Quilting is simply the stitching and joining of pliable materials, such as cloth, various fabrics, or leather. Usually, smaller shapes are joined to make a larger piece of one to three layers with batting and/or insulation between the layers of fabric. Sewing can be done by hand or by machine. Questions in this topic include types of stitches and patterns, and how to do them.

1,292 Questions

What is a friendship quilt?

A friendship quilt is usually one where there are many contributors. Friends will get together and each make/sew a block of their own. Oftentimes they are signed by the maker. All of the blocks are of the same size although they may have a pattern of some sort within the block. Then the blocks are all sewn together to make the quilt. They are usually made to record memories of friends or family. Many times they are made for a particular person to honor them with a gift for their birthday, retirement, or if they are ill. Putting the quilt together is also a nice social gathering of friends and neighbors.

What are temporary stitches?

Temporary stitches, sometimes called "basting stitches" are stitches used to hold fabric in place until the main stitches are put in. These stitches are often larger than normal stitches, and are designed to be easy to remove. Temporary stitches are often done by hand with a needle and thread, but in some cases temporary stitches are placed by using the longest stitch setting on a sewing machine. Because the stitching is further apart, it is easier to insert a seam ripper under the threads, and easily rip out the temporary stitching without damaging the fabric.

A garment sewer will baste a garment with temporary stitches so that the clothes can be tried on and the fit can be adjusted before permanently stitching the fabric together. This allows the garment sewer to make sure that a dress or jacket has a perfect custom fit without tearing out long seams of stitching meant to be more permanent.

In quilting, temporary stitches are often used in paper piecing. The paper

template is stitched to the fabric. This template gives the fabric shape, and prevents it from shifting. Once the fabric has been incorporated into the quilt, the temporary stitches can be removed.

Temporary stitches can also be used when quilting a quilt. A quilter might baste together a quilt top to hold the layers together until it can be formally quilted. Once the quilt has been fully quilted, the basting stitches can be removed.


often uses temporary stitches as well. Running threads at 5 or 10 square intervals on a cross-stitch

canvas allows the stitcher

to more easily count across the canvas. These threads are removed when the piece is finished.

In some cases, temporary stitches are removed after the completion of the item. Other times, the temporary stitches are removed as the permanent stitching is put in place. In cases where the temporary stitching is hidden in the seam, it can stay in place after the permanent stitching has been placed.

Temporary stitches are not always taught in sewing classes. We often use pins or spray adhesive to hold fabric together until permanent stitching can be placed.

Temporary stitches are large, easily removed stitches, also called basting stitches. They allow pieces of fabric to be held together long enough for fitting or adjusting, then easily removed to make changes.

What does selvage to selvage mean?

The factory edge is the selvage. It is bound off.

Selvage to selvage means to cut across the width of the fabric. So, if 44/45 inches wide, your strip would be that long and however wide the piece is that you cut.

What is a quilt pallet?

Growing up in a family with lots of cousins and lots of sleep-overs, quilt pallets were something we used many times... very simply, old quilts would be piled on a floor, usually in the living room, and that's where we would sleep. Or usually, it's where we giggled and told stories and pretended to be already sleeping whenever an adult would tell us to get quiet and go to sleep, right now.

Once when my own son had several boys sleeping over, we did this. One kid, from a rather wealthy family, had forgotten to pack his pj's, so I simply lent him one of my husband's white T-shirts. All the other boys wanted one also. That started a tradition of our sleepovers always being on the LR floor with everyone wearing a white T-shirt. It actually became a fad for a couple of years.

What does 'cotton warp quilt' mean?

It is a bed covering knitted in a lacy pattern from a type of cotton warp yarn.

What is a fat quarter quilt fabric?

A fat quarter is a block of fabric that is equal to a quarter yard but instead of being the full width of the fabric bolt (usually 44") by 9" (quarter yard), the piece is 18" long and half the fabric bolt wide (usually 22").

Where does quilting originate?

The origins of quilting are unknown, but piecing fabric together (what we now call quilting) has been around for thousands of years. The earliest known quilt is depicted on an ancient Egyptian carving, dated around 3400 B.C.

Need assembly instructions for sears quilting frame model 25-4817c?

I can email you a copy of the instructions for the 254817c answer me at

How many quilt blocks to make a full sized quilt?

This will depend on the size of blocks you wish to make. A full quilt measures 78" x 87" (which includes 12" to the left, right and bottom of the quilt so that it drapes over the bed and lays nicely). If you use 12" x12" blocks you will need 42 blocks plus some binding to finish out the edges. If you use 6" x 6" blocks you will need 182 blocks plus some binding to finish out the edges.

Why is a new quilt warmer than old quilt?

A quilt feels warm because the air trapped in the cotton or woolen batting acts as an insulator and does not allow the heat of the body to escape. However, when the quilt gets old - the cotton/wool gets compressed and the airspace are done away with. It does not remain as good an insulator to heat as it was earlier. Hence it feels less warm.

How can you get the knitted crazy-quilt afghan pattern offered in an old Good Housekeeping magazine?

