Showing posts with label Quilting Tips &Tricks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quilting Tips &Tricks. Show all posts

How to Make Multiple Half Square Triangles

How to Make Multiple Half Square Triangles

Make your quilts faster with these two easy-to-do methods for making multiple HST squares.

Make 4-in-1 HSTs


  1.  Place squares right side facing.
  2.  Stitch 1/4 inch around the outside of the squares.
  3.  Make pencil lines dividing the squares from corner to corner.
  4.  Cut along these two lines.
  5.  Flip HST and press. Square Up if necessary.

Make 8-in-1 HSTs 


  1.  Place squares right side facing.
  2.  Draw a line from corner to corner.
  3.  Stitch 1/4 inch away from the lines you drew.
  4.  Make pencil lines dividing the squares in four parts.
  5.  Cut along these two lines.
  6.  Cut from corner to corner being careful not to cut the stitch line.
  7.  Flip HST and press. Square Up if necessary.

Rescue Your Quilts! Fix & Prevent Fabric Bleed

How to Prevent & Fix Fabric Bleed on Quilts

One of the most disappointing things that can happen to a quilter is fabric bleed. We spend long hours cutting and piecing our precious creation. So, when it comes out of the wash with colours bleeding, it can be devastating. 

I've been working on a red and white Christmas quilt lately and wanted to prevent this disaster before it happened. These are some of the tip and tricks I gathered for preventing and fixing quilt bleed.


  • Prewash your all your coloured fabrics before cutting them up. I never did this until I started reading about other people's guilt bleed nightmares.

  • When your quilt is finished, wash it alone in cold water.  Add 1 cup of salt to the wash with a mild laundry soap. I use Woolite® 

  • Commercial "colour catchers" sheets are another option. These are laundry sheets you put in your wash load to prevent colour runs. There are several on the market you can try.


  • If there are only a few spots of bleed through on white fabric, spray the area with a mild water and bleach solution (3 part water to 1 part bleach in a spray bottle). Then, rub with a small amount of Dawn® dish soap and water. In place of the water/bleach spray, my secret to getting stains and bleed out of whites is Clorox Clean-Up® spray. It's normally used to clean hard surfaces but works on white fabrics as well.

  • In the event of a real disaster (God forbid), Dawn® dish soap to the rescue!
    Go to Susie Quilts for full instructions for fixing a badly bled quilt.

I hope these tips and tricks for quilt bleeds have been helpful. If you have anymore ideas for "quilt bleed", please leave them in the comments.

Quilting with White Fabric: Pros & Cons

Quilting with White Fabric

White background fabrics make stunning quilts. The high contrast makes the colours pop. However, there are a few pitfalls when using white fabric that can be frustrating and even ruin your quilt. I made this featured quilt for my mother-in-law and almost didn't give it to her. But, I was in a crunch for time so I decided to gift it to her anyway and hope she didn't notice too many of the flaws. If she did notice, she never said anything.



Because I was in a hurry, I used the quilt-as-you-go method to assemble this quilt. To make it "reversible" I used a variety of scrap layer cakes for the backing. I don't know if it was the batting (Hobbs Heirloom Fusible White Cotton) but the coloured background, as you can see below, showed right through to the front! Try using light coloured backing when using white.


When you buy your white fabric, purchase enough for the whole project. Even if white fabric is from the same dye lot and colour number, shades can vary slightly. I ran out of  white for this project and used left over white from another project. They looked the same under the studio lighting. But, when my hubby held up the quilt in the sunny kitchen, the left over white pieces definitely had a yellow cast.


I love Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP) and have done many blocks using this technique. When I used a white fabric in a FPP project for the first time, however, frustrating "shadows" from the darker seams showed through.  Be sure to trim your darker seams before putting your blocks together. Also, check for any dark threads that my show through.


Any quilt can bleed colours, but quilts with white backgrounds can be ruined by colour bleed. Here are a few tips to prevent this problem:
  • Prewash your fabrics, especially reds and purples.

  • When your quilt is finished, wash it alone on cool setting.  Add 1 cup of salt to the wash with a mild laundry soap.

  • "Color catchers" are another option. These are laundry sheets you put in your load to prevent colour runs while allowing mixed washes. There are several on the market you can try.

