Needlepointers.com Logo

75+ Quilting Tips & Tricks

For all of the quilters out there, from beginning quilters to veteran quilters, our Quilting Tips and Tricks page is full of wonderful ideas that will make quilting easier, neater and more precise. 

It can take years for beginner quilters to learn all of the quick quilting tips and hacks that they can use while quilting. 

Instead of the lengthy process of learning by trial and error and from quilting friends who have been quilting longer, check out this page and grab a handful of quilt tips to use now!

This page has over 75 quilting tips and tricks for all things quilting.  Check out some of the categories of tips. Rest assured, this is definitely not a complete list of all of the quilting tips on this page.

  • applique- tips for holding applique in place, washing applique fabric, finding a good applique foot...
  • bobbins- storage, bobbin thread when quilting...
  • cutting fabric- mats, batiks, mat placement, mat storage, measuring fabric...
  • foundation paper piecing- needle size, stitch length, fabric organization...
  • hand quilting- how to find the needle, handy household items to make quilting easier like soap, rubber jar openers, and more
  • machine quilting- creative weights for heavy quilts, quilting gloves, bringing the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt...
  • quilt labels- information to list, ways to label, reasons to label...
  • pressing- seams, quilt blocks, pressing motion...
  • storage and organization- storing bobbins, fabrics, mats...
  • and so much more!

Unlike our other pages, listed items are not all links. Although some of the items on the list are links to videos and tips, there are also others that are simply quick tips to help the quilter. 

As always, many of these tips are from our own experience, and others have been collected from around the internet.

Scroll down to read all of these wonderful quilting tips! You will definitely learn something new, and the quilting tips and tricks will surely make your quilting life easier!

Do you have a tip to share?  We would love to hear it!  Go to our Contact page and submit your tip.

We all learn so much from each other!

75+ Quilting Tips & Tricks

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

APPLIQUE DESIGNS AND PATTERNS

APPLIQUE DESIGNS AND PATTERNS

An ideal place to find applique patterns are coloring book pages. Needlepointers.com

APPLIQUE TIP

When appliqueing small, narrow strips (such as stems), put washable stick school glue down the center of the underside of the strip. This keeps the small, thin pieces from wandering while I stitch them in place. Susan Collins Martingale & Company

APPLIQUE TIP

Pre-wash fabric before beginning to stitch your applique pattern. The fusible web product will adhere to the fabric much better. Needlepointers.com

BATIK FABRIC

BATIK FABRIC

Learn about batik fabric. What is the right and wrong side of batik fabric? Needlepointers.com

BATTING

When choosing batting for machine quilting on my home sewing machine, choose ANY batting that is 1/4" thick or less (uncompressed). Block Central

BINDING - QUILTING BINDING

Cut binding fabric on the grain to get the most from the fabric (cutting on the bias requires more fabric). Ideas for Quilting.com

BOBBIN STORAGE BOX

BOBBIN STORAGE BOX

How to keep your bobbin storage box from opening accidentally. Needlepointers.com

BOBBIN STORAGE IDEA

BOBBIN STORAGE IDEA

A quick tip bobbin storage idea when traveling to a retreat, workshop or class. No need to take your entire bobbin box, learn what to do. By Needlepointers.com

BOBBIN THREAD

Always bring the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt before beginning to sew so you can avoid any tangling on the back. Quilt Block of the Month Club

BOBBIN THREAD HOLDER

BOBBIN THREAD HOLDER

Storing bobbins can be a bit of a problem with the threads going all over the place. This quick sewing tip shows how to use inexpensive, clear plastic tubing as a bobbin thread holder and stop thread from unraveling. Needlepointers.com Associate

BUTTONS - LARGE BUTTONS

Large buttons make great embellishment and accents on quilts. Needlepointers.com

CUTTING MAT STORAGE

Store your various sized cutting mats by hanging them from skirt hangers in the closet of your sewing room. This keeps them flat and out of the way until needed. Quilters Review

CUTTING TIP

Spread out your cutting mat on the dryer. It's flat, provides a back edge to stabilize your ruler, and it's a great height for cutting. Thanks to my mom for this tip! Blackberry Quilts

FABRIC CUTTING

When cutting fabric, always measure twice and cut once. This will avoid measuring mistakes. Needlepointers.com

