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How To Make A Handmade Quilt
Find A Good Quilt Teacher
If there's one thing Bluebird Gardens quilters have in common, it's that they all had great teachers and mentors. Some were mothers and grandmothers. Others went to classes to get started.
You can start with a good "How to Quilt" CD or online guide but it still helps to know someone.
Go to a quilting class or find an experienced quilter at a local quilting guild. Having someone help you get the quilt basics down correctly is very important to becoming a good quilter.
Start To Quilt By Making Easy or Small Handmade Quilts
Your first quilted project should be small and manageable like pot holders, table runners, place mats (photo) handmade quilted pillows or small handmade quilts. Start with a favorite quilt block pattern to learn how to piece fabrics.
Turn that quilt block into something practical and small enough that you can quickly finish it and still practice basic quilting techniques. Try a basic ninepatch quilt pattern: many quilters started their quilting careers making a ninepatch quilt block to get the hang of sewing fabric together and playing with fabric colors.
Start With Double Wedding Ring Quilts?
No, don't start quilting by making double wedding ring quilt patterns.
Although they are lovely and a perennial favorite, and great personalized gifts, it's one of the harder quilt patterns and will easily discourage you.
The challenge is getting those curved pieces right!
Focus on the Basics
Take your time. Learning the correct basic quilting techniques are very important. Once you have the basics down, you can easily build on them but you need to get the basics down first.
Tear out that seam that wasn't right to begin with, or that incorrect seam will throw off the rest of the quilt design. Make sure every step is correct or one mistake will throw off the next. And check your work periodically to make sure the whole design is not off center!
What's In A Quilt's Name?
A lot of confusion! Traditional quilt patterns are called different names in different regions around the country, and world.
To be sure you're talking about the same quilt pattern, get a picture or quilt design pattern to use as a reference. There are a number of good quilt pattern reference books available.
The First Handmade Quilt Is Always The Hardest...
Your first handmade quilts will always take the longest to complete because you have so much to learn: what supplies and tools to get, what fabrics to pick, how to cut and piece the fabrics.....Don't get discouraged. Go ahead and plan on making a second one. It will go much faster!
Your Basic Quilting Supplies
Plan on spending $500-1,000 for basic quilting supplies and equipment. Here's a beginning equipment (and suggested quilter's gifts) list:
- Photo album to document quilts.
- Small mat for cutting fabric.
- Marking pencils to mark your fabrics.Pin cushions.
- 6" square ruler.
- Rotary cutters. Extra cutter blades.
- Tape Measure 120-inches long.
- Stilleto pointer for help turning fabric corners.
- Favorite quilt patterns.
- Thread snips.
- Greaseless concentrated hand creams.
- Good overhead light.
- Glue stick to fix frayed edges.
- Flat flower head pins.
- Fabric ripper to go back to the drawing board....
- Tweezers to get to those hard to reach spots.
- Good quality scissors. Start with a pair of small ones.
- Sewing machine.
How to Finish Your Quilt
Once your quilt top is sewn together, it needs to be finished with quilting.
The easiest way to finish a quilt is to tie knots to hold the layers of fabric and fill together.
You can also have your quilt either machine-quilted or hand-quilted.
If someone else is hand quilting, make sure to get on their waiting list to reserve a spot for your quilts. Most churches have quilting bees or know of someone who quilts. And don't expect all hand quilters to be women. Some of the best we know are men!
Finally, sign and date your quilt. Having the quilt maker's name and date adds value!
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