Guide to Quilting

Quilting involves stitching fabric pieces together to create a quilt design. Quilt designs can be intricate or basic depending on the size and number of the fabric pieces you stitch together. The quilt design will become the top of the quilt. The next step involves sewing the quilt top to a piece of backing fabric with batting between the two layers of fabric. The stitches that sew the fabric layers together form the quilt. Stitches can be simple or elaborate, depending on the design you choose and your skill level. Learn to quilt by working on a beginner's quilt project. By the time you finish, you will have completed all of the steps necessary to make a quilt.

Guide to Quilting

History of Quilts

Explore quilting history on this Web page. Quilting originated in China and ancient Egypt when people stitched layers of fabric and batting together to make warm coverings. Patchwork and applique quilting began in American during the 19th century.

A Short History of Quilting in the United States

Learn about how early Americans quilted here. Quilters used cotton, wool, and silk fabrics together to make quilts. Cloth manufacturing eventually produced affordable fabrics, which enabled quilting to become even more popular.

Learning to Quilt: The Stuff

Guide to Quilting

This Web page details the equipment and materials you will need to make a quilt. Assorted items include fabric, needles, thread, scissors, a rotary cutter, and a cutting mat.

A Beginner's Guide to Learning to Quilt

Find out how quilting has evolved from its early days to the methods and techniques people use today on this page. Years ago, people used cardboard as templates and straw or newspapers as batting.

Quilting and You

Quilting Basics

Take free quilting lessons from this website. Learn about how to choose fabric, cut pieces, and sew them together to make a quilt.

Beginner Quilting Basics

This page introduces quilting terminology for the beginner, including borders, sashing, and binding. Once you understand basic terms, you can advance to making a quilt.

Beginner Basics

Watch videos on this website to learn basic quilting skills such as sewing accurate seams, chain-piecing fabric pieces, rotary cutting, and binding.

How to Quilt (PDF)

This document details the process of making a quilt, from transferring a quilt design to binding off the finished piece.

Choosing the Right Quilt Pattern

Read tips for choosing the quilt pattern that matches your skill level. Keep the construction basic for a beginner's project to ensure that you can cut and stitch the fabrics together correctly.

Quilt With Carefree Curves (video)

Watch this video to learn about piecing traditional quilt designs and how to eliminate troublesome curves while creating your projects.

Quilt Design: Choosing Fabrics, Colors, and a Pattern

This page teaches about how fabric colors work to create pleasing visual designs in a quilt. Purchase more fabric than you think you need to ensure that you don't run out of fabric.

Guide to Quilting

Color in Quilts

Review explanations about the color value in fabrics and how color value works to create the overall effect of a quilt. Colors have different hues, intensities, tints, tones, and shades.

Quilt as You Sew (PDF)

Expert quilters give their advice for a piece-by-piece approach to quilting that allows you to make headway while having the chance to evaluate your work before adding it to the overall piece.

Basic Quilt Instructions

Find out how to use a rotary cutter to cut fabric into pieces for piecing a quilt. Accuracy is extremely important when cutting out fabric pieces to ensure that you can sew them together correctly.

Machine Piecing Instructions

Read about machine piecing basics on this website. Keeping a quarter-inch seam allowance, using the right needle, and pressing seams correctly are integral parts of the quilting process.

Guide to Quilting


Review basic quilting techniques, including piecing fabric, machine quilting, and hand quilting. Try simple quilting projects to learn techniques.

Learning to Quilt

This page introduces the technique of using tangrams for quilting. Learn about the connection between geometry and quilting.

Making a Paper Quilt

Instead of fabric, experiment with making a paper quilt out of bright card stock. Learn how colors work together with paper, and then move on to working with fabric.

Quilt Made From Ties

This website introduces a quilting project that uses men's ties as the foundation of the quilt top. Explore the intricate patterns that work together for this quilt.

Completing Your Quilt

Learn basic finishing techniques on this page to enable you to complete your quilt correctly. Methods include machine quilting, hand quilting, and tying.

How to Make a Quilt Sleeve and Binding (PDF)

This document outlines the steps to make a sleeve and binding for a quilt.

How to Tie a Quilt Tutorial

Tying a quilt is one of the most basic finishing techniques. Although simple, tying produces a beautiful finished quilt.

Finishing a Quilt: Edges and Labels

Learn about the quick-turning method for machine-finishing a quilt. This method does not require hand sewing.

Border Hints and Tips

Piecing border strips can be challenging, but this page explains the process. With borders on a quilt top, the quilt has a more finished appearance.

How to Sew Borders on Quilts

Explore how borders will add interest to a quilt top on this website. Borders can have mitered or butted corners. Butted corners are better suited for the beginner.

How to Make a Panel for the AIDS Quilt

The AIDS Quilt is a well-known example of quilting that pays tribute to people who have lost their lives to AIDS. Here, you can learn about how to make a panel to contribute to the quilt.

Quilt Binding

The traditional binding method involves machine sewing half of the binding to the quilt and then hand sewing the second half. This website explains the process.

Guide to Quilting


A Quick Label

Adding a label to the back of the quilt is often the final step in making a quilt. This page details making a quick quilt label.

Quilt Care

The National Quilt Museum offers information on how to care for and display a quilt without damaging it.