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Beginner Quilter?

We are happy to help you begin this exciting journey!  On this page you will find:

  • Step by step video’s outlining quilting techniques.
  • A shopping list of the items you will want to have on hand.
  • A list with quilting terms to help you get started!

**Flash Fiction Mystery Quilt’s patterns are all developed with beginners in mind. They have detailed instructions with color pictures and many of our blocks have videos to teach you how to make the blocks included in our mystery quilts! Join in on all the fun when registration opens!

Instructional Videos

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Common Quilting Terms

Piecing: sewing together small pieces of fabric to make a larger block.

Fat Quarter: A fat quarter is a piece of fabric that is cut from a yard of fabric it measures 18 x 22 inches. Technically it is 1/4 of a yard, hence the name Fat Quarter.

Pressing Seams: Seams are folded over to one side and pressed towards the darker colored fabric.

Seam Allowance: The distance between the edge of the fabric pieces being sewn and the actual stitches. Standard is 1/4″. It is VERY important that you test your 1/4″ seam allowance by sewing scrap pieces of fabric then measuring the 1/4″ seam that you just sewed at the top, middle and bottom, to see if it is actually sewing at 1/4″. We say this because many machines have 1/4″ settings that are off by the smallest amount and those small amounts will make a big difference in your finished quilt block. The idea is to set your machine to exactly 1/4″ and to practice sewing a straight line. If your seams are off, adjust the needle position or fabric position until you have achieved an exact 1/4″ seam all the way down your fabric.

Nesting: This term is used when sewing rows together and means the the seams on the joining block are lined up so that they butt up against each other. To do this all the seam allowances on one row are ironed going in one direction and the seams on the other row are ironed in the opposite direction. This ensures that you will not be sewing through 4 layers of fabric and makes all the seams line up.

Batting: Is the cotton or cotton/poly filler between the layers of fabric in a quilt.

Quilt Sandwich: Composed of the pieced quilt top, the batting and a backing fabric. Fabric backing can be purchased in up to 108″ width to make a seamless back.

Seam Ripping: The act of taking apart a seam that was sewn together incorrectly. Place the point of the seam ripper between the 2 pieces of fabric and gently push it to cut the thread and repeat until the seam is completely undone.

Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP): A method of sewing together pieces of fabric on a sheet of paper to make a quilt block. These fabric pieces are sewn in numbered order 1 to 2, the 2 to 3 and so on. Because the fabric is sewn on a piece of paper the stitch width should be set at 1.6 to make removing the paper easier when the block is finished.

Half Square Triangles (HST’s): A square made by cutting square pieces of fabric in half diagonally and then sewing them back together using alternating colors (most of the time) for each triangle.

Stitch Width: This is the length of the stitch is being sewn. For piecing the top together we recommend using a setting of 2.4.

Applique’: Sewing a shape to the right side of the quilt block using either a zig-zag, satin or decorative stitch, with a width that is very close together so the edges of the shape your sewing on are completely covered.

Free Motion Quilting (FMQ): The act of quilting together your quilt sandwich with a special pressure foot just floating above the fabric and feed dogs down. The quilter uses their hands to push and pull the quilt through the machine sewing designs with the thread.

Stitch In The Ditch: The act of quilting together the quilt sandwich by sewing in the seams of the pieced top. These lines are straight and easy to follow. Usually sewn with a walking foot.

Walking Foot: A special pressure foot for your sewing machine that pulls both the top fabric and the bottom fabric through the machine at the same time. Used in quilting together the quilt sandwich.

Binding: The long, narrow piece of fabric that “binds” together all the edges around the outside of your quilted quilt. It is the last thing that is sewn on the quilt.

Right Side of the Fabric: This is the side of the fabric that has the print or design showing on top. Solids and batiks don’t have an obvious right side.

Wrong Side of the Fabric: This is the backside of the fabric print or design. You may still be able to see the print through the fabric but it is not clear and crisp.

Keeping Your Points: This refers to the fact that when you sew a block that has fabric that comes together in a point, you don’t want to have to sew or cut those points off. This most often occurs when the block is complete and you are squaring it to the required size.

 

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