Posted in Tutorials

Fabric Heart Ornament Tutorial

Learn to Make a Fabric Heart Ornament

I invited Liza from @lizataylorhandmade to share how she made a Fabric Heart Ornament.  This is such a cute and easy project, you’re going to love it.  Take it away, Liza!

Hi everyone! I’m Liza from @lizataylorhandmade and I am so excited to be showing you how to make these quilted hanging hearts! It is a super quick project and is great for using up scraps. 

DIY Fabric Ornament

You can also use this project on a cutter quilt! It is a great way to repurpose an old quilt and turn it into something new. I have had the most luck finding cutter quilts online at Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, and Mercari. If you have a quilt like this to use go ahead and skip to the step where you trace the template. 

Steps to Making a Fabric Heart Ornament


  1. Be sure to download your Heart Template by CLICKING HERE.
  2. Print your template on card stock and cut it out.

Picking Fabric

  1. Once you have your template, go to your scrap pile and pick out enough scraps to make (2) hearts, one for the front and one for the backing. I usually lay the scraps out on my cutting mat and rearrange them until I like the positioning.DIY Fabric Ornament with Fabric Scraps
  2. Make sure you have your template handy so you can see if your patchwork scraps are big enough to cover the template.Heart Template for DIY Fabric Ornament
  3. Once you have your positioning how you like it, take the pieces to your sewing machine and sew the scraps together. Press seams open.
  4. Now you are going to quilt the patchwork panel. Take a scrap piece of batting and some fabric for the backing (this fabric will go on the inside of the heart so it doesn’t matter what it looks like). Lay each layer flat on top of each other and pin together. Go ahead and quilt it however you would like.Patchwork Quilting with Scraps
  5. With both panels quilted, it’s time to cut out the heart. Lay your template on top and position where you would like it. Trace it with a pen and cut it out. Do this for both the front and the back.Trace your Fabric Heart Template

Next, cut a piece of ribbon for the hanging. I cut mine to be 11” long, but you can make it as long or as short as you would like.

front and back of fabric ornamentSewing The Hearts Together

  1. From here, take the hearts and the ribbon to your sewing machine. Put the heart’s right sides together and fold the ribbon in half. Keeping the ends of the ribbon together, put it in between the two layers with the ends pointing out. The rest of the ribbon will be tucked inside the layers. Pin in place.DIY Fabric Heart Ornament
  2. Start sewing at the bottom of the heart. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and at the end.
  3. Sew ¼” around the whole heart, but stop about 2” from where you started. Backstitch to secure.DIT Fabric Ornament
  4. Next you are going to take your scissors and snip all around the heart. I like to snip the bottom point, once in the curves, and down the middle of the ribbon and the middle of the top. Make sure to not snip too far to cut your seam! See the next photos for reference.Heart Template for DIY Fabric Ornament
    Heart Template for DIY Fabric Ornament
  5. Now it’s time to turn it inside out. Start pushing each side through the gap. Use your scissors to help push through and make the pointed bottom nice and sharp.
    1. I like to use poly foam to fill my hearts. I use about a handful, but feel free to fill it as full as you would like. This is the filler I use.

Finishing Your Fabric Heart Ornament

  1. Once you have stuffed your heart you now need to sew up the gap. I use an invisible/ladder stitch to do this and DMC perle #8 cotton thread.
  2. To do the ladder stitch take your heart and insert the needle from the inside, up through the top layer on the far right side. This will hide your knot in the center.
  3. Now take your needle to the bottom layer (make sure to maintain the ¼” fold) and insert from the center and come out about ⅛” over on the same side. Repeat on the top layer.
  4. Every stitch will follow the same pattern, always go from the inside to the outside of the heart.
  5. Once you reach the end, tie a knot in your thread, insert your needle near your last stitch and come out anywhere on the heart. Give the thread a tug so the knot goes to the inside of the heart and trim the tail where you came out.DIY Fabric Ornament

You’re finished! Feel free to add some lace or ribbon to it, or even add some embroidery to the front. The possibilities are endless.

If you liked this free tutorial, be sure to check out my other tutorials:

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Posted in Tutorials

All About Binding Boards

Introducing Binding Boards – The Quilt Binding Tool Every Quilter Needs

Binding Boards
The quickest and easiest way to make your Quilt Bindings

Let me introduce you to Nicole Christoffersen, who is sharing all about Binding Boards.  In fact, Nicole is the creator behind these boards.  When I saw them, I knew I needed to get one and share about it with y’all.  Nicole, take it away!


