We asked you about when you started quilting, what made you fall in love with quilting, and your most valuable lessons. And the survey says…


Who taught you to quilt?

47% Self taught

34% Quilt Instructor

17% Family/Mother/Grandmother

11% Friend


How did you learn to quilt?

46% Quilt Classes

38% Taught Myself

37% Books

17% One-on-one

16% TV


What made you fall in love with quilting?

77% The Quilts

56% The Fabric

28% The People

Additionally, many of you wrote it the following:

  • All of the ABOVE!!!
  • Creativity
  • I LOVE Sewing!
  • The Process


What was the trickiest part of quilting to learn?

36% Accurate cutting

32% Scant 1/4″ seam allowance

28% Picking fabric colors

…and quilting the quilt.

Advice from fellow quilters…What is the most valuable tip or lesson you’ve learned quilting?

  1. To wash the fabric first thing.
  2. None of my friends or family notices my mistakes; only I do. I won’t seam rip and resew the same thing more than 3 times, so my quilts may never qualify for an AQS quilt show. But I love creating quilts, always striving to improve, and ultimately I am happy with the quilts I make, and so are the people who receive them from me.
  3. Perseverance
  4. How to bind a quilt
  5. Enjoy the process and stop rushing to get it done.
  6. Nothings perfect
  7. Rotary cutter and self-healing mat.  After learning about them when they first made an appearance, I was hooked.
  8. Love your self. Love your quilt. It’s your quilt. Don’t compare your quilt to others.
  9. When life gives you scraps, make quilts! and CUT! and GO on!
  10. Be organized. Once you acquire a large stash and everything else, they do you no good unless you can find what you want.
  11. Starch is my best friend
  12. Learning how to do needle turn appliqué definitely made a difference in my choice of projects, but I must admit, initially, I could not wait to finish piecing so I could get to the hand quilting.
  13. Accurate cutting and accurate piecing and pressing
  14. there are always new things to learn
  15. Keep trying, there’s always something new to learn.
  16. Practice, practice, practice!
  17. It’s okay not to be perfect. Only machines attain perfection
  18. To just “go for it” and not be afraid – of picking fabrics, or trying a new quilt block or machine quilting! It will all be fine 🙂
  19. you will make mistakes just go with it.
  20. Watch videos
  21. Take your time & do not be afraid to rip out & do it over if it is not right.
  22. How to rip out seams
  23. Put a marker for 1/4 seam on machine. Also press often
  24. Accuracy in all things
  25. There’s more than one way to do things
  26. Always buy more fabric than called for in any pattern, if you mess up, you won’t be hunting for something no longer available.
  27. Accuracy
  28. Patience
  29. Don’t watch the needle.
  30. Auditioning fabrics
  31. Binding
  32. You can fix anything and mistakes are OK
  33. Accurate piecing
  34. Cutting accurately
  35. Cut straight, use good rulers and sharp blade in rotary cutter
  36. Thread choices
  37. Sew accurately
  38. To separate the various types of fabric
  39. Buy as much fabric as you want. Life is short.
  40. Measure twice cut once.
  41. Taking your time and being accurate.
  42. Measure twice, cut once!
  43. To be exact in cutting and 1/4 inch seams
  44. My work is one of a kind, I will never be completely happy with what I make as I am a HUGE perfectionist.
  45. Accuracy in all areas of quilting helps with the end product.
  46. Take your time
  47. Enjoy the process and aim for accuracy.
  48. Cut accurately and sew correct seams.
  49. Measure twice cut once
  50. Continue to try new techniques, keep learning
  51. Learn from many different sources
  52. After places pieces on a design board (or the floor) take a photo to see if it is balanced and if anything jumps out as just wrong.
  53. I must have ADD. So many ideas, so little time!
  54. Mistakes aren’t mistakes, they are creative flourishes
  55. Verify the measurement, every time.
  56. Quilting is a journey of excellence, not perfection.  With every quilt I learn something new…what I like…what I don’t like…honing a skill. Everything gets easier and better with time and experience.
  57. Be creative and come up with your own ideas
  58. There are no quilt police, if you can imagine it you can make it.
  59. Learning to unsew graciously.
  60. Take the time to square it all up and match seams
  61. Accurate cutting is everything!
  62. Time management
  63. Patience !
  64. Measure twice cut once
  65. Quilting is a social sport.
  66. Try new colors, patterns, techniques….work outside of your comfort zone.
  67. Measure twice, cut once
  68. Paper piecing.
  69. To enjoy the process. If it can’t be seen from the back of a galloping horse, it’s not a problem. my best
  70. Accurate cutting
  71. Always make a 1/4″ seam when piecing
  72. Matching seams
  73. You see your mistakes; the recipient sees the quilt and the love and time you invested in it.
  74. Accuracy in everything.
  75. Let your machine do its job–you are there to GUIDE the fabric, not to bully it.  Next, choose your colors and prints carefully, then let the fabric do its job–don’t bully it.  Lastly, go ahead and try that odd piece of fabric, sometimes that one is the missing link to dazzling instead of ho-hum.
  76. Patience and accurate cutting
  77. Cutting your pieces accurately is the most important thing. If you don’t cut right, accurate sewing doesn’t matter.
  78. Done is better than perfect.
  79. Scant 1/4 inch is vital
  80. Don’t rush, calculate & measure multiple times to prevent mistakes (but they always seem to happen anyway).
  81. Use the best tools you can afford.  If you can afford a quality sewing machine, get that first.
  82. Do not point out mistakes – there are none!
  83. Patience and cutting accurate sizes.
  84. Keep a sharp seam ripper handy
  85. Take your time, enjoy the process. Cut & press correctly
  86. Making piecing just a part of the process….using color, incorporating appliqué, and now improvisation…what a process!!
  87. Quilt what you like because no one is perfect and the person receiving the quilt will not  see any mistakes unless you point them out.
  88. How to put on binding
  89. Accurate 1/4″ seam allowance
  90. Patience and accuracy go hand in hand.
  91. Press, press and more press
  92. No quilt is perfect so don’t stress about little mistakes.
  93. Accurate seams
  94. That every quilt does not have to be a show winner only a winner to me.
  95. When someone compliments your work always say “thank you” even if you don’t feel you have done well
  96. Practice
  97. Method of binding
  98. Take chances and play. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. You can always unsew.
