WHEN IT COMES TO NEW HOBBIES, THERE ARE ALWAYS THINGS I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I GOT STARTED! THIS IS MY LIST OF 5 THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE YOU GET STARTED ON YOUR QUILTING JOURNEY!
Quilting is a fun and creative hobby that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re looking to make a cozy blanket for yourself or a gift for a loved one, quilting is a great way to express your creativity and make something beautiful. But if you’re just starting out, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to begin. Fear not, dear quilter!
Here are my 5 top tips for quilting for beginners that will help you get started.
Choose the right fabric
When it comes to quilting, the fabric is king (or queen, if you prefer). Choosing the right fabric can make all the difference in the final product. If you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to stick with 100% cotton fabrics. They’re easy to work with, come in a wide variety of colours and prints, and are readily available at most fabric stores. Bonus tip: by starting with quilt patterns that feature precuts, such as my Simply Charming Pinwheels Table Runner Pattern, you’ll save some time and effort by skipping some of the cutting.
If you prefer to do your shopping online, the possibilities are practically endless! Some of my favourite charm packs are by Moda Fabrics and you can find them at these amazing online fabric shops:
When choosing fabrics, think about the colour scheme and style you want to achieve. Do you want a bright and bold quilt, or something more subdued and classic? Think about the quilt’s purpose and the person you’re making it for. For example, a baby quilt might benefit from softer colours and prints, while a quilt for a teenager might be more edgy and modern.
Invest in good tools
Quilting requires a few basic tools, but investing in quality equipment can make the process much smoother and enjoyable. A rotary cutter and self-healing mat really do make cutting fabric easy, accurate and efficient. There are many brands on the market, but I find that for me, OLFA is the way to go. Scissors, thread, and a few other notions are absolute musts.
Here’s a short list of a few other tools I really love:
Lastly, you’ll need a sewing machine, but don’t skimp on quality. A good sewing machine will last you for years and make the process much more enjoyable. My current machine is the Brother NS80e. It’s a smaller machine, but it’s a workhorse, and it does what I need! I’ve been using Brother sewing machines for a long time, and I’ve always loved them.
Find a sewing machine that fits both your budget and your comfort level. When you are just starting out with quilting, you can use a fairly simple machine.
Learn the basics
Before diving into your first quilt, it’s important to learn the basics of quilting. There are many resources available, including books, videos, and classes. You’ll want to learn about things like piecing, quilting, and binding. Piecing refers to the process of sewing fabric pieces together to create a quilt top. Quilting is sewing the quilt top, batting, and backing together to create the finished quilt. Binding is the finishing touch that covers the raw edges of the quilt and gives it a professional look.
It’s important to take your time and learn these skills properly. Rushing through the basics can result in mistakes that will likely affect the final outcome of your quilt. Don’t be afraid to take a step back and practice your skills before moving on to more complex projects. Patience and perseverance are key when it comes to quilting.
It’s tempting to dive right into a king-sized quilt for your first project, but starting small is the way to go. Trust me on this one! A lap-sized quilt, table runner or baby quilt is a great place to start. Not only will it be easier to manage, but you’ll also be able to finish it more quickly and get a sense of accomplishment. Plus, a smaller quilt is a great way to practice your skills and experiment with different techniques.
Quilting is a hobby that should be enjoyed, not stressed over. Don’t worry too much about making mistakes – they happen to the best of us. Embrace the imperfections and enjoy the process. And don’t forget to take breaks when you need them. Quilting can be a time-consuming hobby, so it’s important to take care of yourself and your mental health along the way. It’s a wonderful creative outlet that can bring joy and relaxation to your life but you need to give yourself permission to take it slow and have fun, even when ripping out stitches!
With a little bit of patience, practice, and a sense of humour, you’ll be creating beautiful quilts in no time. Just remember to take your time – learn the basics, invest in good tools and great fabric, start small, and most importantly, have fun! There’s no need to rush or stress over your projects. Take your time to create something that you’re proud of.
Keep in mind that quilting is a personal and individual journey. There’s often more than one way to do it. Everyone has their own preferences and techniques that work for them. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works for you. Try out different styles and techniques until you find a method that makes sense to you.
It’s also worth mentioning that quilting can be a great way to connect with others. Joining a quilting group or taking a class can be a great way to meet like-minded individuals and learn from each other’s experiences. You might even make some lifelong friends along the way.
So, grab your fabric, thread, and sewing machine, and get quilting!
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