Echo Quilting

Elephant with echo quilting.

Echo quilting refers to a pattern of stitching that is used to hold all the quilt layers together. This pattern ‘echoes’ the design in the quilt.  Echo quilting is quite common in Hawaiian quilts and is almost always done by hand. In the above photo, the elephant motif has been outlined and then echoed in… Continue reading Echo Quilting

English Paper Piecing

    English paper piecing is a hand sewing sewing technique that uses paper patterns to hold the patchwork shape.  Fabric is “wrapped” around the shape and then held with temporary basting stitches.  After the pieces are stitched together on all sides, the paper is removed. The hexagon and pentagon are popular English paper piecing… Continue reading English Paper Piecing

Even Feed Foot

The even feed foot is another name for the walking foot. This foot is great for machine quilting straight or gently curved lines. It helps to keep all the quilt layers from shifting as it “walks” the top fabric along while the feed dogs below tend to the bottom layer. If you are interested in… Continue reading Even Feed Foot

Eye Spy Quilt

Eye Spy Wreath Star

“Eye Spy” (or “I Spy“) quilts are made from novelty fabrics.  They serve a dual purpose – providing warmth and providing entertainment.  Children make a game of searching for objects hidden throughout these quilts.  The game begins when someone says “I spy with my little eye a ____ (name of object)”. Eye Spy quilts are… Continue reading Eye Spy Quilt


Fabric pre-cuts or fabric by the yard.

  Any fabric can be used as a quilt fabric. Just be aware of the fact that some fabrics won’t sew as easily as cotton. Quilters usually use 100% cotton fabric in their quilts because this is one of the easiest fibers to sew; it’s washable and will ‘hold up’ over the years. Today quilters… Continue reading Fabric

Fabric Bias

The quilter’s four letter word.  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. In order to find the fabric’s true bias you need to be familiar with some other terms. The selvage is the… Continue reading Fabric Bias

Fabric Chalk

There are many different types of marking tools.

  Fabric chalk is used at times to mark the quilt top for quilting.  Most chalk will wipe off of the fabric but it is important to run a check on a scrap of  fabric before using it on your quilt.  I have used fabric chalk (that was made for easily washing out of fabrics) that… Continue reading Fabric Chalk

Fabric Cutter

Move over rotary cutters.  There’s a new cutter in town that is much more accurate (and expensive).  Today’s quilter can purchase a die cut machine to precisely cut their patchwork pieces.  The different dies for patchwork pieces are usually not included with the machine.  these have to be purchased separately.  Watch the video to see… Continue reading Fabric Cutter

Fabric Exchange

A fabric exchange is a fun way to collect different fabrics without spending a lot of extra money.  Exchanges are especially useful if your pattern calls for a lot of small pieces as seen in this pattern  Color Me by Emilly Herrick .  Each of the ten crayons has 20 rectangles – that’s 200 different… Continue reading Fabric Exchange

Fabric Line

The fabrics in this photo are part of a fabric line from Moda.  It is a collection of fabrics that compliment each other through matching colors, designs and/or themes. I wanted a yard of each for my stash but I could not afford this.  Instead I purchased these 10” squares in a package (see Layer… Continue reading Fabric Line

Fabric Scale

Fabric scale refers to the size of the design on the fabric. Solid colored fabric has no scale because there is no design on it. Calico fabric usually has a small scale pattern. Most decorator prints are larger in scale. Quilters usually consider the scale of the fabric pattern when choosing material for a quilt. Small… Continue reading Fabric Scale

Fabric Shadow

Fabric Shadow

    Seams pressed to a lighter fabric will sometimes show up as a shadow.  In the above photo, the red has been pressed to the white and there are shadows in the triangle.  The blue fabric on the right has been pressed away from the white and there is no shadow on the white… Continue reading Fabric Shadow

Fat Quarter

A fat quarter refers to a cut of fabric that is a quarter of a yard in area. It differs from a regular quarter of a yard by its shape. A regular quarter of a yard of fabric looks like a long skinny rectangle – 9 inches by 44/45 inches. A fat quarter is close… Continue reading Fat Quarter

Feed Dogs

The feed dogs are located on your sewing machine under the machine foot. The feed dogs have little teeth that help to grab and pull the fabric through your machine. Their movement establishes the length of your stitch.  They also force straight line sewing.  Lowering or covering the feed dogs will allow you to sew… Continue reading Feed Dogs


presser foot

see presser foot


Batting choices and cutting - click image to enlarge -

Batting is sometimes referred to as the quilt filler; same thing, different words.

Finger Cots

finger cots - click image to enlarge -

Little rubber covers for your fingers will help you hold and move your fabric when machine quilting. These can be purchased at a medical supply store, drug store, or quilt shop. Some quilters use one on each finger. I only cover my thumbs and middle fingers because I like my index fingers free. Usually I… Continue reading Finger Cots

Finger Pressing

You do not need an iron to finger press; only a finger! Sometimes you will not want to get up from your machine to press a little seam. So you put the piece on the table and using your fingernail, you press hard on the seam. Hand quilters can also use this method. It works… Continue reading Finger Pressing

Flip and Sew

Flip and Sew refers to a quilting technique that uses fabric strips and a foundation.  It’s a very popular technique as it is quick and easy.  The strips are flipped so their right sides are together on top of the foundation.  Then they are sewn together and pressed.  This method is also called Sew and… Continue reading Flip and Sew