The scrim is found on the top and bottom of many types of cotton batting.  It is a shear piece of polyester or glue that holds the cotton in the middle of the batting in place.  It acts as a sort of stabilizer.  As a result, quilters can get by with less quilting; sometimes up… Continue reading Scrim


The quarter inch seam can be seen on the back of the fabric.

  Quilters use a ¼ inch seam allowance unlike most dress maker patterns that require a 5/8” seam allowance.  Sewing an accurate ¼ inch seam ensures the patchwork pieces will fit together and the quilt will lie flat. Using tape or seam guides will help with accuracy.   If you would like to buy a… Continue reading Seam

Seam Allowance

Most quilters use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. Some miniature quilters use 1/8 inch. Whatever the size of your seam, it is most important that you remain consistent throughout your quilt. In this photo, the triangle (bottom left) has been sewn to another triangle using a ¼ inch seam. It is a good idea to… Continue reading Seam Allowance

Seam Ripper

Seam rippers can be a quilter's friend.

  A seam ripper is a handy tool that makes it easy to rip out a seam gone bad. Keep this tool handy!  There are many sizes and styles available on the market.  Look for one that feels good in your hand.  Some rippers are dual purpose – one end is a seam ripper and… Continue reading Seam Ripper


Selvage scraps along the selvage of the pink/blue fabric.

    The two parallel finished edges of the fabric are called the selvage. This edge will not ravel and has a tighter weave. It runs in the same direction as the straight of grain.  Often it is a different color from the rest of the fabric.  Sometimes the name of the fabric line and… Continue reading Selvage

Seminole Patchwork

Beginning in the 19th century, members of the Seminole tribe sewed long strips of fabric together and then cut these into smaller pieces and then sewed these into a pattern. This became known as a Seminole patchwork.

Set on Point

The nine patch blocks are set on point.

When square blocks in a quilt are rotated 45 degrees (turned to a diamond shape) they are said to be set on point. The nine patch blocks below are quilt blocks set on point (rotated to a diamond-like shape) in this quilt. The next photos compare the difference between “set on point” (top block) and… Continue reading Set on Point


quilt settings - click image to enlarge -

When you finish your blocks for your quilt, you will have to decide how to arrange them in your quilt. This arrangement is called the setting. Below is a video about sewing blocks together into a quilt.  The blocks have been laid out in three rows of three blocks each.  This is a simple setting.… Continue reading Setting

Setting Triangles

Setting triangles are used when blocks are set on point. They are “fillers” that are used to make the quilt rectangular. Without these, you would have a zigzag edge. Four 1/2 square triangles are used in the corners. Quarter square triangles are used on the sides. Setting Triangles:  Notice the triangles below. There are 4… Continue reading Setting Triangles

Sew and Flip

“Sew and Flip” (or Flip and Sew) refers to a technique that uses a foundation for its construction. Fabric is sewn (right sides together) to the foundation and then flipped over. This method is often used to make crazy quilts.  Sometimes this method is referred to as free form piecing but free form does not… Continue reading Sew and Flip

Sew Date

A sew date is a meeting you set up with one or more people to work on sewing projects.  It can be organized around a theme like finishing dated projects or just sewing at will.  Sew dates occur in-person or virtually.  The participants converse during the meet and often give out stitching tips and other… Continue reading Sew Date

Sew Order

Sew order refers to the sewing order that needs to be followed to best put the block together.  In these machine piecing directions, the B and D triangles must be sewn together first.  Then these units are sewn into rows with other pieces.  Finally the rows are sewn together to complete the quilt block. CAUTION:… Continue reading Sew Order


The navy and rust colors in this Pinwheel block are shades of blue and red. The light blue color is a tint of blue.

    A shade is a color that has been blended with black or a darker color. Navy is a shade of blue.

Sharps Needles

Sharps needles are a type of needle that is used in applique. The shaft is usually longer than between needles (used for hand quilting). Sharps needles come in different sizes. These sizes refer to the eye of the needle. The larger the number, the smaller the eye. These size 11 Sharps needles have a very small… Continue reading Sharps Needles


fabric sizing - click to enlarge -

Fabric Sizing is like spray starch but not as stiff. You can buy it at the grocery store in the laundry detergent aisle or purchase a can from Amazon, click here. Some people call it “Magic in a Can”. If your block is not the proper size or if it is distorted often a squirt… Continue reading Sizing

Squaring Up

Squaring Up refers to the process of pressing, blocking and/or trimming the four corners and sides of a block or quilt.  Each corner must be at a 90 degree angle. View the video to see how to square up a small patchwork piece. In the video below, you will see how to square up a… Continue reading Squaring Up


A fabric stabilizer ‘stabilizes your sewing piece’. It can be made from paper (I prefer tissue paper or typing paper) or fabric. After using the stabilizer (stitching through it), some stabilizers will disappear when sprayed with water. Other stabilizers must be torn away. If your project requires a stabilizer, try out some of the different… Continue reading Stabilizer


fabric stash - click image to enlarge -

    A quilter’s stash refers to all of her/his fabric. Most quilters live by the motto that you can never have enough fabric in your stash. Your fabric stash can be arranged on shelves by color to make it easier to find the fabric you are looking for.  Sometimes a quilter’s stash is also… Continue reading Stash


Quilting Stencils

    Stencils are patterns that can be used to mark a quilt top for quilting.  There are many types on the market or you can make your own.  Most are made from plastic as this lasts longer than cardboard. When choosing a stencil you need to think about the size of your quilt.  For… Continue reading Stencils