Thanks, Elizabeth, for inviting me to share on your blog today! I love Elizabeth’s quilting style and have loved watching her creations come to life on her blog and IG feed. It’s an honor to be a guest here.

The Story Of Binding Boards

Learn to quickly make quilt bindings with the Binding Board
Binding Boards have been a long time in the making. I shared my method of pressing my binding on IG a couple years ago and have never gotten so many messages.
Several of my sweet quilting friends encouraged me for years to create Binding Boards for all quilters.  But there were a few hurdles: patents, pins, etc. I finally jumped the hurdles, and now Binding Boards are here!
Over 15 years ago, I started using the Binding Board method on my ironing board. It was always scorching my ironing board cover and making it look dirty. One time I ironed binding for four quilts in a row and burned a hole right through my ironing board cover! Oops.
After that, I decided to make a tiny board that I could scorch and then hide as soon as I was done pressing my binding.
There have been a few revisions. Heavy duty canvas was a great addition because it’s harder to scorch. By far, the best addition was reflective heat material. It doubles the heat of the iron! All of the sudden, I could pull my binding through twice as fast and still have a crisp, flat crease. This material combination has stood the test of time. I’ve been using the same Binding Board for the last 7 years!

Benefits of Binding Boards

  • A fun benefit of the Binding Board is that it doubles as a small, portable pressing station.
  • The increased temperature from the reflective heat material helps to create amazingly flat seams like a wool mat does. Unlike a wool mat, though, there’s no wet dog smell or steam moisture seeping through to damage your furniture below.
  • And of course, you can finish making a quilt binding in WAY less time than normal.

How Do You Use A Binding Board

To use a Binding Board, first press about a 10-12” section of the binding in half. Place this pressed section on the Binding Board and insert the included push pins on both sides of the fabric.  The pins should be far enough apart to set your iron between them.  This creates an opening that’s exactly the width of the finished binding.

Then place your iron in the opening you left for it and gently pull the binding through. Using your left hand to guide the fabric strip in half can help to make sure you’re getting a double fold binding (standard quilt binding), rather than a single fold binding. Continue pulling the binding through until you’ve reached the end. Tada! Pressed binding in a fraction of the time.

Binding Board In Action

Binding Board Love

I have been thrilled with the feedback I’ve received about the time quilters are saving using their Binding Boards. It has been such a bright spot in my life! When I started this journey I figured I’d sell around 50 Binding Boards. In less than a few months, I’ve sold and handmade 4 times that many… and counting.

Where Can You Get A Binding Board

If you don’t have a Binding Board yet, head on over to and click on Shop to order one. Or, make sure to let someone know you’d love one to be under your tree, on Christmas morning. 🙂
Thanks again, to the ever talented Elizabeth for having me today! I’m looking forward to getting to know so many more of you and having the privilege to be part of your quilting journey.
Nicole Christoffersen
IG: @kwilter100


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Posted in Tutorials

Making a Whole Cloth Quilt with 4 Layer Gauze

Make a Whole Cloth Quilt with 4 Layer Gauze

Learn to make a quilt with 4 layer gauze.  This is one of the easiest quilts you could ever make, and you will love it.  Here are the 2 quilts I made using 4 layer gauze.

What is 4 Layer Gauze

Gauze is a light, thin, loosely woven fabric.   4 layer gauze is simply, that: 4 layers of gauze attached together.  The 4 layers are basted together every ½” or so with almost undetectable basting stitches.  That’s why the fabric looks flat at first, but when washed it gets that crinkly look.


What is a Whole Cloth Quilt

A whole cloth quilt is a quilt that is made of just one (or two) single layers of cloth.  There is no cutting or piecing.  It truly is the easiest quilt to make.  In fact, a single layer would almost not qualify to be called a quilt, except I did a little hand quilting, so we will call it a quilt.  The only thing I did beyond hand quilting for both versions, was a binding.  But besides that, it is so simple!

