Hello, & welcome back!
So, you've been thinking about giving quilting a try but you have no idea where to start? It can be so over whelming, there are so many different patterns, tutorials, youtube videos out there but here we are going to break it down to the basics!
I'm not going to sit here and tell you I have been quilting for years and years and that I know all of the tips and tricks, because I haven't. But I can share with you a few things that I have learned in recent months to help you get started.
First things first - you can't successfully sew a quilt without the right tools
You will need:
2) Self Healing Cutting Mat
4) Sewing Machine (of course)
6) Ironing board / (not totally necessary but highly recommended Wool Pressing Mat)
Ok, so now you have the tools you need to get started (hopefully) next you need to pick your pattern. There are so many great beginner patterns out there. I suggest looking through our selection of patterns here, or scrolling through pinterest until you find one that you absolutely LOVE!!! Take your time. This is important, because if you don't love what you're making then you're not going to want to finish it. At least, thats how I am.
Once you have found the perfect pattern that you have fallen thread over heels for, I mean Head over Heels ;) Now its time to choose your fabric. This is my favourite part. Personally I like to use Solids for the front and then tie it all together with a fun backing and binding. This is also something you should take your time with. Think about what you want your quilt to look like. Lots of quilt patterns come with a colouring page at the back, how fun right!? USE IT! Colour it, change it, envision the quilt you want to make before you make it. Sit and ponder it over a iced coffee ;)
If you have a hard time putting prints and colours together, take a look at our pre-made bundles that already have coordinating fabrics.
Wooh Look at you go! Now you have all the tools, pattern and the fabric that you need to get started. Lots of people will have their own opinion on this - Should I pre-wash my fabric? This it totally a personal preference but i say - NO! I find the fabric so much easier to work with when it if fresh and new, plus after you wash your quilt for the first time and you have that little bit of shrinkage you come out with a quilt that has that perfect crinkle <3 it's the best!!!
Let's get to it! You will need to cut all of your fabric according to the pattern. I highly suggest ironing your fabric before cutting. Cutting is something you want to take your time with, measuring & cutting every. single. piece to the exact measurement. I know this may seem tedious but everything to do with quilting requires precision. One small error can cause your entire quilt to look off. (although to be honest it usually just causes errors that only you will notice, unless you are submitting your quilt to a quilt show, then EVERYONE will notice) So, TAKE YOUR TIME!!!!!!
Once you have all of your fabric cut, it's time to start sewing. first things first - FIND YOUR EXACT 1/4" SEAM ALLOWANCE. When I first started sewing, I always just thought the edge of my presser foot was my 1/4" and boy was I wrong! I recently invested in a 1/4" sewing foot and it was $ well spent, but this is not a necessity. Sew up a couple of test strips and measure your seam allowance. Once you have found your 1/4" use some painters tape, masking tape or washi tape to mark it on your machine and there you have it, your perfect seam allowance.
Your iron will be your best friend when you are sewing, make sure your press every seam as you go, it will make your quilt nice and crisp as well as make piecing a lot easier. This is where I suggest the mini iron & wool pressing mat. I have mine sitting right beside my machine so I can just take my fabric from from my sewing machine and iron it right away. It will save you from having to get up and down to iron at your ironing board every time, although if you want to get a little mini workout in while your sewing then I suggest you don't invest in the pressing mat ;)
Don't forget to take pictures of your complete quilt top & tag us on Social Media @threadcountfabrics We love to see your projects !!
Lo & behold Stitchery - Tribal Song Quilt
Cotton & Joy - Mighty Stars Quilt
Patchwork & Poodles - Misty Mountain Quilt
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