Posted in Tutorials

The Best Beginner Quilt: ‘Better Together’

The Best Beginner Quilt Pattern

Better Together Quilt on Ladder


I have been working on a totally new kind of quilt pattern for some time now.  I wanted a pattern that assumed NO prior quilt knowledge, that would be the best beginner quilt pattern.  Some of the wording in quilt patterns can feel like a foreign language to new quilters, and can really turn people away from a hobby that I want more people to enjoy.  I wanted to create a pattern that makes it easy and do-able for a brand new quilter to make their first quilt.

Introducing the ‘Better Together’ Quilt Pattern

That’s why I created the ‘Better Together’ quilt pattern.  This pattern is unlike any other quilt pattern I’ve seen.  I walk through quilting terms, as well as giving in-depth explanations each step of the way.  I also created a video tutorial so people can see me do the things I write about.  I tried to think of all the possible ways to help a new quilter be successful in making this quilt.  It really is the best beginner quilt pattern.

Making the Perfect Half Square Triangle

Helping you make these Half Square Triangles


Half Square Triangle Tutorial for 'Better Together' Quilt

Showing you how I sew, helping you along the way

Why Half Square Triangles

  1. When thinking of a pattern for new quilters, I wanted a timeless design.  Half square Triangles (HSTs) are the most classic, timeless quilt block I could think of.  You can modernize them with different fabrics, but the look of the quilt top made of JUST Half Square Triangles is stunning, yet simple.
  2. Once a HST is conquered, a quilter is ready to move on to other quilt patterns.
  3. HSTs are the perfect place for a new quilter to learn Quilting.

Making This Quilt Your Own

I reached out to different beginning quilters to test this pattern.  I love seeing how each person took this beginner quilt pattern and made it unique, just by switching the fabrics they used.  Here are the different ‘Better Together’ quilt tops my pattern testers made.

From Megan of @megsaenz

Beginner Better Together Quilt by Megan

Better Together Quilt for Beginning Quilters

Half Square Triangle Quilt

From Karen of @bessiepearl

Better Together Half Square Triangle Beginner Quilt

Beginner Quilt Better Together

Notice how Karen added a border to her quilt to make it unique for her?

Half Square Triangle Quilt Better Together

From Elisabeth of @quilt_with_e She made TWO!

Better Together Beginner QUilt

Beginner Quilt Pattern Half Square Triangles

Better Together Half Square Triangle Quilt for Beginners

Half Square Triangle Quilt Better Together

Better Together Quilt Top

From Rachel Bradley of @ohsewprettyquilts

Better Together Quilt

From Amanda Chance of @modernly_mom

Better Together Beginner Quilt

Better Together Half Square Triangle Quilt

Better Together Quilt Variations by Quilters Candy

Better Together Half Square Triangle Quilt

Long Arm Quilted by @ThreeBirdsandStitches with minky backing that adds a bit of fluff to the quilt

Better Together Half Square Triangle Quilt

Machine Quilted on my Sewing Machine – linen backing

Better Together Half Square Triangle Quilt

You can see the straight line quilting

Better Together Beginner Quilt, Half Square Triangle Quilt

Entirely hand quilted – linen backing

The Pattern

If you are a beginning quilter, and want the perfect beginning quilt pattern, you can get this ‘Better Together’ pattern HERE.  If you are a more experienced quilter, you can use this pattern, as well.  Just know that the wording of it is geared for a brand new quilter.

Other Tutorials

If you are looking for help with quilting, I have a few other tutorials you might find helpful.

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel so you can be the first to know when new tutorials are released.




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Posted in Patterns

‘After The Rain’ Quilt Inspiration

Inspiration for the ‘After The Rain’ Quilt

Inspiration for ‘After The Rain’ quilt come from seeing so many uniquely colored, modern rainbows.  I found modern rainbows everywhere, it felt like.  I even made a folder in Instagram to save inspiration.  Here are a couple of photos that I saved and what I liked about them.

Inspiration for After The Rain Quilt

Modern Rainbow 'After The Rain' quilt inspiration

This was the first modern rainbow that I remember seeing and thinking, “I want to make a quilt with this shape.”  I love the unusual rainbow shape where the ‘legs’ of the rainbow are longer than the arch.  You can see that in my ‘After The Rain’ Quilt.


Modern Rainbow 'After The Rain' quilt inspiration

These colors . . . I wanted to add these unusual rainbow colors in my quilt.



Modern Rainbow 'After The Rain' quilt inspiration

The colors in this are untraditional, but I also wanted to recreate the FEEL of this.  The childlike feel and look was something I wanted to recreate in a quilt.



