100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

 100 Things Every Quilter Should DoRecently I ran across an online list called “100 Books to Read Before You Die.” I didn’t wholly agree with the list (I mean—Bridget Jones’s Diary. Seriously?), but after a few clicks I discovered that there were also lists of places to travel, movies to see, candies to try and beers to drink. (Really? There are 100 kinds of beer? I have to get out more.)

beer 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

But anyway, all these lists got me to thinking, and I decided to come up with my very own list.

100 Things Every Quilter
Should Do Before She Dies

MH900427329 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

  1. Visit a quilt shop.
  2. Make a Nine Patch.
  3. Make a Log Cabin.
  4. Label a quilt.
  5. Figure yardage for a quilt.
  6. Learn about warp and weft.
  7. Use a rotary cutter.
  8. Use templates.
  9. Paper piece a quilt block.
  10. Hand applique a quilt block.
  11. Make a yo-yo.
  12. Embellish a quilt.
  13. Try free motion quilting.
  14. Stitch in the ditch.

    gqs5 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

    You’re never too old to try something new!

  15. Try hand quilting.
  16. Bind a quilt.
  17. Miter the corners of quilt binding.
  18. Join the ends of quilt binding.
  19. Sew diagonal seams.
  20. Use a walking foot.
  21. Attend a guild meeting.
  22. Visit Houston for International Quilt Festival.
  23. Have a quilt appraised.
  24. Visit a quilt museum.
  25. Go on a quilt retreat.
  26. Try curved piecing.
  27. Miter the borders.
  28. Learn to do blanket stitch by hand.
  29. See a local quilt show.

    quilt show 2 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

    Attend a local quilt show to learn and enjoy.

  30. Put your quilt in a local quilt show.
  31. Sell raffle tickets on a quilt.
  32. Take a road trip with quilt friends.
  33. Create a Pinterest board with quilts.
  34. Make a 3-D quilt block.
  35. Donate a quilt to a good cause.
  36. Make a sampler quilt.
  37. Make an art quilt.
  38. Try bobbin work.
  39. Learn to maintain your sewing machine.

    sewingmachine 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

    Learn to maintain your sewing machine.

  40. Add rickrack to a quilt.
  41. Design a quilt. (Remember, you don’t necessarily have to make the quilt!)
  42. Change/tweak/alter a pattern to make it your own.
  43. Make a color wheel with fabric swatches.
  44. Chat about quilting with a stranger.
  45. Go on a blog tour.
  46. Give a quilt as a wedding/graduation/retirement gift.
  47. Visit Paducah during the AQS Show.
  48. Take a class with a nationally known teacher.
  49. Use some fabric you dislike.

    yoogly10 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

    Anita Grossman Solomon didn’t care for this cat fabric celebrating the new Millenium.

  50. Participate in Show & Tell.
  51. Volunteer for a job in a quilt group.
  52. Use a color you detest.
  53. Make a quilt inspired by nature.
  54. Get up early to quilt or stay up late to quilt.
  55. Make a scrap quilt.
  56. Make a tote bag.
  57. Make a postcard quilt.
  58. Make a baby quilt and gift it to a newborn.
  59. Understand the basics of caring for quilts.
  60. Borrow a quilting book from the public library.
  61. Teach someone else to quilt.
  62. Creatively piece a backing for one of your quilts.

    pieced quilt back4 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

    Julie Herman at Jaybird Quilts sometimes pieces her quilt backs.

  63. Apply a piped binding, or some variation of it.
  64. Post quilt pics to Facebook.
  65. Install quilty wallpaper on your computer.
  66. Put a quilty bumper sticker on your car.
  67. Cuss mildly when you realize you’ve been sewing air (because you ran out of bobbin thread)
  68. Read your sewing machine manual cover to cover.
  69. Learn to thread baste.
  70. Learn to pin baste.
  71. Use basting spray.
  72. Help a friend make a quilt.
  73. Make a quilt for a special child.
  74. Make a quilt for a spouse or partner.
  75. Make a quilt for a friend.
  76. Include your quilts in your will (i.e. who gets them).
  77. Determine your favorite thread for piecing.
  78. Understand the concept of value.
  79. Understand the mathematics of quilt blocks.
  80. Apply a bias binding.
  81. Take a guild speaker to dinner.
  82. Comment on a quilt-related blog post.

    comments 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

    Leaving a comment on a blog post is easy and fun!

  83. Make a mystery quilt.
  84. Take part in a block exchange.
  85. Write how-to instructions for making a quilt block.
  86. Watch a quilting video.
  87. Know the difference between lengthwise and crosswise grain.
  88. Know the parts of a sewing machine needle and why they matter.
  89. Organize your stash.
  90. Know the names of hand sewing needles used for different tasks.
  91. Finish a UFO.
  92. Purchase fabric on impulse.
  93. Try sewing with precuts.
  94. Trade fabrics with quilt friends.
  95. Identify your ancestors who quilted.
  96. Visit a quilt shop while on vacation.

    Singer Treadle Machine 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

    Treadling is enjoying a comeback.