FABRIC MARKER

FABRIC MARKER

Keep soap slivers for the best, washable way to mark fabric. Needlepointers.com

FABRIC SELECTION

Unsure which fabric to select for a project. Choose prints from a collection of one designer. These fabrics were designed to go together. Needlepointers.com

FABRIC STORAGE TIP

FABRIC STORAGE TIP

How to use an old dresser to store fabric. Repurpose an old dresser into a great storage cabinet in your sewing room. Needlepointers.com

FAT QUARTER TIP

How many squares can be cut from a fat quarter?
12 - 5" squares
20 - 4" squares
42 - 3" squares
56 - 2 1/2" squares
90 - 2" squares
Needlepointers.com Staff

Foundation Paper Piecing Tip

Foundation Paper Piecing Tip

Do you have trouble keeping track of the colors when paper piecing? Know which fabric to use with this quick tip. Needlepointers.com Associate

Foundation Piecing - Needle Tip

Foundation piecing is also known as paper piecing. For a useful tip, use a tiny stitch length (12 - 16 stitches per inch) and a larger needle (90/14). The paper will be easier to tear away from the assembled blocks. Needlepointers.com Staff

Garden Scraps

Use selvage or leftover long strips of fabric from your quilting projects to tie up tomato, peppers, pole beans and other vegetable plants. The repurpose ties are soft on the plants and colorful in the garden. American Patchwork & Quilt

HAND QUILTING

Use a small piece of masking tape to mark your place when you stop quilting. That way, you can pick up your needle and begin again without wasting time looking for where you left off last. Birdie Martingale & Company

HAND QUILTING

Cut a small piece of jar opener rubber and keep next to you when you hand quilt so you can grab ahold of the needle to help pull it through fabric. Block Central

HAND QUILTING

Save bar soap scraps and old candles to use to pass a threaded needle through to make the needle and thread go through fabric easier. Block Central

HAND SEWING AND HAND QUILTING

HAND SEWING AND HAND QUILTING

Do you ever have trouble pulling the needle through the fabric? This tips explains how to use a small piece of jar opener rubber to help pull needle through material. Needlepointers.com

How to Hang a Small Wallhanging Quilt

How to Hang a Small Wallhanging Quilt

This tip explains how to hang a quilted wall hanging using plastic rings. This is a quick and easy method. Needlepointers.com

IRON TIP

Successful pressing is an important step in creating a well-crafted quilt so invest in a super-hot steam iron. Bernina

LABELING QUILTS

Label, label, label! Imagine inheriting a quilt and unquilted top, and not being sure which grandmother or aunt made them. No matter how small the project; label it. Needle Songs

LABELING YOUR QUILT

The information you include on your label will be treasured for generations to come. Always include; Name of the maker and the quilter (if different); Date; Where the quilt was made. Bernina

Leaders and Enders in Quilting

Leaders and Enders in Quilting

Leaders and Enders, also referred to as thread savers, are just little pieces of scrap fabric that you feed under the presser foot before and after sewing. Learn more about them and the advantages of them. Needlepointers.com Associate

MACHINE APPLIQUE TIP

When machine appliqueing use an open toe foot or open toe applique foot. You will see what you are appliqueing easier. Needlepointers.com

MACHINE QUILTING

Disposable latex gloves, like doctors and nurses use, make fabulous machine quilting gloves. Block Central

MACHINE QUILTING

When quilting a large, heavy quilt on your machine, use cans of veggies or fruit to hold your quilt on your table, instead of buying expensive weights to help hold your fabric in place. Just make sure the cans are clean! Embroidery Library

Machine Quilting Bobbin Thread Tip

Machine Quilting Bobbin Thread Tip

Learn why and how you should bring the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt when machine quilting. Needlepointers.com

MASKING TAPE

MASKING TAPE

If you do a lot of straight line quilting, collect different widths of masking tape or painters tape. Needlepointers.com

ORGANIZING SEWING & QUILTING TOOL

ORGANIZING SEWING & QUILTING TOOL

Watch video to see how pegboard is an inexpensive way to make much needed storage space for sewing and quilting tools in your sewing room. Just build a wooden frame on the wall and attach pegboard.