  • If there are only a few spots of bleed through on the white fabric after washing, spray the area with a mild water and bleach solution (3 part water to 1 part bleach in a spray bottle) rub with a small amount of Dawn dish soap and water.  
    My secret trick for getting stains and bleed off whites is Clorox Clean-Up® spray. It's normally used to clean hard surfaces but seems to work on fabrics as well.

Quilting Hack for Stray Threads and Seam Shadows by Thistledown and Company Quilts 

White Fabric: Is it worth the trouble? by Karen Brown at Just Get It Done Quilts

Make Super Easy Checkerboard Blocks - SCRAP BUSTER!

make super easy checkerboard blocks


I discovered this technique for making scrap checkerboard blocks several years ago. I used it to make my grand-niece a doll quilt (above). With these few easy steps, the results are so worth it. When you're finished, every square will be aligned perfectly and you'll have a strong base to join the blocks so they won't stretch out of shape.

Finished Block: 12"x 12" (30 cm x 30 cm))

1.  First, you'll need a non-woven, lightweight, single-sided fusible interfacing. I purchased this very inexpensive one on Amazon.

2.  Cut [18] 2½-inch (6 cm) colour squares and [18] 2½-inch (6 cm) light colour squares.

3.  Cut [1] 13" x 13" (31 cm x 31 cm) square of interfacing.

4.  Place squares 1/2" from the edges on the adhesive side of the interfacing. Butt together the squares as shown below alternating between light and dark colours.

5.  Place a piece of cotton over the squares and press to adhere them to the fusible web.

6. Fold the first row right sides facing and sew a  "fat" 1/4" seam allowance. Repeat this until all the rows are stitched.

7.  Your first set of rows will look like this.

8.  Trim a about 1/8" off the edge of each seam row and press seam open. Be very careful to not cut the stitches!

9.  Stitch the horizontal rows and trim the seams the same as you did with the vertical rows.

10.  Press down all your seams. This is what your stitched squares will look like from behind.

11.  Press block and square up if necessary. You can see how precisely the squares are lined up.

If you need help organizing your scraps before you start, go to my scrap sorting tutorials below:

How to Square Up Hourglass & Pinwheel Blocks: No special ruler required!

This post is a supplementary tutorial for the Quick Block Calculator.

How to Square Up Hourglass & Pinwheel Blocks

When using the shortcut methods to make Hourglass and Pinwheel blocks, you often have to "square up" the block to the correct size you need. If these blocks are not squared up properly, you will end up with very wonky looking squares that will only be good for the scrap pile.

In this post, I'll show you a simple method for squaring up Hourglass, Pinwheel, and Half Square Triangle blocks that doesn't require a special ruler.



Hour Glass
  1. Divide the desired block size in half, e.g. 4½"÷ 2 = 2¼"
  2. Find this number on the ruler.
  3. Place a piece of tape horizontally and vertically on the ruler to mark the center of the block.
  4. Line up intersecting point of the tape with the center of the block.
  5. Line up the 45º angle with angle of the block.

6.  With a rotary cutter, cut off the exposed ends of the block.

7.  Turn the ruler and block 180º and, once again, line up the halfway point with the center of the block.

8.  With a rotary cutter, cut off the exposed ends of the block.


Half Square Triangle

How to Make Quilted Bag Straps

How to Make Quilted Bag Straps

Apple Cider Market Tote aka Winslow Market Tote

I first saw this tote pattern in the 2018 issue of Make It! Patchwork. It was designed by Kathy Mack and was showcased on the Quilting Arts TV Episode #601. It was originally featured as the Winslow Market Tote and has since been renamed the Apple Cider Market Tote.

Apple Cider Market Tote made by Monica Curry
Pattern Design by Kathy Mack

I haven't made many bags, but I fell in love with this one as soon as I saw it. I wasn't sure, however, what fat quarters to use for it. When I finally dug through my stash, I found the perfect fabric for this tote ─ Into the Garden by Amanda Herring for Riley Blake. I bought this fat quarter bundle several years ago and loved it so much I didn't want to cut it! I also wanted to make pretty matching straps for this bag, but I wasn't sure how to make bag straps. I heard you could use quilt batting for straps and thought that this would be a great way to use up my batting scraps. After a YouTube search, I found a great tutorial for making bag straps with batting by sewing and crafting vlogger Alanda Craft. She uses fusible batting but says non-fusible works just as well. I think my straps turned out great.