Modern Rainbow 'After The Rain' quilt inspiration

Speaking of wanting to recreate a feel, I LOVE the water color rainbow here.  Again, this soft and welcoming vibe was one I wanted to bring to life in my quilt pattern.

Designing The Rainbow Quilt Block

I worked in the EQ8 (Electric Quilt 8) computer program to create the pattern.  But designing the templates was another story.  I tweaked the templates from EQ8 in Adobe Illustrator, and after HOURS and HOURS of almost giving up on this pattern, I reached out to a friend of mine who is amazing, and she helped me get the templates just right.  It takes a village!

I knew I wanted the design to be an untraditional look for a rainbow, and after a lot of work (and possibly tears), I finalized this design for the quilt block:

After The Rain Quilt Design Template


Picking Fabrics for ‘After The Rain’ Quilt Top

My first Mini version made for the Quilters Candy Membership.  It was called ‘Over The Rainbow Quilt’ at that time, before I picked a different name.  I also went with blue and pink colors for this mini version.

After The Rain Quilt Sewing Curves, Fabric Color and Inspiration

Fabrics: Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF) Pure Solids, from outer to inner: Snow (background), Denim Blue, Icy Mint, Peach Sherbet, and Sweet Macadamia.


For my larger, lap size quilt, I wanted to try some of the more earth-tone colors with some purples.  I was motivated by the Instagram photos I saved.  Here is what my final, lap size quilt looks like, along with a list of the colors I used.

After The Rain Quilt Inspiration with Bias Binding


Fabrics Used for ‘After The Rain’ Quilt:

  • Rainbow 1
    • AGF Honey
    • Kona Snow
    • AGF Mauvelous
    • Kona Latte
  • Rainbow 2
    • AGF Macchiato
    • AGF Lavendar Water
    • AGF Vanilla Custard
    • AGF Foxglove
  • Rainbow 3
    • AGF SAndstone
    • Kona Ice Peach
    • Kona Rose
    • AGF Gentle Feather
  • Rainbow 4
    • AGF Vanilla Custard
    • AGF Creme De La Creme
    • Kona Honey
    • AGF Cinnamon
  • Rainbow 5
    • AGF Sweet Macademia
    • AGF Toasty Walnut
    • AGF Peach Sherbet
    • Kona Sienna
  • Rainbow 6
    • AGF Creme De La Creme
    • Kona Peach
    • AGF Sweet Macademia
    • AGF Mink
  • Binding
  • Background Fabric
    • Art Gallery Fabrics ‘Snow’


I first made this quilt for my digital quilting membership, the Quilters Candy Membership.  It was a mini quilt pattern, just one block.  And I named it, “Over The Rainbow”.  Somewhere in between the release of that mini pattern and the release of the full sized version, I realized I want my patterns to have intentional names.  I want each pattern to mean something, to share a message.  I took time to think on this pattern.

The release of this pattern came during the Corona Virus quarantine.  There was the death of George Floyd.  The world felt (and at the time I write this) still DOES feel uncertain.  No matter how difficult things are, there is always hope in what is to come.  Things get better.  It takes rain to produce a rainbow.  Without difficulties, we can’t grow and improve, or appreciate the good as much as we could.

And so I decided to rename this quilt.  It is now named, ‘AFTER THE RAIN’.  I love this new name as much as I love the pattern.  You can get a copy of the pattern HERE.


Since this pattern came out in the Quilters Candy Membership first, I have a few samples of this pattern made in the mini version.  Here are a few of the beautiful mini ‘After The Rain’ quilts that were made.

After The Rain Mini Quilt Quilters Candy Membership

Made by Melissa of @ifyoudontsew


After The Rain Mini Quilt for Quilters Candy Membership

Made by Rachel of @wren.collective


After The Rain Mini Quilt made for Quilters Candy Membership

Made by Kelli of @simplymackbeth


After The Rain with Lo and Behold Stitchery Rainbow Curved Quilt

Made by Brittany of @loandbeholdstitchery


After The Rain Quilt Pillow, Rainbow Pillow

A personal favorite made by @wildrose_company


I hope you enjoyed seeing different versions of this pattern, ‘After The Rain’, and learning what inspired it’s creation.  Be sure to check out my other blog post where I share how to attach Bias Binding to your Quilt.




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Posted in Tutorials

How To Use Bias Binding: A Full Tutorial + Video

How to Use Bias Binding + Video Tutorial

Why am I sharing a Bias Binding Tutorial with you?