How To Make A Whole Cloth Quilt With 4 Layer Gauze

To make a whole cloth quilt with 4 layer gauze:

  1.  Choose what fabrics you want to use.
    1. If you pick want different fabrics for front and back, pick which fabric you want to use.
      1. I have seen people buy bed sheets they like and use the two sheets as the front and back of a whole quilt cloth.  It’s an easy way to avoid piecing fabrics together to make it large enough.
    2. You CAN use just one layer of cloth, like my 4 layer gauze.
    3. You can use batting if you want, it’s personal preference.
  2. Decide how you want to quilt your whole cloth quilt.
    1. This can be any way you like!  If you have 4 layer gauze, you actually don’t need to do any quilting at all.
    2. You can do hand quilting, machine quilting, decorative, straight line.  Anything you want!
  3. Pick out fabric for the binding. 
    1. Your whole cloth quilt WILL need a binding.
    2. Download my binding cheat sheet here to see how many strips of binding you need based on what size quilt you make.
      Quilt Binding Cheat Sheet
    3. My favorite binding tutorial is HERE, from Alison of Cluck Cluck Sew.
  4. Quilt your Whole Cloth Quilt
    1. If you are putting two fabrics together, you NEED to quilt so as the fabrics stay together.
      1. Check out my blog post on 3 WAYS TO FINISH A QUILT BY HAND.
    2. If you are using (1) 4 layer gauze fabric as a whole cloth quilt, you actually don’t even need to quilt it.  Can it still be called a quilt at that point?  I’m not sure . . .  However, I loved adding hand quilting to mine just for the look.
      4 Layer Gauze Quilt
  5. Wash your Whole Cloth Quilt
    1. This is the fun part!  If you use 4 layer gauze for your quilt, after you wash it, the texture becomes amazing!  It gets crinkly and soft and oh, so wonderful!


Fabrics I Used and Where to Find Them

For my Whole Cloth Quilts, I mentioned I got my gauze from Field and Cloth.  That is a small shop, however, and they only had a small supply of the 4 layer gauze.  Here are a few other places to find some:

  • Etsy.  Type ‘4 Layer Gauze’ in the search bar and you will find independent shops that carry 4 layer gauze.
  • Birch Fabrics.  They just started carrying Organic 4 layer gauze.
  • Shannon Fabrics.  In the search magnifying glass, type GAUZE.  Shannon fabrics is THE place to find soft and cuddly fabrics, by the way. Love her stuff!
Earth Magic fabric for Cotton and Steel
  Earth Magic Line

For the front of my whole cloth quilt, when I used decorative fabric, I decided to use Magical Mushroom by Erin McManness of Paper Raven Co for Cotton and Steel Fabrics.  Her entire line is AMAZING and a current favorite.  But I picked this particular color because it’s soft, goes with my home decor, and I just had to have it.  You know the feeling, am I right?

Magical Mushroom Fabric, Earth magic by Paper Raven Co.
                                                                                    Mystical Mushroom Fabric

The Finished Whole Quilt Cloth

Here are my end products.  I hope you get a chance to make a whole quilt cloth.  It’s super fast and easy, and great to have!


Be sure to check out my other tutorials

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Posted in Tutorials

How To Make A Rag Quilt


Learn How To Make A Rag Quilt – The EASIEST Beginner Quilt

How To Make a Rag Quilt

The Easiest Beginner Quilt

Do you want to learn how to make a rag quilt?  It is one of the EASIEST quilts you can make, plus everyone will love it.  You can make a quick baby quilt, or make a larger size for yourself.  I was lucky to use Day Dream, Patty Basemi’s first line of fabric for Art Gallery Fabrics. 

Baby Rag Quilt - Easiest Beginner Quilt

WHAT YOU NEED to make a Rag Quilt

To make a rag quilt, you will need fabric, batting, a sewing machine, thread, and scissors.  I will give you fabric requirements for 2 sizes of Rag Quilts: a baby size and a lap size.

How to make a rag quilt


1 ⅜ yards of decorative fabric OR you can use fabric from your stash.  You only need (48) 6″ squares total for your front fabric.  This is a great way to use your stash!

1 ⅜ yards for backing fabric.

30″ x 40″ piece of batting, or (48) 5″ squares of batting.


3 3/8 yards of decorative fabric OR you can use fabric from your stash.

3 3/8 yards for backing fabric.

50″ x 60″ piece of batting, or (120) 5″ squares of batting.

Cutting Fabric for Rag Quilt

BABY (6 blocks x 8 blocks) – 30″ x 40″

  1. Cut (48) 6″ squares from backing fabric
  2. Cut (48) 6″ squares from decorative front fabric
  3. Cut (48) 5″ squares from batting

LAP (10 blocks x 12 blocks) – 50″ x 60″

  1. Cut (120) 6″ squares from backing fabric
  2. Cut (120) 6″ squares from decorative front fabric
  3. Cut (120) 5″ squares from batting

Sewing Fabrics for Rag Quilt

    1. Layer (1) backing square, wrong side up, (1) batting square, and (1) decorative front square, right side up.  Place the fabrics wrong side together so that the decorative parts of the fabric face out.  Take care to center the batting.
      Layering fabric and batting for a rag quilt.
        Sew an ‘X’ from corner to corner on your fabric sandwich from step 1.

