Acid-Free Tissue Paper

acid free tissue paper

A type of paper that is used for safely storing quilts. Acid-free tissue paper is made without the chemicals that can destroy the fabric over time.  This tissue paper is placed between the folds in the quilt.  Every couple of months the quilt should be refolded to ensure the fold lines are not set into… Continue reading Acid-Free Tissue Paper

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 the… 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. Today many Amish communities sell quilts to tourists passing through their towns.  They also having traveling “trunk shows”… Continue reading Amish


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 light solid or tone-on-tone fabric.  These types of fabrics allow the colorful pieced design to stand out.  Most patterns that you purchase assume that you will use the lightest fabric for the background. Darker fabric backgrounds aren’t as popular but can also accentuate the pieced pattern.  The more… Continue reading Background


Muslin is used as the backing fabric.

The backing is the fabric that goes on the back of the quilt – easy!   Since most cotton fabrics are 44/45″ (not wide enough to cover most full sized quilts), backs usually have to be pieced.  Sometimes all of the same fabric gets placed on the back while other backs will be made from… Continue reading 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. Quilters use strip piecing techniques to make Bargello quilts.  Strips are sewn together then cut into strips of different widths.  The strips are organized into a pleasing design and then sewn… Continue reading Bargello Quilts

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… 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

Choosing Batting

Batt or batting refer to the quilt’s filler between the quilt top and back.  There are many different kinds of batting in the market; cotton, polyester, wool and bamboo. (Yes, bamboo makes a nice filler in a quilt!)  Machine quilters prefer cotton batting and hand quilters like polyester batting.  To find out more, watch our… Continue reading Batt or Batting


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.

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honeybees. It has been around since ancient times being used in candles, polishing agents and cosmetics. Quilters often use beeswax on their thread before hand stitching.  This strengthens the thread and allows it to glide easily through the fabric.  It also helps to reduce tangles. You can find… Continue reading Beeswax for Thread

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


It’s important for quilters to determine where the bias lies on a piece of fabric. True bias is the diagonal that is at a 45 degree angle to the selvage; but any diagonal across the fabric is considered bias.  Only the selvage (straight of grain) and the cross grain are not considered bias edges. Check out… Continue reading Bias

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 are an example of bias applique. These vines… Continue reading Bias Applique