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Thread: Need Your Help in Basics of Quiltmaking

  1. #76
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    Need Help in Basics of Quiltmaking

    I agree with all of the above. The only instruction I have had in quiltmaking was one class at JoAnn's. We selected the fabric an made the quilt all in a rush to get it all in. It came out well, but what did I actually learn? Someone before me said it best, the aim in most classes is to have the cash for the course and to complete the course, no matter how much one may have to rush getting it done. I can see now that having the proper training in the beginning would have saved me lots of headaches.

  2. #77
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    So many of you have mentioned problem with getting a true 1/4 inch seam. Also, why do we use a 1/4 inch seam? On Saturday, I was watching a quilting show on PBS and they mentioned that the industrial factories only use a 1/4 inch seam. Also, that it is so helpful in easing in curves. It states that for instance, why use a 5/8 seam when after you fight to ease in a collar, you only have to trim to a 1/4 inch seam anyway. Sounds logical, but I never did find out why in quilting we use a 1/4 inch seam.

  3. #78
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    One of the things I have learned on Project Runway is that in haut couture sewing all seams are one inch so that adjustments are easier. It doesn't matter if there is a collar, ruching, draping, long train, etc., the seams are one inch. Of course when you pay for that type of fashion you expect the seamstress to be able to stitch magic.

    I always thought that the 1/4 seam was started centuries ago when cloth was so expensive to purchase and so labor intensive to weave at home. It was entirely a method to save the amount of cloth used in a quilt.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 02-26-2012 at 12:29 PM.

  4. #79
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    All wonderful advice! I think too if you have a sample of a well-pieced quilt along-side a poorly pieced block, you can explain what could have been done differently on the poorly done one.

    Also explain it is not necessary to have every new ruler/template/cutter that is out there. You can do a lot with one 6"x18"ruler.

    I am one who took a beginning class at my LQS and had nearly zero sewing experience. (My mom won the class) I did feel like the others were speaking a foreign language because they had sewed for years.
    Carol in Michigan

  5. #80
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    I think it would help everyone that the people making videos and teaching in this manner sew and cut properly in their videos and pictures in magazines. So many are learning from these and can pick up some very bad habits. Just because someone teaches or makes videos or is published doesn't make it right.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  6. #81
    Senior Member charlottemarie's Avatar
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    I have such a hard time making blocks, I have good tools I have mostly worn out. I have spent this whole day working on two blocks and just got them done. I think the basics are what I need to know. I will work and work until I get things right, but it sure would be nice not to have to go through this wasting fabrics and my time!

  7. #82
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    Charlottemarie, if you don't mind, you need to share just what is so hard for you - just which step gives you the most trouble? I'm sure you aren't alone in this, and this type of trouble is the info that he is asking to find out so that he can teach how to overcome or avoid it. If you can help him, perhaps he or others can help you.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 02-26-2012 at 01:49 PM.

  8. #83
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    I struggle with binding and mitered corners.

  9. #84
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    I would emphasize the consistency of 1/4" seam, the 'art' of pressing and the importance of careful cutting!

  10. #85
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    the science and math ARE what is missing. Knowing the "why's" of using chemicals, straight of grain, etc. These days quilting is more about slapping things together and calling it a quilt, instead of "learning" the art and enjoying the process of making something worthy of our time and money! While I do appreciate the fact that many are without Mentors, like elder family members, quilt shops, etc, I also realize that if they can sit for hours at the computer reading this forum, then they can also read the books that teach these skills. Perhaps not the newest books that just teach how to whack at the fabric with no regard as to what is really going on, but the older books that take your through the WHOLE learning process. I see people offering/taking beginner classes that last 4 hours in ONE day. WHAT??? How can you learn a complex art like quilting in 4 hours? A TRUE beginner class should take 10 times that! I teach 3 hours a day, two days a week for 8 weeks and often that is not enough! Those who really learn bring back more questions, which lengthens the learning process..which is always a good thing! Also there are more techniques today, more tools to learn and understand, more videos to watch, more books to ponder, etc, etc, so I think that has added to the " done is better than perfect" thought process we see so much of in today's fabric manipulators. They see pretty, they want pretty, so they start their journey knowing nothing more than that. THose who have NO prior experience with textiles will have the hardest time being self taught quilter's that is for sure! This forum does help with that in one way, but hinders it in another. Example, everyone here has "their" way of doing things, right, wrong, quick, simple, etc...so how does a novice pick their way through the info? Just what is the best way to bind, cut straight, baste, etc? Being on this forum is a lot like being a member of Congress without the paid lobbying! Everyone knows what they want, and no two want the same thing..hehehe
    I admit to being a bit biased, in that I prefer things done the more traditional ways. For longer lasting "skills" anyway. If it were not for those traditions we would NOT have the industry we have now!
    Jacquie, you are a blessing! Yes, much of what you state is so true! Besides, quilters create quilts.
    Annette

    There is no fireside like your own fireside.