  99. Accurate cutting and seam allowances
  100. Just keep going and don’t worry about anything that is imperfect, they make it your own and add charm. Besides only God is perfect and I’m definitely not God.
  101. Perseverance is the key to success.
  102. Patience with self, projects and hinky things that happen when you are quilting (I just Know that said cut 2 strips at 3.5 inches – now it says cut 3 strips at 2.5 inches!!)
  103. Relax, and enjoy the learning. There will always be mistakes, and there are no perfect quilts.
  104. Use safety pins. I get stuck often
  105. It’s OK to make mistakes, as long as you make them consistently!! You can complete a whole quilt as long as the mistake is consistent throughout! (i.e. I once cut a block out a couple inches smaller than called for. I simply made the rest of the blocks that much smaller and finished a whole quilt that way!!
  106. Blue painters tape for a straight line and to use a neutral thread for piecing.
  107. Keep trying and you will get better at patchwork, applique, hand quilting, machine quilting, etc. Practice improves every aspect of quilting.
  108. Rolling up a larger quilt so you can machine quilt using a regular sewing machine.
  109. Don’t sweat mistakes and each quilt is a new lesson.
  110. Patience – it will get you to the lovely end.
  111. Patience
  112. Read the directions and go slow.
  113. Join a local guild. Members are enthusiastic and willing to share, teach and inspire.
  114. Use the same ruler and same machine to complete a project.
  115. Patience and that it does not have to be perfectly perfect to be beautiful. The beauty comes from the thought, the time and the love that the quilt represents.
  116. There isn’t one tip. More an accumulation of tips from quilt friends and groups and classes.
  117. Keep your seams precise. Never try to fudge a wrinkle, take the time to rip and resew your seam correctly. You’ll be happier and proud of your quilt in the end.
  118. It’s not a race. Slow down and enjoy it.
  119. Patience and organization.
  120. Haste makes waste, organize your project before you begin.
  121. Do what pleases you and forget the rest. Perfection is neither necessary or desired. It’s the process that fulfills.
  122. How to use all the different cutting tools to get accurate.
  123. Pieces to sew together.
  124. Patience
  125. Everything and future learning.
  126. Breathe and relax. I used to be apprehensive and. would find myself holding my breath.
  127. Perfection is impossible in quilting and in life. We can cut accurately, sew accurately, and still some blocks turn out wonky. It has taught me to do my best and accept life and people as they are.
  128. Patience and it’s not a race
  129. Just try it!
  130. Accuracy so very important.
  131. Persistence is the key.
  132. Do your own thing.
  133. Choose the best tools and fabrics.
  134. Bindings and quilting patterns.
  135. Finished is better than perfect, and you won’t be perfect when just starting.
  136. It is okay to rip it out and start again.
  137. Good pressing with starch!!!
  138. Check before sewing each time to make sure your scant 1/4″ is accurate for a beautifully constructed quilt.
  139. Get the Fons & Porter binding tool
  140. Not to stress over the little stuff!
  141. Follow the directions!!!
  142. Measure twice cut once.
  143. Only rule is there is no rules.
  144. Putting the quilt together.
  145. Married seams. Iron press dark side.
  146. For me, quilting is a relaxing hobby. I enjoy designing my own quilts!!!!!
  147. Quilting is akin to a spiritual journey, and can be just as powerful of an influence. It’s the story in the quilt that calls us.
  148. Pinning to get perfect (or nearest to perfect) seam intersections. Measure twice and cut once.
  149. Slow down and take my time.
  150. Take a break when you are tired and start making mistakes. Go back to it later.
  151. Using a strip of thick plastic (hotel room card-credit card etc) adhered to sewing machine bed as my 1/4″ guide.
  152. If after 3 tries a seam won’t sit right leave it alone and continue on.
  153. Patience and accuracy
  154. 1/4 inch seam guide
  155. Thread tips
  156. To take time in cutting the pieces accurately so that the pattern falls into place when sewing
  157. Patience
  158. Accuracy is important
  159. The right needles and using a thimble. If you prick your finger and get blood on the quilt, your saliva will take it out, if done immediately.
  160. Accurate cutting and accurate seam allowances.
  161. Still learning
  162. Do not be afraid to redo a seam. Be patient with yourself. Do not criticize your work but be appreciative of compliments.
  163. Forgive and learn from mistakes.
  164. I don’t have to be perfect!!
  165. Don’t worry it will quilt out.
  166. Have fun take your time.
  167. Double check fabric is right side before sewing and have patience.
  168. Connect diamonds
  169. Little imperfections make the quilts mine. I love to make a quilt my own by adding or taking something from a pattern.
  170. How important it is to have accurate seams.
  171. Press the seams!!!
  172. Never throw away scraps! (I make 2 inch wide guitar straps with 9 patches and flying geese.)
  173. Cutting accurately and accurate seams are vitally important.
  174. Use high quality fabric.
  175. Easy triangle squares
  176. Accuracy when doing any part of the quilt.
  177. Patience and attention to details.
  178. I learned that there’s a tool to make it easier for me to make my quilts.
  179. Go slowly.
  180. Jeff Gutcheon said to cut pieces with straight of grain on one side of the piece OR cut pieces so straight of grain follows all 4 sides of block OR CUT THE PIECES ANY “DARN” WAY YOU PLEASE.
  181. Measure twice, cut once.
  182. Sew slowly and pay attention to those 1/4″ seams!
  183. Everyone has an opinion.
  184. If you make a mistake, take it apart and fix it right away, otherwise you may never go back.
  185. Measure twice & cut once.
  186. Press open the seams.
  187. Measure twice.
  188. Practice, Practice, & Perfection isn’t likely to happen, but finishing a quilt will make you HAPPY!!!
  189. To take Harriet Hargrove’s Quilter’s Academy class
  190. Everything that looks difficult can be broken down into simple step by step actions…don’t be afraid of starting anything!
  191. To be patient.
  192. I’ve learned so many lessons. I think the accuracy is in the details. Don’t rush!
  193. After 38 years, I still learn something new at every class I take!! Best lesson for accuracy was where to pin when matching seams…it has served me well!
  194. You don’t have to be perfect.
  195. Keep that quarter-inch seam allowance!
  196. Using freezer paper for appliqueing….also that my work does not have to be perfect…!
  197. Have fun!
  198. Be patient.
