Sewing Tips for Every Quilter


Just because a quilter uses a sewing machine doesn’t mean they will take in your inseam for you! Some quilters began their love of fabric with garment construction and never looked back, and other quilters never touched a sewing machine until they started quilting. Whichever you are, take a look at what your fellow quilters (over 800 of them!) thought about sewing outside of the world of quilting and pick up a few fun tips along the way from the world of sewing.

Besides quilting, what type of sewing do you regularly do?

The big winner is: Craft Projects! Who doesn’t love a fun craft project from time to time. From stuffed animals to purses, there are unlimited amounts of fun creative projects to play with. Over half of those asked use their sewing skills for craft projects.

  • Home Decor – was a close second at 50%
  • Garments – 24% sew clothing
  • Kids Clothes – 18% sew for little ones
  • …Dolls, Costumes, Charity Projects were the popular write in answers.


Tip #1: Embrace the world of pins! Take a walk into the notion portion of your favorite fabric store that features great sewing tools. You’ll be amazed at what you find that can be used for quilting.

For example, take a look at the pin selection. You will find all sorts of different types of pins including:

  • T Pins
  • Fork Pins
  • Tidy Pins
  • Flower Head Pins
  • Flat Head Pins
  • Safety Pins
  • Skirt Pins
  • Button Pins
  • Curved Pins

 Grab some pins you’ve never played with and put them to work in your quilting studio. You never know, you may find your new best friend!

Where do you get your sewing inspiration?

Overwhelmingly, Magazines is the winner with nearly 8 out of ever 10 quilters preferring this medium.

The runners up (in preferred order) include:

  • Fabric Stores
  • Friends
  • Pinterest
  • Sewing Blogs
  • Pattern Companies
  • Facebook
  • Online Classes
  • Instagram

Tip #2: Take to the runway! Fashion shows are a staple for inspiration in the sewing world, why not the quilting world too. Often the over-the-top designs from leading designers offers the perfect mixture of color and texture to send a quilter to the design board! Collect your favorite garment designs and use them to inspire your quilting, from color selection to construction ideas, the possibilities are limitless! If Gucci made a quilt, what would it look like? 


What sewing equipment do you own?

Nearly everyone says they have a Sewing Machine.

The Serger is the second most popular piece of sewing equipment.

Followed by the Embroidery Machine.


Tip #3: When working with different set ups for the same project, take a picture of the current settings before unthreading and making adjustments. With pictures of each setting arrangement, you can easily double check to make sure you have things like there were.

Where do you rate your sewing knowledge?

Creative people love to learn and quilters are no different!

So it is no surprise that the popular response was, “I sew regularly, but want to learn new techniques.”

The runner up was, “I am happy with my sewing skills.”


Tip #4: It never hurts to review. Sewing often utilizes many of the features of your sewing machine, has you changing feet often, and trying different settings. Quilter’s don’t have the opportunity to give their machines the same workout.

Grab your manual and try something new each day. It may be a foot you’ve never tried or making a button-hole, but actually use your machine to try each feature and review set up instructions. You’ll be amazed at the built-in helpers you find in your machine!

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I have recently learned to love my blind hem foot. I use it to join strips for tote bags and pillows – they lie flat, and there is less bulk than with a traditional seam. 50 years of sewing, and I only started using the blind hem foot this summer.

Carol Alford

Never too old to learn something new. After 50+ years of sewing and quilting, I just discovered that the open toe presser foot is perfect for edge stitching whether on garments or potholders. with the fabric touching the right side of the opening I get a perfect 1/8 inch top stitch. An “aha’ moment.

The best tool I own is my work table. I couldn’t find what I needed so the visit to the kitchen cabinet store was amazing. Yup two 3ft. bank of drawers bolted together and placed on wheeled caddies. I couldn’t find a carpenter to built a top but had a heavy piece of glass for the top which fit perfectly. This means I have a 3 x 6 ft. work top that I can cut, paint, and use a heat cutter or a heat gun on plus I can light from below and use as a light box. This unit… Read more »

Rhianna Pearl

My favorite tip came from a friend in my quilting group. Use the walking foot for all your sewing (except free motion of course). If yours doesn’t have a 1/4 inch mark, make one! Your seams will always come out even!