Safety Pins

safety pins - click image to enlarge -

If you are a machine quilter then you must use safety pins to baste together the layers of your quilt. Safety pins should be pinned about 3 inches apart all over the quilt top to ensure that the layers will not shift. You will need a couple hundred pins when basting a lap quilt. Do… Continue reading Safety Pins

Sampler Quilt

sampler quilt - click image to enlarge -

A sampler quilt is made from a sample of blocks. These quilts are quite popular for beginning quilting classes. Often the instructor will plan the sampler so that each block will allow the students to learn a new quilting skill while working on that particular block. The blocks in a sampler quilt may all be… Continue reading Sampler Quilt


sandpaper - click image to enlarge -

Sandpaper for quilting? Whatever for? Well …. a fine sandpaper makes an excellent platform for tracing templates on to the fabric. The sandpaper grips the bottom of the fabric and makes it easier to draw on the surface of the fabric. Lightweight sandpaper can help “hold” fabric when trying to trace around patterns. My husband… Continue reading Sandpaper


The sashing in this quilt is thicker than most sashings.

      Blocks are separated by sashing in some quilts. The sashing is often cut from a solid color or tone-on-tone fabric so its pattern does not interfere with the design of the quilt blocks. There are no written rules concerning the width of sashing. The choice is up to the individual. Usually sashing… Continue reading Sashing

Satin Stitch

Blue satin stitches are around the edges of the flames to the right.

  The satin stitch is a decorative stitch that often is used to border appliqued pieces.  The stitch is actually a zig zag stitch with zero stitch length.  Some sort of stabilizer is usually needed when making this stitch as it has a tendency to “pull up” the fabric around the stitching.  It’s a good… Continue reading Satin Stitch


log star quilt backing

    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… Continue reading Scale

Scalene Triangle

A scalene triangle has three sides of different lengths.  The three angles in a scalene triangle also differ.  A right angle scalene triangle has one right angle. There is an easy method for rotary cutting right angle scalene triangles from rectangles.  Adding 3/4″ to the shorter side and 1 1/4″ to the triangle’s height will… Continue reading Scalene Triangle

Scant 1/4″ Seam

    A scant 1/4″ seam is about a thread narrower than a regular 1/4″ seam.  Many quilters prefer sewing a scant 1/4″ seam as it helps with accuracy.  Using tape or seam guides will produce the best results.  Watch the video below for more info. If you would like to buy a package of… Continue reading Scant 1/4″ Seam


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