Quilting Tips and Hints

Black,Friday,wish,list #Quiltingtipsandhints

Quilting Tips and Hints

It has been many years that I have spent sewing and quilting so I thought that now was the time to write something on quilting tips and hints that might make this exciting journey of quilting easier for people just starting out on this exciting new journey.

You will have already been “bitten” by the quilting bug and more than likely have a bit of a stash carefully stowed in a cupboard and cannot possibly go past a fabric store without finding some irresistible piece that you just have to have.


Let me tell you the story of what happened to me after being “bitten” by the quilting bug and some of the Quilting Tips I learned along the way.

Through chance and good fortune, I began working at Dot’s Quilts, quilting large quilts on industrial machines. It was a challenge but I absolutely loved it.

While working there, I did a couple of quilting courses with a very well-known quilter in the Cape Town area named Helen Granville. She taught us the importance of having the backing fabric “drum tight” so as not to get creases in the back and so many other very valuable lessons in the art of quilt making.

Una Cloete, with whom I worked also gave a wonderful course and it was the quilt I did with Una that I gave to my son for his birthday.

When I think of these two wonderfully talented women I am so thankful for the Quilting Tips that I had the privilege and pleasure of learning from them.

Will always think of the time at Dot’s Quilts and Dot herself with great affection and gratitude.

Years of Quilting and Learning Quilting Tips and Hints

Quilt made for my daughter, Lauren's 40th Birthday. Read more at JillAlexa.com #QuiltingFromTheHeart

Over many years I have had the joy and pleasure of quilting precious memories and these are some that I shall always hold dear.

These are in no particular order.

There were many others made for friends and also as orders and I enjoyed making them all.

The blue and white quilt I made for my daughter Lauren’s 40th birthday gift. It is made in the log cabin pattern and has hearts around the border.

A brightly colored Jacobs Ladder quilt made for Greg and Kelly, my son and daughter-in-law.

My granddaughter Kate’s Sea scape Dolphin quilt made to celebrate her 16th birthday

The Beatitude quilt I made for my granddaughter Skyler.

Three baby quilts I made for my grandson Benjamin.

The quilt on my bed. How could I forget that?

Quilting Tips and Hints -A Season for Everything

The Good Book says, there is a time (Season) for everything, and what truth there is to that. Now, after being down on the floor laying out a quilt, I definitely need a helping hand to get up.

Quilting Tips and Hints - tips and hints that might make this exciting journey of quilting easier for people just starting out on this exciting new journey.I have reached the time when I no longer feel like crawling around the floor pinning the backing down to my lounge carpet, (even if I still had one) until it was drum tight.

Then spread the batting on top, very carefully, then even more carefully placing the top of the quilt in exactly the correct place, and then, heaven forbid. Tacking, row by row, the whole thing together in evenly spaced blocks.

Although I quilted all of these on my normal, trusty, old Bernina, not having a quilting machine, it was just a matter of getting used to it.

My advice would be to buy or put on your wish list, a Quilting Machine. This would make your life so much easier.

When I began doing free-motion quilting it was quite a laugh as I found my whole body moving instead of just moving my hands. The other quilters must have found my movements really funny.

Oh well, we live and learn.

How times have changed?  When moving out of the house and into a Retirement Complex I found that although I have a lovely sewing room, it is small.

There is no carpet on which to lay out quilt pieces and pin it all together ready for tacking and quilting.

Although I realize I am getting older and need to change my life a bit, I still miss the things I was able to do.

Now the time for making large king and queen-sized quilts is over for me.

I now concentrate on Single beds and Baby Quilts.

These are more manageable in the space I have to work in.

They can also be laid out on a trestle table so no more crawling around the floor.

There is nothing like a little TLC after working on a quilt, especially after all the pinning. It takes a lot of patience and often sore knees and back. What a difference a massage makes to keep one happy and relaxed.

What a Bonus to find the Right Fabric for a Project- Quilting Tips and Hints

On road trips around the country, it was no problem for us to make an unplanned stop when I spotted a fabric shop that was calling out to me.


What fun it was going into these glorious fabric treasure troves and looking for exactly the right piece for the quilt I was busy on or was planning to make.

The people who own the stores or work in them are always so helpful and happy to give great Quilting Tips. They are so happy with what they are doing. Nothing is too much bother. One is tempted to buy more than one needs or some of the amazingly interesting notions that go along with quilting.

