Six Basic Embroidery Stitches

Hand Embroidery is such a wonderful art and skill to have!  There are so many wonderful possibilities and creations to make when you know how to hand embroider.  Follow along as my friend Karen, with Studio 21 Market, shares her embroidery sampler design and shows us the six most basic embroidery stitches.  Be sure to watch the video and download your pattern.

Since Aurifil is my embroidery thread of choice, partnering with them was an easy decision. If you haven’t already, head over to our first post which helps you get started.  We will pickup where we left off from our first episode.  Let’s start stitching!

Embroidery Sampler Material List


Running Stitch

This is the most basic embroidery stitches with the needle going up-down-up-down. It’s also used in hand quilting and in Sashiko stitching.  For our purposes, we’ll make the part of the stitch that shows about twice the size of the thread that’s underneath our fabric. It’s a fun and easy stitch!

Straight Stitch / Scatter Stitch

A straight stitch can be used in many applications. In this sampler, we’re using it in a scatter stitch pattern. This can be done without a plan in any space you’d like to use it. For a quick start, we’ve provided the placement of stitches on this pattern. 

Cross Stitch

With a variety of applications (counted cross stitch patterns, waste canvas cross stitch, etc), we’re using a large-scale simplified cross stitch. While each stitch can be done individually, my favorite method is to first do all of the left-slanted stitches in a row, then head back to the beginning of the row with the right-slanted stitches. For a uniform look, be sure to always have the right-slanted stitches on top.

Basic Herringbone

In essence a variation of the cross-stitch, this one is stitched in order from left to right. It’s a quick sew and provides a very graphic texture.

Satin Stitch

While this stitch may take a little longer to cover an area, it’s such a pretty stitch with a big impact of color. If you find a blank area left between stitches, just insert another stitch to fill the hole.

Stem Stitch / Outline Stitch

Okay, I have to admit that this is my most-used stitch! I use it to embellish many of my sewn items—from totes and organizers to my favorite use of labeling my quilts. You’ll see a sample in the video. In addition to a couple of other places, use this stitch to embroider your name in the lower center section. You’ll see just how easy it is to sew, and much more forgiving and less fiddly than the commonly-used backstitch. I usually use 2-3 strands of embroidery floss, but have used a single strand on occasion for really fine work. The main thing to consider as you are stitching the lines is to stay consistent in the size of your stitch.




Tell us in the comments which is your favorite basic embroidery stitch!

Happy Stitching!

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Juki Brand Ambassador

Juki is an amazing brand.  Becoming a Juki Brand Ambassador is a dream come true!  I am thrilled for this opportunity and am really excited to learn more about their wonderful products and share this all with you!  Let’s take a quick look back at how it all began…

My first Juki Machine

Several years ago, I was sewing a TON of bags for my online shops. I have a successful Etsy Shop and had just started with Amazon Handmade. When I launched my Amazon Shop, it was immediately apparent that I needed to upgrade my sewing machine. At the time, I was admiring my Mom’s DU1181N and loved how it sewed through several layers. I knew that I needed one of my own. My sewing business transitioned to a more efficient system and I learned all about assembly line sewing and batch production. I am still in love my my Juki DU1181N! I wrote an entire blog series. You can check that out right HERE.

Nicole Moore with Juki DU1181N

My Juki Long Arm Quilting Machine

Several years ago, I started offering Custom T-Shirt Quilts. I love quilting and was really confident at finishing quilts with free motion quilting on my domestic machine. The only thing I didn’t really like about quilting on a domestic machine was the tiny throat space and how long it took to wrestle quilts in order to finish. Conveniently, I was able to rent time on my friend’s long arm. That worked pretty well for a couple years, but I wanted one of my own. After all my research, I decided on my Juki J-350 Smart Stitch QVP for several reasons. The first reason was that I trusted the brand. The second reason was the laser guided regulated stitching. At the time, only one other brand offered this functionality on a table model. The final reason I chose this model was because I knew the machine would grow with me. You see, I have a tiny sewing studio and cannot fit a large quilting frame inside my room. The J-350 head can come off the table and transfer to a frame. I am still planning to transition to a frame (once at least one of my two kids leave the nest).

