Heather Thomas

Building Quilt Texture with Fabric Layers

Heather Thomas
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Duration:   12  mins

If you’ve been quilting for a while and are looking to try something new, or are just looking for an alternative to piecing, Heather Thomas has the technique for you. Learn how to add quilt texture by layering and stitching raw edge fabric pieces in various sizes.

Quilt Tops

When it comes to creating a quilt top, there are many different ways it can be done. Traditionally, quilt tops are pieced. This means that many different pieces of fabric are stitched right sides together to create designs and conceal all raw fabric edges. For some, foundation piecing can seem tedious and time consuming, which is why Heather prefers a layering fabric technique. By layering different fabric pieces she is still able to create different designs, but gets the added bonus of creating extra quilt texture.

Fabric Selection and Prep

For this technique Heather chooses fabrics that can be easily ripped. Easy to rip fabrics include woven fabrics such as cotton or silk. By ripping the edges rather than cutting them, Heather adds an additional visual interest to her quilt top by having frayed edges. Leaving raw edges on fabric pieces can be used in different techniques as well, including raw edge applique. Heather then explains how to determine the different sized squares needed for her layered quilt design.


After all of the squares have been ripped, it’s time to layer and stitch them onto the quilt. In order to keep the added quilt texture that she wanted in this project, Heather stitches only every other square in place on the quilt. She demonstrates how this is done and shows how it can be done rather quickly by eliminating the need for measuring or pinning. Heather explains that the layers can be stitched with either a regular presser foot or a free motion foot. Using a free motion foot eliminates the need to constantly turn the quilt. She then shows a fun way to bind and finish the quilt.

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