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Topic: Quilting Advice for Beginners  (Read 66631 times)
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www.sly-eye.com
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2004 01:35:53 PM »

This site has a lot of great beginner tips  http://a-zlist.about.com/q.htm
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ecinue88
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2004 01:59:32 PM »

HGTV has a pretty extensive collection of step-by-step picture tutorials and common mistakes/tips

http://hgtv.com/hgtv/cr_quilting/0,1788,HGTV_3298,00.html
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Bex
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2004 08:34:05 AM »

Those are great! Thanks!!!
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Guys I've made an awesome new discovery! Blue and yellow mixed together makes an entirely different color... I'm gonna call it, BLELLOW!!!!
knittykat
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2004 07:57:38 AM »

I see a lot of people saying they would like to quilt but are not sure how to do it.  I'll leave it to you to figure out the top, but here are some basic instructions for making your quilt.

A quilt is like a sandwich, it has a layer of backing fabric, a layer of batting, and a layer of top fabric, your 'quilt top' if you will.  Once you have your fabric and your backing fabric, you need batting.  If you can, purchase good batting from a quilt shop.  Polyester is fine, but that Mountain Mist stuff you can buy at Wal-Mart is not the best stuff.  It is difficult to work with.  Usually a good twin size batting from a quilt shop will cost about $12 so it is not a lot more money, but a lot better quality.

Spread your backing fabric out on a card table or dining room table.  Be aware that when you are pinning you may prick the top of the table a bit, so put something on the table if it is your heirloom dining room table!  Put the batting over it.  Then put your quilt top on top.  The batting and backing fabric should extend at least 3 inches or so from the edge of your quilt.  As you quilt the fabric may scrunch in, and you don't want to 'lose' the edge of your backing or your batting.

Pull it pretty taut using those huge 'bulldog' clips from the office supply store (clip them right on the edge of the table) or a couple of friends can hold it down.  Pin through all three layers with safety pins.  Do not skimp on the safety pins!

Once your entire quilt is pinned, then you have a couple of options for quilting on your sewing machine.  One is to use a 'walking foot' which holds all three layers together while you sew to minimize scrunchage.  You can sew in any configuration of straight lines with your walking foot.  Up and down, diagonal, big x's, whatever you like.  This is the 'basic' quilting form.

Another option is a 'darning' or 'free motion' foot.  This is a little sewing machine foot that is straight up and down with a little hole in it.  Drop the feed dogs on the machine when using a darning foot.  You will move the fabric along.  This is my favorite form of quilting.  You just make squiggly lines.  You can squiggle close, you can squiggle far away.  You can squiggle in lines or just in a random pattern.  You can write your name or make big swirls or whatever.  It is incredibly relaxing and fun like finger painting.  

When quilting your quilt (it doesn't matter as much for just sewing together the pieces) it is best to use actual quilting thread.  It costs a touch more but it is worth it.  It is stronger and made of better materials.  Most traditional quilters use a quilting thread that matches their quilt, but you don't have to do that. Quilt a dark quilt with white thread or vice versa for an interesting effect.  There are also metallic threads which are fun to use and add a subtle sparkle to your quilt.  One thing you may want to do is use a colored thread for your top thread and use a thread that matches the backing for your bobbin thread.  Then the stitches will disappear on the bottom, but stand out on the top.  

For putting the binding on the quilt, pick up a Fons & Porters Perfect Binding Card.  This little card has all the information you will need to bind your quilt and finish it off.

Hopefully this helps.  It is not really hard to quilt but there are so many different 'schools of thought' and instructions out there, it is difficult to sort through.  These are very basic instructions that should be able to help any beginner.

Quiltingly,
Kat
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pseudola
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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2004 09:00:22 AM »

Thanks for the tips Kat! Any chance you can add a couple of pictures? Wink
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Lara
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2004 11:21:29 PM »

i've always wanted to try quilting, please if you can add some pictures...
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knittykat
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2004 11:50:54 AM »

Yikes!  While I am pretty good at sewing, I have no idea how to post pics.  

If I can eventually figure it out, what would you like to see pics of?  I can try to find some links online of techniques or explain anything I was unclear on.

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jinamae
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« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2004 05:20:35 PM »

Thanks for the insight...do you have any advice for piecing the fabric together?
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knittykat
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2004 12:51:51 PM »

Well, Jinamae, you can do almost anything with piecing fabric together!  

For basic block construction, I highly recommend the book Quilts From the Quiltmaker's Gift.  It is a beautiful, brightly colored book that is designed around the needs of all different quilting levels.  It has design options for every different block pattern and general guidelines on how many blocks to make, cutting instructions, etc.  It has a good sampling of traditional quilt blocks in beautiful color interpretations.

If you want to go a little crazier, I am currently having an absolute blast making yardenxanthe's paper pieced crazy quilt.  I am using up a gazillion different pieces of fabric from my stash and every square is gorgeous in its own way.  With this style of quilting, it is very relaxing as it requires a minimum of precision.  It is a lot of fun to mix the different colors and watch the stash pile go down!

If you want to go with a traditional quilt block, I would recommend the Log Cabin, Nine Patch, or Puss in the Corner styles.  All of them are featured in Quilts From the Quiltmaker's Gift and many other sources as well.  Those blocks all have straight seams (no bias seams or curves) and simple, straightforward construction and relatively large pieces.  You don't want to try a very complex pattern fresh out of the gate or you will lose interest.

When piecing the top, always use a 1/4 inch seam on all pieces so that all your blocks are exactly the same size.  Even if you only make one quilt, it is worth the investment to buy a 1/4 inch foot with an edge (they're not expensive) so that you don't go blind squinting at the little numbers on the soleplate.  

Remember that your first quilt will have some errors but it will be a labor of love.  Nothing will ever replace your first quilt.

Never underestimate the power of borders.  I made a log cabin quilt and only had enough fabric to make 12 blocks.  That wasn't very big, so I ended up putting 3 borders of varying sizes (one was 6 inches wide!) on it using interesting fabrics, and the quilt is a good size and far more interesting than plain blocks.

Hopefully this helps.  Just call me the quilting granny...I'll ask DH if he knows how to post pics for you guys, and keep the questions coming as I love to help.

Kat
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sporkie
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2004 01:12:26 PM »

Any chance one of you can post a tutorial on mitering the corners of a border?  I found some instructions online, but they still don't make any sense Sad
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