Print Friendly and PDF


(Also check out Bag Strap Making Video Tutorial by Alanda Craft)

1. Cut [2] fabric strips 5" x length of the strap and [2] quilt batting strips 2½" x length of the strap.

2. Fold the fabric strip in half lengthwise and press.

3. Make a lengthwise fold to the center of the strip on both sides and press.

4. Place batting in the center of the strip.

5. Fold each side of the fabric over onto the batting and press.

6. Fold the fabric and batting in half lengthwise and press.

7. To finish off your strap, stitch along both edges using a 1/8" or 1/4" allowance (Version 1). I find the strap is a little stronger if you add three more rows of stitching equally down the center. (Version 2).

How to Make Flange Quilt Binding

I love flange quilt binding. It gives quilts an elegant and finished look. I don't use it on all my projects, but sometimes a quilt needs that extra pop. Flange binding takes a little extra work, but it's well worth the effort when you see the finished result. I made the following tutorial as comprehensive as possible and hope it will help you give flange binding a try.



Finished quilt size = 54" × 60"

  • (54" × 2) + (60" × 2) + 10" = 238" (10" extra is added for finishing the binding). 
  • (238" ÷ 36") = 6.6 yards
  • You will need 6.6 ≈ 7 yards of binding for a 54" × 60" finished quilt. 


  1. Decide on a binding width you need.
  2. Use the chart below to get the widths to cut the strips for main colour and the flange.


  1. Sew both strips together lengthwise with a 1/4" seam allowance.
    Press the seam towards the main colour strip.

  2. Fold the strips over lengthwise (wrong sides facing), line up the top edges and press.

  3. With right side of quilt down, stitch binding around the edge of the quilt
    with a ¼ seam allowance.

  4. Fold binding to the front of the quilt and stitch-in-the-ditch between the
    flange and the main colour.



EXAMPLE 238" (length of binding in inches) ÷ 42" (fabric cross grain width) = 5.6 ≈ 6 strips


  • 1.25" x 6 (number of strips needed) = 7.5" + 2" = 9.5" (2" added for uneven edges).
  • Yardage needed for main colour strips: 9.5" x 42"
  • 1.5" x 6 (number of strips needed) = 9" + 2" = 11" (2" added for uneven edges).
  • Yardage needed for flange strips: 11" x 42"

How to Accurately Cut Fabric for Foundation Paper Piecing

How to Accurately Cut Fabric for Foundation Paper Piecing

Print Friendly and PDF

I love foundation paper piecing (FPP), but one of the most frustrating problems I had when I was a newbie was coming up short. I would be happily piecing my block, go to flip the next section to press it, and crap! It would be too short or too thin or both. Even worse, I'd be pressing a finished block and find a "hole" at a seam where a piece came up short...ugh! I eventually discovered a method that has worked great for me.

I first saw this technique in Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts by RaNae Merrill. I modified it slightly by using freezer paper. It's a simple and foolproof method for cutting your FPP fabric pieces. This method is especially great for when you have multiples of the same block.


  • Foundation piecing template that has been mirrored.
  • 8½" x 11" sheet of freezer paper
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter
  • Quilting ruler
  • Fabrics for your block
  • Coloured pencils or markers to match your fabrics.

1. Print your template on the dull side of your freezer paper.

2. Colour each section of the template with the fabric colour you want to use for that section. If a section is a white or cream colour, you can make a symbol to represent that colour or leave it blank.

3. Cut out each freezer paper section into separate pieces and lay them on the corresponding fabric with the right side of the fabric facing up. Leave a generous space all the way around each section. Press lightly with a hot iron to get the freezer paper to stick. If you need multiples of the same section, you can place the freezer paper sections on 4 to 5 layers of fabric.

4. With your quilt ruler, cut ¾ inch allowance around each section.

5. All your cut sections should look like this when you're done. They're now ready to be pieced with no surprises. It's important to NOT remove the freezer paper from the top of the stack. Pick up your fabric pieces from the bottom so you will know which piece it is.