      How to make a rag quilt

  1. Repeat this for all of your fabric sandwich squares.  (48) Total for baby size.  (120) Total for lap size. 

Making Rows for Rag Quilt

  1. Place (2) fabric sandwich squares together with the backing fabric touching.  This is different from most other quilts, as you will have your finished seams on the front of the quilt.  I made the mistake of sewing my squares with the decorative fabrics touching.  See my photo below of how that turned out.
    How to make a rag quiltThis shows the backing fabrics touching.

How to make a rag quilt

Here you can see where I have the seams going to the BACK of the quilt. I had to unpick this and redo them so the seams came to the front of the quilt.

  1. Sew one side of the squares together with a ½” seam allowance.  Open.  Your seam is facing the front of your quilt, which is exactly what you want.

    How to make a rag quilt

  2. Keep adding additional squares, one at a time, with backing fabrics touching, to make (1) long row.  All seams should be on the front of the quilt, sticking out.
  3. Baby: sew 8 rows of 6 blocks.
  4. Lap: Sew 12 rows of 10 blocks.

Making Quilt Top for Rag Quilt

  1. Pin (2) rows with backing fabric touching.  Place pins at each corner to make sure the corners match.  Seams should go in opposite directions, but you don’t need to worry too much about this.  This quilt is very forgiving when it comes to which direction your seams go.
  2. Sew row together with ½” seam allowance.  Open. Your seams should be facing the front of your quilt.
  3. Keep sewing rows together with backing fabric touching to make the quilt.
  4. Sew all around the outside edge of your quilt using a ½” seam allowance.
  5. Take scissors and cut your seams on the front of your quilt.  Make sure to stop at the seam and do not cut onto the quilt top.
    I spaced my snips about ½” apart, but you do not need to measure.  Just use your eye and whatever distance apart you prefer.
    How to make a rag quilt
  6. When all seams have been cut, wash and dry your rag quilt.
  7. Enjoy your fluffy fraying rag quilt!

If you liked this free quilt tutorial, be sure to see my other free tutorials and patterns:

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Posted in Tutorials

How to Make Turned Edge Appliqué Circles

How to Make Turned Edge Appliqué Circles

While the concept of Turned Edge Applique has been around for ages, it has more recently gotten much easier than it was in the past! In this post, you’ll learn how to easily make perfect appliqué circles to add an extra flare to your next quilting project.

Hi, I’m Emily from Homemade Emily Jane here to show you how I make perfect turned-edge appliqué circles in a fun, modern way. Grab some scraps of fabric and join me in making a few of these circles – you’ll soon be hooked!

Gather Your Supplies:

  • Fabric Scraps & coordinating thread
  • Applipops
  • Liquid Starch (Sta-flo is recommended, but Elmer’s Glue can work too!)
  • Hot Iron
  • Sewing Machine

I was personally always a bit intimidated by appliqué circles, because I had this idea in my mind that they were hard to make and needed to be hand sewn. Thankfully, neither of those are true! I recently learned how to make perfect turned edge appliqué circles using a small metal device that made all the difference for me and attached them to my project using a sewing machine.

The secret to my success is through using a small device called Applipops. These small round metal circles work as a template as well as an ironing tool to help make perfect circles. Let me show you how they work! You can watch this video or follow along in the images below.

You can use code  EMILYJANE to save 10% on

How to Make Perfect Appliqué Circles

The first thing to do is decide what size circles you want to make for your project. Applipops come in sets of sizes that make it really easy! You can get them in ½” increment sizes or ⅜” increments. I personally got 2 of each set. The project I’m making to demonstrate this technique is a small quilt block that features 9 circles. To add a fun modern aspect to the design, I decided to make 3 large circles, 4 medium size circles, and 2 small circles.

Once you’ve decided what sizes you want to make, grab the scraps of fabric you plan to use for the circles. Arrange your fabric inside two circles that lock it into place.

Trim about a ¼” around the edge of the smaller circle. (this is the part that gets turned under) The right side of your fabric should be showing on top of the smaller circle.

Flip your circle over so the wrong side is up, and dampen your raw edges with starch. Sta-flo liquid starch is recommended but I’ve found that you can also use glue in a pinch. I tried it with Best Press and it worked a little bit, but I had much more success with glue.

