One Stitch Quilting Instructions

quilts image by Christopher Martin from

Things You'll Need

  • Assorted cotton quilting material
  • Pre-printed fusible grid
  • Low-loft polyester batting
  • 100 percent cotton machine-quilting thread
  • Temporary fabric-spray adhesive
  • Sewing machine
  • Quilting needle, 80/12
  • Self-healing cutting mat
  • Rotary cutter
  • Scissors
  • 12-inch-square quilting ruler
  • Iron and ironing board

Saving time and effort by combining multiple steps makes your quilting project a lot less stressful, according to Donna Dewberry, one of the developers of one-stitch quilting. You can overcome the challenge of trying to get all the layers of the quilt together without distortion with her approach. A basic understanding of this simple process and a willingness to give it a try will enable you to have a beautiful finished quilt in half the time.

Purchase quilting material, choosing colors and patterns that complement each other.

Cut 16 rectangles measuring 4 by 5 inches. Use the quilting ruler and your rotary cutter on the self-healing cutting mat to ensure that your rectangles are sized accurately.

Cut a 17-by-21-inch piece from the material you have chosen for the back. Use the quilting ruler so you keep the corners at 90 degrees.

Cut the batting 16 by 20 inches. Cut a piece of the fusible grid 17 by 21 inches. If possible, have one grid line at 16 ½ inches from the bottom and one line 10 ½ inches from the sides.

Place the backing face down on your work surface. Spray it lightly with the temporary fabric-spray adhesive.

Center the batting on the backing piece and gently press it in place with your fingers. Remove the paper backing from one side of the fusible grid and center it over the batting. Remove the remaining paper from the top side of the grid so the second fusible surface is facing up.

Find the center point, both horizontally and vertically, on the grid. Place the first rectangle face up to the left of the vertical center and above the horizontal center line. Next, place the second left rectangle face up below the horizontal center, overlapping the first piece by about 1/4 inch.

Repeat the same procedure with the two rectangles to the right of center. Overlap them on each other by a quarter inch, and also over the two you have all ready placed on the left.

Repeat the same steps with the remaining 12 rectangles, going around the four that you have placed in the center.

Fold the outer border of the backing and fusible grid onto itself a quarter inch all the way around. Press the fold lightly with an iron. Do not iron on the exposed area of fusible grid.

Fold the outer border again approximately ½ to ¼ inch so that it covers the raw edges of the rectangles. Start at the center of each side and work your way to the corners. Shape each corner either by making a 45-degree miter or a 90-degree overlap and press in place.

Press the folded border with the iron. Iron all of the rectangles so the surfaces fuse together.

Take the completed quilt piece and start sewing from the top. Use multicolor threads to dress up the surface. Use a zigzag stitch about¼-inch wide over all raw edges. Adjust the density of the zigzag to your liking by test the stitches on a scrap of material before you start. Straight stitch or zigzag over the folded edges of the border

Be creative. Do some free-motion quilting if you have the proper foot to do it and you are able to lower or cover the feed dogs.


  • "Quilt As You Go" is a similar method enabling you to put multiple blocks together to form a larger quilt. See the Resources section for information on this alternate procedure.

    Place the rectangles so the longer sides are going in the same direction as the longer sides of the backing.


About the Author

Judy Filarecki has been a health educator and writer for 45 years. Her published work includes (under the name Judith Schwiegerling): "Down Syndrome: Optimizing Health and Development," Msall, DiGaudio and Schwiegerling, 1990; "Diabetes and Exercise," Schwiegerling, 1989. She has also published "Painting with Acrylics: Sombrero Peak." She has a Bachelor of Science in physical therapy and Master of Education from SUNY at Buffalo.

Photo Credits