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Thread: Getting Started

  1. #1

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    Hey So I am a absolute beginner. I have a few questions for yall if you don't mind.

    *How did you get started?
    *what is/are your inspiration(s)?
    *Do you hand sew or use a machine and why?
    *Do you have any tips or advice for me?
    *I hear it can be very expensive to start, is that true?

    Thank you so much for spending time on answering my questions:)

  2. #2
    Super Member Jennifer22206's Avatar
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    *How did you get started?
    My grandmother and all of her family were taylors, seamstresses and quilters. She started teaching me, and then her eyesight started to go, so I used the internet to get going.

    *what is/are your inspiration(s)?
    Oh there are so many to list. I wouldn't know where to begin. I love blog hopping, Love this board just look at the picture section.

    *Do you hand sew or use a machine and why?
    I do both. I have a grandmother flower garden quilt that I'm hand piecing and planning on hand quilting. It's portable and I can take it whenever I want something to work on. And I do use a machine. I'm kinda addicted to machines. I have three more modern machines and two vintage, and planning on buying another vintage.

    *Do you have any tips or advice for me?
    Ask questions here! Don't be afraid.

    *I hear it can be very expensive to start, is that true?
    Yes and no. If you have a sewing machine now, that's probably the biggest "start up". Fabric is expensive, but you can find great deals online. I wouldn't rush out and get one of every ruler, at least not right away. I'd suggest a rotary cutter, mat and 2 rulers, a 6.5x13 and a 6.5x24.5 Those are the ones I use most often.

  3. #3
    cjr
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    Super Member cjr's Avatar
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    Welcome sweetpea13,
    I started quilting almost 2 yrs ago after I retired. Something I always wanted to do. I became obsessed after my 2nd class.
    I strongly suggest you take a beginning class to learn the basics; it makes it so much easier. This board is wonderful, supportative, imformative and very talented. It has become my go to place for info, tips & tricks.
    Yes quilting is expensive, but there are cost cutting tricks.
    My inspirations are the every day things of life, this board, art, other quilters, quilt shops, a swatch of fabric. Many people choose to have things planned out for them and use kits.
    Welcome to a whole new world. You will love it

  4. #4
    Super Member needles3thread's Avatar
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    Find a beginners pattern that you like. It will tell you how much
    fabric you need. Perhaps a small wall hanging or table runner
    first because it will take less time to finish. Squares are easier
    than triangles - no curves to start with.
    Maybe start with fabrics that aren't so expensive, but ones
    that you like. Using a sewing machine is quicker than hand sewing. Quilt shops fabrics are expensive, but they can be very
    helpful for a beginner. You can buy tools & notions as you go
    along -- a cutting mat and rotary cutter would be a start.
    Buy a good reference book to learn basics or/and take a class for beginners.

  5. #5
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetpea13
    Hey So I am a absolute beginner. I have a few questions for yall if you don't mind.

    *How did you get started?
    *what is/are your inspiration(s)?
    *Do you hand sew or use a machine and why?
    *Do you have any tips or advice for me?
    *I hear it can be very expensive to start, is that true?

    Thank you so much for spending time on answering my questions:)
    1. My first quilt was made for my daughter 36 years ago before mats and rotary cutters. It was my intention to make a quilt for each child but I soon got too busy raising kids to quilt. So, when my daughter had my first grandson, it seemed like the perfect time to make a baby quilt. I started from "scratch" learning how to use rotary cutters and everything else.
    2. Everything is my inspiration---a piece of fabric, a reason (like a new grandbaby), or a good cause (charity quilt)----I have so many projects going on and lots of ideas for many more.
    3.I use the machine to piece quilts but also like to embroider and do applique by hand.
    4.This bulletin board is the BEST! I have learned so much from more experienced members and there is always someone to help you. (I also joined two local guilds I enjoy, too)
    5. You can spend a lot of money getting started or very little, the choice is yours. I used my Mom's sewing machine, bought a mat and a cutter and started. Fabric has gotten more expensive but it can be found cheaper than the local quilt stores. (thousandsofbolts.com, thrift stores, garage sales)

    I hope that helps and good luck to you. I love quilting. :P

  6. #6
    Super Member Dina's Avatar
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    Welcome, Sweetpea13, you have come to the right place. My best advice is to pick a simple quilt pattern (you can do that online....just google beginning quilt patterns, that is what I did), buy some fabric (a rotary cutter, a few quilting rulers and cutting board at Wal-Mart too), and just start.

    That is sort of what I did 2 years ago. Oh, I also joined a quilting guild and took a learn to quilt workshop. That helped a lot...but what I was going to say is that you can ask any question here and get an answer immediately.

    For example, I bought the rotary cutter and could not figure out how to load it...I didn't know if I should leave the oily stuff on the new blade (when I was changing blades. Mine came with a blade in it, as I suspect most do. I just hopped on this site and had an immediate answer. I also asked if I should leave selvage on fabric...another immediate answer.

    Just go for it. This site is better than a quilter sitting beside you telling you how to do something.

  7. #7

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    Hi
    I took a beginners hand piecing class. By the time it was up I had the basics enough I could figure things out.

    I do both hand and machine. I like being able to drag small projects with me, work lunch hour, Dr. office, hotel rooms when on trips.

    I started so long ago, before rotory cutters were common. I used sandpaper and cardboard and marked the wrong side of the fabric and cut it with sissors.

    Get a good rotory cutting matt, ruler, and cutter.
    The rulers I use most are the 6.5x24.5 and the 12.5x12.5
    You don't need every new gaget that comes down the pike, but some of them are really fun.
    Get a good pair of sissors and hang a ribbon on them and don't cut anything but fabric with them.

    Make a couple small things to start. Feels good to finish. With each new project try something new.

    Welcome to the fun.

  8. #8
    dd
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    I would say find some other quilters in your area. A guild or just a group who get together to quilt or just to get together. Our "guild" just does UFO's, mainly, but everyone gives opinions and is very willing to help out with borrowing patterns and things like that. We have a small library for books and patterns. We had a man show up one night and say "teach me to quilt". We helped him and he has made quite a few by now. I love the friendships in our group/guild. I am inviting your to ours but hey, your still hiding.lol Not sure how far you might have to travel to join us.

  9. #9

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    Thank y'all so much for all of the caring advice. Y'all answered me ASAP. I was very impressed :)

    As for dd. I'm from Minnesota. So it'd be a long haul, but if I'm every in Maryland. I will definitely stop in :) Also, I will definitely check to see if there are any guilds near by. I'm going to assume so, since I live in the Cities here.

    So for all of the required tools, I can just pick them up cheap at walmart or should I shop online for cheaper and compare prices. I'm a College Student!! lol

    Again, I am very thankful of all of your responses and will take all of your ideas and advice and surely start learning the craft!
    <3

    Also, If anyone still wants to reply to the thread I greatly appreciate your passion! :)

  10. #10
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    I agree. Find a LQS with classes and a guild or quilting group.

    Pick a pattern you really love and fabric you can't resist. Even if it isn't a beginners quilt [though this might help.] If you are in love with it you will finish it faster. Doesn't matter if it is a crib size or California King.

    If you aren't in love with what you choose ... like you buy cheaper fabric you aren't wild about and pick a simple but not inspiring pattern you just might want to give up.

    I machine quilt. I don't believe you need an expensive machine. Heck, the FeatherWeights only sew straight seams. You just need a well maintained machine.

    If you go to a group you may find the members will willingly share their stash with you. Some will give you extra tools they have. Some groups even supply all the fabric for charity quilts.

    It doesn't have to be expensive. Consider it cheaper than mental health therapy and healthier than many other habits.

