Updated: Oct 14
Quilting is such a fun and relaxing hobby, but it can be overwhelming for beginners. There are so many different pieces to the puzzle that you need to figure out before you get started from choosing fabrics, finding patterns and fabrics that inspire you, and even deciding what machine would work best for your needs. With all of these things to think about (and learn!) it's easy to feel overwhelmed when starting with quilting. But don't worry! I've put together a list of five tips I wish someone had told me when I first started quilting:
Know How To Thread and Oil Your Sewing Machine
If you’re new to quilting and don't know much about sewing machines, it can be easy to forget that they need regular care and maintenance. Your sewing machine is a tool that you use every time you go to work on your quilt, so it's important to keep it in good working order. The best way for beginners like yourself to be successful is to read the manual making sure you understand how to thread the machine, when and how to clean it, and where to oil it (if your machine needs oil). If a machine is not threaded correctly, it will not give you even stitches
This is important for several reasons. First, it allows you to get used to the detailed work involved in quilting without feeling overwhelmed. If you start with a small project, like a table runner or pillowcase, you'll be able to see your progress as the project grows and take pride in your accomplishments along the way. Second, starting small will help you learn how quilts are made without trying to tackle a bed-sized quilt right away (which is often overwhelming). Thirdly—and this one's more of a personal preference—I love seeing the finished product when I'm done making something myself; however, when I try to do something too big on my own (like an entire quilt), I end up either losing interest or giving up partway through because it seems so daunting at first glance (even though I know how much fun it will be once I get into it).
As a beginner, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s inevitable! If you want to learn how to quilt well, you need to give yourself time and space to make those mistakes.
This doesn't mean that there's no place for speed in quilting (there totally is!), but it does mean that if you're trying something new, or if your skills are not where they should be yet, then go slow and be kinder on yourself.
The best way to avoid frustration when learning the craft of quilting is simply by giving yourself time. Everyone learns at a different rate; some people pick up things quickly while others take longer. Don't allow yourself or anyone else's expectations about how fast or slow your progress should be to dictate whether this is something worth pursuing!
Quarter-inch seams are important. They're the foundation for any quilting project and practice makes perfect. If you don’t have a quarter inch foot mark a quarter inch from your needle with a piece of tape and you this as your guide.
You'd be surprised how often this comes in handy when making your quilts! If you've never done 1/4 seams before, give them a try on some scrap fabrics—you'll see how easy it is once you've got the hang of it!
Pressing is an essential step in quilting. It's part of the process that helps you to create a professional finish for your quilt. A steam iron is a good tool, but you can also use a spray bottle to iron those seams.
Preparing and having the right tools can make your quilting journey fun! Once you begin this satisfying hobby you will find yourself collecting different types of rulers. Purchasing a wall-mounted Ruler Rack from Rita's Racques can keep those expensive rulers safe and easy to find when you need them.
Preparing your sewing s: It's a good idea to have your sewing machine serviced before you start quilting. It's also helpful to learn how to use its features, like reverse stitching or the automatic needle threader (if it has one).
Preparing fabrics and threads: If you're just starting, try using a simple fabric like cotton muslin or unbleached cotton so that it's easy for you to see what you're doing when it comes time to sew. And choose threads in colors that complement each other so that they don't clash with the fabric color scheme!
Preparing space: Make sure there's enough room for everything on whatever surface(s) you'll be working on.
Preparing mind: When I started quilting, my mom gave me some advice that has stuck with me ever since: "Take a deep breath and keep calm." This advice applies both while making something new as well as during all those moments where things go wrong (which happens often). We've all done silly things while working on projects; just laugh them off when they happen!
Making yourself comfortable will help keep stress levels low during any given project too—you can listen to music and y even wear pajamas while you sew!
Now you know what to expect when you’re just starting with quilting. It’s a fun and creative hobby that requires patience, practice, and perseverance! Keep in mind that everyone makes mistakes along the way (I sure did!) so don’t lose heart if things don’t go as planned. Just remember that everyone else has been there too