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Thread: Help!!! Is there a Step 1?

  1. #1
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    Help!!! Is there a Step 1?

    Hi everyone. I am a young person who loves to do crafts and I have recently decided that I would like to start quilting. I have read many articles online and watched many YouTube videos but they are overloaded with information and assume that the reader has some background knowledge on quilting and fabric but I do not. Is there a real step one for beginners? Any tips you have for a beginner quilter will be much appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Read some here, lots of good info to get you started simply.

    http://quilting.about.com/od/quiltpa...ing_skills.htm

    Also, get in touch with your local quilt shop and see if they offer beginning classes. Also a local quilt guild might be of some personal help.
    Have a great day sewing and remember to "not sweat the small stuff"!!



  3. #3
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    there are a few choices in...step one....
    locate a local quilt shop, stop in & browse, ask questions-including 'do you offer a beginner class?'
    browse the library for quilt books- pick one up- read it. the 'big book of quilting' is a good start.
    do a search for beginner quilt patterns
    search 'color-theory' articles
    jump in, buy some fabric you love and make a simple patchwork quilt (like cut 6"-8" squares & sew them together) then you can move on to step 2 & learn about layering & quilting your piece.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    First, take a deep breath--if you're like all of us on here you're in for a great journey. I'm self-taught, long before internet videos. If I were starting out, I'd go to the library and find a book on Beginning Quilting and read it start to finish before I jumped in sewing. A basic book would tell you about the supplies you need, how to pick a simple pattern and how to chose fabric. Start small!! And please start!! You will find lots of lessons here and you can always ask any question, and remember we all started out without knowledge. There are no stupid or silly questions.

    Start slow and enjoy the journey--it's not a race to see how many quilts you can make. It's to see how much you enjoy the process.

    Good luck!!
    Imagine all the people living life in peace...(John Lennon 1940-1980)

  5. #5
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    There is!! lol

    you say you do crafts .. so I assume that you understand the basics of sewing. I would tell you that a great beginning class at you Local Quilt Shop (LQS) would be a great place to start. If there is not one available then the Craftsy Block of the Month (BOM) which is free might be fun. The way I started was just start a project.

    This is my favorite easy pattern - a disappearing nine patch (DP9) - There are several tutorials this is just one of many available.

    http://www.joscountryjunction.com/di...atch-tutorial/

    When done it looks really great and with every choice of fabric it looks different - as the blocks once they are cut can be arranged many different ways!!

    Take a minute and assemble a good quilting ruler (6x24 was my first), a cutting mat and cutter. Try something easy and ask LOTS of questions. This is a great board with loads of talented folks more than willing to share their experiences. JUST KNOW ... that when you do and you get 15 responses you will probably have 15 different opinions which may add to the "overload". Just start - and we will help

    Most of all - have fun!! Look forward to seeing what you do.
    Betty

    A quilt will warm your body and comfort your soul.

    http://notesfrommoosehaven.blogspot.com

  6. #6
    Senior Member jjsnacks's Avatar
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    welcome on board QB .... you have joined a very friendly helpful site

  7. #7
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    Welcome from Ontario, Canada. You might like to start with something simple like pot holders/place mats or a table runner. Try watching some of Jenny Doan's tutorials for Missouri Star Quilt Co.

  8. #8
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    A good book to get for a quilter starting out is Quilter's Complete Guide by Marianne Fons and Liz Porter

    This link will take you to Amazon's site to get the book at a really low cost. If you go to the hard cover version to page 2 there is a like new copy for $5.00 plus shipping. I like the hard copy as it is spiral bound and you can open it flat.

    http://tinyurl.com/a8gwgdk
    Last edited by patchsamkim; 01-06-2013 at 07:24 AM.

  9. #9
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    I'm not young by any stretch, but did just start quilting. Of course, everyone learns differently, but I bought a book - Hip to Be Square, by Boo Davis. It has very cool patterns, and great step by step instructions. I started by just making potholders out of the book to get a good idea how to put blocks together. There are several good beginner books out there, several mentioned already. The only thing I didn't like in the Hip to be Square book is the machine binding process. I personally think that to do a good job on that, you have to be a more experienced sewist.

  10. #10
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    Thanks everyone. When I said I do crafts I meant knitting, crocheting, origami, bracelet making, and things like that. The only time I ever sew is with yarn and a yarn needle on my crochet projects. I am 13 and I don't make a lot of money. Haha. I could maybe get some books if I come upon some extra cash now and again. With my busy schedule, I don't know if group type classes are the best. I was going to ask for a sewing machine for my birthday in April. Is it bad for a beginner to machine quilt? Any sewing machine recommendations?