Nicole with J350

My Everyday Machine

I really can’t believe I waited until 2020 to purchase my Juki TL 2010Q. This machine is my everyday machine. I still have my 40 year old Kenmore (in case I need to do the occasional zig-zag stitch). This machine is so great! I may be a Brand Ambassador, but they don’t pay me to say things like this. I have loved sewing with this machine because the tension is PERFECT, I can easily operate and maintain it, and it sews SUPER FAST! It’s not the smallest machine, but that does not stop me from taking it to sew days and retreats. It comes with a table, but I upgraded to a Sew Steady Versa Table and always have my Daylight Slimline 3 overhead.

Nicole Moore with Juki TL2010Q

Looking forward to more

This new relationship with Juki isn’t really new. I have loved this brand for several years, so it only seems natural to take our relationship to the next level. Be sure to follow my events page and sign up for my Newsletter. I will be sharing upcoming events and get the opportunity to try new machines. You can read more about this topic on the Juki website. They published an article on their blog.

Happy Creating!

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Embroidery Sampler

Since Aurifil is my embroidery thread of choice, partnering with them was an easy decision. Next I decided to collaborate with my friend Karen Munger with Studio 21 Market to design an embroidery sampler pattern. The design we landed on is a truly fun sew!

Embroidery Sampler Pattern

Dividing the 8” embroidery hoop into 12 sections, the simple plan was to do one stitch in each section.  However, as a graphic designer, Karen knew those rules were made to be broken. So you’ll see some items crossing the grid lines, such as the feather and the running stitches. These help unify the entire design. Throw in some fun little things like umbrellas and quarter flowers, and the design is ready to share!

Embroidery Sampler Materials List

To Transfer Design

To transfer this Embroidery Sampler Design to your background fabric, you have a couple choices. You can either use a transfer sheet or you can trace with a light box. Both techniques work well. Try both and decide which is best for you!

For Applique Leaves

  • Fabric & 2-sided fusible (paper-backed)
  • Wool felt

Using a PVC Frame

Although the Embroidery Sampler Design is meant for an 8″ hoop, it is easiest to work with a PVC Frame. Once your are done with your embroidery work, you can transfer your finished project to a hoop. The PVC Frame is easy to hold and also provides easy tension adjustment. You can get your own PVC Frame right HERE.

Preparing the Thread

Next, we will prepare our thread for stitching. As I mentioned before, I am using Aurifil Aurifloss, which is the heaviest weight of thread that Aurifil offers. It comes in a variety of colors, some of which I offer on my website.  Before we thread our needle, we need to separate and prepare our thread. Take one end of it, and sort of just bounce your finger on top of the thread to create a separation and your strands. Grab three strands and slowly pull these away from the remaining strands.   Slowly, keep pulling these threads apart. It may take a little bit of time because embroidery threads will want to not if you try to pull these apart too quickly. Once you have them separated, we can thread the needle

Threading the Needle

Pinch the threads together and insert them through the eye of the needle.  You want to get all three strands into the needle at once.  Next, to help you prevent tangles, twists and knots, guide your thread back and forth through the eye of your needle.  Do this a couple times and then we can show you how to tie your knot.

Tying the Knot

Take the tail end of your thread and hold it in one hand.  point it towards the needle.  Take your pointer finger and grab the tail.   Now you are grasping the needle and thread in one hand.  Then you will wrap around your needle a couple, maybe a few times.  Next, I will transfer the wrapped thread and the needle to the other hand.  Pull the needle, while holding those wrapped threads in place.  This will create a knot at the end of your tail.

Get Ready for Stitching!

And this covers just about everything you need to know to get started on this fun embroidery sampler designed by Karen with Studio 21 Market. 

Download your pattern from Karen and get your supplies from my online shop

Stay tuned for the next tutorial and we will cover the six most basic embroidery stitches.  Be sure to subscribe to my channel and sign up for notifications.  Sign up for my weekly newsletter and never miss a project!  Watch the “Getting Started” video below!