  97. Sew on a treadle for old time’s sake.
  98. Subscribe to a quilting magazine.
  99. Become a regular reader of a quilting blog.
  100. Go on a Shop Hop.

These are just my ideas. Maybe yours are different. I’d love to hear what things you think should be added to the list, or left off. When you think about all the things you’ve already done, can you see how much quilting has enriched your life? Isn’t it wonderful?

Get a printer-friendly version of the list, with checkboxes, so you can get started, and please leave a comment with your own ideas for the list.

*     *     *     *     *

Every quilter should own at least one copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks. Choose from 10 different volumes, many in print or digital formats.

100 blocks covers400px2 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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139 Responses to 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do

  1. Elaine Wortman says:

    Great list! I would add “Enter a quilt in your county fair,” and “make a scrapbook or photo book to record your finished quilts.”

  2. The priority items on my list : to make a landscape quilt and a stained-glass quilt.

  3. Done all except #47, and maybe I’m too old to travel that far now, but I’ll be all four days at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham UK in August, representing the Modern Quilt Group.

    • Liz Carter says:

      Hi Heather,
      Apologies for contacting you in this way, but you are connected to my mother’s family via the Hamilton4s. Rose Anna Hamilton was my mother’s grandfathers sister, phew!
      With regards,
      Liz Carter

  4. Mary Bevan says:

    I’m very impressed with all the comments… been quilting for over thirty years and am only at 39/100. Retired last year so maybe now I’ll have time for the rest of the list.
    My list also has a hexie and a Hawaiian quilt on it. Thanks for the new ideas.

  5. Betty Perkins says:

    done them all except American showsand bobbin work.Have been to the Canadian Quilters Association shows twice though

  6. Liz Willis says:

    Dang! I only have 3 left. Houston, Paducah and putting quilts in my will.

  7. floreine says:

    Hello Diane, I would like to ask your permission if I can use this list in the 2015 Tri-City Quilters’ Guild Quilt Show here in Tri-City Washington

  8. Judy Schwender says:

    I forgot one! My apologies!
    Latimer Quilt & Textile Center

  9. Cat says:

    Wow, I have a bit of that feline 2000 fabric!

  10. Jeanette says:

    I would add, unless I missed it somewhere, learn to full motion quilt a favorite quilting pattern. I’m working on this now.

  11. Becky G. says:

    well from what I read above…85 down already ..15 to go.. :)

  12. WyoDi says:

    Participate in a Row by Row or Round Robin with other quilters.

  13. Jerry G says:

    Awesome list but can it be changed to “…before THEY die”? Not all quilters are a “she”. :)

  14. Linda H says:

    I only have about 14 left. Hope I won’t die soon, and I know my husband will never let me put on a bumper sticker so I’ll never finish 100.

  15. Katie Wilson says:

    91. I have never made a yo-yo! And a few other things.

  16. Great list, I have done almost all… but hope to do some of the ones I haven’t. I love 92!! LOL

  17. Beret Nelson says:

    Wow, hardly a thing on there I haven’t done. Some of my quilts went to Houston this year, hopefully I’ll get to go soon!

  18. Jenny F says:

    I have not 22, 23, 57 or 66. I am unlikely to be able to get to Houston from Australia. I have not had a quilt appraised – why would I need to? Not into bumper stickers. 76 I have done verbally if not in my written will. 95 I don’t know of any quilting ancestors but I do have relatives alive who quilt. Will that do? I have, on the other hand, put my first 2 art quilts (with fear and trepidation but lots of encouragement) into a competition and they will be touring with the other entries at various exhibitions until late next year. What an honour. Most of my quilts are given away.

  19. Pingback: 100 Things Every Quilter Should Do in Their Lifetime | The Quilted Edge

  20. Rachel H says:

    I would add:
    > Make a hexagon quilt.
    > Make a completely hand-sewn quilt.
    > Buy a quilting gadget and learn how to use it to make a new style of quilt.
    … oh, and don’t 92 too often!

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  22. Merciful Sinkowski says:

    There are only a handful of things on your list that I have not done. A few hold no interest to me, and if I revisit my will anytime soon, maybe I will bequeath my quilts to someone. I am always giving them away, so it is difficult to say which ones I will still have at the end. I don’t believe I have ever posted on a blog before, so this will be a first.

  23. Ruth Williams says:

    Love the scrappy zigzags and would love a working treadle machine.

  24. Judi Osburn says:


  25. Shelly J McIntosh says:

    Well, more than a few of these don’t apply to me as I only make quilts by hand. Some great ideas though.

  26. Janet says:

    I have only 11 more to do. Great list. Add: “Teach a child to quilt.”

    • Jane Mckay says:

      Janet; One of the most satisfying things about my being a quilter is that I have given free quilting classes to the girls and ladies in my church. We now have umpteen quilters who band together frequently to have a “Quiltathon” and make charity quilts. My latest child quilter has finished her first quilt, a 9patch with setting squares and is “itching” to get on to the sampler. She’s so excited, and doing a great job. She has two other fellow students as well who are older. We have real fun!!!

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