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Thread: I am new to quilting and I really need help!!

  1. #1

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    I just started quilting and already lost my confidence! I need to know the must haves to quilt. And whats the easiest thing i can start with. And also is it really possible to machine quilt because I am being told you have to have a very expansive machine. Please help, I need to find something I enjoy for my downtime and I absolutely love the art of quilts!
    Thanks Carrie

  2. #2
    ladybugquilter's Avatar
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    Welcome Carrie!!!

    First off do not loss your confidence, this is only a quilt and you CAN do it!!!

    Must haves for me are rotary cutter, self healing cutting mat and rulers. There other stuff I like but these are the must for me.

    Easiest to start with I am self taught and started with a huge lap quilt, so I guess it is up to you and what you want/like. I know alot here recommend the disappearing nine-patch. I think any pattern with squares should be easy to tackle. If you do a google search for free beginner patterns you should of a good selection.

    Machine quilting is just another skill to learn. I have a $99 singer walmart special and I wound not trade it. I have made 6 quilts, wall hangings and many other projects and it does great. I started with stitch in the ditch quilting (stitching along the seams) went ok. I just started free-motion, like everything else it gets better with practice.

    So again you can do this. There are so many here that can and will offer help and confidence boost, so pull up your sleeves and jump it. I can't wait to see a picture of your first block :wink:

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You do not need an expensive machine to quilt. You do need a machine that does a good job of maintaining tension, makes even stitches, and can handle the bulk of a quilt. Only really junky machines can't do that. What kind of machine do you have?

    In my opinion, the easiest kind of quilt to start with is one that does not require matching a lot of seams. Rail fence is a really good pattern to start with. Bricks (rectangles) are good too, because you can stagger the bricks.

    I agree that a rotary cutter, self healing cutting mat and rulers are the real necessities for today's quilting.

  4. #4
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Just hang in there , do lose confidence ! The must have as staed before the rotary cutter, the mat and rulers.
    i also agree a basic 4 or 9 patch would be a good starting point. Do you have a library close by or any one you could borrow some quilting books from ? Or even a magazine or two will be a great help. Also on the board there are so really great tutes, that have step-by-step instructions and pictures :lol:
    And of course everyone here will do all they can to help you. We love to add to our growing flock of quilters :wink:
    Welcome to the board
    Sharon

  5. #5
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    I agree with what the others are saying and wanted to add, remember, you are the artist, you do as you like with your art piece. Do not let anyone tell you that it isn't a quilt because....., or that you aren't doing it right. The right way is how you want to do it!!! i have learned so much by reading the texts, and trying what they say. Not all works for me, but I don't know till I try what interests me. I just did my first Machine quilting on an inexpensive singer. Not a bad job, but I am my worst critic and you will probably be yours too. Just relax, enjoy, enjoy, and have fun. Oh and enjoy!!!

  6. #6
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    OK, color me the odd man out here.. as I don't think a rotary cutter and mat are necessary. It depends on what "kind" of quilting you're going to do..
    I started with a good ruler, some sharp pencils and a good pair of scissors.
    I am a hand stitcher primarily. You can easily make a first quilt by just cutting a bunch of squares, all the same size, and stitch them together by hand or machine. work on getting seams a uniform 1/4" and making nice corners.
    before you know it you'll have a top to be tied, tacked or hand or machine quilted. Next thing you know you can try some simple HST or Half Square Triangles.. also simple and they can be made into MANY MANY different patterns.
    I would suggest looking at the "basic" quilting books at a local Hobby Lobby, Quilt Shop or Library.. look for something VERY basic if you haven't done a lot of sewing before, right down to defining grain of fabric, selvages, etc. once you find something that makes sense and is easy for you to understand get it and read it through.. then go for it.. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! If you need help, just yell!

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Apparently the folks on this board didn't get the memo on needing expensive machines. Check out this link on everyone using Wal-Mart cheapies.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/27171.page

    I think starting fairly small is a good idea. Do a table runner or some cool pot holders. Having a project done is a great sense of accomplishment.

  8. #8
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    My machine came from the thrift store it was a simple straight and zig zag stitch, It made lots of quilts.

  9. #9
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    Step by step.
    1. Rotary cutter and ruler.
    2. Fabric you like... try a crib quilt size first!
    3. A pattern (try one without triangles for your first)
    4. Cut and sew the top.
    5. Did you like what you produced?
    Until you have the top done don't worry about the layering and quilting.
    If you didn't like the process have a yard sale and sell it all... but if you liked it as much as the rest of us do, you can come back for more advice later. We're open 24-7!