Quilting Tips and Hints

  • When pressing the seams when piecing together, don’t use the steam function on the iron, it could stretch the fabric.
  • Press as you go along and don’t forget to measure your squares as you go and cut them to the correct size.
  • Work on a spare piece of fabric to make sure everything is going well.
  • The machine must be correctly threaded and the settings correct.
  • It is not a good idea to roll up your quilt while doing free-motion quilting.  It won’t work like that, it will be too thick to move to begin sewing from the middle outwards,  Then from the middle to the other side, then up, then down. This will keep the fabric from puckering
  • Keep your stitches an even length, which you might find  takes a lot of practice
  • Don’t throw away the small pieces of fabric as they can be used in another quilt
  • Some darker fabrics may run when washed so it is advisable to soak in hot water until it is cool and then hand the fabric out to dry.
  • I don’t wring the fabric but hang it soaking wet and let the breeze dry it. You will find very few creases if you do it this way.
  • It is usual to put a label on the back of a quilt. This will show the date made, and for whom, message if you want to put one on. A good idea is also to put on the cleaning instructions as not everyone knows how to care for a quilt
  • Soak the quilt in soapy water, no detergent, then rinse out all soap. Squeeze excess water out and hang out to dry.
  • Store the now clean quilt in an old cotton pillowcase or old cotton sheet, these can often be purchased from Church Bazaars.
  • The best advice I can give is to join a Quilting Class and also Quilter’s Guild, where you will meet wonderful people as well as learn from the best.
  • This can be enormous fun and very rewarding.

Quilting Tips and Hints With Black Friday and Christmas Around the Corner

It is a good time to make out your wish list. I know what would be on mine.

This is what mine would have on it:

A new Bernina Quilting Machine

Happy Quilting Everyone

I hope I have been able to help with some Quilting Tips and Hints.

Feel sure you will have some to share with me too. Look forward to hearing from you all.

Jill Alexa

Jill of all Trades. Master of Many. Too busy to die.


  1. As of lately my mother has been interested in weaving.  Was just showing me about it the other day.

    I know quilting and weaving are different though.  Can you think of any pros and cons of both quilting and weaving?

    Lastly, which sources do you recommend for a newbie that is looking to get into quilting?  

    • Hi Garren, There a benefits in doing both, so many beautiful things to make as gifts or just to beautify your own house. It is also good to use your hands and mind as you produce something new and different. I cannot think of any cons but plenty of pros.

      For any newbie, the best place to look is on Pinterest or follow instruction on YouTube.

      All the best to you and your mother.


  2. I love the way you write!  You have such a great attitude 🙂  I would love to see more pictures of the quilts you have done 🙂  That blue one is absolutely beautiful!  I’m going to show this to my mom.  She loves to sew and quilt and I think she would really enjoy this site.  How fun to be able to stop at fabric stores on road trips and get something different for the pieces you were working on!  Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    • Hi Kaeyoes, Thank you for your lovely comments. The blue and white quilt I made especially with 40 hearts around the border to celebrate my daughter’s 40th birthday. It is beautiful.

      Perhaps you should take your Mom on a fabric hunting drive. It would be good fun for you both.

      All the best,


  3. YOU CAN EDIT AND ERASE THIS PART:  I noticed on your site that none of your articles appear in your menu above.  You need to go to appearance > menus > click on posts, get the missing posts, and drag them up to the tab you want them to appear under.  People won’t be able to find your posts on your site without the menu!  🙂

    ERASE ABOVE THIS __________________

    When my sister and I were younger, before we had children, we used to quilt together all the time.  It was not only fun, but it was actually therapeutic for me and I think for her as well.  We spent a lot of time together with our sewing machines side by side, and I am thinking of getting back into it again, now that the kids are grown.  I was looking around and saw your site, and I am so glad I found it, because I have to admit I’m a bit rusty!  LOL.  Thanks!

    • Wow, Babsie, You are a darling for giving me the tips. Will do that. Thank you.

      Am so pleased that you had these wonderful times with  your sister. Do hope you go back to quilting, it is such a beautiful hobby to have. 

      It will all soon come back to you.

      Best, wishes,


  4. Thank you for this great article about quilting. I have just got interested in this topic because one of my new colleagues makes very beautiful quilts. Although, your article is very interesting, it’s kind of too advanced for a beginner like me. What resources would you recommend for someone like me? Preferably online.

    Thanks again,


    • Hi Sandy, Thank you for commenting on my post. I would advise you to go onto Pinterest or Youtube and see what classes are offered. There are some especially for beginners.

      Wishing you all the best.


  5. Hey Jill,

    Thank you so much for sharing your quilting passion with us. 

    I have never quilted so far but hand-made quilts have come into my life on several occasions and I think they are such a wonderful way to express our creativity and uniqueness. They also make great personal gifts.

    My son has always been interested in sewing. Maybe I should introduce him to quilting and see how he reacts to the idea. 

    Oh, and you are so lucky to have a supportive husband who has always taken an active interest in anything you have done, including quilting. 🙂 

    I look forward to reading more about your quilting adventures and sharing them with my son.

    Many blessings,


    • HI Nathalie, Thank you for commenting on my post. I was very blessed to have such a supportive husband. I hope your son thinks this is a cool idea.

      Blessings to you too.


  6. Hello Jill. You have great Quilting Contents here. I am not familiar with quilting, but I have learnt alot from your quilting memories. Yeah you’re right about a Quilter owning his or her own machine as it certainly will make learning easier and faster too. You’re funny too ::: “…I found my whole body moving instead of just moving my hand.”

    • Hi Barry, Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post on quilting. Thank goodness I have learned to quilt without all the body movement, although perhaps could have lost a bit of weight that way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *