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Message Board > Quilters' Corner > Where To Start? ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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Where To Start?
Sewnsewmom
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Sewnsewmom
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Date: 12/30/11 5:44 PM

I want to learn to quilt! After seeing some of the beautiful quilts in this topic, it makes me really want to get going! But where do I start? I have only done to quilts. Both small. I guess they are lap quilts? Both for my kids. They were just panels, however.

Any advice/tips/book recommendations?

Thank you!

Sharon1952
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Sharon1952  Friend of PR
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In reply to Sewnsewmom


Date: 12/30/11 7:20 PM

I'd say get online and check out some ideas and patterns. Do you want to find real classes you can take somewhere or work on it on your own?

I learned from magazines back in the 70s, but today there are so many more resources. If you have a JoAnns or Hancocks wait til you have a coupon and then go search through their books for beginner quilts.

I think you will love quilting as a hobby!

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Sewing: A creative mess is better than tidy idleness. ~Author Unknown

SouthernStitch
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In reply to Sewnsewmom


Date: 12/30/11 7:26 PM

I'm just getting started too, having only made a table runner and a mini quilt. But, I did really enjoy the process, so I'm diving in head first.
Here is what I got for quilting so far. Doesn't mean you need all of this, but it will give you ideas.

1. Rotary cutter and mat. I have a couple of sizes, and I do prefer the non-healing June Tailor gray mat I have (about 24x36) as it doesn't dull the blades as bad as self-healing, and heat doesn't harm it. I've had it about 15 years and it's just now needing replacing - after HEAVY use. But most folks use the self healing. I have one of those too, in a smaller size, like 18x24. But it got wavy in the back of my car on a hot day.
2. 6.5 x 26 in ruler with rough spots on the back to prevent sliding. This I think really is a must.
3. Regular see through 2x18 in ruler with eighth and quarter inch markings. Another must.
4. 12 inch square with a cut out in the middle for a 9 inch square, and a 4 inch square - helps in squaring up blocks, and cutting. Not a must.
5. Best Press spray on starch - great stuff - another must.
6. Thangles - I haven't used this yet. Mine are to help cut and sew half square triangles accurately. Not a must by any means.
7. Cotton thread for the actual quilting part. Many use poly for piecing and cotton for quilting, some use just cotton for the whole process. I'm still unsure what I'll do. Probably cotton for all of it. And folks LOVE the Superior brand.
8. A good quarter inch foot for your machine. Helps a lot I found.
9. A Quilting Guild in your area to join might be a good idea.

I do wish I'd started by just doing small beginner kits - though they are hard to find. Even when I google for them, they all look hard to me!
This site has loads of free quilting blocks with instructions, and they are rated for beginner on up.


Books -- I love and trust Nancy Zieman, so anything by her is great. I love her *Quilting with Confidence* book. It's neither large nor intimidating, but gives you all the info you need to start, and patterns too.

There are others who will chime in who are quilting GREATNESS here, and I look forward to what they have to say. I just wanted to chime in to give a newbie like me some support.
Oh, and I ordered the Accuquilt GO yesterday, lol. I want whatever will make this journey easy and fun!
-- Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day is another great resource.
-- Edited on 12/30/11 7:36 PM --

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Bernina 780, and 530
Juki TL2010
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When life gives you green velvet curtains, make a green velvet dress.

MyAnn

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In reply to Sewnsewmom


Date: 12/30/11 7:36 PM

Hi Sewnsewnmom:

I started with the Alex Anderson book Start Quilting. She explains everything that you will need and then gives you simple quilt patterns to start piecing. She also explains how to sandwich and then stitch in the ditch quilt.

If you have a quilt shop nearby, you might want to check into beginning quilt classes.

I read Alex's book and then took a beginning quilt class. The class was enlightening, although I didn't learn much more than what I read in the book and online. I learn by reading and then doing....more so than being taught by other people. Not all people are like me though.

Best wishes with your quilting...once you get started you will have so much fun collecting fabric and patterns. There are so many easy quilt patterns for free online...just Google "free quilt patterns."

MyAnn

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Annie
Bernina 630
Viking Designer I
Viking Huskylock Serger 905
2 Singer Featherweights 1936 and 1947

Warbler
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In reply to Sewnsewmom


Date: 12/30/11 8:18 PM

Of course there are the standard tools that have already been listed... but depending on your sewing machine, I recommend getting a 1/4 inch foot. There are generics out there if your machine brand doesn't have one. Also if you plan to do machine applique then an open toe foot is a must. A walking foot is needed for sewing the binding onto the quilt and quilting. A stitch-in-the-ditch or edge joining foot for ditch quilting. I like to use a traveling iron near my machine so I can press between sewing as I sew blocks. >Rowenta Travel Iron I use it as a dry iron so I don't need to worry about spitting and keep a bottle of Best Press nearby too.

For books - Google books has The Art of Classic Quiltmaking by Harriet Hargrave and Sharyn Craig. It is out of print but you can purchas and download it as an ebook. It is one of the best basic quilt books and worth even looking at Google Books. Another good series is Quilter's Academy vols. 1-3

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Janome MC6600 Bernina 240 Juki MO735 Singer 201-2 Singer 221-1

Sewnsewmom
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Sewnsewmom
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Date: 12/30/11 8:23 PM

Thank you everybody! I am a read it and learn type of individual. Unfortunately, I can't take a class right now. So, I appreciate all of the references to the quilting books.
And thank you for the list of things to get! I look forward to getting more sewing stuff!

Be careful everybody! I will probably come and bug you with endless questions.

Warbler
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In reply to Sewnsewmom


Date: 12/30/11 8:31 PM

Alibris has several used copies of Art of Classic Quiltmaking. I use this book as a reference for basic techiniques more than any other book.

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Janome MC6600 Bernina 240 Juki MO735 Singer 201-2 Singer 221-1

Amy-may
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Date: 12/30/11 9:03 PM

Do you want to make traditional quilts or art quilts? If you are thinking art quilts, Ricky Tims Convergence book is wonderful.

I started with a table runner and then a sampler wall hanging. Since then I've moved through traditional quilts and into art quilts.

Have fun!

seaside sewer
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Date: 12/31/11 2:23 AM

I had always been a sewer, but promised myself that when I retired I would learn to quilt. I am not one for classes, I like to teach myself. The very first quilt I did was an Advent quilt,

P6130004


all stitched by hand. I had some tricky moments, and looking back at it now, can see my mistakes due to inexperience, but, we all have to start somewhere. I went on to buying a couple of simple - ish looking kits, and a couple of 'how to' books. I bought the equipment as I needed it. I did mostly simple quilting to start with, stitch in the ditch, straight line patterns, then went on to simple stippling. I am now improving my free motion quilting.
I taught myself, and am happy to learn that way. I picked up lots of info from books, online sites, and by speaking to other quilters who I have got to know over time.

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Bernina sewing machines 750, 440, 215, 1008. Bernina overlocker/serger 1150MDA
Pfaff Creative Performance
Janome embellisher
Singer featherweight 221K white
Frister and Rossmann Cub 7

Maia B
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Maia B  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/31/11 3:33 AM

Ditto much of the above info. I have the same iron as Warbler, and it's a huge help. I use a larger, cheap Sunbeam for steam ironing, but the little Rowenta for dry pressing of blocks and pieced units is so superior. The lighter weight is less fatiguing. It's also smaller for Taking to classes. I use 50 or 60 wt cotton for piecing. Poly *can* melt at high temps, and I do press very hot. 1/4" foot (or a foot that'll give a 1/4" with the needle position changed) is essential. I went years without a large, square ruler 12.5" or larger for squaring up blocks, doing it by the mat measurements instead. Too easy to slip that way, IMO. That was one notable upgrade. Same with a June Tailor Cut n Press. Way better than the ironing board for precision pressing blocks. Handy, too. I'm new to machine quilting, so 20+ years of hand quilting tips won't help you FMQ.

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🌸 Plenty of machines, mostly Berninas 🌸

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