Calico Fabric

  A calico fabric is made from cotton and has a tiny print on it.  In the 60’s and 70’s this was quite popular.  Often it was the only printed cotton available to quilters at that time. Calico prints are small scale designs on 100% cotton fabric popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s. These were… Continue reading Calico Fabric

Chain Piecing

Chain Piecing

Chain piecing refers to a sewing process. When you chain piece, patchwork sets are sewn one after the other. You do not back stitch.  You do not cut the thread.  The second set goes right behind the first and you continue sewing.  Then the third is added, and so (sew) on…. This can save you… Continue reading Chain Piecing


There are many different types of marking tools.

  Quilters sometimes use chalk to mark their quilting designs especially if the background is a dark fabric.  There are many different types of chalk on the market.  Some wash out and some disappear with a hot dry iron.  It’s best to try the product on a small practice piece of fabric before marking a… Continue reading Chalk

Challenge Quilt

A challenge quilt refers to a ‘contest’ that quilters enter.  Sometimes there are prizes for the winners and sometimes there aren’t.  Each challenge has different rules. Sometimes the challenge quilt involves using a particular fabric or groups of fabric in your quilts.  Often the fabric companies will use a challenge to introduce a new line… Continue reading Challenge Quilt

Charm Quilt

Charm quilts are made up of different pieces of fabric.  No one fabric is repeated.  Often these quilts are also classified as one patch quilts as the shape is the same  throughout the quilt. The colorful quilt on the left is a charm quilt as no two fabrics are alike. (The two white/grey checks may… Continue reading Charm Quilt

Charm Squares

Charm squares are 100% cotton fabric squares that are usually about 5”. A charm pack is made up of all different pre-cut fabrics; no 2 are alike. Quilters like to collect these to make charm quilts (no two pieces are from the same fabric). The squares are also fun to exchange with fellow quilters. If… Continue reading Charm Squares


Chintz refers to a type of cotton fabric that is patterned and glazed.


The clamshell pattern is a traditional pattern used for quilting.

Color Wheel

The color wheel is used in many fields other than quilting. It shows the primary colors, the secondary colors and often different shades and hues. Some people like to use this when selecting fabric for their quilts. If you would like to purchase a color wheel from Amazon, click here. This wheel also defines common… Continue reading Color Wheel

Colorfast Fabrics

You  want to use fabrics that are colorfast in your quilt.  If the dye in a fabric runs when you wash it, your whole quilt could be ruined.  I recommend washing all your fabrics before you begin (or at least soaking them in warm water to see if they run).  If you notice color in… Continue reading Colorfast Fabrics


click to enlarge

    A colorway refers to the color of the pattern in fabrics. Below you will find 3 fabrics in different colorways. The print design on each fabric is the same (even though I have the fabric on the right in the top photo turned in the opposite direction – sorry!). The color combinations are different.… Continue reading Colorway


A quilt comforter is a type of quilt  that has a high loft batting inside.  It is  almost impossible to machine quilt these on our home sewing machines (they can be commercially quilted), so these quilts are often tied.

Complimentary Color

Orange and blue are complimentary colors.

    A complimentary color is the color opposite the color you are using on the color wheel.  Orange is the compliment of blue.  Green is the compliment of red.  Purple is the compliment of yellow. Using complimentary colors can give your quilt pizzazz.  Try using these in your next quilt.  If you aren’t sure about… Continue reading Complimentary Color

Corner Triangle

The straight of grain and cross grain rest in the corner of a corner triangle.

    Corner triangles are triangles that “live” in the corners of the quilt (or a quilt block).  They are often used when squares are set on point.  To help keep the quilt edges flat, these triangles should have the straight of grain and cross grain located on the legs (shorter sides) of the triangle. … Continue reading Corner Triangle


A coverlet refers to a small cover.

Crazy Quilt

Crazy quilts are ….. crazy!  They have no set pattern. Fabric is sewn where ever it fits. Often trims and/or embroidery are added to the blocks.  Crazy quilts were most popular in the late 1800’s. An example of a log cabin crazy quilt is shown below. (These are the curtains in my family room.) It’s… Continue reading Crazy Quilt

Crib Size

A crib size quilt is made for a crib.  The standard measurement is 40 inches by 56 inches but can be smaller. Sometimes referred to as baby quilts, crib quilts are great projects for beginners as they are easier to handle when quilting.  Under LearnHowToQuilt’s Quilting Classes, you will find a number of small quilts… Continue reading Crib Size

Cross Grain

The cross grain of a fabric, also called Crosswise Grain is the grain that runs crosswise (at a right angle) to the selvage. In order to find the fabric’s cross grain, you need to be familiar with some other terms. The selvage is the light green strip at the top of the cotton fabric pictured below.… Continue reading Cross Grain


crosshatch - click picture to enlarge -

Crosshatch is a traditional quilting pattern.  Vertical and horizontal lines cross to form a grid on the quilt top.  These lines may be spaced close together (heavy quilting) or further apart (moderately quilted). On the left hand side of the photo below you can see the pattern made when the quilting lines “cross”. This crosshatching… Continue reading Crosshatch


Crumbs are slang for small scraps of fabric.  There’s not set size for a crumb but I think any scrap less than 4″ fits into this category.  Some folks define this as any piece of fabric less than 2″.  (That’s really small!) Crumbs and strings (long strips of scrap fabric) can be used for projects… Continue reading Crumbs