I have only used straight cut, single fold binding for my quilts.  That’s all I knew!  Then I met Liz of The Small Circle and saw her lovely Bias Bindings.  I asked if she could share a tutorial on how to use these Bias Bindings for quilts.  Liz was happy to prepare a tutorial for y’all.  And now I’m a Bias Binding fan!

Biad Binding on a Curved corner quilt

From Liz of The Small Circle

Bias binding is one of the most versatile and useful notions in the sewing room. In addition to being used to finish quilts, bias binding is excellent in apparel sewing as a facing for necklines and armholes, and in bias bound and Hong Kong seams. It can be used for appliqué and bag-making. Its applications are nearly endless! I love this sewing room workhorse, so I created a short video tutorial for you on how to finish your quilt using double fold bias binding.

The Small Circle Double Bias Binding for Quilters


Video Tutorial

Watch my video tutorial to learn:

    • The difference between bias binding and straight cut (or quilt) binding.
    • Some advantages to using binding cut on the bias.
    • How to attach strips of bias binding.
    • How to sew a curved corner.
    • How to secure your binding using hand stitching.

Finish Your Quilt with Double Folded Bias Binding


Video in Summary

Let me share in text format what I show you in the video.

How bias binding differs from other binding:

  • Bias binding differs from quilt binding in that it’s cut from your fabric at a 45 degree angle from the selvedge. When you tug on bias binding, it has some stretch to it. This creates a flexible and pliable binding that can go around curves and odd angles smoothly.


  • Flexibility and pliability.
  • Bias binding is a durable way to finish a quilt. With quilt binding, the warp and weft of the binding are running vertically and horizontally. This means that a single fiber is running along the length of the edge of your quilt and is taking the majority of the wear and tear. With bias binding, the warp and weft are running at 45 degree angles across the edge of the quilt. The wear and tear is distributed across multiple fibers, making it last longer.

Attaching to front of quilt:

  • To attach the binding to the front of your quilt, determine which half of your binding strip is narrower. The narrower half will be sewn to the front of your quilt, and the wider half will wrap around to the back and will cover the stitch line from the front. Unfold the binding and lay it right side down on your quilt front with raw edges aligned. Line your needle up with the first crease mark (the fold line that is closest to the raw edge of your quilt), and begin sewing about three inches down from the tail of your binding.

Bias Binding The Small Circle

  • To sew a curved corner, you don’t have to do anything special. The main thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want to pull the binding tight as you’re sewing. Just let it lay naturally on the quilt without any stretch.

sewing curved corners with bias binding

  • When you make it all the way around your quilt and are approaching the start of your binding, pause with your needle down to hold your place. Find the tail you left when you first started sewing, and fold it down toward you and the raw edge of your quilt at a 45 degree angle. You can pin it in place or just hold it, and then lay the other end of your binding right over the top, keeping all those creases in the binding aligned. Sew right past the beginning of your binding, anchoring it down, and back stitch to secure.

Double Bias Binding for Quilt Binding

Attaching to Back of Quilt

  • To attach the binding to the back of your quilt, re-fold the binding to the way it was folded in the package. It will naturally wrap itself around the quilt in the way it should lay. The middle crease will enclose the raw edges of your quilt as the other half of the binding wraps around to the back. The final crease of the binding will stay folded so that all raw edges are enclosed. To hand-stitch the back in place, prepare several lengths of thread. I use the same thread I used for hand-quilting. Make a knot at one end, and embed the knot into your quilt just inside the stitch line you made when attaching the binding to the front. Bring your needle up through your binding, near the edge, and then simply use a straight or sashiko stitch to secure the binding all along the edges your quilt, being careful to check the front of your quilt and make sure your stitches aren’t catching the binding on the front.

Hand Quilting your Quilt Binding



Pre-Made Bias Binding and PROMO CODE

I hope you’re inspired to use bias binding in your own sewing after this tutorial. I have a fantastic variety of pre-made binding in The Small Circle shop. Enjoy 20% off all bias binding using the discount code QUILTCANDY20 through the month of June. All of the binding is handmade with organic cotton and is shipped in eco friendly packaging.


After The Rain Quilt Top with Bias Binding

Pre-made double fold bias binding on ‘After The Rain’ quilt.


Along with finishing quilts, bias binding is excellent in apparel sewing, bag-making, and for any other seam-finishing. Its applications are nearly endless!

Be sure to follow The Small Circle on Instagram for bias binding and other eco friendly notions.

Note: The fabrics used for the quilt in the video are mostly scraps from my stash of Sara Parker Textiles‘ hand-printed fabrics. The quilt itself is an improv piece inspired by the work and teaching of Sherri Lynn Wood.

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