  11. #86
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    I would like to learn more of the math part...and designing from scratch (I took a class years ago, and even ended up teaching that class, as it's about the very basics).

    I know a few who don't know how to read a ruler.."how many tics after the one is 1/4"?". That's something the basic class should go over. Also, it should include how to check the ruler against the mat...are the measurements the same? What is the best thread to use, what needles for hand and machine?

    Picking the best batting to get the desired result. I've learned via trial and error...but having information from the getgo would have saved many a project's outcome.
    Marge Campbell
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  12. #87
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    Not a question, Holice, but a suggestion - which may not be the answer. I learned drafting at school and learned to draft patterns in my first quilt lessons. I think this basic knowledge helps a lot, as I can 'see' how something should fit together. I am sometimes frustrated with patterns that require you to make something and then cut it down to the correct size. I would rather make it correctly in the first place and not have waste. Even if people drew the design on grid paper first, I think it might give them a better concept?

  13. #88
    Super Member 117becca's Avatar
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    Just wanted to add briefly - First, knowing about the straight of grain is probably one of the most important pieces of knowledge - your blocks won't stretch. Pins, starch, and my iron are my best friends. I pin, no matter what - it keeps things from moving. I remember Fons & Porter doing a segment about triangles and the importance of knowing which side has your bias cut side. That made triangles go together better - less stretch - and starch when pressing!

    To help w/ my 1/4" seam allowance, the magnetic seam gauge that I bought at Joann's is essential to helping me keep a consistent seam allowance.
    my name is becca and i'm a quilt-a-holic :-)

  14. #89
    Senior Member cdmmiracles's Avatar
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    [[[QUOTE=Holice;5006593]I am developing a class to refresh/renew knowledge and skills in those techniques and/or information about quiltmaking. In reading the posts here and other sites it appears that there is a gap in certain aspects of quiltmaking that one was not either exposed to or perhaps forgot. Back in the early days of the revival of quiltmaking we learned quiltmaking from the very basic to advanced. It was the days before all the develpment in technology, supplies and euipment so we had to do it all ourselves.

    What information do you find lacking today.
    What do you wish you did or could learn to be a better qultmaker.

    It is almost like learing complex math or science without having to do the calculations because the gadgets will do it for us. Yet we don't know how the gadget arrived at the right answer.

    So I'm asking.......what would you like to know.]]]



    WOW HOLICE, I would love to be able to purchase this as a booklet or even a homemade Video, once you have it compiled. I would love to learn the basics, I'm self taught ( ) with very little of the basic knowledge, have looked through books and articles, but so many out there, it's confusing on whats good and whats not. There is one LQS about 45min from me, but buying fabric is a hassle because the chick that is running it right now appears put out by any and all questions. I have been reading this thread, and it has been awesome.......actually even ordered a couple of the basic books that members have suggested (last night). Wish I lived near you so I could take your class!! Best of Luck to you! And thanks for all the tips so far from the other members..........keep them coming, please

  15. #90
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    I began to quilt a year ago after watching some YouTube videos. There were some basic skills I just could not get right until I was able to take a few basic classes, and some quilt making classes at my favorite quilt store that is now closed.
    The shops I can drive too are quite a distance and are a driving adventure. So no more classes and I am on my own at 74, not much time left to conquer every element so I stay with simpler designs. But I hear in my mind the voices of my teachers guiding me to match corners, cut carefully. I suppose it is much like hearing the voice of your quilting Mother as you work. It is an encouragement and something to be thankful for. In a class setting I think I would encourage students to make regular, but small quilts-not doll quilts with small pieces, such as you do Holice, to learn basic skills, to practice as many patterns in depth to gain confidence - churn dash, 9 patch, D9P, stars, square in a square, flying geese, set in triangles, layout blocks in straight rows and diagonal. Then move on to full size quilts. In a quilt when a number of squares are to be created encourage the student to learn to develop a personal routine to move them thru with success....chain piecing, completing a segment on several squares before getting up to press. and the virtues of using a design board for layout.

  16. #91
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    I learned in one class that I took, that all rulers are not the same, they may be all good but just measure slightly different, after using two different rulers to cut pieces, they didn't fit properly together. I never thought about that, now I know.
    Susan

  17. #92
    Member madquilter65's Avatar
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    I agree with you. I hate those but still get them!

