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How a Quilt is Made

How a Quilt is Made

Posted by Barb Rubio, Camokai Studio, Art Quilts Hawaii on Jul 1st 2021

Every quilt is unique. While today sewing machines are widely used to make quilts. Instead of Grandma’s hands and old-fashioned needle and threads, quilts are still homemade and with lots of love! 

Crazy Fact: Quilters buy fabric to cut it up and sew it back together! Quilts are made of three layers, and the following information outlines seven (7) basic steps most quilt artists use to create their wondrous works of art. 

1. Choose a fabric. Most quilters start the vision for their work of art by finding a unique or appealing piece of fabric. The average quilt uses 5-12 yards of fabric. 

2. Choose a design or pattern. Next the quilter finds a pattern or design they want to use while other quilter artist creates their own original designs in which to arrange the fabric. 

3. Cut and create the first layer. Once the quilter decides on a design, they then cut the fabric into pieces and sews together all the fabric pieces according to the design. Thus, creating the top layer of the quilt. 

4. The second quilt layer. Next, the quilter chooses a batting and cuts the batting a little larger than the size of the top quilt layer. Batting is used to add depth (fluffiness) or as a layer of insulation to provide warmth. 

5. Create the third and final quilt layer. The last layer is the backing – the pretty fabric we see when we flip a quilt over on its reverse side. After the quilter chooses a backing, then she cuts the backing a little larger than the batting. 

6. Next is QUILTING – YIPPEE!!! Quilting is sewing all three layers together and is actually another layer of design. Many quilters baste all three layers and quilt on their domestic machine. Some quilt artists use a specialized sewing machine referred to as Long Arm Quilting to sew the layers together. 


Crazy Fact: The average time to create a quilt is 10-60 hours or 2-10 days, depending on the design, size, fabric, and other factors. However, Long Arm Quilting reduces the amount of quilting time, provides increased artistic options, and creates a more durable, longer lasting quilt to cherish. 

7. Binding – The finishing touch. The last step is binding. Binding is a long strip of fabric used to neatly cover raw outer fabric edges and hold the quilt top, batting and backing together.

This quilting process is used on all shapes and sizes of quilted items.