Bonnie Bucket Bag

I have been wanting to make the Bonnie Bucket Bag, by Swoon patterns, for the longest time.  It wasn’t until I recently purchased some leather and had some coordinating fabric on hand that convinced me to set the time aside.  For this bag, I have pulled out all the stops!  I added an adjustable strap (because I like to sometimes wear purses as crossbody).  I also added a recessed zipper for the top.  I made several other variations to the original pattern.  Let’s take a look at my Bonnie Bucket Bag!

Bonnie Bucket Bag Material List

Extra’s I added to the bag

Adding the Purse Feet

Adding purse feet to my Bonnie Bucket Bag was probably the easiest enhancement I made. I was sure to use the same finish as the rest of my purse hardware. This gold finish is amazing! One of the things I love about purse feet is that these help you keep your bag off the ground. Just think of all the places we set down our bags. Ugh! I especially wanted to protect my leather bottom, so adding purse feet was a no-brainer! You can find my purse feet installation tutorial on right HERE.

Adding a Metal Bag Label

I can’t tell you how many compliments I receive on these metal bag labels! They come in a variety of finishes and are super easy to install! I used the golden finish to match the rest of my bag hardware. If you want to see how easy it is to install a metal bag label – head over to THIS TUTORIAL.

Adding a Hanging Tassel Cap

Using some of the leftover leather, I used the hanging tassel cap hardware and made my own (coordinating) tassel. This tassel is perfect and attached to the side of my bag. It definitely gives this bag a designer appearance and people are shocked to learn that I made this bag myself! If you want to add a hanging tassel cap to your bag, you can choose the finish that works best for your project!

Finishing the zipper tape

You would normally only find zipper ends on high-end purses and bags from designer brands. If you really want to impress and finish your bag in style, consider adding these zipper ends! They were super-easy to install and come in a variety of finishes! I love how it really finishes this zipper! If you want to see how easy it is to install a zipper end – check out THIS TUTORIAL.

The Finished Bag!

I must say that I loved making this bag. It took me a couple hours to cut and prep my materials and then I spent a few hours the next day on assembly. I used my Juki TL2010Q on a majority of the construction. I switched over to my Juki DU1181N when the leather was getting too thick. Sewing with leather was easier than I thought it was going to be! I don’t know why I hesitated so long to try! Granted, leather isn’t the least expensive material option – but WOW! Making and then using my new leather bag has been a real treat! I bought two more leather colors to try in the near future!

I encourage you to give this Bonnie Bucket Bag Pattern a try! The pattern is well written and adding these variations is quite simple if you plan ahead.

Be sure to grab your Bag Hardware and Designer Fabric in my shop!

Don’t forget to share what you make in my FaceBook Community! We would love to see your progress and results!

Happy Sewing!

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Make a Star Quilt Block

I have always loved the five point star!  They are easy to draw, but may seem a little perplexing when made with fabric!  I worked out a PDF pattern and created a video tutorial to take out any confusion or reservations you may be having.  Let me show you how to make a star quilt block!

Materials Needed

Tools and Supplies Needed

Getting Started

If you haven’t tried foundation paper piecing yet – this is a great pattern to try! It is perfect for a confident beginner (especially if you watch my video tutorial – linked below). Included in the pattern is a recommended cut size for each piece of fabric. I thought it would be nice to include this since most FPP patterns tend to omit this information.

Tips and Tricks

Over the years, I have learned quite a few tips and tricks about Foundation Paper Piecing. In the video (linked below), I share some of my favorite techniques to help you gain confidence and efficiency with your FPP projects! From pressing at every opportunity to using the best tools and techniques – I’ve got you covered!

Make a Star Quilt Block

Once you have all the pieces ready – putting them together is a breeze! I added registration marks on each pattern piece so you can join them together without wondering if the placement is correct. In the video tutorial, I even give you some tips on testing your placement before you sew everything in place for a more permanent stitch.

Star Quilt Block in a Quilt

I made a dozen stars (using Abyss and White fabric) and added them to make this festive quilt top! The middle “flag” is actually a panel and the rest is just a series of fabric borders at various widths. This fabric collection is called Land of Liberty by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake. You may be able to find this in my online shop, (quantities are limited). I used Red, White and Blue Striped fabric for the binding as well! For piecing the quilt, and attaching the binding, I used my Juki TL2010Q. I quilted this up on my Juki J350 table-top longarm quilting machine.