Paper Piecing

Always remember to cut any pieces of fabric so that the edges of the foundation are cut on the grain of the fabric. Fabric stretches and this is where the grain is most important. Quiltaholics

PRECUT BORDERS

If you precut your borders, always add a few extra inches to the length. To determine the exact length of the border strips, measure your sewn quilt top across the center from top to bottom and from side to side. Compare your measurements to the project instructions and, if necessary, adjust the cutting measurements of the border strips to the actual length and width of your quilt top. Bernina

Precut Strips and Shapes

Many precut fabrics have pinked edges to prevent fraying. To gauge the seam allowance on precut strips and shapes use the outermost edge of the pinking. Needlepointers.com Staff

PRESSING

Press seam allowances. Press with care. Do not drag the iron across the piecing. Use a gentle up and down motion to prevent stretching bias edges. Use a warm iron with lots of steam. Ideas for Quilting.com

PRESSING YOUR QUILT

Press all seams so that they lay flat. You may press them all to one side or press them open which ever will result in the least bulk at seam intersections. Pressing as you go will result in a better quilt. Quilt N Sew Studio

QUILT BLOCK PRESSING

To prevent fabric distortion, press blocks with a pick up and press down action with the iron. Needlepointers.com

QUILT BLOCK SEAM PRESSING TIP

When pressing the seams in your quilt block, always press the seam flat first, the way it was sewn. This sinks the thread into the fabric and reduces the bulk of the seam. This habit can eliminate the "hanging-up" on the walking foot while machine quilting. Quiltaholic

Quilt Ruler

Quilt Ruler

How many of you have experienced the quilt ruler slip and slide while you’re running the rotary cutter along the ruler’s edge? Here is a tip! Needlepointers.com Associate

QUILTING

Using the same brand of rulers regardless of the size will make your measurements when cutting quilt pieces more consistent. Magazine Name, Date & Page here

QUILTING

If your cutting board will not lay flat, place it on a flat surface and cover it with a towel. With a hot iron, press it for a few minutes. Place some books on the cutting board and leave overnight. Kenai Peninsula Piecemakers

QUILTING

To clean the sole plate of your iron, gently sprinkle a brown paper bag generously with salt. Then gently rub your warm iron over it. --Pat Thompson, Mequon, Wisconsin Better Homes and Gardens

QUILTING

When appliqueing small, narrow strips (such as stems), I put washable stick school glue down the center of the underside of the strip. This keeps the small, thin pieces from wandering while I stitch them in place. Susan Collins

QUILTING

Use a balloon to help you keep a good hold of the needle when pulling it through the fabric. Nancy's Home Page

QUILTING

Be sure that you use a small stitch length (18-20 stitches per inch) when using paper foundation. This makes sure the stitches do not rip out when the paper is removed. Zippydesigns.com

QUILTING

When foundation (paper) quilting do not use steam in your iron when pressing. Steam could cause the paper foundation and/or fabric to shrink or distort. Zippydesign.com

QUILTING

Keep soap slivers in the freezer to use to mark quilts. This keeps soap hard and easier to use. It also washes out right away. Hobby Industry Association

QUILTING

Seams will always be pressed together in a chosen direction, and not open as in clothing construction. QuiltChat.com

QUILTING

Roll left over fabric strips on an empty toilet tissue roll. Gently not to stretch, and you won't have to re-iron or search for that certain strip. Line them up in a shoe box, mark box as to color. Quiltaholics

QUILTING

When paper piecing you can use a very light weight sew in interfacing for paper piecing instead of paper. it can stay in, you can see through it and it is cheap. Pigna pens are great for tracing onto it. Quiltaholtics

QUILTING - 1/4" SEAM ACCURACY

Place a small strip of Dr. Scholl's Molefoam padding next to your machine foot. Position a piece of 1/4" graph paper under the needle, place needle on a line 1/4" from edge, line up Molefoam with adge of paper. Quilt Woman.com

QUILTING - CUTTING PIECES

When cutting out fabric for a quilt project, place a piece of tracing paper over the pattern's cutting instructions. As you go along use a pencil to cross out each fabric so you do not lose track and you keep the pattern clean. American Patchwork & Quilting Magazine

QUILTING - Fabric

After washing and pressing your fabrics, hang them over a coat hanger to keep them smooth. You will be able to find your fabrics more easily when they aren't buried in a box Blackberry Quilts