  199. In ’64 patterns were marked by tracing around a cardboard template.  Being sure to cut accurately with just a 1/4″ seam was a lessons soon learned.
  200. How to make half square triangles.
  201. Being precise.
  202. Make sure that you cut accurately and then sew an accurate quarter inch seam.
  203. To say “no” to people who want you to make things for them.
  204. Probably chain piecing for it’s efficiency.
  205. Measure accurately.
  206. It’s normal to make mistakes.
  207. 1/4 ” seaming.
  208. Not being perfect is allowed. enjoy the process.
  209. Relax, enjoy and stretch (both body and mind).
  210. Blocking your squares after sewn together.
  211. Have fun!
  212. Take your time.
  213. Quilters are fabulous people.
  214. Cutting tips-I have been a machine sewer since I was very young.  I love watching quilts come together and find accurate cutting is the secret!
  215. Keep learning.
  216. Measure twice and cut once and press up and down not side to side.
  217. Keep your seams 1/4 inch.
  218. The scant 1/4″ is used for a reason!
  219. Don’t stress over a mistake.
  220. To increase the size of a smaller quilt pattern, use a copier to make copies of the smaller quilt pattern. cut and paste to design the larger version.
  221. Chain piecing
  222. Never give up! Everybody makes mistakes.
  223. The 1/4 inch seam.
  224. Take your time and it’s ok to make a mistake. It shows a person made it (even if a sewing machine was used).
  225. You have to be accurate when cutting pieces and iron your seams flat.
  226. Measure twice and cut once.
  227. Be patient, don’t rush, measure twice, cut once, the seam ripper is your best friend.
  228. Press on a hard surface.
  229. I have learned about the quilt police.
  230. Take your time.
  231. Patience and practice.
  232. Patience.
  233. Don’t try to quilt when you are tired!!!
  234. If you getting mad at what you are making, take a break.
  235. Accuracy on cutting and sewing.
  236. To not worry so much about making a mistake.
  237. That it’s MY quilt and that whatever I want to make of it is just fine as long as I like it!
  238. There are no quilt police!
  239. Being persistent and keep trying.
  240. Take your time, do your best. Mistakes happen. Embrace them.
  241. Foundation paper
  242. Take a class and get a 1/4″ foot with a guide.
  243. How to use tools correctly.
  244. Quilting should be fun. If it isn’t – go do something else for awhile, then return to the fun of quilting.
  245. Doesn’t have to thread perfect for a baby to love it.
  246. There is no right or wrong when it comes to quilts. Quilting is an art form.  Everyone has there own techniques.
  247. Having a design wall.
  248. Have a large work surface.
  249. Take extra care and time to make sure your points are not cut off but are really pointy.
  250. Don’t have more than five project going or think retirement brings you time to quilt. I am losing my sight at 66 quilt world is ending and I am having hard time not buying more fabric.
  251. Tenacity – keep with it and figure it out and the results will be rewarding.
  252. Measure twice, cut once.
  253. How to design my own quilts or adapt an existing pattern to my own idea.
  254. Selecting material.
  255. Patience to be meticulous.
  256. Quality fabric and great machines…..absolute necessities.
  257. Measure twice, cut once!!!
  258. When I start making mistakes or get agitated it is time to take a break. Second tip: Don’t be a harsh judge of myself.
  259. Cutting accurate,  1/4 inch seams, and press, press, press.
  260. Make sure seams are accurate.
  261. Always doing your best work.
  262. Must have accurate seams.
  263. Do not be afraid. Just do It!!!
  264. Always be willing to listen to suggestions on improving my technique.
  265. Learning that not all mistakes are a disaster and that sometimes the mistake just lends character.
  266. Be careful.
  267. To use Bottom Line, top and bottom, and a 70 or 75 needle for piecing…sharper seams and minimal lint.
  268. Don’t worry about rules or what others say. Do what makes you happy and be afraid to fail.
  269. Be patient.
  270. Finished is better than perfect.
  271. Be patient with yourself as you are learning.
  272. Pay attention when cutting/sewing seams, take your time, you are not Eleanor Burns!
  273. Eleanor Burns way to do applique.
  274. Pay attention to each piece whether cutting, sewing, or pressing.
  275. Starch, starch, starch!
  276. Quilting is an art as well as a skill.
  277. Patience. Learn to love the process.
  278. Taking your time and being precise with each step saves time and sorrow in the next steps.
  279. Take time to enjoy each step of the project!
  280. You can always learn something new. Quilting has evolved so much since I first started.
  281. Be selective in giving your quilts away. Many people do not appreciate the time, money and love you put into a quilt. It is a work of art. I do not sell my quilts. They go to family and friends and charity.
  282. Sew slower. It’s not a race. Unless it is a race, and then sew as fast as you can.
  283. Check. Again.
  284. Never give up learning and trying new skills.
  285. Take your time and it’s ok to make a mistake. It shows a person made it (even if a sewing machine was used).
  286. Accuracy whether it be in cutting, sewing, etc.
  287. Keep a consistent 1/4 inch and your blocks will go together like magic.
  288. How to use the add a quarter ruler.
  289. Accuracy
  290. I need to be sure I finish all the cutting before stopping.
  291. Using precuts and it is better to cut a little on the larger side rather than the smaller side when you are cutting.  When using the cutting mat, cut on the outside edge of the lines rather than in the middle of the line.
  292. Accurate quarter inch seam allowances plus cutting and pressing as you go along.
  293. I think every tip that an instructor provides is the most valuable at the time because it shows that they learned from something that didn’t work out well for them before and they want you to know.
  294. Take your time!  Take breaks when frustrated and give it a rest. Return to the project later on, and the problem often fixes itself.
  295. Squaring blocks all the same to incorporate in the finished product.
  296. Check the measurements of your smaller units to be sure that your block comes out the way you want it.
  297. Marking the bias side of triangles to keep from stretching the fabric out of shape and learning how to make bias tape so that the binding always matched or contrasts with the rest of your beautiful work.
  298. Do what you love.
  299. It is ALL good — wonkiness included.
  300. Take your time and it’s ok to make a mistake. It shows a person made it (even if a sewing machine was used).
  301. Not to fret over imperfections.  Only I can see them.