  10. #10
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    My grandmother only needed a needle and thread. :wink:
    No you do not need an expensive machine. I too have a 100.00 Walmart special. :D

  11. #11
    Super Member mpspeedy's Avatar
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    Carrie,

    Welcome. I have been sewing all of my life. I started with doll clothes when i was 8 or 9. My mother had a Singer featherweight that she let me use after I had sewn by hand for several years. I made my first quilt at 17 from scraps from all of the clothes I had made myself in my Junior and High school years. It ended it's life 15 years later as the thing my husband lays on when he changes the oil in the car.
    My first quilt was handquilted with double thread and big knots. No one told me it should be single thread and to bury the knots.
    Now I am good enough at it after 40 years of practice to get paid for quilting for other people.
    I now own several Berninas but for years i sewed on a little freearm Kenmore I purchased from Sears for $139 when my daughter was born. My daughter is going to be 31 next week.
    I only do machine quilting on Linus quilts or other projects for children as they will need to be laundered often. I do wash my handquilted items when necessary and usaully just stick them in the washer and dryer. I like handquilting because I can do it while watching TV or holding a conversation with my husband, family or friends. I find it very relaxing.

    Start with a simple pattern so you don't get to frustrated and don't worry about it being perfect. If I worried about perfecton I would have two quilts finished not dozens and dozens. While I appreciate some of the "masterpieces" that are made what counts for me is that mine are done and usable.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ragann63's Avatar
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    I agree with most of the above! Start easy - quiltblocksgalore.com - has thousands of patterns. I would also suggest looking for a quilt guild, women's church quilt group or a retreat in your area. You can learn a lot in a short period of time working with a current quilter. I learn something new almost every time I go to a retreat!

  13. #13
    Super Member JJean's Avatar
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    My first quilt top wasn't so great. I pulled it out this year to take it to someone to have it quilted. I found a couple of open seams. The back of it was covered with threads and the seams weren't even at all. It wasn't until my second queen sized quilt (log cabin) that I could sew a quarter inch seam. That's a biggie---knowing how to sew a quarter inch seam. I bet you figure it all faster than I did. The old saying may be true for you: practice makes perfect. In my case it is: practice makes for a big improvement. :)

  14. #14

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    If I can say anything at all to you to help is what my great grandmother told me: "The quilt police are not going to show up at your door, so don't fret about the mistakes."

    There are a lot of simple patterns you can do on table runners, hot pads, etc to get used to color, patterns, and your own designs. I very seldom use a pattern, I just have a vision of what I want and go for it. And there are mistakes, but that is okay, because I will have learned what works and what doesn't. And trust me the kids love to have my "good quilts" to play with and I also donate many of them to the homless, preemies, etc. They could all care less that a couple of seams don't match perfectly or the colors might be off a tad.

    Don't give up. Lot sof people here on this site to help you!

    Keep on a'quilting.


    denverjjoy :roll:



  15. #15

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    If I can say anything at all to you to help is what my great grandmother told me: "The quilt police are not going to show up at your door, so don't fret about the mistakes."

    There are a lot of simple patterns you can do on table runners, hot pads, etc to get used to color, patterns, and your own designs. I very seldom use a pattern, I just have a vision of what I want and go for it. And there are mistakes, but that is okay, because I will have learned what works and what doesn't. And trust me the kids love to have my "goof quilts" to play with and I also donate many of them to the homless, preemies, etc. They could all care less that a couple of seams don't match perfectly or the colors might be off a tad.

    Don't give up. Lots of people here on this site to help you!

    Keep on a'quilting.


    denverjjoy :roll:



  16. #16
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    Quilting is suppose to be fun, so my 1st must have is a piece of advise I received at a quilting class...Don't worry about perfection, the quilting police are not going to come knocking on your door to inspect your work. Do your best & have fun. Your work will improve with time, so enjoy what you are doing!

    Other must haves...
    Rotary cutter
    self healing cutting mat
    scissors
    ruler
    sewing machine
    good lighting :)
    fabric
    thread
    and a plan

    Start with big square blocks...then go from there. There are tons of simple to do free patterns on the internet.

  17. #17

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    Don't give up! It took over a year of toying with just the idea of quilting. I began with a very easy Christmas quilt for my great-niece from a panel I purchased, plus picked out my own backing and batting, with help from store owner. It turned out beautifully, and I got going. In the past year, I've made over 4 (over, because I'm in the middle, but not completed 5) of my own projects, and I've found a wonderful website to order things. It's called KeepsakeQuilting.com
    I don't have all the gizmos...just a singer machine, and still do a lot of my work on it. Can't afford an embroidery or quilting machine in the near future, so using what I have. A word from the wise, "Emprovise!"
    Janelle from Arkansas

  18. #18
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbmesu
    I just started quilting and already lost my confidence! I need to know the must haves to quilt. And whats the easiest thing i can start with. And also is it really possible to machine quilt because I am being told you have to have a very expansive machine. Please help, I need to find something I enjoy for my downtime and I absolutely love the art of quilts!
    Thanks Carrie
    Carrie,

    First things first: take a deep breath and vow NOT to be afraid of this process, because it can be daunting. Baby steps ... baby steps ... baby steps (this is your new mantra.......)

    I love the convenience of rotary cutter/self-healing mat/rotary rulers. But many a fine quilt have been made by using decent fabrics and a good, sharp pair of sewing shears that are ONLY used for fabric.

