Quilting Basics

Some of you are starting your journey as quilters with us here as part of the Murder Mystery Quilt. Hooray!! I’m thrilled and honored that you’re going to be learning as we solve the crime this year. Others of you have been quilting for very many years, and I’m delighted to see your experience and style shine through as we build this project.

Whether you’re new to quilting or an experienced hand, I have found it’s always useful to review the basics from time to time. Below, you can view two of the videos included in my Essential Quilting class. They reference an online class that isn’t included this year, but the techniques covered are core basics, including quilt-specific tools you can use to make the task easier, plus how to use a rotary cutter and acrylic ruler to get really precise cuts. Also included: testing and perfecting your 1/4″ seam allowance!

Feel free to dip in and take a peek, and use these ideas to refine your technique before we begin with the first chapter and block!

39 thoughts on “Quilting Basics”

  1. Hello. I live in South ร€frica and we work in cm and meters ( metric). Looking forward to start the mystery. Ill be doing the quilt by hand. The video รŸhows only half of the view. Tried rotaring the screen but no joy.

    1. Hmmm… I’ll go back and review the link, Juliana. It’s an older video, I may need to fix the formatting! Thanks for letting me know!

    2. I live in Botswana and have the same problem. Did first block but have to redo as got the sizing of seams wrong ๐Ÿ™ just cant “see” inches

      1. The conversion for 1/4″ to CM is a strange number, but you can sew at 6mm and get a good approximation of the “scant” 1/4″ seam allowance. Most machines w metric markings have them in mm increments starting at 2mm. Hope that helps!

        1. I know Iโ€™m changing the subject here, but Iโ€™m new and just finished block 1 of the 2019 mystery quilt. Iโ€™m trying to post the picture on Facebook, but it says my membership is pending and I canโ€™t post. Can you email me about my membership status? Thank you, Jennifer
          [email protected]

  2. Thank you so much for doing these videos! I’ve never quilted before but always wanted to, so when I saw this murder mystery quilt pop up, I simply couldn’t resist and had to sign up. These tutorials are fantastic and make so much sense, I can’t wait to start!

  3. Thanks for the videos they had good information for want a be quilters like me. It expaind things that are not usually in the pattern directions when you buy them and the tips on measuring really helps. I can never cut a straight line even with all the right tools, but I think your video gave me help with that. Thanks Kathy

    1. Oh, I’m so glad that was useful for you, Kathy! We have a few more planned for this year, to help walk through techniques to make your blocks the best they can be. Delighted to be sewing with you this year! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Please help me. I am using my phone and don’t have “the column on the right,” I sent a Facebook request this morning but it is still showing as pending. I Facebook a lot, and need help getting into this group. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Michelle! On your mobile device, all the sidebar content appears at the bottom of the screen, below the comments section. Hope that helps, let us know if you need anything else!

  5. After procrastinating about what fabrics to use – I have quite a large stash and need to avoid spending money on more fabrics, so I am trying to choose from what I have. After wondering, and asking Deborah, if 4 metres (about 4.4 yards), of what I planned to for the main background fabric, would be enough, I changed my mind and chose something else of which I have more than than enough. Then I got carried away cutting pieces for the January block only to discover I had cut the squares from the BG1 fabric instead of FF2. But my problems didn’t stop there. When I got to assembling the middle section of the final section of the block, some of the units seemed too small until I re-read the instructions, found I hadn’t trimmed some units, did some unpicking, got the block completed and only need to take a photo and post it on Face Book page! The photo will have to wait until the morning as it is after midnight already.

    1. We are so excited to quilt with you this year, Alexa! I’m looking forward to seeing your first block! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. I think I confirmed my email, but I never got the first block in my email. Found it here and posted what I made to Facebook, but just wanted to be sure I’ll be all set for February?
    I can’t wait to see how this goes!

    1. Hi, Renee, and welcome! All the content from prior to your subscription date is here on the site, and you’re on the list to get every email moving forward. Hope that helps, but let us know if you have other questions! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hi. I am a fairly new traditional quilter. I wonder how best to manage the various cuts of fabric month to month and still be confident that I will have the required fabric come the last few blocks. Can you pls advise on best method(s) to use. Tks

    1. I’m not totally sure how to interpret your question–are you asking how to store your fabrics between blocks? or how to cut the fabrics to make sure you have enough? The yardage requirements are generous to help prevent you from running out. Beyond that, just use your best logic and save all the scraps! I always keep the remaining yardage in reserve and try to cut from the already-cut pieces first to make sure I’m being as efficient as possible. This is a great topic to add to the Facebook thread, too, and see what other techniques our members use!

      1. Hi – yes, it was in regards to how to cut from each pieces of fabric to ensure that I end up with what is needed for all the various blocks. Frequently with a pattern there is a suggested cutting schematic. I will go for it and just cross my fingers all ends up well by the end of December. Thanks

  8. Still stuck on the January block. Step 3 to be specific. Is it supposed to look like a triangle with two upside down triangles on it. Or is that just the picture. Because I sewed the lines on it before I cut it in half and no matter how I fold it it doesn’t look like a large triangle with two upside down triangles sewn to it a little bit above the bottom edge. It took me forever to get the measurements right, and I’m not keen on just going full steam ahead only to have to redo everything to try again.

  9. Hi Deborah, I am excited to do this quilt next year. Something to look forward to each month. My kids and husband call me a quiltaholic. LOL I received 2 emails when l signed up, one was a receipt and the other one was a welcome email but haven’t received an email to confirm my email address. Thanks

  10. I love your videos, and your approach to the “process rather than the product”! The video was very helpful and now I want to make a log cabin quilt. I am starting the 2019 mystery quilt, and can’t wait to start!

  11. There is a 24 min and a 5 and half min video above is that all or I’m I missing something? I’m new first quilt I need l all the help you can give>

  12. Hi Deborah, my daughter gave me a subscription as a gift for Christmas. She got the confirmation email but when I changed the logon id and password, I didn’t get a confirmation after that. I am signed on to the facebook page and have been getting lots of information there but I didn’t get the notification that the block had been released. Can you please check my account and make sure the email address was changed to my address ([email protected])?
    Thanks so much,

  13. Hello. I joined about theee days ago and have not received email confirmation or access to the Facebook page. Can you help me with this?

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