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Topic: You're best quilting tip for a newbie  (Read 1343 times)
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« on: December 21, 2008 12:38:08 PM »

What is your best quilting tip for a quilting newbie? What do you wish someone had told you? Or something you've learned that has made quilting easier for you?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008 08:24:14 PM »

Get some freezer paper for making circles or ovals.

1. Cut out a circle from the paper and iron it shiny side down on the wrong side of your fabric (hot but no steam). It won't leave any residue.
2. Cut out your fabric around the circle about 1/2 to 3/4 inch away from the paper. Then sew right around the paper, about 1/4 inch from the edge, and don't backstitch. Clip the thread ends long, and then pull one end to gather the circle into a cup.
3. Then you can iron the edge over the paper and you get a perfect circle. Once it is ironed, you can pull the paper off. You can actually reuse the paper a few times.   
4. You can topstitch the circles to whatever you are making.
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008 08:53:43 AM »

I'd say take a beginner's class is my best advice.  I learned how to sew an accurate 1/4" seam (I have to adjust my needle two positions over, and I wouldn't have known that unless I'd taken the class); how to cut better; how to chain piece; how to make half-square and quarter-square triangles; what the names of blocks are; how to sew on binding; what types of batting there are; that washing and ironing with heavy starch makes fabric easier to sew; how to butt seams together by ironing in opposite directions...  the list goes on and on! 

If a taking a class isn't an option, then getting a good book is a must.  We used Start Quilting with Alex Anderson in our class.  There's also one called Mastering Precision Piecing that is really good.  And, The Quilter's Ultimate Visual Guide (which got 5 starts on Amazon.com!  It's a good book!).  I'm sure others can recommend good books, too.
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2008 01:08:02 PM »

start simple! my second ever sewing project was a very easy quilt top that came out beautiful, despite the mistakes I made, because it was easy easy easy (the pattern is "5 and dime" by all washed up).
and I have to agree with sewhelpme about taking a class.
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008 01:31:10 PM »

My best tip would be press, press, press

press your fabric before you cut, once you've pieced and before you quilt

it helps with accuracy and makes your finished product look so much nicer

Also, I agree about taking a class
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008 03:06:49 PM »

Make sure you leave your batting and backing larger than your quilt top because they will draw up when you quilt.

« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2008 07:00:54 PM »

Don't be afraid to make mistakes!  Almost anything can be undone or adjusted.  And mistakes are a great part of the learning process.
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