As we enter the final phase of making a quilt, you should be proud of all you've learned thus far. If you think back to Part 1 of this Series, you may have been skeptical about adding "how to quilt" to your sewing toolbox of skills. Now you can see it was simply a case of ignoring your fears and going forward with curiosity and confidence. We encourage you to remember this as we venture into the final phase!
We're back for the second half of our piecing tutorial – part Four of our Five-part Quilting Basics series. Quilters are very resourceful and innovative. You can see this trait revealed in some of the popular quick-piecing methods that have been developed over time. The mindset behind each is to save thread and/or time. They also often make the quilt-building process easier. As we move through today's article, we're going to assume you’ve reviewed the previous tutorials in the Series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4A. If you've not done so, we recommend starting from the beginning so you can make sure you have the appropriate set up, precut fabric pieces, etc.
In quilting, there are special techniques used to sew patchwork pieces into blocks, then assemble those blocks into a quilt. The precise execution of these techniques is paramount to a beautifully finished quilt. It's similar to putting together a puzzle; each piece has to fit perfectly in order for the larger picture to come into view. As we go through the specific piecing techniques, don’t be surprised to find you can apply many of them to other areas of sewing! This is part Four of our Five-part Quilting Basics series. If you haven't already, we do recommend you read parts One through Three prior to launching into today's tutorial. You'll find the related links listed at the bottom of the page. To keep these instructions to an manageable size, we've broken this Part into two sub-parts. And just like a good television soap opera, we're sure you'll be on the edge of your seat, waiting for tomorrow's installment!
You saw the appropriate tools and other stuff needed for basic quilting in Part 1. You leaned how to properly (and safely) rotary cut your fabric for patchwork piecing in Part 2. Now, you get to discover how to use those pieces you cut (squares, rectangles and triangles) to create some of the most popular basic quilt block patterns. We'll also teach you how to design a custom block of your very own.
Quilts start out as lots o' little pieces. So it makes sense the first thing you should learn about in quilting is how to cut your fabric! If you ask any quilter what she/he feels is the best cutting tool for the job, the answer will be: a rotary cutter. Many compare it to a pizza cutter, and if you've sliced up your share of pizza pies, a rotary cutter may not feel foreign to you at all. If not, pay close attention to all we have to tell you. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the rotary cutter along with the other basic tools you’ll need to start quilting. If you haven’t done so already, we recommend checking out this article before proceeding with today's installment.
The word "quilt" or "quilting" has many different meanings. It's a special word because it can be both a noun and a verb. Quilting can describe the overall craft itself. What type of sewing do you like? I like to quilt, or I like quilting. It can also mean the act of quilting, which is the process of sewing the layers (quilt top, batting and backing) together in a predetermined pattern or method (we'll talk more about this in Part 5). Some quilters (there it is again as a noun) refer to the patchwork piecing (or sewing) of the quilt top itself as quilting. And, in the end, the actual finished item is indeed a quilt. However you refer to it, quilting is a wonderful and exciting craft to incorporate into your sewing skills. This new series is designed to help beginning quilters get rollin'. We'll explain the basics of quilting, including the various tools you’ll need (and may already have), cutting techniques, how to create quilt blocks from basic shapes, piecing tips and techniques, and actual quilt stitching.