Sewing Techniques

Sewing is an integral component of the artistic process for nearly all quilt artists. There are many different types of sewing techniques that can be used, including hand stitching, hand embroidery, free motion machine embroidery, free motion machine stitching, thread painting, thread sketching, and more. Many artists use some or all of these techniques construct, embellish, and create imagery on their quilts.

Hand Sewing with 6-stranded Floss

I’ve been hand sewing since I was a little girl. My grandma spent hours patiently teaching me running stitch, satin stitch, and French knots. Even after learning to sew at a young age, it took me longer than I’d like to admit to find the ideal length of thread to sew with and how to…

Chain Stitch: Directions and Variations to Try

Do you know how to chain stitch? If you hand embroider, there’s an excellent chance you’ve tried this popular stitch. Constructed to look like loops, chain stitch can embroider everything from bold lines to delicate curleques. Not only is the shape itself easy to manipulate, once you’ve got the technique down, it’s easy to modify…

Embellish small projects like potholders with the chicken scratch embroidery stitch.

Chicken Scratch Embroidery Stitch: A Beginner’s Guide

I’ve always associated the expression “chicken scratch” with handwriting. Specifically, the spiky, sloppy, and near-impossible to read markings of kids still learning the craft of penmanship. With that as my sole reference to the phrase, I was astonished to learn chicken scratch is also the name of an embroidery stitch. I first learned of this…

How to Read Paper Piecing Quilt Patterns

If you’ve ever tried them, you know that paper piecing quilt patterns can be difficult to decipher. Often it seems like they are written in a different language. Plus, the process of paper piecing can seem backward when you first start learning this sewing technique. Don’t let these minor roadblocks stop you from trying paper piecing!…

Easy Envelope Backs for Quilted Pillows

Do you make quilted pillows? Pillows are a quick quilting project that I really enjoy making. I will often use the extra blocks from a quilt I’m working on to create a matching pillow. In addition to being a nice companion project, this serves the secondary purpose of allowing me to practice my machine quilting…

The Beginner’s Guide to Machine Embroidery

Do you add machine embroidery to your sewing and quilting projects? I’m learning how to embroider with the machine here at our office, and I need all the help I can get! Lucky for me, and every other machine embroidery novice, Sara Gallegos is here to save the day with her quilting show Absolute Beginner…

How to Embroider (and Stay Organized) on the Road

Is it just me, or is there something about the long summer days that makes it seem like anything is possible? This is my most productive time of the year and I’ve always attributed it to the long and light evenings that are perfect for sewing. Plus, summer vacations are a nice change of pace.…

How to Hand Sew: The Beaded Back Stitch

Hand stitching is a staple in my book. For many quilters and sewists it is, and has been, in their repertoire for years. If you’re like me, hand sewing is the first sewing technique you learned. While chain stitch and buttonhole stitch along with other embroidery stitches are great ways to embellish fabric, bead embroidery–especially the…

Hand Embroidery on the Go

Over this past weekend I took a quick trip to California for a family reunion. After spending several hours sitting at the gate, on the plane, and in the car, I was really wishing I had brought some hand sewing to pass the time. Now that school is almost out, for many of us summer…

Mitered Corners Made Easy

There’s no doubt about it, mitered corners can give any pieced project a professional and polished finish. Even though some consider this to be a basic quilting technique, many a quilter has struggled to create the perfect miter, whether it’s for a border or for binding. If you’re new to quilting and want to learn…