Monday, 23 February 2015

Fun Tips for New Quilters

Quilting is a tough hobby to start. There are so many beautiful quilts out there that it can be a little intimidating. You're probably already thinking "I want to do x, y, z, but I'm not sure if it's against the rules". Today I'm going to share something that will hopefully calm some of those early quilting nerves.

Fun Tips for New Quilters

Tip 1 - The dreaded 1/4'' seam
If you haven't already heard, the 1/4'' seam is one rule you must follow in quilting. OK, maybe not 'must'. Your machine won't spew molten lava if you don't use it, but, life will be much, MUCH easier if you do. It doesn't have to be perfect, but aiming for 1/4'' will point you closer in the intended direction of the pattern. Start using it now and thank me later.

Tip 2 - Does this fabric work?
I'm here to tell you straight out that there is absolutely...100%...definitely a right and wrong when choosing fabric. Now this is a really important rule so make sure you completely understand before moving on. Are you ready? Here goes...

If you like the fabric you have chosen, then it's right. If you don't like it, then it's wrong.

Pretty simply right? Sure, there are all sorts or design rules and colour do's and don'ts, but who has time for that? You're the one doing all the work, you might as well enjoy it.

Tip 3 - What if I make a mistake?
You will make mistakes. Yes, you really will. It doesn't matter if it's your first quilt or you thirty first. You are going to sew the wrong pieces together, mismatch a seam or cut the wrong size. It happens to all of us. If it's a full blown, cosmic error, then simply reach for Mr Unpick and try again. No biggy.

If it's nothing more than a mismatched seam or a less than pointy point, remember this...

Handling MIstakes

Nobody will notice teeny tiny mishaps. They're too busy admiring the overall beauty. Anybody that does notice and chooses to mention it...simply tell them that they obviously have no eye for art and they clearly don't 'get it'. Never mess with a quilter...we're a sarcastic bunch.

Tip 4 - There are so many ways to do the same thing. Which do I choose?
Yes, there are a trazillion different ways of cutting, pressing, piecing and quilting. Find the one that works for you and stick with it. Ignore the latest fad or what everyone says 'you simply must do'. If you work best with a pair of scissors...well, honey, you pick up those bad boys and you snip away. One tool/technique, no matter how technically advanced and efficient, may simply not be as useful as another for you. We're all different. It makes life interesting. Let's keep it that way please.

Tip 5 - What if the cool kids don't like my quilt?
Finally, make the quilt you want to make and bugger what anyone thinks. If you're dying to make a brown splodge when everyone else is working with blue triangles then go for it...and tag me so I get to see a bit of variety. The one downside to popular patterns is that they're popular...which means every man and his dog decides to make one. It makes for a very boring social media feed. Stand out from the crowd. We might enjoy all the sames we see in life, but we always remember the different.

Did that help? What fun tip would you add to help someone go from wanting to make a quilt to actually making one?


  1. I love this--all excellent advice! I always suggest that n00b quilters take at least one beginning quilting class so that they can learn some of the shortcuts and ask whatever questions they have (whether they ever use any of those techniques again is up to them). My mother decided to make quilts when us kids were young, and I think she thought that quilters actually fussy-cut zillions of tiny little squares, then assemble them, so that's what she did. Needless to say, she never quilted again after that experience.

    1. Hahaha I think nearly everyone has made a mistake like that. I used to think that the disappearing nine patch was separately sewn squares and strips. Boy was I surprised, and relieved, when I discovered it was so much quicker than that haha. I'm really glad you liked the post :)