All posts by Nancy Mahoney

Nancy Mahoney

About Nancy Mahoney

Author, teacher, fabric designer, and award-winning quiltmaker, Nancy Mahoney has enjoyed making quilts for over 30 years, during which time an impressive range of her beautiful quilts have been featured in many books and in over 180 national and international quilt magazines. Nancy enjoys combining traditional blocks and updated techniques to create dazzling quilts. She doesn’t consider herself a specialist in one particular area, although Nancy’s favorite techniques include precision machine piecing, quilt design, and machine appliqué. When she’s not designing and making quilts, Nancy enjoys traveling to guilds and events around the country, sharing her quilts, teaching her piecing and machine appliqué techniques, and visiting gardens. Visit Nancy on her website,, for more quilting information and fun!


Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Paper Piecing

Have you ever wondered about the difference between English Paper Piecing and Paper Foundation Piecing? Although both techniques involve paper, and result in accurate piecing, the methods couldn’t be more different. English Paper Piecing is a hand sewing technique. Paper templates are cut from cardstock in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as hexagons, diamonds,…

Color Wave -- Colorful Quilts

Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Fusible Appliqué

Some quilters love patchwork and think appliqué is the “A” word. Other quilters choose appliqué over patchwork. For me, a bit of patchwork combined with a sprinkle of appliqué is the best of both worlds. My favorite appliqué method is fusible appliqué, which is fast and easy. There are many brands of fusible web on the market. Some brands have…

Spinning Pinwheels - EQ design

Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Using EQ7 to Design Quilt Patterns

When I began designing quilts in the mid-1980s, I used graph paper and colored pencils to create designs. Not only was it a time consuming process, but I had to visualize how the quilt design would look in actual fabric instead of colored pencils. In 1991, Electric Quilt (EQ) introduced their first software program for designing quilts. I was smitten…


Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Using Quilting Templates and Rulers

Are you ready to take your quilts to another level? Then it’s time to start making quilts with templates and specialty rulers. When I started quilting in the mid-1970s, I made my own templates from cardboard. I’d trace around the cardboard template and cut out the pieces using scissors. After tracing a few times, the template was no longer…


Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Choosing Colors for Quilt Patterns

Take the guesswork out of choosing colors for quilt patterns! Choosing fabric colors doesn’t have to be intuitive or instinctive, there are a practical ways to choose colors for quilt patterns. To gain confidence when choosing fabrics, for colorful quilts or even two-color quilts, it’s important to understand how colors go together and how color schemes…

Blooming Feathered Star Quilt

Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Star Quilts

Do you have a favorite quilt block? Mine is a star block and I love star quilts. My first finished quilt was made from quilt blocks that created a Variable Star block when set side-by-side. So, perhaps, that’s why star quilts are a go-to design for me. I love any star block! But, my absolute favorite is a Feathered…

Hocus Pocus Quilt

Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Table Toppers for Every Holiday

If you’re looking for a quick and easy weekend project, or even projects you can quilt in a day, why not work on table runner quilt patterns or table toppers? A topper is a beautiful way to decorate your table for any season. These small projects are prefect for practicing machine quilting or trying new techniques, such as fusible…

Golden Harvest Quilt

Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Seasonal Quilt Patterns

Fall doesn’t officially begin for another week or so, but Labor Day weekend and kids returning to school always seems to signal that fall has arrived. A lot of us take a break from quilting during the summer, but now is the perfect time to jump back into sewing. Especially, if you’re planning on making quilt patterns — scrap quilt…

Americana Quilt

Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Patriotic Quilts

Are you ready to celebrate with red, white and blue quilts? Rich in history, patriotic quilt patterns are perfect for decorating your home for the 4th of July, Labor Day, or Memorial Day. Whatever your summer plans, these quilt designs will help you get into the holiday spirit! I created “Shining Star” from Love of Quilting…

Electric Blue quilting detail

Nancy’s Quilting Classroom: Choosing Quilting Designs, Part 3

When I’m quilting an allover design, I might stitch an edge-to-edge design, disregarding the border lines; or, I might stitch the allover design in the center of the quilt and stitch a different design in the borders (see Part 1 for examples of both options). My decision of whether or not to quilt the borders separately depends on the quilt design, the width of the border, and how many borders I added to the quilt. Before choosing a design, I ask myself the following questions…