  302. Always read the directions first.  Keeps the oops out midway.
  303. Wow! Tips are the first section I read on websites or in magazines. What I have learned that is most important to me is every quilt is designed and made by me and it is just fine if I hate it when it’s done! The first person who likes it generally gets it! And that is the blessing!
  304. Errors turn into “design opportunities” for me.
  305. Make sure you cut accurately and all your seams are sewn the same width.
  306. Nothing is perfect so Finished is fine.
  307. Nobody is perfect.
  308. Take your time and enjoy the process.
  309. Nesting seams.
  310. Doing my binding.
  311. Just to relax and enjoy the experience and outcome.
  312. You don’t always have to follow the rules. It’s fine to improvise.
  313. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just do the best you can and be proud of it.
  314. Go slow and concentrate on what you are trying to accomplish.
  315. I learned to slow down, take time to cut precisely and to make sure I have a correct 1/4 ” seam on sewing machine.
  316. Using a small piece of leftover fabric after I finish a section of piecing to keep the machine ready for the next set of chain piecing or section of piecing.
  317. Quilt guilds are a fabulous resource. I am in a large guild and am in daily contact with members who always have a great tip, idea, solution, and always make me laugh.
  318. I am unique and so are my quilts.
  319. You can have than one quilt in the works!
  320. Don’t be afraid or think you can’t do something. The worst that can happen is you’ve made a nice dog blanket.
  321. Nothing is perfect.
  322. Slow down.
  323. Nothing is perfect so if you make a mistake and it isn’t a bad one, leave it in. Gives the quilt character.
  324. Finished is better than perfect!
  325. Need to have accurate 1/4″ seams.
  326. Expect the unexpected and enjoy the results.
  327. Construction of different blocks.
  328. Don’t worry about what other people think of your fabric choices – choose what makes your heart sing!
  329. If you’re going to show a quilt and you’re wondering if you should leave a flaw in hoping no one will notice – take it out!
  330. How to sew curves.
  331. Be patient.
  332. Patience
  333. Patience
  334. Measure twice cut once.
  335. Rules don’t always matter, but they do matter sometimes matter. The trick is to learn which is which.
  336. Go slow when cutting out the pieces whether you are using scissors or a rotary cutter.
  337. Accuracy is invaluable.
  338. To have FUN making them.
  339. There are no rules!
  340. Patience makes perfect (or close to it.)
  341. Don’t be restricted by others rules.
  342. Using freezer paper for making templates and marking slippery quilts made of slippery fabrics.
  343. Watch those bias edges!
  344. How to use a rotary cutter.
  345. Chain piecing and machine applique techniques are the most valuable to me 🙂
  346. There is more than one way to do almost anything in quilting.  In other words, ignore the “quilting police.”
  347. Have patience.
  348. I’ve learned that there is beauty in every scrap of fabric, every pattern created, and every hand that creates. I’ve also learned that truly beautiful things take time to be created.
  349. Accuracy and using a walking foot.
  350. Measuring twice and cutting once.
  351. Using finger cots to pull the needle while hand quilting and cotton gloves with rubber dots on fingers to control fabric while machine quilting.
  352. Go slow and enjoy it, no tight schedules.
  353. Cutting is the most important part.
  354. Enjoy the process.
  355. How to join seams on angles so that they don’t bunch up in the center.
  356. Any goof can be fixed, fabric is very flexible for fixing mistakes.
  357. Take your time—measure twice cut once.
  358. Always have fun.
  359. Breathe.
  360. Be patient, take your time, do your best, and FINISHED really is better than perfect!
  361. Enjoy the process!
  362. Needing to be accurate in cutting and sewing.
  363. Precision in your cutting and stitching.
  364. Measure, measure, measure, and mark, mark, mark!!
  365. Take my time. It’s easier to do it right the first time rather than rip it out and start over.
  366. I learned that there is always another way to get things done. If you have trouble with one method, you can try another way!
  367. Use quality fabric; ensure seams are accurate; accurate pressing.
  368. Take you time–EVERYONE makes mistakes!!!
  369. Take your time and enjoy the process.
  370. Correct method of matching seams when sewing 4-patch.
  371. Using the right tools when cutting, sewing, or quilting.
  372. Making exact cuts is a  necessity.  Not all rulers and cutting tools work for every person, keep trying until you find ones that are right for you.
  373. To be precise from the start and it stitches together perfectly.
  374. Measure after every seam sewn.
  375. No matter how long you have been quilting, there is always something more to learn.
  376. Pay attention to the directions,measure measure.
  377. Relax, have fun, you can “quilt out” your mistakes
  378. To make sure you are as accurate as possible.
  379. Practice, practice.
  380. Don’t hurry. set small goals each session. teach others what you know.
  381. Have fun.
  382. Take your time!
  383. Take time and accuracy.
  384. To discover the formula of any given quilt block or pattern.
  385. Grid or basis of progression in development of the design.
  386. Patience.
  387. Everyone loves handmade gifts.
  388. Stop agonizing and make a decision.
  389. Read the instructions carefully and have FUN with your project.
  390. Nothing is perfect.
  391. Don’t be afraid to try something new – there is no wrong way to create a quilt.
  392. Patience and taking concepts into finished fabric pieces.
  393. Trust my eye.
  394. Use same measuring tool(s) consistent through entire project.
  395. Addled benefit- calming of the nerves.
  396. Over sizing triangles by sewing middle of squares and trimming to size. Accuracy vastly improved and no bias.
  397. Do research on project before starting. Make sure you have enough material to finish your project.
  398. I have learned not to put unnecessary deadlines on myself.  Quilting becomes a chore to be completed, and I do not do my best work.
  399. I am amazed at the thrill of actually producing something tangible with my time. I love every quilt I make.
  400. Take your time and be patient. If sew something wrong, rip it out right away and do it over. Even the pros get it wrong sometimes.
  401. Sew off tab and 1/4″ graph paper.
  402. Measure twice, cut once.
  403. Practice, practice, practice.
  404. It’s never going to be prefect it’s fabric!
  405. Relax, have fun – it’ll be fine.
  406. Starch backside of fabric, air dry, then press.