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Ask your relatives about any sewing machine not being used or forgotten. You may be surprised at what a gem there may be in the closet. If you find one, post the model here and you'll get all the help needed to get it running and sewing. The next step would be cut fabric squares 4 1/2" and sew a nine patch block. You are now a quilter. Welcome!
    Got fabric?

  12. #12
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    No one in my family is crafty nor have they ever been. The only thing my grandma might have is one of those old ones that you have to pump with your feet. And even at that, she just had a huge garage sale and gave half of her house away. So I figured my best shot was just buying a new one. Back to classes at craft stores, we do have a Joann's and I love that store. How much do the classes usually cost?

  13. #13
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraftyPerson View Post
    I am 13 and I don't make a lot of money. Haha. I could maybe get some books if I come upon some extra cash now and again. . . I was going to ask for a sewing machine for my birthday in April. Is it bad for a beginner to machine quilt? Any sewing machine recommendations?
    When I started quilting I also had limited funds. I found the library to be my best friend when it came to books. Course that was before the internet. Try some hand piecing until you get a sewing machine. Small projects like table runners, place mats or pot holders. You could re-purpose fabric from clothes, etc. for these. And as for the machine quilting, go for it. Nothing bad about it at all. It's refreshing to hear of a 13 year old who's so motivated to take up quilting. Check back with us if you have any other questions. Can't wait to see your work.

    Edit: You might visit your local thrift stores to see if they have any sewing machines. One word of caution, make sure it works before purchasing. Ask to try the machine before buying. At least plug it in and see that it runs. Make sure it has the bobbin case. You could even take along some fabric and thread and sew a few lines. New doesn't always mean better. Many of the vintage machines will out sew the newer models. Some on this board have found real gems for very little money by shopping thrift stores.
    Last edited by quiltsRfun; 01-06-2013 at 08:17 AM.

  14. #14
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    I took my first quilting class at JoAnn's about three years ago. I don't remember how much it cost but I'm guessing $35. They offer beginning sewing too. If you watch the sales they have offers of classes for half price. Do you get an allowance or babysit? You could save up money from that. Does your school offer sewing? At 13 you're probably in 7th or 8th grade so they may not. Do you know the art teacher at your school? He/she might be able to help out. I gave a machine to Goodwill a couple of years ago. My husband had bought it at Target for about $80 and I quickly outgrew it.

    You are a perfect example of how sad it is that they don't teach sewing in school anymore.

  15. #15
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraftyPerson View Post
    No one in my family is crafty nor have they ever been. The only thing my grandma might have is one of those old ones that you have to pump with your feet. And even at that, she just had a huge garage sale and gave half of her house away. So I figured my best shot was just buying a new one. Back to classes at craft stores, we do have a Joann's and I love that store. How much do the classes usually cost?
    One of the easiest things to start with is a flannel raggy quilt. They're super easy to make and you don't have to worry about basting and quilting them. And you can give them as gifts and your family will probably love them. Plus you can make them on one of the cheaper machines.

    I just had a thought, if you don't get a machine a Cathedral Windows is a really awesome hand project and it doesn't have to be quilted either.
    Last edited by Scissor Queen; 01-06-2013 at 08:15 AM.

  16. #16
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Be sure to ask around your area for a quilt guild or quilt group that may meet. Usually at a local church or community building. You will get hands on instructions from the group and can use quilting tools to know which ones you really need first.
    Got fabric?

  17. #17
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    It is so wonderful to see a young person so interested in sewing and quilting!!! There are many great sites out there that have lots of information, you of course found the best here!!! You might also check your local thrift shops. You might find a machine to get you started. Keep us posted and we will be ready to help all we can!!!!

  18. #18
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Take a class would be my advice.

  19. #19
    Super Member pollyjvan9's Avatar
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    The library will probably have a very good selection of quilting books, everything from the Dummies books to very advanced. I certainly wish you lived near me, I have 3 machines stored in a closet that all work great, but the postage to ship would probably be too much for either one of us. Unlike most people I don't necessarily start with a "small" project...I start with one I love! While looking at quilting books keep a list of the kinds of things you really, really, like. This will give you a good starting place. Remember you can use used clothing (as long as it is in good condition) to make your first quilts. Maybe your mom can take you to a thrift store, or ask your family and friends to go through their closets. I am so anxious to see your progress. Starting at your age you will probably end up a 'superquilter'. Have fun, be creative, share your enthusiasm.