Gently and evenly arrange your raw edges towards the center of your circle. Make sure the puckers are as even as possible and there aren’t any sharp points around the circle. 

Use the hot iron to press it all into place. The heat from the iron will dry the starch. Once the starch is dry, take the iron off and let the circles cool down. Since the applipops are made of metal, and metal conducts heat, they will also get very hot. Be careful not to burn yourself! 

Once cooled, you’ll be able to separate the circles and pop the center circle out of the fabric. 

Press your fabric one more time without the applipops. Repeat this process to make your desired amount of turned edge appliqué circles.

Appliquéing the Circles into Place 

Attaching your circles onto your fabric is actually quite easy! Begin by pinning your circles into place on a piece of background fabric. You could also use fusible web to temporarily adhere them, but I found pins to be just fine. 

Next, get your sewing machine ready. I recommend threading your sewing machine with a thread that matches your circle. You can use a normal straight stitch if you like, but I prefer a blanket stitch. If you can adjust the speed on your machine, make it super slow. 

Carefully and slowly begin stitching around the edges of one of your circles. 

When using a blanket stitch I try to line it up so that the straight stitches are “in the ditch” between the circle and the background and then the sideways stitches come out onto the circle to tack it into place. If you’re using a straight stitch you’ll want them all to be on your circle, an ⅛” or less away from the edge. 

Repeat the stitching process around the edges of all your circles.

Finishing your Appliqué Circles Sewing Project

Consider turning your small appliqué project into something like a mug rug, pot holder, or zipper pouch!

Applique Circles Mug Rug tutorial free, free applique circles tutorial, how to make perfect applique circles easy, easy applique for modern quilting

More Quilting Tutorials

If you enjoyed this sewing project tutorial, be sure to follow Emily on Instagram, Pinterest, or YouTube, and check out some of the other free quilting tutorials on


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Posted in Digital Downloads, Tutorials

FREE Quilt Care Card

Free Quilt Care Card

Do you want a free Quilt Care Card?  Since it’s close to the holiday season and gift giving is near, I am sharing something to personalize your gift giving.  Now if you are giving a QUILT that you handmade, it’s hard to make it more personal than that.  But there is something you can add to make the presentation extra fun.  Let me share what I mean.

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Posted in Digital Downloads, Patterns, Tutorials

Free Gingham Quilt Pattern + Tutorial

Get this FREE Gingham Quilt Pattern and Tutorial

Do you want a free gingham quilt pattern and tutorial?  I am sharing how I made this pattern a little different from other gingham quilt patterns, and also sharing a FREE download for the quilt pattern.  GET FREE PATTERN HERE.

My name is Elizabeth Chappell, and I am the owner of Quilters Candy.  I write quilt patterns, am offering a course on how to sell and write quilt patterns, and I host an online modern quilt guild.  I am excited to share this tutorial and free pattern on Amy’s blog.

GIngham Quilt in Orange Fabrics by Art Gallery Fabrics


Every other gingham quilt pattern I found had a border that didn’t make my OCD tendencies happy.  If you notice most Gingham Quilts have a border with mis-matching fabrics.  That is why I created this new pattern with a border that has matching fabrics on all sides.  Note the difference in these two photos:

Gingham Quilt Free Pattern

I wanted a Gingham Quilt pattern that looked like the quilt on the bottom.  I wanted a border that had matching fabrics on all sides.  Yet I couldn’t find a gingham pattern (for free or for purchase) that had that.  So I decided to write one, using the simplified strip piecing method.  Get the free pattern HERE.

Strip Piecing your own Gingham Quilt

To make a gingham quilt, there is an easier way than cutting each square and sewing them together.  This easier method is called Strip Piecing.  This is what strip piecing entails:

  • Cutting strips of fabric.
  • Sewing those strips together.
  • Cutting the strips into new strips made up of squares.
  • Sew those newly cut strips (with squares) together.

Steps to Making Free Gingham Quilt

  • Cutting Fabric Strips.  My version of the pattern calls for cutting strips 5 ½” x WOF.

cutting fabric for gingham quilt

  • Pin and sew alternating fabric strips together.  You will want the free pattern download for this step, as it tells you how many and which color strips to sew together.
  • Sew matching strips together, alternating rows so it goes Fabric A, Fabric B, Fabric A, Fabric B, and so on.