Watch the Video

In this video, you will see how easy this block comes together. Grab a cup of coffee and sew with me!

Thanks so much for visiting my website! Be sure to grab a Star Quilt Block pattern and make a few for yourself! Share your quilt blocks in my Facebook Community and tag me on Instagram!

Stay Creative!

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Stars and Stripes Quilt WP Header

Make a Stars and Stripes Quilt

Our family is very patriotic.  In fact, back in 1998, my husband and I said “I do” on Independence Day!  Our two sons simply love celebrating our country’s tradition by shooting fireworks.  My eldest son even helps a family friend at a local fireworks stand.  Needless to say, it was an easy decision for me to make a Stars and Stripes quilt.  Let me tell you how to make your own!

Stars and Stripes Quilt Pinterest Pin 1

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. ? Read my full disclosure policy here.


  • Stars and Stripes Quilt Pattern by Camille Roskelley for Thimble Blossoms
  • (8) Fat Quarters of Red Fabric
  • (5) Fat Quarters of Blue Fabric
  • (1.25) yards of White Fabric
  • (2) yards of sashing Aqua Fabric (I’ve even seen it made with YARROW – Gorgeous!)
  • (3.5) yards of backing Fabric
  • (5/8) yards of binding Fabric (try THIS FABRIC for your binding – it’s perfect)
  • 64” x 80” cotton batting (this is the exact batting I used)


Stars and Stripes Quilt - choosing the fabric

I am an active member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild, which is a highly inspirational gathering of talented quilters.  A fellow board member organized a fun activity called “Block Lotto”. We chose this particular quilt pattern and color theme, so that all the blocks would be the same size and shape.  In order to play Block Lotto, you need to bring a completed quilt block.  In this case, participants would bring a completed flag block in exchange for a drawing ticket.  Each completed quilt block would render a separate drawing ticket.  At the meeting, there were over 180 quilt blocks turned in!  WOW!!!  That was enough blocks to make over 11 quilt tops!  We did a drawing at the end of the meeting and it was sooooo much fun!

Stars and Stripes Quilt - Block Lotto
These are just a few of the blocks that were turned in for the Block Lotto game at our Guild meeting

This quilt is a very simple project!    I started cutting and assembling my quilt blocks while I was on a visit to my Mom’s house.  The cutting was very simple.  It is my recommendation to layering a few like colored fat quarters to make quick work of this step.  I was actually able to cut, sew AND quilt this project in less than one week!  Normally, I don’t start and finish a quilt in that short of a time span, but I really wanted to show a completed quilt at our Guild meeting (which was incidentally Flag Day)!  I really love how it turned out.

Stars and Stripes Quilt Finished Quilt by Nicole Moore

This will be a great quilt to bring to the city fireworks show.  The kids are cuddling up with it already!  I hope you make one too!

Be sure to join my Modern Quilts Facebook Group!  Such a great community and lots of inspiration!  See you there!

Happy Quilting!

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The Best Magnifying Lamp for Handwork

I’ve wanted to try out the MAGnificent Floor and Table LED Magnifying Lamp for sometime now. You see, I’m becoming more interested with handwork, embroidery, and appliqué and I thought it would be a good idea to have some additional lighting that also offers magnification.  The Daylight Company was generous enough to send me to try out. You know me – I have to love it before I would share or recommend it – so let’s get started! Also, don’t forget to watch my un-boxing video at the end!

This magnifying lamp is shipped in a compact box but it has lots and lots to offer, once you start unpacking. Inside the box is an adjustable lamp assembly, power adapter, two poles that help you adjust the weight of your lamp, and a sturdy lamp base.

Magnifying Lamp - Unboxing

Assembling the Lamp

One of the things I find really useful about this lamp is that the head assembly is adjustable.  So it can be bent or adjusted to whatever position works best for what you are doing at the moment. The lamp base is a good and sturdy weight. It’s not too heavy but it’s solid enough so that you can stretch out your lamp head assembly, and the lamp still won’t tip over. The lamp comes with two poles that you can add.  These polls have built-in electronic connectors so that you don’t have to string a cord through the pole to eventually illuminate the lamp head assembly. The lamp base has a thumb screw that needs to be loosened before you insert the polls or head assembly into the base.

