Sewing Tips for New Quilters


The information that follows is abridged from the CRS resource PDF about Passage Quilts. However, it is good information for anyone new to quilting.

Some quick hints before your first quilt:

• Seam allowance: Almost always use a “scant quarter-inch”. If your machine allows you to move your needle, you may want to experiment and see what position works best.

• Pressing: One of the most important parts of quilting is pressing. Seams are usually pressed to one side rather than pressing them open, although sometimes pressing open can be beneficial. Generally, where you can, press towards the darker fabric to avoid shadowing. Quilters like opposing seams, so that they nest together for a nice match.

• Thread: Some quilters can get very righteous about the need for cotton thread. Frankly, if you use a thin, strong thread, it will be fine. A good quality poly or poly cotton may have less lint.

• Thread color: With a variety of fabrics, don’t worry about matching thread to fabric color. Using an appropriate neutral thread is fine, usually white, gray, tan, taupe or black.

• Borders: The edges of quilts can be prone to stretching; measure your desired border lengths through the middle of the quilt and ease the quilt to fit the border if necessary.

• Ask for help if you’re confused. You probably already know a quilter! There are many here who are happy to help.