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Topic: Pre-quilting questions!  (Read 843 times)
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« on: May 15, 2011 07:48:24 AM »

Hi all,
I recently became the proud owner of a sewing machine (which is over twenty years older than me - at least one of us knows what to do  Smiley) and I am really keen to make a quilt. I'm a complete machine novice (although I can hand-sew) - are there any particular techniques or methods that I could practise before I get onto an actual quilt? Also, is there a really simple, hassle-free pattern that anyone could recommend as a starter quilt? I can't afford to splash out on any fancy equipment so if I can make do with scissors, cotton, fabric and my machine that would be perfect Smiley
Thanks, M x

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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2011 02:57:22 PM »

Quilting has been going on for hundreds of years. I guarantee in 1810 they were using pretty simple materials. You don't need to shell out lots for fabric and notions.

My tips:

You can find patterns and tips here: http://www.allpeoplequilt.com/printable-patterns.html or there are I'm sure hundreds of sites out there.  My local library also has about 5 shelves full of quilting books.

If you haven't yet, I'd recommend getting your old machine serviced to make sure it's in good order; it will save lots of headaches later.

Start small, like with a pillow, to get used to the techniques.

Don't skimp on the in-between steps like ironing, trimming and basting.

Read up on free-motion quilting before you start if you plan to use that technique. It usually requires a hoop and lowering your machine's feed dogs.

« Last Edit: May 15, 2011 03:00:50 PM by Feast Your Eyes » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2011 03:24:06 PM »

I ditto the comment about getting your machine serviced.  I have three machines, and two of them are older than me (1948 and 1953). . .  I love them to pieces.

One of the most important "skills" in quilting is accurate seam allowances.  The US standard is 1/4".  Learning to sew a consistent and accurate seam allowance will take your far!!

If you can spring for a rotary cutter, mat, 6" x 24" ruler, and a 1/4" presser foot, you will save a lot of time in the long run, and open a lot of quilting options.

One is less than three.
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2011 04:23:00 AM »

Thanks for the tips  Smiley I have a selection of presser feet that came with the machine, none of which are labelled, so I'll have a look to see if any happen to be 1/4"!

« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2011 01:33:48 PM »

I agree with practicing 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Another important tip is cutting accuracy.  Just as 1/4 inch seam allowances are important, so is cutting accurately!  You should start small, a pillow, baby quilt or even a lap quilt.  Keep your pattern simple, too.  Maybe just squares, your fabric selection can make for a beautiful simple quilt.  Don't expect perfection.  Embrace your mistakes, they are what makes your quilt unique and that is how you learn.  Most importantly, have fun!

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