  407. Enjoy the process and it doesn’t have to be perfect, it will still be pretty.
  408. Cutting accuracy and press, press, press.
  409. Patience
  410. Making sure the pieces are cut accurately.
  411. There are no quilt police.
  412. Be patient, be inventive
  413. To read the directions and follow them carefully.
  414. Accurate 1/4″ seam, followed by accurate squaring up and cutting. Without these tips, ones quilts will not go together properly.
  415. Press as you go.
  416. How to mark a 1/4″ seam on each of my machines so they all match.
  417. It’s not always perfect, but it usually will work out OK.
  418. There is always more than one way to do things.
  419. There are no rules. PROPERLY learn the basics and then mess with the rules.
  420. Making a complex block?  Do a trial run.
  421. The necessity of using good rulers for a project and cutting accurately.
  422. Being consistent.
  423. Measure twice, cut once, just like carpenters say!
  424. Practice makes perfect and take your time.
  425. To enjoy the process and use ALL fabrics…. stripes, florals, plaids, prints together to make your quilt more interesting.
  426. To slow down and improve my accuracy.
  427. Have fun! Enjoy the process. Be creative. Keep at it.
  428. Have patience.
  430. Learning the importance of ironing and squaring up!
  431. Don’t feel like you have to follow rules exactly; be creative.
  432. Slow down and take my time.
  433. Document finished quilts so people who find them in the future can see their history.
  434. That my tastes have basically stayed the same, but broadened a little.
  435. To plan ahead! I have avoided many mistakes when I have thought through the whole design first and double checked things like how much fabric and thread I have and whether or not my block sizes are accurate.
  436. Keeping an old credit card lined up for seam accuracy; and tape for the same reason.
  437. Matching seams
  438. Accurate cutting
  439. Accurate cutting and sewing
  440. Having the right tools makes it easier to do the work.
  441. Always make a sample block first, before cutting the whole quilt out. When using templates to be sure it all fits. A lot of pattern templates used to be hand drawn and needed tweaking.
  442. You can adapt the rules to suit your own wishes.
  443. It’s just sewing ..needle & thread & fabric ..just sewing
  444. If you are making a quilt that will be well-used, bind it with bias binding.
  445. The most exciting thing I’ve learned was how to sew a flanged binding.
  446. Take classes from everyone who’s work you admire.
  447. Don’t try to be too clever until you are experienced enough.
  448. It’s all about the accuracy.
  449. When things don’t come out right don’t be too hard on myself.
  450. Trust your abilities.
  451. I was fretting over imperfections, corners not meeting exactly for example and my friend, who was the one who taught me the basics, told me to relax and enjoy the process.  So I do!
  452. Measure twice, cut once.
  453. Just have fun and find the joy…it is not always about being so exact love what you love…don’t worry about what the current trends are.
  454. Sometimes when you think you made a mistake in choosing fabric, it turns out to be perfect, sometimes you have to go outside the box.
  455. All quilters learn new things.
  456. Learning to match seams accurately.
  457. Forgive yourself for the mistakes you make.
  458. Be accurate and measure 2-3 times before cutting
  459. I can do it.
  460. I find any tip is valuable, especially if I had thought of doing it that way.
  461. Ask questions and for help
  462. Patience
  463. Take your time and enjoy every step in the process.
  464. Accuracy
  465. Measure twice, cut once.
  466. Just begin!
  467. The is no such thing as a bad or ugly quilt. Someone will need it and love it.
  468. Set seams and press, press, press seams.
  469. Setting the seams when pressing to help make consistently sized blocks.
  470. Chain piecing
  471. There are no quilt police!
  472. Don’t rush! Take your time, make sure your seams are 1/4 inch. Quilt with others who are knowledgeable, and you will have so much fun and learn so much more. Quilting is a FUN activity and a local guild has others of like minds to keep the journey alive and Fun!
  473. Anything goes if you use it right.
  474. Don’t rush! Take time with each step for a better quilt.
  475. Patience! You have to go slow and steady.
  476. If it doesn’t come out the right size or misshapen do it over when you find it because if you don’t the problem only gets multiplied.
  477. I truly believe a finished quilt beats a “perfect” top everyday.
  478. Have fun.
  479. Pay attention to grain line and pressing….both as important as careful cutting and stitching
  480. How and why to stop sewing 1/4″ in from the corner when making a set-in seam (Y seam).
  481. Squaring up pieces and measuring for borders.
  482. Accuracy and sew what I like.
  483. Buy the best tools you can afford.
  484. Be comfortable.
  485. If you need help ask your friends because someone will know how to do it.
  486. Use a design wall.
  487. Do your own thing, there are no actual “quilt police”.
  488. If it become hard, not fun anymore on a quilt or project; walk away, breathe, and come back later when you can be renewed.
  489. To enjoy the process as much as the product.
  490. Finished is better than perfect!  Also don’t point out all the things wrong with the quilt, other people just can’t see them so take all compliments with a gracious “Thank you!”
  491. Keep trying new ideas in quilting just like life.
  492. Let go of ‘perfection’ as the goal. An Amish quilter once shared with me that since only God is perfect, should I ever create a ‘perfect’ quilt, I should quickly insert a ‘mistake’ out of reverence for God. I encourage my students to enjoy the process… from designing, to fabric selection, to piecing (or appliqueing or whatever technique is used), to quilting, binding, and adding a sleeve and label. Lastly, I encourage my students to take a picture of each quilt that they make for a journal of their quilting endeavors. It is exciting to see improvement over time, to look back at accomplishments, and to see how many lives have been touched by the gift of warmth and love you created.
  493. Use quality materials.
  494. Relax after you start hand quilting you want to progress – peaceful.
  495. Bindings
  496. The importance of accuracy in cutting and seams.
  497. The joy quilting brings.
  498. Only use fabrics you love! I hand quilt and when you choose fabrics others like but you do not it is a long journey!
  499. Take it slow and enjoy the whole process.  It’s an adventure and creates new friendships as well as building character.
  500. It is supposed to be fun, enjoy the process.