Free Gingham Quilt Pattern Tutorial

How to Make a Gingham Quilt + Free Pattern and Tutorial

  • Press seams all in one direction.

Free Gingham Quilt Tutorial

  • Cut your sewn together strips into new rows.  This step will give you strips with squares.  NOTE: Because your fabric is too large to fit on a cutting mat, I carefully fold my sewn together strips in half.  I then press it with an iron and fold in half again.  Make sure your edges line up.  This way you can cut you fabric easily.  However, if you do not fold your fabric carefully in this step, your squares will be wonky.
  • With your new strips that have squares in them, sew alternating rows together.

Steps to making a Gingham Quilt

  • NOTE: Be sure to pin at each corner so the corners match and the seams nest.
  • Sew all rows together.

Finishing Your Gingham Quilt Top - Free pattern and tutorial

  • Press seams in one direction, and your quilt top is ready to be quilted!  That’s it.  This can be done in a matter of hours.
  • Quilt in your desired method.  I, personally, love to use a minky backing when I can, and send it to a long arm quilter.  I consider it treating myself. 😉

Free Gingham Quilt Pattern made with blue fabrics


All you need to do now is decide what fabrics you want to use to make your gingham quilt!  Be sure to use the hashtags #QuiltersCandy and #GinghamLove so we can see your finished quilt.

If you like this tutorial, be sure to visit my other free tutorials, like this one on DIY Spray Starch.  Not to mention using spray starch to make your quilt will help your points to match!

More photos of my two versions, one with orange fabrics, the other with blues.

Orange fabrics: Warp and Weft by Alexia Marcelle Abegg for Ruby Star Society.  Colors: Warp Weft Wovens Persimmon, Warp Weft Wovens Dahlia, and Warp Weft Wovens Natural.  Backing, Leos Orchard by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics.

Blue Fabrics: Peppered Cotton by Cottoneer in the following colors: Lake, Fog, and Oyster.



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Posted in Patterns, Tutorials

Free Beginner Quilt Pattern, ‘Playtime’

Learn to make this ‘Playtime’ Quilt with a Free Tutorial

I’m excited to share this free ‘Playtime’ Beginner Quilt Pattern + Tutorial.  The ‘Playtime’ quilt is a beautiful and simple modern quilt that you’ll love.

Free beginner quilt tutorial for Playtime Quilt

Needed Fabric to make Playtime Quilt

The overall finished quilt size is 37″ x 53″.  Here are the fabrics you’ll need to make your own beginner Quilt:

  1. (1) Jelly Roll, or (30) 2 ½” x 42″ strips of fabric.  I used a jelly roll because it is already cut and ready to go.  Talk about convenient!
  2. (29) 1 ¾” x 42″ strips of fabric in various colors.  These will make the colorful strips you see in the quilt.
  3. Backing – (1) 60″ x 42″ piece of fabric for the backing.
  4. Batting – at least 60″ x 42″ batting.  I used Dream Puff Batting, because I like how puffy and soft it makes the finished quilt.  But you can use whatever kind you prefer.
  5. Binding – (5) 2 ½” x 42″ strips of fabric for binding.

How to Make Your Free Beginner Quilt

This free beginner quilt pattern is SUPER fun and easy to put together.  If there’s one area you can save time, it’s in making your colorful strips of fabric.  You can find some pre-made strips and save a LOT of time HERE.

Making Colorful Strips

  • Take (1) 1 ¾” x 42″ strip.  Lay it out on a flat surface and starting at one end, fold in half.  As you fold in half, place your iron on your strip to set your crease.

Making Quilt Binding for Playtime Quilt

Fabrics used for a pre-made binding kit

The fabrics Bessie Pearl is using for pre-made strips to make your ‘Playtime’ Quilt

Sewing Strips Together

Now that you have your binding strips, you are ready to sew your fabrics together.

  • Take (1) jelly roll piece, or 2 ½” x 42″ strip of fabric.  Lay it out on a flat surface.  Iron it to make sure its totally flat.
  • Place one of your binding strips, raw edge to raw edge, along that top of your jelly roll strip.
  • Place a second jelly roll strip on top, to make a sandwich.  Be sure that all raw edges line up.  I place pins as layer the top jelly roll strip.  Note in the photo below how I place my pins.  This placement makes it easy to take the pins out as I sew.

Free Modern Quilt Pattern and Tutorial

  • Double check both front and back of your pieced sandwich.  Make sure all the edges are evenly lined and pinned together.
  • Sew your fabric strips together, pulling out pins as you go.
  • Keep adding one binding strip at a time following the steps above.
  • You can press seams as you go, or wait until the end and press them all at once.

