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Quilt Lessons

Definitions & Instructions Pg 2

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Please Note: These instructions are offered as a very general beginning guide only. They do not replace a good, complete quilting manual or actual quilting lessons.

Lattice / Sashing

Once your blocks are made and trimmed to the correct size, they must be joined together. They can be sewn directly together or they can be pieced together with lattice (also called sashing) between the blocks. In the photo on the right, the blocks are sewn together with lattice in between to form a row. In this case, the row itself is made up of solid blocks.
quilt lattice
Once you have finished your rows, the rows are joined together. Rows can be sewn directly together, or they can be sewn together with a row of lattice between the rows of blocks. In the picture below, the yellow strips are the lattice pieces.

For example, a King size quilt measures approximately 107" x 108". The free
bear claw quilt block pattern on this site measures 14" x 14" when finished. If you use 3" sashing (lattice) between blocks, a 4" border around the top edge and two side edges, and a 5" border on the lower edge, you will have a finished quilt size of 107" width by 108" length. In the diagram below, you would need a total of 108" in length (purchase 3.5 yards of fabric to be sure to cover this: this allows for some shrinkage as well)for the outer (pink) borders. You will also need 3.5 yards for the lattice between blocks and between rows (this also allows for some shrinkage).

It is useful to draw out your plan as we have done. It does not have to be to scale. We know that each block measures 14". The lattice measures 3" in width, the borders are 4" (top border) and 5" (bottom border). In our sample, 36 (thirty-six) 14" quilt blocks are needed. If you are not using lattice or borders, you will need more quilt blocks. You will also need more quilt blocks if your blocks are smaller. Again, graph paper is a big help at this point. Remember to add 1/4" seam allowance on each side. For example, for a border piece of 4" x 99", you would cut the piece to 4.5" x 99.5" (measure your quilt rows before cutting the long lattice and border pieces in case you need a slightly longer length - some of your blocks may end up slightly larger than 14" if they did not square down perfectly). NOTE: In the photo above, we inserted 3.5" squares into our long rows of lattice.

Our example - border:
Sides: 2 strips 4.5" x 99.5"
Upper: 1 strip 4.5" x 107.5"
Lower: 1 strip 5.5" x 107.5"

Lattice between blocks:
30 strips 3.5" x 14.5"

Lattice between rows:

5 strips 3.5" x 99"
king quilt lay-out

Machine & Accessories

Quilting can be accomplished with a basic sewing machine, but having some "extras" can be a real blessing. Machines designed for quilting have more embroidery stitches than a basic machine (though not as many as a "true" embroidery machine). These stitches can be used for decorative machine quilting. Large work space attachments are available, which are important when you are handling a large quilt. You might also consider a long arm quilting machine with frame. For more information on sewing and quilting machines go to: Sewing Machines.


Sewing perfect points in quilting can be a real challenge. Blocks and pieces of blocks are designed to have a 1/4" seam allowance all around the edge. When joining a triangle to a square, 1/4" must be added to each side that contains a point. In the upper set of diagrams at right, the square is cut to 2.5", but the triangle measures 2.75" x 2.75". Why? Because as you move in to the stitch line, the top of the triangle comes down. This must be allowed for. The top photo shows where the stitch line will be. Because extra was allowed, there is room to make this seam on the triangle piece; the top of the seam on the triangle will be even with the top of the seam on the square piece.
triangle quilt piecing
Sewn and pressed open
NOTE: when the first piece of binding (this can be edging or another quilt block) is added it appears that the point has been cut off. That is ok because when the next side is added, the point is back.
When stitching your next piece, your stitch line should run right over the tip of the point. stitching quilt point
When you have a finished block containing a point along a side, the point should be 1/4" from the edge.

Refer to the photo on the right.
sewing points quilting
When sewing a piece with a point to another block, be sure to sew exactly where the seams of the point cross (which should be 1/4" away from the edge). This way, the point will end up right on the edge of the finished block. Refer to the photo on the right and below. sewing points quilting
finished point
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