  18. #93
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    As a beginner and with the type of person I am I want to know it all. I dont understand somethings and really want to.I'm like a kid and have to know all the "whys" lol. Why do you cut this way and not that or why do you have to put a binding on something? How do you know which is right? How do you pick fabric? I can go on forever but like I said I need to know it all lol

  19. #94
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    Susan so which ruler is the best

  20. #95
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    I am sure this has all been covered. But if I were to teach someone quilting I would start with the "old fashioned" way. Drawing around templates and putting together by hand and do a sampler like I did. Yes it takes a long time but I can pretty much guess how most quilt blocks are put together now. I didn't learn how to draft patterns but if someone is going to start making their own designs its a plus to know. I wish someone had thought to teach that when I was starting. I had a very basic class. Taught like a mom would have taught her kid. But it was well worth it.

  21. #96
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    Rulers - how to use them, how to read them, how to apply them to the particular block you are working on.
    I've never had anyone show me how to use them.

  22. #97
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    I think a good thing to learn is that you need to measure twice and cut once. Also another good thing is to make sure that you are sewing a 1/4 inch the way that the pattern is asking you to do. That can be the difference between a really nice looking block that is the correct size and a block that is totally wonky. Also would be good to maybe include simple instructions on how to do the really simple blocks, like 9 patch, 4 patch, rail fence, ohio star, half square triangles, a pinwheel block, and maybe a square in a square block or something. that is how my mom did a class one time. oh another thing that I just thought of you may want to include a list of all of the supplies that you would need to have to be a successful quilter. self healing cutting board, rotery cutter, scissors (good quality), snips, small hand held rulers, a larger rulers for cutting and at least a 6inch square ruler, a small cutting board to put next to your machine, a sewing machine of course, and needles, (tell them what each size is used for and which ones are the best for certain things), and what thread works best for which project. and don't forget that they will need a seam ripper unfortuantly, what sewer can say honestly that they haven't used our bestest friend at least once or twice. well that is the end to my disertation.

  23. #98
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
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    You are absolutely right in your assessment of skills lacking. As a teacher since 1976, I find that quilters take technique classes to make a specific class, but the instructor never goes into basics. When I teach my basic class, I include "use a sharp needle (and provide one for each student) and it is threaded with #50 thread, knotted at the end that is cut.' I also talk very specifically about needles, how they differ and when to use each type, then talk about different threads. Any help I can provide, let me know. You are certainly on the right track to cover the missing areas of quilting. When there is a problem, I ask, "Show me how you do it." That's when I learn how the quilter has gone astray. One lady only measured from her cutting mat!

    SandyQuilter

  24. #99
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    Being fairly new to quilting, I have been encouraged by many sweet quilting ladies, as well as the many tutorials available on-line, classes in LQS's, patterns and books available. It's such a fun process. And I so appreciate it when even the "elite and experienced" quilters do not look down their noses at us "newbies", but consider us to be sisters in the pursuit of creating a heritage of giving gifts of love and energy, and keepsakes for our loved one's. Thank you to all who encourage.

  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaciqltznok View Post
    the science and math ARE what is missing. Knowing the "why's" of using chemicals, straight of grain, etc. These days quilting is more about slapping things together and calling it a quilt, instead of "learning" the art and enjoying the process of making something worthy of our time and money! While I do appreciate the fact that many are without Mentors, like elder family members, quilt shops, etc, I also realize that if they can sit for hours at the computer reading this forum, then they can also read the books that teach these skills. Perhaps not the newest books that just teach how to whack at the fabric with no regard as to what is really going on, but the older books that take your through the WHOLE learning process. I see people offering/taking beginner classes that last 4 hours in ONE day. WHAT??? How can you learn a complex art like quilting in 4 hours? A TRUE beginner class should take 10 times that! I teach 3 hours a day, two days a week for 8 weeks and often that is not enough! Those who really learn bring back more questions, which lengthens the learning process..which is always a good thing! Also there are more techniques today, more tools to learn and understand, more videos to watch, more books to ponder, etc, etc, so I think that has added to the " done is better than perfect" thought process we see so much of in today's fabric manipulators. They see pretty, they want pretty, so they start their journey knowing nothing more than that. THose who have NO prior experience with textiles will have the hardest time being self taught quilter's that is for sure! This forum does help with that in one way, but hinders it in another. Example, everyone here has "their" way of doing things, right, wrong, quick, simple, etc...so how does a novice pick their way through the info? Just what is the best way to bind, cut straight, baste, etc? Being on this forum is a lot like being a member of Congress without the paid lobbying! Everyone knows what they want, and no two want the same thing..hehehe
    I admit to being a bit biased, in that I prefer things done the more traditional ways. For longer lasting "skills" anyway. If it were not for those traditions we would NOT have the industry we have now!
    I have to agree, you really have to start with the "old basics" to do a good job on a quilt. The cutting, the 1/4" seam lines, etc.!!!! I never realized until I joined a guild and listened to a few speakers just how important the math and proper cutting make the whole project come together! You have opened a huge kettle of fish!!!! Good luck!
    Maggi Taffi

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