    You do not need a $17,000 quilting machine to quilt with. That's a step far down the road. First you need to piece together your top, which can be done with an inexpensive sewing machine (as many have already said) or even by hand with a needle and thread.

    Select your first pattern carefully. Start small (lap quilt is plenty large enough for a first project) and choose your materials at a reputable fabric store. They don't have to be $15/yd., just good quality, 100% cotton (preferred), in colors you like together so that you will enjoy working on your piece.

    As for pattern and further help (because as a person who used to teach beginning quilting for many years), I would recommend the following:

    Do you have a Community Education program affiliated with your local school system or Community College? They often have decent beginning quilting classes that are reasonably priced and fairly convenient. If not, call around to local churches (especially those with an elderly population), or even towns/township clerk offices with Amish or Mennonite settlements nearby. These people know how to quilt or may be able to put you in touch with someone who may be willing to teach you (or at least offer some assistance/constructive criticism about your progress).

    If that fails (or to augment it), stop by your public library and pick up a good book on beginning quilting. No library? Try an online bookseller (I like Alibris.com as I can buy used books for a song that are usually in really good shape. Some even come from the collections of libraries) and try to purchase one. Some of these books even have simple blocks referenced in them for you to try; many have small projects.

    Read everything you can get your hands on. After you've got your top pieced together, come back for advice on how to layer, baste and quilt it. As Mamagus said, "we're open 24/7!" We'll be glad to help!

    Odessa

  19. #19
    Senior Member motomom's Avatar
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    Don't get discouraged. I plunged in and made my first quilt with just a little booklet that I found in a stack of junk somewhere. It is actually a terrible quilt, my corners don't match up and the colors are kind of funky.

    I cut the fabric out with scissors, using cardboard for patterns, and sewed it on the machine I have had for years. I borrowed a quilting frame from my Aunt and hand quilted it, learning as I went.

    But, you know what? My daughter LOVES IT and is so very proud of it, she brought it over one day so that I could sign the back with a sharpie marker. And the next one turned out better. And the third one is turning out better still.

    Just one warning, though. Quilting is very addicting, especially the hand quilting part. And my hubby, bless his heart, has put up with fabric/thread being scattered all over the living room, no dinner, me being sleepy because I stayed up all night quilting, etc, etc.

  20. #20
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I got the quilting bug less than 2 years ago and learned nearly everything from the internet. Just go to google and type in what you want to know. Nobody told me to start with an easy 4 or 9 patch I chose a star patten and it is probably the best quilt I have ever made. All my points even came out good! Hasn't happened since. I have a tote with some blocks I tried and didn't so so well at but the main thing is try and keep trying. This board is the perfect place to ask questions and get encouragement. I can't believe how much I have learned in the past year and a half from just trying new things. Pot holders a re a good thing to make in the beginning as they are just one block and they don't need to be perfect to be usable. Now get chopping up some fabric and make something!!! LOL

  21. #21
    Junior Member Quilting G's Avatar
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    I started with an irish chain quilt. I bought a mat kit which had the cutting matt rottery cutter and ruler. I have a home sewing machine. Not cheap because I wanted it to do embrodry work (which I never use). Here is the pattern that I used. http://www.ezquilt.com/patterns/iris...irishchain.htm
    I have gotten a lot of compliments for it and I will be doing at least one for christmas because I know it goes quick and easy...

    Just remember there are no quilt police and have fun..... and keep us updated.

  22. #22

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    I got this idea that I wanted the grandchildren to have a lap quilt to cover with when watching tv. I found an awesome pattern for my oldest grandchild from a book I picked up at Hancocks. It used a lot of applique which I did on my embroidery machine. But it was time consuming so I decided that the other ones needed to be simpler to get done by Christmas. I mananged to get them all done just in the nick of time but now I am hooked. Since then I have done 2 twin size, 2 full size and 1 wall quilt. I just can't work fast enough to do all that I want to do and I find my stash is growing in leaps and bounds.

  23. #23
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    My first quilt is a treasure to me. The corners don't match and all the seams are not perfect. It is my prize, I only see funny things with the quilt.
    I have learned many things from this first attempt, like just have fun and enjoy creating something that is you. God did not create us in perfect size or shape. In other words there is no right or wrong way to quilt. I have completed quilts for my 2 daughters, 4 grandchldren and husband. I am now working on a black and white quilt for my neice's wedding gift. My sewing is my gift of love to my family.

  24. #24

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    You guys are so great!! Thanks for the advice and help! I bought the necessary tools. Some awesome fabric. And I bought a kenmore sewing machine. I have started cutting and I just cant wait to get my machine in so i can start piecing!!! Thanks again and I will definitely post by first product lol Is there anywhere to find quilting designs?

  25. #25
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    You will find lots of help here as well as encouragement. Just get started and you will be amazed at what you really can do. Can't wait to see your first creation. :)

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