Quilting proves to have numerous benefits, allowing you to make yourself busy and focus your attention on a new hobby, rather than giving much thought to something that is stressing you out. It can also help you heighten your self-esteem because for sure, you will be proud of yourself for the quilts that you make.
In this case, if quilting already piques your interest, below is an ultimate guide that will walk you through the process.
Things You Need To Start Quilting
For you to get started with your quilting journey, you first have to get the essential equipment such as a rotary cutter, acrylic quilting ruler, iron and board, as well as pins and clips. You need to add to this some high-quality thread to your materials, as well as some fabric to sew.
Don’t forget to get your sewing machine out too and explore some other quilting supplies that you wish to add to your materials.
1. Rotary Cutter
In quilting, you need to practice how to cut accurately and for you to achieve perfect cuts each time, you need to have a rotary cutter. In doing so, you will be able to piece accurately and seamlessly.
You won’t be able to mistake a rotary cutter for any other kind of scissors because it looks more like a pizza cutter but be careful since it has extremely sharp blades. It comes in a variety of sizes but you should get the medium-sized ones.
2. Acrylic Quilting Ruler
Another thing that you need to have to get you started with quilting is an acrylic quilting ruler. The unique characteristic of these rulers is that they sort of have a gripping ability that prevents them from slipping while you are using a rotary cutter. You can have different sizes of these rulers, but for starters, having a 4×14in and a 6.5×24.5in board will prove to be sufficient.
3. Iron & Ironing Board
As much as possible, go for an iron with a steam function, as well as an ironing board that is sturdy enough to handle your entire quilt as soon as you are done piecing it together. Make sure that you set up your iron and ironing board next to your sewing machine for a quick press when you are piecing your quilt together.
4. Pins and Clips
You will most likely need lots of pins to baste your quilt. In this case, curved safety pins that are around 1.5in long will do the job perfectly. Go for high-quality pins that will be able to pierce through fabric layers easily. Alongside this, you also need some clips that will hold your bind in place while you are sewing.
5. High-Quality Thread for Piecing and Quilting
Your quilt will only be as robust as the thread that you have used to piece it together. This is the reason why you should use high-quality and fine cotton thread that will not create too much bulk. Make sure to get a couple of thread colors too but neutral colors are enough for beginners.
There are several options for you when it comes to the fabric that you are going to use for your quilt but remember that the quality of these fabrics will affect your output too.
Thus, if you want to have a perfectly looking quilt that will stand the test of time, make sure to use 100% cotton fabric that is less likely to bleed when washed. Just keep in mind that the best quality fabrics don’t need to be expensive.
7. Sewing Machine
Finally, you should also invest in a great sewing machine, but that is if you don’t have one yet. Rest assured that you don’t have to shell out a hefty sum for a high-quality sewing machine that will help you piece together a quilt.
All that you need to consider is to get a machine that is capable of consistently sewing straight lines. While you are at it, make sure that you get some sewing machine needles too.
8. Other Quilting Supplies
Aside from the materials listed above, some other quilting supplies that you need to consider include fabric scissors, flower head pins, as well as water-soluble fabric markers. You can also consider getting a seam ripper, clover roll, and press, as well as a 1/4in sewing foot that matches your sewing machine.
But remember that these are some of the materials that are good to have, but should not restrict you from beginning with your quilting journey in case you don’t have them yet.
Quilting Techniques You Need To Master
As soon as you have gathered all the quilting materials that you need to get you started, the next thing that you need to do is to learn some basic techniques such as those listed below.
1. Quilting Terminology
When learning to quilt, it is best to start familiarizing yourself with the basic terminologies used in quilting. This will allow you to better understand the instructions or processes involved as soon as you start making quilt patterns. Thus, try to read some quilting articles and when you encounter some terms that you are not familiar with, try to look it up.
2. Qualities of Fabric
Another thing that you need to learn if you want to master how to quilt is to differentiate fabrics based on their qualities. This is because it will prove to be easier for you to piece together a quilt when you assemble fabrics of the same quality.
The quality of the fabric can also affect the accuracy and precision of your cutting technique because certain fabrics are easier to cut compared to others.
3. How to Sew a Quarter Inch Seam Allowance
Aside from terminologies and fabric qualities, you also need to learn how to sew a quarter inch seam allowance.
