Quilting Tips and Tools

These are just a few tips and tools I found to be helpful in designing my quilts. I hope they will be helpful to you as well. Please let me know if a link doesn’t work.


Trying to find the right rotary ruler for your quilting project can be a bit confusing.  There are so many to choose from. Do you need a 6 1/2 inch by 24 1/2 inch ruler? Or a 6 inch by 12 inch ruler. How about square rulers?  There are so many sizes! Then there are the specialty rulers. It can be pretty daunting trying to decide what you need verses what is out there.

Start out with your basic rotary rulers. You should have either the 6 1/2 inch by 24 1/2 inch or the 6 inch by 12 inch. I started with the larger one and I am glad I did. I used it and still use it over and over. Now for a square ruler, there are a couple I highly recommend. You definitely need a 5 1/2 inch square ruler, and a 10 1/2 inch square ruler.  You will use these often, especially squaring up your half square and quarter square triangle blocks.

One other ruler I would recommend for you would be the Fons and Porter Quarter inch Seam Marker rulers. These are perfect for when you are making half square triangles and quarter square triangles.

These rulers should be your main rulers. From here you can get more as the need arises. Don’t forget to check out your favorite quilt stores and websites for periodic sales. That’s the best time to stock up on those special rulers to fill out your tools.



I thought today I would share a couple or three re-purposing/recycling ideas you can use in your sewing/quilting room.

I have been wanting a design board for some time. I have looked at some on line and in the stores but, like it is for most people, money is tight. So I came across this idea from a tip I read in a magazine, unfortunately I can’t remember which one it was. I believe I have also seen the same idea in a blog.

Anyway, I love my WIP board because it helps me keep my cut pieces organized and easy to find, but I need a design board when I am designing a quilt and I want to see how my blocks will work together. So the answer to not spending a lot of money was simple. I re-purposed an old vinyl tablecloth with the felt on the back.

My re-purposed design board
Re-purposed vinyl table cloth into design board

I clipped it to a curtain rod and voile’ my very own design board! The great thing about it is when I don’t need it, I can take it down, fold up and put it away. Easy peasy!

If any of you are like me and have limited space, finding ways to store your tools and notions can be a challenge. Also how to store them without taking up a lot of room.

If you have space under your cutting table (provided it isn’t your dining room table) you might want to look at storage drawers. You can get them with or without wheels. These can be found almost anywhere. The question you have to decide is do you want plastic, wood or metal?

Do you recycle those empty coffee cans and plastic food containers? I use mine for things like holding my extra clips, funky rulers that can’t hang, my button collection that I will use in a quilt design one day and other things. Just clean your container real well, make sure it is dry. Get your fabric scraps and a acid free glue stick and cover that container. Get creative with the outside of it by adding yarn twists, buttons, or glitter. If the lid will fit the bottom of your container snugly, use it, especially when you are using your old metal cans. That will help prevent them from leaving stains and scratches on your shelves, counter or cutting table.

If you have some creative re-purposing ideas for your sewing space you would like to share, leave a comment or send me an email at lodgepolequilting@gmail.com. I would love to know what they are and share them with everyone else.

Until next time – What’s on your walls?



Fabric Cuts
Back row: Layer Cake, Middle row: Fat Quarters (folded), Charms, Mini Charms Front: Jelly Roll Strips

Hey there everyone! this little tip is for those of us who get confused by all of the different fabric cuts. Yes, even I get confused, a lot. So when those fabric people start throwing in layer cakes I have to go “Huh?”

Thanks to Connectingthread.com I got a list of fabric cuts and what they are AND I am going to share them with you! So here we go:

CHARMS: 5″ square of fabric, usually sold in packs, that include one of every fabric in a collection, or a group of coordinating fabrics.

FAT EIGHTH: Half of a Fat Quarter, usually 18″x11″

FAT QUARTER: One quarter yard of fabric, but cut to be more usable for quilters – measures approx, 22″x18″.

JELLY ROLL STRIPS: Strips of fabric that measure 2.5″ x width of fabric, usually sold in packs that include one of every fabric in a collection, or a group of coordinating fabrics. These are also known as STRIPS.

LAYER CAKE: 10″ square of fabric, usually sold in packs that include one of every fabric in a collection, or a group of coordinating fabrics.

Jolly Bar - Jolly Bar Fabric by Moda

JOLLY BAR: (This one is a FatQuarterShop.com exclusive) 5″x10″ collection of fabric. Click on the link to check them out. They are pretty cool!

MINI CHARM: 2.5″x2.5″ square of fabric, usually sold in packs that include one of every fabric in a collection, or a group of coordinating fabrics.

I hope this abbreviated list helps you as you continue on your quilting journey. To get your own copy of Quilting Glossary Terms just click on Connecting Threads.

Until next time – Can I have a layercakejellyrolljollybar please?


One of my favorite tips I stumbled across is a cheat sheet for Half Square Triangles (HST). Finally, a cheat sheet that actually makes sense! Jacquelynne Steves did an awesome job of turning gibberish to something even I can understand.


Be sure to visit the provided link and follow Jacquelynne Steves. She has some pretty neat things and a great website.



A ruler is a ruler, right? Wrong. Some rulers are meant to assist in cutting straight lines. Some are square, triangle, hexagon and some help you make that last bit of binding perfect.

Then there are the rulers designed for machine quilting. Those are special. They are thicker than your cutting rulers. The markings are designed to be seen on light and dark fabric. Your sewing needle isn’t as apt to take a chunk out of it like it can with your cutting rulers.

These rulers come in different shapes and sizes. Angela Walters of Quilting Is My Therapy has designed four of these very nifty rulers. Let me just say I am excited to use the Slim on my quilted reversible tablecloth. Once I get my blocks all sewn together, of course. When I do get it finished, I will be sure to post it on the Designing Quilts page with a close up of the machine quilting. That way you can see what it will look like. Or check out Quilting Is My Therapy!

So don’t let anyone fool you. Just because a rose by any other name is still a rose, a cutting ruler and a machine quilting ruler are not the same.

Until next time…. Got a Ruler?