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Making My First Quilt, But Where Do I Start?

Summary

When making your first quilt, it can be overwhelming figuring out how to start. I cover the key points to consider and get you started!

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Making My First Quilt, But Where Do I Start?

You've just told me that you've always wanted to quilt. You love seeing handmade quilts made with beautiful fabrics and colors. I'm so excited for you! Prepare to become addicted!

Making My First Quilt, But Where Do I Start?

 

There's lots of information available for new quilters. The internet is full of video tutorials via YouTube, and you'll also find lots of articles that will answer your questions right here at Quilting Hub. Go to www.quiltinghub.com, and click on "Quilting Articles". Here are some of the titles of great beginning quilter articles:

First of all, if you don't already own a sewing machine, go ahead and read the first article in the above list. The article will give you some great advice on what you will want to look for in a sewing machine. Ask around to see which sewing machine brands friends like the best and go from there.

I love to sew

 

Second, read the article titled "Basics of Quilting Know-How". This will detail all of the basic quilting notions you will need to start on your venture, and will explain why you need them.

Join QuiltingHub on Facebook! Also join a couple of different quilting groups on Facebook too. You can ask lots of questions in the groups, and you'll receive lots of wonderful feedback. NO question is silly! Seeing other quilter's projects can be very inspiring. Pinterest is also a fun place to peruse for quilting ideas.

Four-Part Strip Block

 

Do not forget about YouTube for tutorials. You can search for almost anything you want. Look for tutorials on YouTube starting with basic fabric cutting, basic stitching seams, and basic piecing and assembly. My favorite quilt books are by Eleanor Burns of Quilt In A Day. These books and patterns are VERY self-explanatory, step-by-step and user friendly. I always teach my beginning quilters with her books. My students always walk away very pleased with their quilting results.

Next, you'll want to visit your local quilt shop and ask about beginning quilt classes. Mentioning 'beginning' quilt classes to shop owners is important. Don't make your first quilt project very difficult! Start with a four or nine patch quilt, or a strip quilt. A basic log cabin quilt is a very forgiving design when it comes to errors, so think about starting there. Support your local quilt shop! Then locate some more quilt shops that may be nearby and find out what classes are being offered there too. Take a variety of quilt classes. Make sure to subscribe to their newsletters! Do they have open sewing days? Do they have a quilt bee? How about joining your local quilt guild?

I Love My LQS

 

There are a lot of authors of beginning quilt books. Ask your favorite quilt shop employees what books they would suggest. I recommend purchasing a few books to start with rather than individual patterns. Books will give you more quilting information, whereas pattern designers tend to assume the quilter has been quilting for a while and there isn't always a lot of basic quilting information included in patterns.

Here are a few of my favorite book authors for beginners:

  • Quilt In A Day - Eleanor Burns (all of her books)
  • Pat Sloan - "Teach Me To Make My First Quilt"
  • Alex Anderson - "Teaches You To Start Quilting" and "Make Your First Quilt"
  • Leisure Arts - "Simple Beginner Quilts", "Beginner Friendly Quilts", and "Beginner Friendly Baby Quilts"

 

You'll find quality classes available for quilters online. Simply google "Quilting Classes," and you can often take these classes at your own pace. I've enjoyed several of them! Take advantage of shopping for fabric on the internet too. If you've supported your local quilt shops and still can't find what you are looking for, try using QuiltingHub to find other shops.

Hopefully, I haven't overwhelmed you! Starting with a small quilt can make your step into the quilting world easier. Maybe a table runner, placemats, or a lap quilt. Just have fun and you'll have some wonderful memories to share with friends and family for years to come!

I Love My LQS

 

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Glossary

Log Cabin
A quilt pattern in which narrow fabric strips, or logs, surround a center square to form a block. These may be pieced from strips or sewn onto a foundation of paper or fabric.
Nine Patch
A basic division of a geometric quilt block into nine equal squares. (3 X 3) = 9.

See Also: Double Nine Patch, Four Patch Block, One Patch, Patch
Notions
Small sewing supplies such as pins, scissors, rulers, seam ripper, and so on.
Piecing
The process of assembling quilt blocks from pieces of fabric sewn along their edges to form a whole.

See Also: English Paper Piecing, Assembly Piecing, Machine Piecing, Chain Piecing, Paper Piecing, Hand Piecing
Strip
A construction technique in which long, narrow pieces of cloth are joined lengthwise, sometimes with long rows of quilt blocks, to form a quilt top. The term "strip" can be used to describe the long pieces of fabric between blocks (see Sashing) or to describe the small, narrow remnants used in string patchwork.

See Also: Sashing
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Quilting Contessa
Quilting Contessa is a collection of various authors around the world that have submitted articles for the QuiltingHub 'How To' quilt wiki.  These are authors that do not write enough to have their own authorship, yet provide valuable content for the site.  If you wish to submit an article, contact us on QuiltingHub.
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