When you are connecting either the pole or the lamp head assembly to the base, you need to push down really hard to make that connection.  Once you have that connected, grab your power supply.  Plug one end into the base and the other into your electrical outlet.

The on and off switch is at the top of the lamp assembly and there is a large semi rimless lens which really helps with the close work activity.  This lamp is ideal for hobbies, crafts, and even reading. As I mentioned before you can remove the pole and use the lamp on the table as well.

Lamp Specifications

If you are looking for brightness, then you’ve found it here! Check out the specs for this magnifying lamp!

Use this for the Floor or the Table!

I totally recommend the Daylight Company MAGnificent Floor andTable LED Magnifying Lamp. Oh, the projects I have planned! I do have some very exciting handwork projects planned in the near future. Stay tuned!

Use the coupon code SEW20 and receive 20% off of your entire daylight Company order. Head over to the link in the description, just below this video, to learn more. 

Watch my unboxing video to see how easy it is to assemble the MAGnificent Floor & Table Magnifying Lamp!

How to Add a Zipper End

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to add a zipper end to your zipper tape. Adding a zipper end is an easy way to take your project to the next level. Be sure to watch the video tutorial for your step-by-step instructions. Let’s get started!

How to add a Zipper End tutorial


Preparing the Zipper Tape

I finished my purse but wanted to create a professional finish for the end of my zipper tape.

How to add a zipper end - preparing the zipper tape

Because my zipper tape is a number five, which is just indication for the width of the tape, I’m going to trim down the corners to achieve a beveled edge. Once I trimmed down those corners I’m going to add a little bit of Fray Check so that everything stays nice and tidy.

Choosing a Finish

Zipper ends come in a variety of finishes. You just need to choose one that will coordinate best with your project.

The finish I’m choosing is gold because it will match my zipper teeth and the rest of my hardware on this bag. This hardware comes with the end itself and a small screw to help the zipper and stay into place.

Installing the Zipper End

All you have to do is fit the end of your zipper tape into the cavity of the zipper end. Because my zipper tape is wide, I fold in the sides of the tape so that everything fits nice and snug. Once I get the tape inside of the zipper end, we’ll just add the tiny screw to help secure the tape in place.

Installing the screw for the zipper end

The trick here is to have the dexterity to handle such a tiny screw. I found that magnetizing your screwdriver is very helpful. You can place your metal screwdriver onto a magnet. This will help you get the screw into the opening. The tiny screw helps to keep the tape in place. If you want, you can add a drop of Loctite before you screw everything together. 

Enjoy the Results!

Adding a zipper end to your zipper tape is just that simple and it creates such a lovely finish for a project that you’ve worked so hard on. 

How to add Zipper Ends to your handmade bag

I have a variety of finishes in my online shop for you to choose from. My favorite is probably the Iridescent Rainbow. It goes really nicely with my Iridescent Zipper Tape.

Check out all of my bag hardware in my online shop!

Watch the Video Tutorial

Learn more about making Handmade Bags and share your questions and progress in my Facebook Group!

You may also want to check out a few of my other Handmade Bag articles! Check out the Betty Bowler Bag and the Ultimate Travel Bag!

Join my Facebook Group – Click HERE

Make a Reusable Grocery Bag

Do you want to make a positive difference for the earth? Try using a reusable grocery bag! Making a reusable grocery bag is fun and easy! You may never use the plastic store bags again! Let me show you how you can make your own reusable grocery bag. Let’s get started!

Reusable grocery bag

Reusable Grocery Bag Supply List

Supplies and Tools

Making your straps

Reusable Grocery Bag - making the straps

Following the cutting measurements, cut your tote straps and tote body. Trim those to size. 

Take your straps to the ironing board and press out any wrinkles. Next, fold your straps in half, lengthwise. Open this back up and then take each long side and fold towards the middle.  turn and press each short end in at a 1/4 inch. Fold in both long sides and clip at the ends to secure. 

Sew each strap closed being sure that you back stitch at the beginning and the end.