QUILTING - FABRIC

When buying fabric look at both sides. Sometimes the reverse(lighter side) is just what you need. Applique Quilt Designs

QUILTING - Fat Quarter Storage

Use a CD shelf! Tuck fat quarters and fabric rolls into the compartments of a CD shelf. You can display your beautiful fabrics up on the wall. Blackberry Quilts

QUILTING - SQUARING FABRIC

To square up your fabric, fold fabric and place folded side horizontally along any line on the cutting board. Place the left vertical edge slightly past a vertical line on the cutting board, with rotary cutter and C-Thru ruler take your first cut. Applique Quilt Designs

Quilting Density and Batting Choice

Quilting Density and Batting Choice

How far apart should quilting lines be? Learn how the batting choice is important for determining the distance between quilting lines. Needlepointers.com Staff

ROTARY BLADES - REPURPOSE

ROTARY BLADES - REPURPOSE

Don't toss your old rotary blades away! Store them in the plastic container marked "Used" and use them to cut paper for scrapbooking and card marking projects. Needlepointers.com

ROTARY CUTTER

When you are finished using a rotary cutter, make use to close the protective shield. Needlepointers.com

ROTARY CUTTER

Store your rotary cutter in an old eyeglass case. It protects the blade and your fingers. Sew It Is

ROTARY CUTTER

Use a rotary cutter for the most accurate cutting, as this should help the accuracy of your piecing, and thus the overall appearance of your quilt. Quilt Block of the Month Club

ROTARY CUTTER BLADES

Don't throw away used blades. I label the old blade using a permanent marker and use it for cutting paper projects. Sew It Is

ROUNDING CORNERS

ROUNDING CORNERS

Keep an old CD or DVD disk handy with your sewing tools. Because you can use it to create perfectly rounded corners on any projects - such as quilts, pillows, placemats, blankets and more. Needlepointers.com

SCRAP FABRIC

Save all my scrap fabrics and cut them into small squares before putting them away. They are ready when you want to make a scrap quilt or when you want to decorate a pair of shorts or tops. Block Central

SEWING OR QUILTING

Before starting a project fill a number of bobbins so you can continue with your project uninterrupted. Needlepointers.com

SOAP SILVERS TIP

Keep soap slivers in the freezer to use to mark quilts. This keeps soap hard and easier to use. It also washes out right away. Ben Frankling Crafts

STORAGE TIP

Don't know what to do with all the small quilting and sewing tools - quilt pens, scissors, rotary cutters, etc. A silverware tray makes a great storage container. Needlepointers.com

STORING YOUR PROJECT

Use clear plastic containers to store your projects and works in progress. You will be able to see what's inside easily, and won't lose track of projects. Clearly label the outside of each box also! Blackberry Quilts

TEMPLATE - Making Templates

TEMPLATE - Making Templates

How to make a plastic template when you do not have template material. You can use a plastic milk carton. Needlepointers.com

TEMPLATES - QUILTING TEMPLATES

Don't have quilter's template plastic, just use a plastic milk jug. Needlepointers.com

Thread - THREAD SAVER TECHNIQUE

Chain Sewing or Chain Piecing is a thread saver technique. Just sew from one piece of fabric to the next without cutting threads. Needlepointers.com

Thread - THREAD SAVER TECHNIQUE

Begin and end your sewing by stitching on a small scrap of fabric, called a 'thread saver'. You will save thread, AND you will have fewer long threads to get tangled up in your machine! Blackberry Quilts

THREAD - TRANSPARENT PLASTIC THREAD

If you are using transparent plastic thread for machine quilting in appliqués, then make sure that you do not use a hot iron on it! It will melt! Beginner Quilting Resources





Profile Photo

Annette & Chris are a mother/daughter team. We've brought you craft projects and tutorials through this web site for over 20 years.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Quilting Shopping

Quilting Topics

Fat Quarter-300x250 Accucut - 250x250 ElectricQuilt - Small

Looking for something you cannot find on our site? Click here to e-mail the Needlepointers Information department.

Copyright ©2003 - 2019 Needlepointers.com. All Rights Reserved. | Powered by w3.css

Secured by RapidSSL