10 smart tips for quilting like a Sister (aka Me and My Sister Designs!)

Sometimes it’s fun to venture out and try quilting tools and techniques on your own. But sometimes it saves a lot of time and effort to listen to the pros and follow their lead!

Me and My Sister DesignsBarbara Groves and Mary Jacobson of Me and My Sister Designs are celebrated for their super-simple patterns that look more complex than they are—they make us all look good! They’ve done their share of trial and error to refine their techniques, and in The Double Wide Dresden Book they share their top 10 tips for making quilting time easier and more efficient (read: more fun!). If you’ve ever dreamed of making Dresdens, this is the book to start with—and these are tips you gotta try, for Dresden quilts or any quilt you make.


1. We use fine glass-head pins when pinning.

2. In cases where pins might get in the way, like when edge-stitching around Dresden Plates, 0ur new-found love is a water-soluble fabric glue pen. When gluing, make sure you stitch your project sooner rather than later, so the glue does not dry out and leave you unglued.

3. There are some great point-turning tools out there and we’ve used many. We always come back to the “Purple Thang” as our favorite.

4. Scrappy quilts are the best! And the best fabric precut for starting a scrap collection is the Moda Layer Cake. It’s a great size. The largest-size wedge in The Double Wide Dresden Book fits nicely on a 10″ square, with enough fabric left over for some smaller wedges.

Double Wide Dresden quilt
Double Wide Dresden

5. Use a ¼" foot with a guide to keep your seams straight and prevent them from swinging in or out at the ends.

6. It really helps to starch and press all your fabrics before cutting. Starch provides extra stability to small cuts of fabric and bias cuts. Once your quilt has been quilted and finished, always wash the starch out.

7. While we usually edge-stitch around the inner and outer points of Dresden Plate designs, edge-stitching is not for everyone. It’s okay to use your favorite machine-appliqué stitch instead. Zigzag and blanket stitches work well also.

8. We always press seam allowances open when we’re making our Dresden Plate quilts. Your seams will lie flatter and it will be much easier to match points.

Gift Wrap quilt
Gift Wrap

9. Something fun you might try is fussy cutting a print for the wedges when you make quilts from The Double Wide Dresden Book. Now that you have a double-wide wedge, there is more room for fun.

10. Chain piecing can be fun and save some thread at the same time!

Beach Ball quilt
Beach Ball

The sisters sure do know their stuff! And now that you know what they know, you can create the cute quilts in The Double Wide Dresden Book with ease—pick up a copy of the book and dig in to a Dresden quilt today!

How many of these tips do you already use in your quiltmaking adventures? Tell us in the comments!

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