The Secret of Knowing How to Sew Quilts

August 21, 2013

What is the secret of knowing how to sew quilts?  I believe it is in having your sewing area well organized and having adequate “helpmates”.  There are quilt lessons you can take, all the wonderful fabrics for quilting and quilter supplies that you can purchase, and there are those free quilt patterns that you come across.  But, can you easily complete a project if you are not well organized and have the correct “helpmates”? It doesn’t matter if you have to sew on your kitchen table, or you have an area devoted strictly to sewing.  I’ve listed a few basic helpmates and guidelines that hopefully will assist you in your quilting journeyEveryone’s sewing space is different, so we all have to adjust to what area we have and make it the best possible working environment for ourselves as we continue to learn how to sew quilts. Lighting is extremely important.  Try and capture the most natural lighting - place your sewing machine and hand sewing chair by windows if possible.  Good overhead and task lighting are crucial to basically see what you are doing, and also to help prevent eye strain. A Sewing Machine “Table” and Chair go hand-in-hand.  A sturdy sewing table should be roughly 30” high.  It is nice to have some drawer space for some of your smaller quilter supplies, as well as threads.  Check with our Suppliers to see what options there are out there.   If you are partial to antiques, perhaps you can find an old library table or desk – one that doesn’t “shake, rattle & roll”.  Your chair should be height-adjustable and should also be comfortable for your back. Having your ironing surface and cutting table (both at a height of 36”) near each other is convenient.  It is also a good idea to have them a little distance away from your sewing machine if you want to get in a little exercise while working.  An ironing surface can be made by placing an old mattress pad, some Insul-Bright, and silicone fabric on top of a countertop (measuring 27” x 82”).  The cutting table top measures 3’ x 6’ and accommodates a large cutting mat.  It also has plenty of storage for fabrics and accessories.  Tall, deep inexpensive utility cabinets provide a lot of storage for fabrics for quilting.  A file cabinet is convenient to keep class projects organized and patterns separated. In this photo, a serger fits very well between two base cabinets and is tucked away until needed.  The countertop provides some extra work surface area, which Quilters can always use. What is your final step in making a quilt?  Make sure you have a comfortable chair with good task lighting to do your binding hand sewing.  And then relax a little with your latest favorite quilting magazine. Now you know the secret on how to sew quilts.  How do you have your sewing area organized, and what “helpmates” do you have?(see "Leave a Reply" below) Visit us at to see why quilting is……………A Great Habit.