  501. Not to stress out over perfection–if you’re not sure how to do something, try it anyway–you will get better with practice!
  502. Slow down. Measure twice and cut once.
  503. Learn the basics, then you can break all the rules and still make beautiful quilts.
  504. Basting and ironing are very hard but the most important things to do thoroughly and accurately and with patience.
  505. Accurately getting the finished size block. Quarter inch isn’t as important as the finished size of the block.
  506. I learn from each one I make and the quilts I have made. The most valuable lesson I have learned is to use a walking foot.
  507. Chain piecing and rotary cutting.
  508. Improve a technique to be creative.
  509. To measure several times before  cutting the material.
  510. Appliqué projects–one stitch at a time.
  511. Allow yourself to Relax and be creative.
  512. Patience.  Be as accurate as possible.
  513. Take my time!
  514. Applique techniques
  515. It is my “get away time”.  I find it very soothing in this busy world.
  516. Using more colors than just the ones that exactly match your featured fabric.
  517. Tools are important and are essential.
  518. Slow down and enjoy the process and be accurate.
  519. Have fun
  520. Just do it.
  521. Try and try again until you get it done!
  522. How to make it fit.
  523. Patience
  524. Patience.
  525. Chain stitching!  really goes fast!
  526. Nesting seams
  527. Have fun.
  528. Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis I use Fiskars rotary cutters that are on a track with the ruler.  I can cut and cut without making my hands sore.  I use a hand held rotary cutter for tiny pieces.
  529. Learn the basics first. You can’t break the rules if you don’t know them.
  530. It’s ok to do your own thing. To do what makes you happy with your project…and to save those scraps. You never know what you can create with them.
  531. Be as accurate as you can be in both cutting and sewing
  532. Take your time with each stage.
  533. Getting an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance. Trudie Hughes had the test to perfect it.  Sew 3 1.5 inch strips together and then measure.  If it didn’t measure 3.5 inches across, do it again.
  534. Measure twice, cut once.
  535. We never make mistakes, we just re-design.
  536. Each quilt and quilter is unique with their own story.
  537. When God created the world the colors didn’t clash everything just seems to go together.  So I don’t fret so much over my color scheme.
  538. Sew carefully!
  539. Chain piecing
  540. In Quilting there are no rules! If it works do it!
  541. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
  542. To use a guide when sewing 1/4 in seams.
  543. Practice and patience
  544. Chain piecing – saves time & thread.
  545. Patience
  546. Learn to cut accurately.
  547. If you can’t see it from a galloping horse, its ok. (i.e. seams that don’t match, point that is partly missing, etc, etc).
  548. Do your best, don’t compare with others.
  549. Do what you love.
  550. It introduced me to fabric dying and surface design.
  551. Don’t compare your work to that of others- we all develop skill as we keep on trying, and we all started with varying skill levels. Just keep an open mind to learning.
  552. Change needles and rotary blades often, sharp tools work best!
  553. Patience and thinking about next steps.
  554. Use a 1/4″ foot when piecing.
  555. It’s ok to mess up.
  556. Moving the needle position to the right one place when I have a lot of seams coming together to make it all fit.
  557. There are no “quilt police”!!
  558. Patience.
  559. Accurate cutting and sewing. Iron as you go.
  560. Square up units before joining.
  561. Never try to sew when you’re tired.
  562. Relax and enjoy making a beautiful piece of art.
  563. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS cut & piece fabric on the grain even when paper piecing.
  564. I have learned that mistakes are okay, that sometimes mistakes lead to more interesting design options.  Mistakes have challenged me to stretch my own creative vision.
  565. The 3 pin method for aligning seams.
  566. You can always fix it.  Think about it and keep going.
  567. Measure twice before cutting.
  568. In the end it’s your quilt; throw out the rules and make it how you want it.
  569. Accurate cutting and piecing makes everything easier.
  570. Patience.
  571. Accurate cutting is an absolute must.
  572. Being accurate with cutting and sewing.
  573. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes;  sometimes those “mistakes” are what make the quilt truly unique.
  574. When the quilt is done no one is going to notice the blips! Quilts are made with LOVE!!
  575. Measure twice, cut once. Plant your idea for a quilt in your mind and sleep on it.  Time only makes it better.
  576. Patience
  577. Accuracy is very important.
  578. How to make a quilter’s knot.
  579. Never give up!
  580. Accuracy for EVERY step.
  581. Patience
  582. Pressing, pinning, and patience.
  583. Accurate cutting and seams.
  584. Sit back relax and enjoy.
  585. Patience
  586. Cut accurately, press and square up your blocks.
  587. Slow and steady.
  588. Take your time and just keep at it.
  589. How to join binding ends.
  590. Not to trim blocks after made because I will lose my points. My first few blocks I trimmed so they would look good and then realized when I sew the scant 1/4 inch they will not be correct.
  591. Quilting is an art and an expression of yourself. There is no wrong or right. If you make a sewing mistake it can be fixed. It is not a chore to quilt but a way to relax and enjoy. As a beginner quilting I have learned so much from veteran quilters and other class members.
  592. Relax and have fun, you will spend time unstitching, so don’t let it stress you.
  593. Enjoy what you do.
  594. Not to be to picky in the quality of my work.
  595. Accuracy in cutting makes the rest of the process easier.
  596. Take your time.
  597. Patience
  598. Finished is better than perfect!!!
  599. To slow down and to take my time and to enjoy.
  600. Patience
  601. How generous quilters are – they help other quilters learn, they donate quilts to charities!
  602. To give is to receive.
  603. Press at every stage.
  604. Too many to pick just one but the saying “finished is better than perfect” has made me happy!
  605. Slow down and enjoy the process. It makes for better precision.
  606. Just learning to pace myself. Love having a half dozen things going at a time. Embroidery to pick up and take with to appointments etc. Having something in progress to cut out, to applique, quilt, or piece. Variety keeps me interested.
  607. Precision piecing
  608. Accurate measuring.
  609. Patience!
  610. Same seam allowance.
  611. Measure twice, cut once!
  612. Don’t hurry, ENJOY!  Of course, those 1/4 inch seams are extremely important.
  613. Precision ,patience, asking and learning from other quilters.
  614. Take time, and keep learning.
  615. It will never be perfect, but if it is made with love it will be treasured.
  616. Although you have accurate cutting and sewing the quarter inch, keep checking the accuracy of measurements and readjust in cutting.
  617. Relax. It’s only fabric.
  618. Patience
  619. Breathe! Trust your instincts. Good tools.
  620. Enjoy the process.
  621. Perseverance and patience.
  622. Be patient.
  623. There are no mistakes.
  624. Love the fabric and pattern because if you don’t, it’s hard to be motivated.
  625. Even with the frustrations of miscuts or ripping out, it is relaxing.
  626. That my quilts are not always perfect and that’s okay.
  627. No mistake is really a mistake. “Only God is perfect!!!”
  628. Pay attention to what you are doing. Measure carefully and enjoy the process.
  629. Perseverance
  630. Keep working at learning quilting, even if you make a mistake, keep trying.
  631. Lesson–Relax and enjoy the process
  632. Pressing….everything looks more beautiful when pressed.
  633. Create a good work space.
  634. Make each quilt the best I know at the time
  635. Look at the whole quilt, not the one little mistake.
  636. Making blocks oversize and cutting them down for accurate piecing.
  637. Quilting has taught me to not only trust my creativity but to embrace it.
  638. Be precise.
  639. Take your time and enjoy the process of each block, you will learn so much.
  640. Take classes
  641. To join an informal group of quilters, it’s a highlight of every week for me.
  642. Go for it! Follow your own instincts.
  643. Accuracy!
  644. Don’t stretch the bias.
  645. Read all of the instructions and the pattern before you start doing anything.
  646. This question is too broad and I can’t pinpoint one thing. One thing I do know is that it “had me” at hello.
  647. Accurate cutting makes it easier.
  648. Measure Twice, Cut Once
  649. Be precise in cutting and sewing, and be sure I am having fun!
  650. It’s okay to make mistakes
  651. Do it my way
  652. Pinning seams
  653. There are no “quilt police”.
  654. If a person tries to achieve perfection in every project…no project will ever be finished.  Quilting is an on-going learning process.
  655. The most important thing is to have fun. Don’t worry so much about cut off points just enjoy the process.
  656. To be very accurate with both the cutting and stitching.
  657. After sewing triangles together then measuring and cutting to the right size before sewing the next pieces together.
  658. Use 1/4 inch seams unless otherwise directed.
  659. Be patient.
  660. How to join bindings. Many ways but I still use the one I learned 25 years ago.
  661. Take your time and cut your pieces correct size and sew your seams accurately.
  662. Relax and enjoy the journey!
  663. Master the 1/4 in seam.
  664. Accuracy matters
  665. Be patient and take your time, because if you don’t the project comes out awful.
  666. When using a pattern read it from beginning to end before starting your project.
  667. When sewing stitch and flip to create a triangle, sew just short of the drawn diagonal line to create the proper size triangle.
  668. Read the instructions carefully.  If it doesn’t make sense, take a break.
  669. Scant 1/4 in seam.
  670. Patience
  671. Proper tools- good cutting mat, rotary cutter and good rulers.
  672. Do not rush and make sure all is right before moving on to the next step.
  673. Dedicating one or two days every week to quilting gets quilts finished and friendships solidified!
  674. Measure carefully before you cut.
  675. Make what makes your heart sing and ignore the quilt police!
  676. How to cover up mistakes.
  677. Measure  twice….cut once.
  678. That it is a timeless craft.
  679. There is no such thing as a “perfect” quilt.
  680. Using the right tools (pins, needles, rulers, etc) really makes a difference.
  681. Learning to use the rulers and cutting accurately.
  682. Take your time and be accurate in cutting and sewing.
  683. Honor the 1/4 inch rule!
  684. Just have fun!  But accurate cutting and seams are very important to insure that your quilts will go together easily and lay flat.
  685. Other than the 1/4″ seam allowance, forget the rules!
  686. Measure twice, cut once.
  687. Nothing is perfect.
  688. I try to take classes from many different educators to incorporate as much of their knowledge as possible into my works.
  689. Accuracy is everything.
  690. Opposing seams.
  691. To enjoy the process and not be overly concerned with perfect results.
  692. You make such great friends in quilting.
  693. One step at a time….. Plus a really really good seam ripper.
  694. When piecing to use 50wt thread and extra fine pins to pin intersections
  695. Take time and do it right.
  696. There are no rules in quilting!
  697. Never give up. My mom said I told her I wanted to learn one thing and learn it well. It was quilting.
  698. Quilt what you like! Everyone is different.
  699. There are two many to list one. I’m also still learning new tips.
  700. Finished is better than perfect.
  701. Give yourself a break. You do get better with practice.
  702. Sewing accurate seems.
  703. Take your time.  Measure twice, cut once.
  704. Measure twice.
  705. Keep going and hang out with other quilters.
  706. Patience and accuracy.
  707. Press your fabric well before cutting.
  708. Take your time & match your points!!
  709. Have fun! Take my time selecting the fabric and sewing. I’m not in a race!
  710. Cutting accuracy.
  711. Slow down, enjoy the process, trust yourself, never be done learning.
  712. Having a high quality machine is a good thing. I don’t press seams open like some suggest as my quilts are made to be used and seams pressed open weaken the quilts.
  713. Remember this is supposed to be fun!  if you are getting frustrated, put it aside and come back to it.
  714. Sliding my hand along the ruler to get an accurate cut instead of lifting my hand…no movement of the rule…more accurate cuts.
  715. There are no errors, only variations!
  716. Accuracy, accuracy, accuracy.
  717. A quilt recipient isn’t looking for construction or quilting errors.
  718. To do much quilting.
  719. To be patient.
  720. Never give up!
  721. Give yourself permission to have fun and use mistakes as an opportunity to improve your skill set.  It’s supposed to be fun!
  722. To relax and enjoy the beauty of your quilt.
  723. Pick quality fabric and threads.
  724. Measure twice, cut once.
  725. While a perfectly pieced and quilted quilt are admirable, it is the process that should be enjoyable.  Striving for perfection doesn’t always make for enjoyment.
  726. Square up a block.
  727. Better done than perfect.
  728. Be consistent with cutting and with seam allowances.
  729. Patience. I hope to complete my quilt by hand or machine.
  730. Push through the hard bits to be better.
  731. Check your measurements twice before you cut.
  732. (In many cases) Finished is better than perfect.
  733. Accurate marking, cutting and seam allowance.
  734. There isn’t really one tip, it’s a combination: accuracy, choice of colour and pattern, finish, practice..all are equally important.
  735. Look past the colours.
  736. Prepare your fabric well, iron carefully, and be patient, slow, and accurate in all things.
  737. Patience.
  738. Don’t worry about being a perfectionist. This is “your” quilt. If you are happy with it, then it’s ok. Keep learning and trying new things.
  739. Take a class, join a quilting group, have a HUGE stash!!
  740. Measure twice, cut once.
  741. Audition fabrics so colors pop.
  742. Always warm up before quilting on your actual project.
  743. Relax and don’t stress about perfection.
  744. Nesting seams
  745. Don’t expect perfection.
  746. Measure twice, cut once
  747. Finished is more important than perfect.
  748. Take your time and enjoy the process.
  749. Label your work.
  750. Take your time. Measure TWICE, and  cut once.And read the directions over and over again.
  751. Using colors
  752. Taking a class and making a small project lets you experiment and find out if this is something to pursue or if it isn’t really your cup of tea.
  753. Get the tools to help you do it right.
  754. How to properly make and apply binding.
  755. That it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
  756. There are no quilt police.
  757. Follow your own vision. Sew accurate.
  758. Being precise with cutting.
  759. How to use precuts for speedier quilting.
  760. Patience.
  761. Be patient, go slow and match seams.
  762. Take my time to do it right the first time.
  763. That you do this for enjoyment not perfection.
  764. Pressing seams in correct direction for best results.
  765. You have to learn to make an accurate quarter-inch seam. And you have to learn to PRESS, not iron.
  766. It’s MY quilt, I can put on it just what I want in whatever color I wish.
  767. To take it easy on myself and enjoy the process of learning.
  768. 1/4 ” seam all the time, makes matching seams easy.
  769. all the videos of MSQC and the ones in AQS and NCQ are amazing. there is always so many tips, I can just think of one. I learned how to use a 45 degrees rule recently and it is pretty cool.
  770. Pop the knots through the back when hand quilting – I can’t even look at my first two hand quilted quilts.  Oh my – not terrible, just not great.
  771. Quilting tools can be expensive, but when you find one that works for you, use it, take good care of it and when it is worn out replace it.
  772. Be patient.
  773. Piecing using Pfaff machine with IDT foot.
  774. Mistakes will happen and anything can be fixed.
  775. Regardless of however good/bad you are, there will always be someone better/worse than you. It keeps me humble.
  776. Enjoy what you do and don’t worry about what others think.
  777. A quilt must be exciting. Do not use only  matching colors, but also use some surprising colors.
  778. Visual texture through colors, print sizes, overall design, and quilting.
  779. To shoot for progress not perfection.
  780. Accurate cutting. Take your time. Have fun.
  781. Never buy cheap fabric! By the time you are finished with the quilt, many of the seams have frayed away!
  782. To take time to be accurate.
  783. Don’t be so critical of mistakes. There are no quilting police!
  784. A lot of discrepancies can be sorted out with careful pressing.
  785. You can always learn new techniques.
  786. There is always something new to learn, but the basics of good cutting, accurate 1/4″ seam and good pressing are the secret to success.
  787. Accuracy matters.
  788. Persevere
  789. Press and square up while piecing.
  790. Each teacher has a little know tip to share. So listen carefully to what they say!
  791. Slow down, take time to  enjoy  the  process.
  792. Have fun and if  you make a mistake make it look like you meant it that way.
  793. Free motion quilting is my friend.
  794. Measure carefully, use good quality fabric and thread, and work in good light when choosing colors.
  795. Cut carefully.
  796. Thimble Lady’s techniques.
  797. Consistent 1/4″ seams especially at the start and end of every seam.
  798. Finished is better than perfect.
  799. Be patient with each cut, seam, block, binding, backing and yourself.
  800. Measure twice–cut once.
  801. Precision. And the iron is your friend.
  802. Measure twice, cut once!!!!
  803. Patience and precision.
  804. No one is perfect! Get over it and move on and have fun and finish your quilt!
  805. If my work is not PERFECT…it IS OK…
  806. Joining ends of binding.
  807. Patience. Learning to unsew. Working until I am satisfied.
  808. Recognize my shortcomings and come up with alternate approaches to minimize frustrations and still produce a quality quilt.
  809. Measure twice, cut once.



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Jutta Stone

Many repetitions here.

I am glad you posted each response for advice. One I did not see, and probably didn’t think of when I took the survey: Get in the habit of being methodical. When learning something new, think it through and try to arrive at a sensible sequence of steps – this will be your “method” – use it repeatedly, but with an open mind to improvement. Being methodical will eliminate many simple errors that plague us all as beginners. An example is: when a pattern calls for a shape, and the reverse of the same shape, always place the fabric right… Read more »

I would love to see this list with the duplicate answers removed and the almost exactly the same answers combined, I wonder how many tips it would show.

Hi Jeannie, With over 800 listed here, it would surely be hundreds! It is amazing to see everyone’s answers! Thanks, Betsey


There are a lot of repeats, but i found it interesting to scan them all. I participated in the survey, but don’t know if i answered this question.
When you look at all the answers you see more what American quilters think is important. And i love the fact that there are varied responses too.

Simply a smiling visitor here to share the love (:, btw great layout.

shirley marvin

, What I find interesting is that only +800 AQS members took the time to fill out the survey. Have you been to one of the shows and seen the book of membership names??? It’s at least 10″ thick–thousand of people. So was glad they listed the individual comments.