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    I do get an allowance but my parents make me pay my own cellphone bill so that takes pretty much all of it and I babysit but my mom makes me do it for free even though the lady has offered to pay me, and I tried to get paid at church for babysitting but they said that I am too young. And at the library, I have overdue fees that I can't pay, but I will see what I can do. Next year, when I go to high school, if they offer a home economics class, I will definitely take it.

  21. #21
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    A good place to start is with the library. They usually have a variety of books on beginning quilting, often with step-by-step photos.

    Most quilters today use a machine, but many also hand piece. It is not bad to use a machine -- just a different method which makes piecing much faster.

    These days, for quilting, you really want to have a cutting mat, rotary cutter, and a 6"x18" acrylic ruler to cut pieces. You should ask for these for your birthday too. JoAnn's is a good place to look for beginner sets of these tools.

    What price range are you looking at for a sewing machine? If under $200, then I would suggest this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/Janome-Jem-Gol...dp/B000FLH2VE/
    Janome is a good brand and this machine is lightweight and easy to take to classes.

    In terms of learning how to use the machine, it would be really helpful if you could find a family member or friend who knows how to sew to spend a couple of hours with you. If no one in your family knows how to use a sewing machine, ask around to your friends. Someone's mother probably knows how to sew.

    Edit: Well, I just read the posts on the second page! Even if you can't check out books from the library, you can look through books to your heart's content while sitting in the library. Those books will give you a good idea of the steps required to make a quilt. Many will also show how to use a ruler, rotary cutter and mat to cut quilt pieces. Some will also explain how to make quilts by hand, cutting out pieces using homemade templates and hand sewing the pieces together.

    If your family buys you a sewing machine at a dealership rather than off-the-shelf (say, at Walmart), they can negotiate for lessons. Dealerships routinely offer lessons with new machines, but may be persuaded to offer lessons even with a used or vintage machine (which are often a better deal).
    Last edited by Prism99; 01-06-2013 at 09:20 AM.

  22. #22
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Have a sincere talk with your mom about your library fees and your wish to start sewing. Remember our foremothers quilted with just needle, thread and fabric scraps and made beautiful quilts so you can too.
    Got fabric?

  23. #23
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    Also, another thing I was gonna ask about is fabric. From what I have gathered, fabric is expensive. Do you guys have any tips or tricks on buying fabrics so I don't have to spend $50+ when I shop for fabric.

  24. #24
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    Crafty, so good to see you interested in sewing/quilting. Check with your friends and family. Ask if they have any old clothing, sheets they may want to get rid of. A lot of people quilt with only cotton fabrics, but you can use a poly/cotton blend like sheets. Also old jeans make a great raggy quilt. Thrift stores have good deals if you keep your eyes open. Sheets, both poly/cotton blends and flannel, old jeans, and even dust ruffles for beds. Often the dust ruffles have a polyester foundation but the ruffle part is cotton. There is a lot of fabric in those dust ruffles, especially if they are heavily ruffled or pleated. Mens shirts and house coats/dresses are great finds too. Especially if you can find large sizes. Use coupons and JoAnns and Hancock Fabrics. Hancock Fabrics often has their quilting cottons at half price but that is still $3 to $4 per yard. You can splurge there once in while. Just try to make sure that the fabric in the clothing is good quality. Thick. not so thin you can nearly read a newspaper through it! (ha ha) I'm sure you will find all kinds of fabric if you just keep your eyes open and ask around. Check with your friends. One may have a mom that would be willing to sit with you for a couple of hours each week for a while and show you some basics with a sewing machine or even with hand sewing. Thrift stores are also great for finding sewing machines. Must lest expensive than a new one. But, you do need to be careful and make sure that it works well. Don't be afraid to ask to try it out. Take some thread and fabric with you. Use a light or medium color fabric and use two different color threads so you can see how the stitches are. Check for video's online to show you how to check the stitches. A good key word to search is "checking sewing machine tension." Also just know that everyone on this board will be happy to answer any questions we can and to help you begin your journey. I know you'll enjoy seeing all the beautiful things you will be able to make.

  25. #25
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    Crafty, to add to the abundance of help, you can get a cheap machine at Walmart. It is a good place to start with a machine. You may outgrow it but you may also take slow baby steps into quilting. All you really need is a machine that does basic straight stitches, A zig zag is always a plus. Try to find a 1/4 inch foot. If there is not one with the machine, you can use masking tape or post it notes to mark your machine. While visiting a fabric store, ask around, clerks and shoppers for info on where classes or meetings may be. If you find a guild in your area, they usually have yearly dues but give you a meeting or two grace where you can go just to try it out. Most sewers are willing to help with free advice. It is out there, you just have to look and ask. Of course this is the best place to be but hands on help may be what you need to really get started.

    Good luck and enjoy the craft.

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