Make the body of your bag

Body of Bag - Reusable Grocery Bag

Now that we have our straps done, we can set those aside and work on the body of the tote bag. Give it a nice pressing and then take each end and pin or clip together. We’re going to use a 1/2 inch seam allowance and the easiest way to do this is to use a magnetic seam guide.  Sew both ends together, leaving the top open. Press the seams open and then with your seam guage, fold the top edge down by 1 inch and press then clip.  Fold a second time so that your raw edge is enclosed. Press and clip and sew this down. Remove your magnetic seam guide and sew the top edge just 1/8 of an inch away from the bottom fold.

Assemble your bag

Assemble tote bag - Reusable Grocery Bag

Now it’s time to add the straps. Our tote body is still inside out.  Reference your Reusable Grocery Bag Pattern to determine the placement of your straps.   Align the bottom of the strap with the bottom fold and clip in place. Be careful that your strap is not twisted. Let’s take this to the sewing machine and sew a boxed pattern to help secure each strap.

Sewing a boxed pattern is easy. First, you will begin by back stitching and then sew a square. Once you’ve reached the corner of your origin then you will make diagonal stitching to the opposite corner. Stitch your way to the next side and make another diagonal stitch. Be sure to backstitch when you’re finished.  Do this boxed pattern stitch for each strap end. Turn your bag right side out and set it aside.

Add a design to your bag

Add a design - reusable grocery bag

Design Supply List

Positioning and Placing the design

Position the design - Reusable Grocery Bag

I’ve added this cute design to my online shop you can download those to import into your cutting system. I’m going to use iron on vinyl and my Cricut Maker. Once I have my artwork imported, I will go through the motions of welding items so that they don’t end up in random places on my cutting mat.  Since we have text on this particular design, it’s super important that you select the mirror option. You should select that option on all of the mats because they will interact and fit into each other for this particular design.  Once you have the images how you’d like them on your mat, will select the every day iron on material option and I always like to set the pressure to more.  Now that all the vinyl has been cut, it’s time to do a little weeding. I like to use my Daylight Company Wafer One Light Box whenever I weed my vinyl. The lightbox helps me see exactly where I need to begin weeding.  After I’ve weeded all of the vinyl, I’m going to cut apart this first piece because there are several layers that need to be positioned on the project.

Finishing the Reusable Grocery Bag

Using a Lightbox for weeding - reusable grocery bag

This design has three layers of vinyl. Now that I have my base layer in place, I can add the ocean and the land which is part of the globe design. There is also a couple fill our spots for the arrows that circle the globe.  Adding the second and third layers is quite simple. You just need to take your time and align everything. It’s kind of like working on a puzzle. The last pieces are the blue arrows that circle the globe. I am attaching those one at a time. I’m pressing everything again with my Teflon sheet for good measure.

Watch the Video Tutorial

I hope you have fun making your own reusable grocery bag! If you shop as much as my family, you will need quite a few of these! Be sure to share your bags in my Bag Makers Facebook Group! I can’t wait to see what you make!

Happy Sewing!

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T-Shirt Quilt WP Blog Header

Make a T-Shirt Quilt

Making a T-shirt quilt is easier than you think. Have you been saving all of your shirts? Do you have a pile of garments that you don’t know what to do with but you really want to save? Make a T-shirt quilt! Check out the step-by-step article and don’t forget to watch the video at the end!  Let’s make a T-shirt quilt!

Gather your garments

Gather your T-shirts to make a T-shirt Quilt

You might be wondering what kind of garments or materials that you can use for a T-shirt quilt. Obviously, you’ll want to use T-shirts. You can also use sports jerseys, hoodies or sweatshirts. Regular button down shirts or even baby clothes. You’ll find all sorts of things that you can use and I’m sure you’ve saved a ton of it. Gather those up and make sure they are laundered. I would recommend skipping the fabric softener as it makes it a little more difficult to fuse interface to softened fabrics.

Choose your T-Shirt Quilt Design

Grid Style T-Shirt quilt

The next thing to consider is how you want to design your quilt. There are several options out there. One of the most popular is the grid quilt. That’s just squares made out of your various materials or T-shirts.  You could have these made with sashing. Sashing is the fabric in between the shirts to separate the blocks. You can even add a border around everything, which is the fabric around the perimeter of your quilt.  

