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Thread: new to quilting - need confidence boost

  1. #1
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    new to quilting - need confidence boost

    Hi all: I've been lurking around for a while, admiring and loving all that I see and the help and support you give each other. My first quilt is kind of a mess, trouble with 1/4", seams that don't match...etc. I really need a block or pattern that will build a little confidence, something that I can be successful at. Any good ideas for me? I DO have the fabric obsession already... how did I miss all of that for so long? Advice will be appreciated. Mazy

  2. #2
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Rail fence, 9 patch, or a warm wishes are all good blocks to start with.

  3. #3
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    Yes, I would agree with Scissor queen and make a rail fence. I recommend the book Start quilting with Alex Anderson. That was the book I used for my first quilt.
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."


    https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeachPalaceDesigns

  4. #4
    Senior Member star619's Avatar
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    Beginner quilt

    Quote Originally Posted by MazyZ View Post
    Hi all: I've been lurking around for a while, admiring and loving all that I see and the help and support you give each other. My first quilt is kind of a mess, trouble with 1/4", seams that don't match...etc. I really need a block or pattern that will build a little confidence, something that I can be successful at. Any good ideas for me? I DO have the fabric obsession already... how did I miss all of that for so long? Advice will be appreciated. Mazy
    All of us have been where you are, so don't lose hope! One of my favorite patterns is called "Pieces of Eight" (pirate movie reference). You assemble fabrics that "go together", perhaps fabrics of a designer's line, and cut out squares 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" assemble them on you design board (or the floor). Once you are happy with the arrangement, sew adjoining blocks together until you have completed a row. Once all rows are stitched together, then sees rows together, and -voila! - you have a quilt top! Be patient, take time to get those 1/4" seams correct, and you can''t lose. Good luck and welcome to our obsession! Debbie Stair

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    rail fence was my first quilt. It is a very forgiving pattern with not a lot of seam matching.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    to MazyZ
    Start small, like a Quilt for Kids quilt. Go to Quilts for Kids website and request a kit. They will send you fabric all precut with very simple directions for a small cuddle size quilt. they are for kids in hospital with serious illness. You provide the sewing, batting, and send the finished quilt back. Meanwhile you learn on a small, SIMPLE quilt at a fraction of the cost.
    You need to master accurate cutting and sewing 1/4" seams, or the seams may never match. It may help to starch your fabric before cutting also to get more accurate cuts.
    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    I am new to quilting also. But I'm not new to sewing. My first quilt I am still hand quilting the top. But first thing I would say is don’t be over critical in the beginning. I have seen some places where my lines are not 100% but close enough that unless you are looking really close you probably won't notice. What pattern are you using? Can you get some scrap fabric cheep and practice the squares to make them line up better? Maybe find some sheets on clearance (even if they don’t match) and get a couple colors and practice the squares. Or maybe get some different color paper and practice that way I’d even sew it on the machine and see what happens. Also many people recommended marking your 1/4" sew line on your machine as a guide. I know that made it easier for me. Good Luck and don't get discouraged.

    And my last piece of advice is buying a good seam ripper. Just remember to have fun with it. This is supposed to be relaxing.

    Diane

  8. #8
    Super Member WTxRed's Avatar
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    Hi Mary - welcome! I started making quilts a few months ago in November. I went big. And I went with a pattern that intrigued me. I made a queen size labyrinth (by Debbie Maddy). Big pieces, good instructions, picked my own colors, sewed to my heart's content. Another, in my opinion, real easy quilt was my 2nd one - Radiant by Cozy Quilt shop. Another queen, another with big pieces. Again I picked my own fabrics/colors. I decided big pieces and big quilts are a little more forgiving for that initial lack of accuracy that some of us may have / had. I've got pics of those posted on here under this link, New Quilts - first 3 quilts

    I have also done a One Block Wonder (LOVE IT) and a radiant sunshine shadow 9-patch ... 2-1/2 inch finished blocks which was certainly more challenging.... as well as a few others tossed in here and there. Find a pattern you like - read it start to finish and ask questions about what doesn't make sense to you at that time.

    Don't be intimidated by how things 'look' finished. Envision in your mind's eye how you want it to look and go for it!

    Know no fear! (Course with that you have to own a really good seam ripper :-) )

    Good luck - follow your heart!

  9. #9
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    My very first quilt was a sampler. I used a good old fasioned seam guage to check my 1/4" seams constantly and put several layers of masking tape down on my machine bed to mark where the fabric should but against to maintain it. I also agree with turner0106 in that you need to learn and repeat the mantra "good enough" and "close enough". I like samplers because they challenge you and you will learn LOTS of different techniques. Especially if done through a learning to quilt type book. I used this book http://www.amazon.com/Learning-To-Qu...7790145&sr=8-1
    It taught you almost everything you would come up against in quiltmaking. Templates, set in seams, curved seams, applique, matching up odd shaped pieces. Yes I did do some ripping but the quilt I ended up with was beautiful and it gave me the confidence to tackle ANY pattern. So if it is confidence you are looking for, challenge yourself. Remember there is a difference between gaining confidence and just making yourself feel good because you could do it but didn't challenge yourself.

  10. #10
    Super Member Abby'smom's Avatar
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    just keep at it! -- one of my bee members draws lines to keep 1/4 inch seams (she is a perfectionist and her work is beautiful) -- LOL I tried drawing lines but my lines weren't 1/4 inches either -- just keep enjoying quilting and working at it -- also applique blocks (I use Eleanor Burns's interfaced method) can help with quilts looking good --
    diane

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