    You will find the community of quilters to be awesome.

    ali

  11. #11
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    Everyone here has given you great advice already. I started quilting about 10 years ago. I came from a garment/home dec sewing background so the sewing part was easy. I already had a machine so that was easy. Wasn't an expensive machine at all. You can look on craigslist in your area and find a good used one for a very reasonable price if you can be a little patient.

    A friend of mine was a quilter which is what got me interested initially. I spent time at my local library looking at instruction and pattern books. Also watched Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson on HGTV at the time - great instructions. Check your local listings to see if there are any quilting programs in your area - usually the PBS channels.

    After looking at different patterns/fabrics I quickly realized I prefer traditional patterns with more contemporary fabrics. My first project was a table runner that I made marking the back of the fabric and cutting with scissors. After all, people eons ago did not have all these rotary cutters, rulers, mats, etc. and they did beautiful work. After that table runner and deciding I liked the process and the result I bought a mat, rotary cutter and a couple of rulers. Wait for coupons/sales at Joanns or Michaels if they are in your area.

    I typically machine piece and hand quilt my projects because I like to do hand work. I have also hand pieced and machine quilted. Like the hand piecing for portability and really don't care for machine quilting but it does have it's place in life. It's just not something that I enjoy but I admire alot of the quilts that are machine quilted.

    Check out garage/yard sales and thrift shops for fabrics - they can be a great resource for fabric and tools alike.

    This craft does not have to be expensive. Online resources, especially here, can be tremendously helpful. And your local library is also a great resource. You can check many books to see what you may want as a definite resourcse before you spend tons of $$.

    Quilting can be very theraputic - it makes you concentrate on what you are doing and takes your mind off anything else that may be worrying you, at least for a bit. Gives you time to breathe. Enjoy the process.

  12. #12
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    Welcome from Michigan! I'm still pretty new! Been at it 2 yrs. I do both hand and machine. I learned from an old library book and help from here!! I loping my June Taylor cutting stRip system! Less waste and guessing can cut 1/4" strips and squares, rectangles and diamonds. I got it online so was cheaper. Didn't have a big stash. Started buying on here and it exploded! Good quality and prices better than LQS!!
    Good luck! Question?? Just ask on here!!

  13. #13
    dd
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    As for a machine, I sent an email around my church and had 2 nice, older machine3 donated. Both were in good condition but my dad can go over the machine and it didn't cost me anything there. I use them when something happens to the ones the girls bring for their 4H class. Put a notice up at school or church and one may be donated to you. Got an extra car seat for my husband's car that way too. Ask and you shall receive.

    As for coming to MD, let me know when you get here!lol

    Have extra, will share!

  14. #14
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    Hey dd, where in MD are you? I'll be heading to Ellicott City tomorrow for the Preakness Balloon festival. We'll be there through Sat. AM. Unfortunately I don't think we'll get much flying in - maybe Fri. AM and Sat. AM at this point so I may have some free time on Fri.

  15. #15
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    Would love to help you out. Pm your address and i'll send you a box of goodies!!!

  16. #16

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    Oh you are all so wonderful! I am going to check out my library and internet for books, and patterns (although I think I have already found one. no curves, just diamonds only! I found this quilt at an estate sale and my grandma bought it for me. I love it to pieces!) I also already have a sewing machine, YAY!!! Mom didn't throw it out, just hid it. Otherwise I'm going to slowly collect my needed materials :)I'm soo pumped. Thank y'all so much :)

  17. #17
    dd
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    Be careful with diamonds, they have bias edges and bias stretches. You can do it, just be careful. Be sure to share your finished works of art.

  18. #18

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    okay, thank you for that advice!!!! I will:)

    Quick Question If I found a pattern that I like, I can tweak it to make it easier/harder right?

  19. #19
    dd
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    Not sure I know what you mean. It's your quilt, you can do whatever you want with it. (boy, if I had a nickle...)lol You can try using June Tailor diamond cut ruler. You should be able to strip piece and cut the diamonds that way. I have one I haven't used yet but it says to check out the web site, www.junetailor.com, for patterns. Hope this was helpful.

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