Mosaic Style T-Shirt Quilt Design

Another design option is a mosaic quilt. A Mosaic quilt has a variation of block sizes put together. Then the blocks are justified and sewn into vertical rows.  Have fun designing your quilt with the materials you have!

Tools and Supplies

Tools and supplies needed to make a T-Shirt Quilt

You might think you need a lot of fancy equipment and supplies to make a T-shirt quilt but you really don’t. I use my Juki TL 2010 Q and it works wonders. Before I had my Juki, are used a hand me down 30 or old Kenmore. Click this link if you’re looking for a full list of tools supplies and materials to make your own T-shirt quilt.

Cut & Prep Materials

Create your blocks for your T-shirt Quilt

This is the fun part! Turning those shirts and materials into quilt blocks! There’s a variety of ways that you can do this. The simplest way is to just interface a shirt and cut it to the size of your design.  Sometimes a T-shirt doesn’t have a centered logo and you can certainly do that by cutting your shirt apart and sewing it back together in just the right manner. Other times you can combine garments to make a single block. Another fun way to use your garments is to sew other materials like quilting cotton to blocks to make them the size you need. Have fun using the garments you have and find creative ways to fit them into your overall quilt design!

Assemble the Quilt Top

Assemble your T-Shirt Quilt

Adding vertical sashing to your quilt is a great way to showcase your quilt blocks and it also helps to enlarge the overall size of your quilt.  There is some “Quilty math” involved because you have to make all of your blocks fit together. We cover all the “Quilty math” in my T-Shirt Quilt Academy online sewing course. If you’re going to add vertical sashing, you might as well add horizontal Sashing as well. This makes for a very nice design on your overall quilt.
If you’re looking to make your quilt top larger, or you just want to finish it off around the edge, consider adding a border to your T-shirt quilt.  The wider the border strip, the larger your overall quilt will become. It’s a good idea to do all of that “quilty math” ahead of time (in the design process).

Making your Quilt backing

Create a backing for a T-Shirt Quilt

Once you finish your quilt top, you need to create a backing fabric. Measure your finished quilt-top and do your “Quilty math” to determine the correct size of your backing. Once you determine the size of your backing, you can decide if you want to either piece your backing or use a wide back fabric. There are several options to making your backing, but the most common is to piece your backing fabric.

Choose your Batting

Choose your batting for your T-shirt Quilt.

Just when you think all of the quilt decisions have been made, you need to consider the batting. Do you like a thick, heavy quilt or do you like a lighter quilt? Is this T-shirt quilt going to be used all year or just in certain seasons. Consider the recipient of the T-shirt quilt to know if they sleep hot or if they require lots and lots of warmth while they sleep. Choosing the right batting is going to make a difference in your finished quilt.

Quilting your T-Shirt Quilt

You can either send your quilt to your favorite long armer, or you can quilt your own quilt. If you’re choosing to quilt your own quilt, then you will need to based your quilt. Whether you choose to spray baste your quilt (with a spray adhesive) or if you prefer to use safety pins for basting, either way both steps help you to prepare for your next step. Quilting! One of the simplest ways to quilt is a free motion meandering design. Choose a quilting method that you’re most comfortable with and enjoy the process. I love using my Juki J-350 to finish my quilts! Learn more about my Long Arm Quilting machine right HERE.

Binding your T-Shirt Quilt

The last thing to do is bind your quilt. Once you trim your quilt, then you’ll measure your quilt again. Using more of your quilting math, will determine how much binding to cut and make. Once you make an attach your binding, you can either do the hand binding method which is very beautiful and rewarding, or you can choose to do the machine binding which works wonderfully as well. Once you’re finished your binding, then your T-shirt quilt is finished!

Watch a quick video

Let’s make a T-Shirt Quilt!

I’ve been making T-shirt quilts for years and years and I always get asked questions about how to make these. I’m so excited to finally offer an online sewing course so you can make your own T-shirt quilts too!

Get signed up for T-shirt Quilt Academy!

Custom T-shirt Quilts

If you would rather just send me your shirts, I can make a Quilt for you! Learn more in my Shop!