Your quilt will look like this from the back as you add rows and press your seams: (You can see where I sprayed water in this photo if you look closely.  I found that spraying water helped the seams lay flat).

Free Modern Quilt Tutorial Strip Assembly

Quilting Your Playtime Quilt

Ideas for quilting:

  • Hand quilt a straight line on each of the jelly rolls, either with one color of thread or changing up the colors of thread.
  • Quilt right along the seam of the color strips of fabric and the jelly roll to hide the quilting. (What I did).
  • Do a fun wave or design on the jelly roll with a machine.

I’ll share with you how I quilted my quilt top, but there are so many fun ways you could quilt this.

How I Quilted my Playtime Quilt

I wanted all the seams on one side of my quilt to go one direction, and the seams on the opposite side of my quilt to go the other direction.  I love that this quilt is a 3D quilt, and I wanted to strips of fabric to really pop.

I also wanted the place where the seams change direction to be in a certain place, to give the affect of a ripple or wave.

A free modern quilt pattern for Playtime Quilt

To make sure that the seam direction stayed in the place where I wanted it, I placed a pin on each strip of binding / color fabric where the seam changed direction.

How to prepare your quilt for quilting

I sewed along the seam in a straight line.

How to quilt on your domestic machine

When the seam changed direction, I stopped sewing, then started sewing on the other side of the color strip / binding piece.

Free Modern Quilt Pattern and Tutorial

Finishing Your Quilt

When the quilting was done, it was easy to trim the backing and batting and add binding as normal.  I wondered how thick the quilt would be with so many layers of fabric.  I wondered if sewing the binding on might be difficult, but my needle had NO problem going through the layers of fabric and adding my binding as normal.

The End Product

Here is a look at the quilt all finished.  I will admit that the cool affect of the wave was lost a little after washing the quilt.  But the colorful fabric binding pieces looked beautiful and like ruffly ribbon after washing and drying the quilt.  I am a MAJOR fan of this quilt design, and fully plan to make a larger size for myself.

Free modern quilt pattern and tutorial

Playtime Quilt, a free modern quilt pattern and tutorialHere is the Quilt Top after washing and drying it.  You can see how the fabric becomes more ribbon / lace-like.

Other Tutorials

If you enjoyed this Free Beginner Quilt Pattern, you will love these others that I share:





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3 Ways to Finish a Quilt by Hand

Amanda from Broadcloth Studio shares 3 Ways To Finish Your Quilt by Hand (besides a running stitch)

Hi, folks, Amanda of @broadclothstudio here. Before we go any further, I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t like machine quilting.  *GASP* I know.

Now, before you turn your back on me, let me be clear: I like when other people machine quilt things, but I just don’t enjoy it.  To be fair, this may be because I grew up hand sewing and only got a machine a couple years ago. Or maybe it’s because my mother instilled the fear of [insert your personal direst of consequences here] if I ever played around with her favorite sewing machine. But, I think it’s because when you hand quilt and finish a project you have a very different tactile experience: as you work your way around the quilt, it’s like giving hundreds of little hugs to the quilt. The batting gets softer and squishier as you go. And because it takes so long to do (let’s call a spade a spade here), there is a lot of quality time spent with the quilt, making for a memorable experience.

But to be honest, sometimes I don’t have the time (or the energy or the patience or the interest) to hand quilt an entire quilt.  And since I really don’t like machine quilting, I’m always looking for other options. Enter my current top three “alternative” quilting methods.

#1 Hand Tying

Finish a Quilt By Hand, Hand Tying

Hand tying is such a fun way to add texture to a quilt. I especially love it when used with a fluffy batting (like wool) because of the tufting effect. You can use floss, perle cotton, yarn, ribbon, or whatever floats your boat (though I’d suggest something on the heavier end of the thread spectrum to play up that textural element).

Thread your needle and make a regular running stitch through all the quilt layers where you want the knot to be, leaving a three inch tail. Make a backstitch through the original hole and back up through the layers of the quilt ending through the second hole. Tim the thread with a three inch tail and repeat the ties across the quilt as desired. Square knot all the stitches and trim the tails to your desired length.

Note: if you’re a little impatient like me, you can square knot each stitch as you go and then cut your thread (just leave a long enough tail so you can trim all your knot tails to a uniform size at the end) before moving onto the next stitch. It might not be the “correct” way to do it, but 1) who cares and 2) who will ever know?