More often than not, people who are accustomed to sewing garments with larger seam allowances find it difficult to visualize how to sew seam allowances that are narrower, such as those needed in making quilts. This involves lots of practice and patience but for sure, you will eventually get it right.
4. Rotary Cutting Skills
You also need to develop your rotary cutting skills for you to create high-quality quilts effortlessly. As soon as you master this skill, you will be able to cut through the templates you need in no time. This means that you will spend less time making fabric templates, allowing you to have more time in piecing the fabrics to generate the patterns you wish to make.
5. Quick Piecing Techniques
Aside from cutting, you also need to master essential piecing techniques such as strip piecing. This will allow you to sew several fabrics together simultaneously, cutting off the sections necessary to create pre-sewn units instantly. As soon as you learn quick piecing techniques, you will be able to produce an easy version of various quilt blocks.
Basic Quilting Patterns
Once you are confident that about the basic things that you have learned about quilting, it is time to put your skills and knowledge into practice. In this case, you can start making some of the basic patterns described below.
1. Nine Patch Box Quilt
One of the basic quilt patterns that are suitable for beginners in this hobby is the nine patch box quilt pattern. In this case, you will begin with a grid of nine squares, which is comprised of three squares across, as well as three squares down.
This pattern can be created in any size but you need to make sure that every piece of patchwork has the exact size that you need it to be before moving on to piece another one.
2. Easy Hunter’s Star Quilt
A star quilt may look complicated to make but the reality is that it is quite simple to construct. While the original hunter’s star quilt is made with diamond shapes, you can easily create the same look using triangles made from half-squares. The key is in understanding some quilting basics before you begin creating a star pattern.
3. Simplified Puff Quilt
If you want a super comfortable quilt, then make a puff quilt or a biscuit quilt. In this case, you need to create a design first before you choose the fabric to use.
As soon as you cut the fabric, pin the top squares that you will be using to a muslin square and arrange these into rows. While you may think that making a puff quilt is a daunting task, learning some techniques through constant practice will eventually make the process easier.
4. Quick and Easy Rag Quilt
For a chilly day, a rag quilt is perfect because they are quite soft and cuddly. For this reason, a rag quilt is also the perfect gift for the elderly, as well as for small children. A rag quilt is best for quilting beginners too because, with this pattern, you no longer need to focus on sewing perfect seams. All you need to do is to sew as accurately as you can but a few variations will be unnoticed.
Why You Should Start Quilting Now
There are many reasons why you should start quilting now and those detailed below are only some of them.
1. Enhance Your Creativity
One of the primary reasons why you need to start quilting now is to enhance your creativity. Come to think of it, you need to let your creative juices flow from choosing the fabrics that you will use to designing the patterns that you will create. You can even add some eye-catching details to make your design more beautiful.
2. Decorate Your Home
Another reason why you need to start quilting is to add some personal touch to how you decorate your home. This is because quilts are not only meant to keep you warm, rather, they can also be used to make wall decor, a throw pillow, or even some trinkets for your kitchen. There are several things that you can do with quilts when it comes to adding a personal style to your home.
3. Make Personalized Gifts
Giving a gift is a sign of thoughtfulness, but when you exert the extra effort in personalizing the present that you intend to give, then it will even be more appreciated.
While there is nothing wrong with purchasing the gifts that you give to your family and friends, giving something that is made by your hands somehow has that extra touch of care that the recipient of your present will truly feel. The best part is that you will save a lot too!
4. Pay It Forward
Quilting is one of the best ways of giving back to your community, which is another good reason why you should begin learning this craft now. This is because when you know how to quilt, you will have something usable that you can donate to charity.
As soon as you master quilting techniques, you can also teach other people in your community what you have learned. This can then be a viable source of livelihood for the people you teach.
5. Start a Business
Finally, if you intend to earn a little extra cash, then quilting may prove to be the answer to your worries. This is because as soon as you start your quilt and master the techniques to produce high-quality quilts faster, then you can grow your collection eventually.
From there, you can delve into selling your pieces or even accepting custom-made orders. The great part is that you can run a quilting business in this modern-day and age even in the comfort of your home.
The Bottom Line
Quilting is a fulfilling hobby that proves to have several benefits. All you need is some supplies to get you started and from there, work on the quilting techniques that you need to learn. You can then apply these techniques in creating different quilt patterns, starting from the simplest to the most complex one that you can make.
For sure, you will be able to find many reasons why you should begin quilting and the reasons listed above are only some of them.