Just Starting Out

Dear Deb,

I want to start quilting! A friend of mine quilts and has been doing so for years but she’s not very good at teaching. Can you point me in the right direction please?Thank you in advance.

Just Starting Out

Dear Starting Out,

Thanks for writing  – I’m sure we’ll get loads of answers from happy quilters out there! The first thing I would say is – start small! Don’t try a Double Wedding Ring for your first attempt. What about a lap quilt, a small pillow, or even one of the great purses we are seeing everywhere?

The next thing I would say is – use the best quality fabrics you can afford when you start off, and make sure they’re 100% cotton. You will be putting a great deal of time and effort into your quilts so be sure they are going to withstand the test of time by using good quality fabric. The better fabrics are just more beautiful as well. Most good fabric stores have a clearance center for fabric if you are on a budget so check that source. These fabrics are generally still high quality and are just needing to be sold.

The other thing to think about is which pattern you’re going to be using. I started with the Log Cabin, which features strips of fabric placed around a center square. In times gone by, the center square used to be red as a reminder that the hearth is the center of the home. I would recommend Eleanor Burns “Log Cabin in a Day” book. No, you will not make this quilt in a day as the name implies but it is an excellent resource when you first start.

One last suggestion is for you to get acquainted with the gals at your local quilt shop. These ladies will become your best friend and can be an asset when you get in a jam and need some help. They will surely become the support group you need and will offer you encouragement and an eager audience when you finish your projects! Sign up right away for the next beginning quilting class so you will learn the right way to do it from the start. While there are few rules in quilting, there are a few that need to be followed very closely when you start out. A quilting class will give you the foundation you need in the beginning.

Try to remember that quilting started as a way of recycling fabric, including grain sacks! Our quilting ancestors didn’t color co-ordinate or spend ages deciding on what fabrics went well together – they used what they had. When you think of quilting in this way, it takes the pressure off!

Till we meet again, may your days be pieceful!

 Deb

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