#2 Cross Stich-ish

How to finish a quilt by hand

Hand Quilting, Bury a knot, 3 Ways to Finish a Quilt by Hand

I love the look of cross-stitch, but ugh, I hate the fact the back doesn’t mirror the front. Fortunately for us, thanks to the layers of a quilt, making the front and back mirror each other is easy.

Grab your needle and thread (I like to use a heavier floss). Make your knot and bury your thread as you normally would for hand quilting, coming up with the needle at one of the ends of the X (mark an X on your fabric with your favorite fabric marker/pen/pencil if that helps!). Make your first stitch along one of the lines of the X.  On the back, enter directly below the original hole, but instead of coming straight up to the front, “travel” through the batting and bring the needle to the front at the tip of the second line of the X.  Make your stitch along the second line of the X. On the back, complete the X and bury your knot (or travel through the batting to get to the next X). And voila! X marks the spot.

#3 Satin Stitch

Finish a Quilt By Hand, Satin Stitch


3 Ways to Finish a Quilt by Hand

Another borrowed-from-embroidery stitch (#quiltbroidery)! The satin stitch is super easy, and best of all, it looks the pretty much the same on the front and the back without any fancy traveling-through-the-batting stitch work. I like to use 12wt thread for this, but it’s also fun to play around with different thread weights for different texture.

Satin stitches are incredibly versatile as you’re basically coloring in a shape with thread. For demonstration’s sake, let’s start with a little circle.  Grab your fabric marker/pen/pencil of choice and draw a circle on your fabric. Grab your needle and thread, make your knot, and bury your thread as you normally would while hand quilting, coming up with your needle somewhere along the circumference of the circle.

Make a stitch directly across from where your needle came up, going perpendicularly through all the quilt layers. From the back, bring your needle back to the front side with a stitch that comes up right next to the original needle hole. Make a stitch parallel to your first stitch, entering right next to the first stitch but staying on the circumference. Continue stitching until half of the circle is complete then take your needle and weave it through the batting to come up on the other side of the original stitch. Repeat until the entire circle is filled in. Knot and bury your knot as usual.

Pretty easy-peasy. And just think of the options: you could satin stitch little squares, teardrops, leaves, or get fancy with negative space and leave a hole in the middle of a square.


So here’s my challenge to you: when you’re short on time or if you’re looking to add a little extra special twist of texture, try one of the above. Or riff on these ideas: the sky’s the limit with what shapes you can make!

Looking for some project ideas? How about:

  • A whole cloth pillow hand tied with five different shades of yarn to make an ombré effect
  • A baby blanket covered in tiny hand stitched hearts (or mix your cross-stitch and satin stitch to make an X’s + O’s blanket)
  • A wall hanging with a constellation or connect-the-dots pattern (maybe add in some hand quilting to connect the dots)

P.S. a note on supplies

Quilting Supplies, Hand Quilting Supplies

There are so many different ways to tackle any of the above stitches.  But in case it is helpful, here’s what’s in my hand-sewing kit these days (which is really just an old cookie tin):

  • Needles: When it comes to needles, I’m currently loving an assorted set of Sashiko needles I picked up years ago.
  • Thread: I love working with 12 wt cotton thread (pictured are Aurifil Cotton 12wt #2245, #2140 (this one is serious magic: it goes with everything), #5007) or floss (Aurifloss 1125 and 5015 are pictured above, but I’m also currently obsessed with #1104).
  • Scissors: Gingher Stork Embroidery Scissors always and forever
  • Marking Tools: I like Clover’s Chacopen Soluble Eraser Pen for light colored fabrics and General’s Pastel Chalk in White for my darks.
  • Thread Gloss: I highly recommend using thread gloss as it just makes life so much more easier (my go-to is Sew Fine Thread Gloss in Lemon Peel).
  • Hoop: When I’m hand quilting, I generally like to use a quilting hoop: for the cross-stitch-ish and satin stitch, I particularly like to use my smaller 12” one. Both of mine are probably considered “vintage” at this point and I can’t find them online, but just look for a sturdy wood hoop and you’ll be good to go!


If you’re looking for more “quiltbroidery” stitches, I’m collecting different ones over on as part of an ongoing project, so make sure to check them out (and if you’ve got any ideas of stitches to tackle next, questions on the above, or just want to say hi, send me an email at

If you like this tutorial, you’ll love the tutorial I have on Quilt Binding.  CLICK HERE to read that.

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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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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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