Quilting Tips

There are all manner of tips submitted to Fons & Porter, from funny free motion quilting tips and surprising quilt binding techniques to clever ways to organize fabric and store your fabric scissors! The Fons & Porter editors consider every tip that’s sent to us, sharing those that are particularly creative or unique. We value all of our fellow quilters and their ideas! Take a look for yourself – you might find something that enhances your quilting journey.


Floor tiles make the best templates. Press paper pattern onto the adhesive side of a self-stick floor tile. Cut the template out on the line with a scissors or utility knife. These templates are sturdy and can be used with a rotary cutter. –Janet Madren Perry, IA

Decorative Stitches

I save scraps of stabilizer and use them behind ribbon to test decorative stitches. The ribbons are fun to use on scrapbook pages. –Martha Intorcia Smyrna, TN

Flannel Binding

This is a fun way to finish flannel quilts for children. Cut straight binding strips 2″ or 2½” wide. Sew to back of one side of quilt right sides together. Turn binding to front and stitch through all layers, covering binding stitching line (I use a serpentine stitch). Clip binding to make fringe. Repeat for…

Quilt Marking

Instead of using a marking pencil with a quilt stencil, I use a foam paintbrush. I dip it into loose chalk, and dab it over the stencil. It’s really quick! Judy Cooper Cripple Creek, CO Mariner’s Compass Pincushion Quilt Pounce

Safety Pin Storage

I store my curved safety pins on long stitch holders that knitters use. I leave the pins open, and slip them onto the stitch holders. The holders are hung above my sewing table, ready to use. Sheryl McCall, Prineville, OR Fons & Porter’s 50 Quilting Tips DVD

Choosing Colors

I lay my blocks on pieces of construction paper to help me decide what colors to use for borders on my quilts. Viewing it at home gives me a plan for fabric shopping. When I decide what color family works, I head for that section in the fabric store. Georgia Summit, West Lafayette, OH Fabric…

English Paper Piecing

I use plastic folders to make patterns for English Paper Piecing. Instead of making piles of patterns out of card stock, I only need to make a few of these and use them over and over again. Trace the pattern, cut it out, and punch a hole in the center. Then fold the fabric over…

Cushion for Knees

I use a garden kneeling pad when arranging blocks or layering backing, batting, and quilt top on a floor. It’s more comfortable for my knees than the hard floor. Anna WhiteMcGraw, NY  

Easy Cutting

Before I start a new quilt, I transfer the cutting instructions to a dry erase board. As I cut, I erase that size and move on. It’s easier than looking at the instructions in the magazine. Diantha WentlingStone Lake, WI  

Plastic Templates

When I need to make a template, I copy the pattern on sticky-back paper, and then adhere the pattern to plastic. This allows me to skip one step (tracing) to make the template more accurate. Judy GregoryIdanha, OR  

No Husbands Allowed

My friend’s husband was helping her pin the layers of her quilt in preparation for quilting. After awhile, she looked over and said, “You haven’t gotten very much pinned.” His reply was, “I’ve been spending my time straightening these pins!” Priceless! Dottie AlexanderDuncan, OK  

Hexagon Template

I cut a hexagon out of a square of template plastic to use for a Grandmother’s Flower Garden template. It’s easier to trace inside the shape than around the outside. Eleanor BeebeHouston, TX  

Hand Piecing

As a beginning hand piecer, I was having trouble judging an accurate ¼” seam allowance, and didn’t want to mark stitching lines on every fabric shape. Now I place a piece of art tape along the edge of the piece and stitch along the tape. Chris Mars, Pawling, NY

Pressing Tool

My daughter-in-law is a new quilter. When she was learning about finger pressing, she discovered that the cap on her Fons & Porter seam ripper is handyfor pressing seams! She was so delighted that she had found another use for one of her new quilting notions. Lin Thompson, Monticello,IL