Are you sure it was GH? It may have been McCall's. Try, and search for this:

McCall's Needlework and crafts - february 1993McCall's Needlework and crafts - february 1993 McCall's Needlework and crafts - february 1993=98 complete pages. Victorian dollto sew - charmed crazy quilt - crochet our cozy Aran afghan- great new sweater collection.

For reprints from Good Houskeeping contact: Good Housekeeping, Editorial Dept., 300 West 57th St., 28th Fl., New York, NY 10019 or by phone at 212-649-2405.

Good Housekeeping is sold out of all of the copies of this magazine. There is no way of getting this magazine issue or a copy of this pattern from them.

I have found eBay to be an excellent source for old patterns, if you know the issue search for it. You can also try, as they have tons of old magazines, categorized by name and topic. Good luck.

What is a serger machine?

A serger is a sewing machine that sews and cuts the fabric at the same time. This makes for a neater seam. It is used a lot in professional sewing. Check out the inside seam on most store bought clothes and you will see that there is no extra fabric on the seam.

A serger machine is used to trim the edge of a fabric, and then enclose the seam allowance or edge of the fabric inside a thread casing, all in one step. This "finishes" the edge, preventing a woven fabric from fraying. There are various options that each brand of serger offers, including, but not limited to:

  • rolled hem
  • gathering for ruffles
  • chain stitch
  • cover stitch

What is a layer cake in quilting fabric?

A layer cake is a term used by Moda Fabrics for a pre-cut 10" squares with 40 pieces. A line of fabric has designs that work well together. When a manufacture prints a line of fabric, the designs are printed in varying color combinations. This is a sample pack from a line of fabric.

How much fabric is needed for curtains?

To measure a window for fabric, you would want roughly 2 to 2 1/2 times the width (left to right) of the window. Then, the length (up and down) would be roughly 2 to 3 inches below the window, or 1-2 inches above the floor (depending on the style of drape). You will need to add fabric for the hem and whatever heading you decide to make. Most fabric is 54" wide, so you would need to calculate how many lengths of fabric you would need. Remember to think of it in terms of length, because the fabric needs to hang in a vertical manner. Sunset books has a good instruction booklet for novice curtain makers.

What is novelty quilting fabrics?

Novelty fabrics are fabrics with a theme of some sort. Pets, holidays, toys, and sports are just a few of the numerous motifs printed on fabric. This type of fabric became popular during the last quarter of the 19th century . At this time they were called conversation prints. Bicycles, horseshoes and anchors were popular motifs. During America's Great Depression manufacturers began to sell animal feed and staples like flour and sugar in sacks printed with delightful themes. Once the feed sack was emptied the sack was used to make clothing or quilts. There were some delightful novelty prints on feedsacks. See the link to feedsack novelty fabrics. The novelty fabrics available today seem to be endless and include just about any theme you can imagine. Just one word of warning. If you find a novelty fabric you love you'd better buy it then and there as they are usually done in just one printing.

What is the difference between sewing and quilting?

Sewing is the creation of a product by stitching pieces of fabric together; it usually refers to the creation of clothing and accessories. Quilting refers to both producing a quilt (a specific type of sewing) and a process to add insulation and texture to another product (such as a quilted vest).

What does the Singer sewing machine model 1263 look like?

Off white with brown under the buttons/levelers area, says 1263 on it.

Is heavier then heck.

Has straight, zig zag, blind stitch and buttons holes.

Single or double needle.

Where is the best quilting patterns?

There are so many different quilting patterns that it is difficult to pinpoint one specific place that has the best patterns. If there is quilting guild in your area as some of the experienced quilters where they find their patterns.

What is a Scottish quilt used for and what does it look like?

A Scottish quilt is used as a decorative bed cover or wall hanging, just an any other quilt. What makes them unique is their use of plaids in the design.

What are the disadvantages of applique?

The disadvantages of using an applique during your sewing project include the cost and the time needed to create the applique. Another disadvantage is that the applique may not stand up as well as an embroidered design would.

What are quilt patterns painted on barns?

Quilt patterns are painted on barns for decoration. Originated in 2000 by Donna Sue Groves in Adams County, Ohio, now thousands of painted Quilt Barns dot the landscape. See and other sites for more information. For those whom have not yet seen it, here is a link to a short, lively little movie I made on Quilt Barn Painting - it's on and is getting a fair number of viewers. I invite you to check it out. Follow this link for a photo story on making the Quilt Square Painting: Link to movie on the making of the first quiltbarn painting: This link is to the Warren County Historic Society Museum Website.

Can you locate a quilt pattern published by Canadian Living magazine provincial flower quilt designed by Sandra Small?

I would suggest you contact the magazine and ask them on this forum:

or contact the Dufferin Piecemakers Quilting Guild at:

The full name of the designer is Sandra Small Proudfoot ------------------------ Here is Sandra Small Proudfoot's website. You can order the pattern directly from her.

How many 8.5 squares do you need for a twin size blanket quilt?

If you have 8.5" square blocks, you will need 50 blocks total, laid out 5 across by 10 down.