogs up on their needles when quilting. A possible solution is to use this spray only on small pieces.… Continue reading Basting Spray

Basting Stitches

Basting Stitches

  Long running stitches are basting stitches; nothing fancy here.  These stitches should go in fast and they should be able to be removed quickly because they are temporary.  They help hold the fabric while you put in the permanent stitches.  Unlike pins, the stitches do not distort the fabric and they won’t prick your… Continue reading Basting Stitches

Batt or Batting

Batt or batting refer to the quilt’s filler between the quilt top and back.  To find out more, watch our video on batting. If you would like to purchase Warm Company cotton batting from Amazon, click here.


Bearding occurs when the synthetic batting is working its way through the fabric to the top of the quilt.  No one knows exactly why this happens to certain quilts.  Sometimes bearding is noticed more on dark quilts that have light batting.  That is why it is sometimes better to use a colored batting (dark grey)… Continue reading Bearding

Beeswax for Thread

Thread is being pulled through beeswax.

Thread is pulled through beeswax for strength and to allow it to glide easily through the fabric.  If you would like to purchase beeswax, click here.

Between Needles

Between what?  I never did understand why they are called betweens.  Between needles are what quilters use for quilting the ‘sandwhich’ together.  The shaft of the needle is shorter than most needles. Between needles come in different sizes based on the eye of the needle..  The higher the number the smaller the eye.  Beginners might start… Continue reading Between Needles


The bias of a piece of fabric is any diagonal across the fabric. The true bias is the diagonal that is at a 45 degree angle to the selvage.

Bias Applique

Auntie Sue's Quilt - click to enlarge picture -

Bias applique is usually used when making leaf stems or vines.  Any long thin curved appliqueed line can be made from bias strips of fabric pressed on bias bars. If you would like to purchase a set of bias bars, click here. The vines in the quilt below are an example of bias applique. These… Continue reading Bias Applique