Quilting Quick Start

By Traci R.

I started quilting a few years ago. I had always admired quilts and loved how cozy they made a home feel. What I didn’t realize is how many questions I’d have once I got started. So, if you’re interested in learning a few of the things I wish I’d known before I started quilting… read on!

Have a machine and get the right supplies

This may seem like a “no brainer” but quilting without a sewing machine is impractical 🙂 Use or borrow a good, well-working machine.

Get some good instruction from someone who has quilted before

My friend Dottie was such a good resource for me! I was so surprised by how many questions I had when I was getting started. It’s very useful to know someone who has quilted before who you can text or call with quick questions. 

Buy good quality cotton quilting fabric, but don’t overspend.

It’s important to have good fabric – it will make the entire process easier. That being said, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for good fabric, ESPECIALLY if it’s your first project. Save the pricy fabric for when you’ve gotten more experience 🙂 

Start with a simple pattern (straight lines, bigger stripes)

It’s best to master the basics before moving on to more complicated patterns. 

Start with a small size (baby quilt or a throw)

Quits are VERY expensive to make, generally because quilting fabric is expensive and you need a lot of it. Since it’s your first quilt, my advice is to start with a smaller project. This will be helpful with a) saving money and b) making sure you LIKE quilting before diving into the deep end.

Use a book to help you find a pattern

Use. Your. Resources!! Book are a huge help and many of them are solely for beginners. They include tips and tricks and will help you immensely on this first go-around. I love this one!

Ask questions! The women in a quilt shop are a WEALTH of knowledge and information. 

Chances are, if you bought your fabric from a quilt shop, the women who work there are passionate and experienced quilters! They’ll be a huge help to you as you’re starting out!From tips on how to start, to measurements, to finishing steps.

Cutting correctly is essential and will save you a lot of money if done correctly the first time.

Your cuts CANNOT be estimates. They need to be straight and they need to be exact. Measure twice, cut once. Speaking of cutting….

Cut with a rotary tool

This will keep your edges straight and your cuts clean.

Don’t overspend on fabric for your first project

You will make a mistake. The first quilt you make will not be perfect. THAT’S OK! But that being said, maybe don’t get the MOST expensive fabric for your first attempt.

Find someone to do a nice job with the actual “quilting” part 

The “quilting” is what happens after you get your top done and your pattern is finished. You might consider finding a professional to use a “long arm” machine to help you complete the quilting process)Again, the ladies at the quilt fabric shop can be a huge help with this! They might even offer this service in the shop! 

Be KIND to yourself! You’ll make mistakes, and that is ok. 

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