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Thread: Some Newbie Questions

  1. #26
    Love my stash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasmith2
    Templates are for what size you want to cut something, right? Thats a great idea! Ive seen templates, or maybe they are rulers too?, they seemed expensive. If I was sure I would use it over and over than I wouldnt mind paying, but I wont pay a lot for something I wont use too often :-)
    When you are just starting out go with the best that you can so that it will grow with you. Jo Anns does have good coupons. If you are not signed up, go to joanns.com or something like that and sign up. That way you can start getting Internet generated coupons much quicker than you can get the 1st mailer. Use it to get a at least a 30" x 36 " mat because when you cut larger pieces of fabric you will be SO GLAD :-) you did. Also get yourself a 6" x 24" RULER and a 45 Rotary cutter. THESE THREE ITEMS WILL STAND BY YOU AS YOU DO MORE AND MORE AND YOU WILL USE ALL THREE ***OVER AND OVER *** AGAIN. You will not regret getting them. Then watch their sales to get the rotary blades on sale, etc.

    You'll do just fine.

    Cheryl

  2. #27
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasmith2
    Hope you all dont mind- I just had a few questions. Im sure you all remember how overwhelming it can be when you first start out and dont know a thing :-)


    1. Why do you make your own binding? Is it just more customized? Cant you just buy the stuff that I see in the store?


    2. What are blender fabrics?

    3. What ruler/cutting mat size do you all recommend(real limited budget,so I know the big sizes are out of the question ).

    4. Does it matter what size your rotary cutter is? I have one, but have no idea what size it is- i forgot LOL

    5. Any helpful beginner tips or timesavers? Anything you found out the hard way?

    6.With all the fabrics,batting,threads, tools etc... seems like its not a inexpensive hobby to start. Any tips to share on how you keep the cost down to a reasonable amount? (if I start shopping for fabric like I do scrapbook paper~I KNOW i'm in trouble :mrgreen:



    Thanks everyone for your help!
    When you begin,the tools etc make it quite expensive. However, I have everything now, and the only expense is the material and thread. If you are on a budget, just buy bits each week until you have enough for a project - you can make small things, which will kep the cost down.

  3. #28
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    I really like my 2 1/2 x 12" and 41/2 x 12" rulers and my 6" precision square - my mat is a revolving one about 18" I think. I have found that I have a lot of tools that I don't use much - I just bought an easy angle ruler but wish I hadn't - It is tricky to use and other rulers work easier - good luck

  4. #29
    Senior Member foxxigrani's Avatar
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    There are some very good answers here, but I will add this, I love the 60mm cutter, but the blades are real expensive and harder to get. I have always used the 45mm and can get blades for it cheaper than the 60mm. The rest of the questions are answered here very well. As far as fabric, when I started out, didn't have this board, so didn't have any help of any kind. This board is wonderful for coming to for help. Good luck with your journey.

    Rita

  5. #30
    Junior Member Nan Quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasmith2
    You can use clothing fabric?? Thats awesome because my 4 kids are always outgrowing something! :thumbup:

    Thanks everyone for answering my questions :-) I really appreciate it!
    I made a quilt for my granddaughter with the clothes she had outgrown. I just used a stabilizer fabric for the materials that were kind of thin. It came out pretty darn cute if I do say so myself! LOL My brother used to say that my sister-in-law would quilt anything that wasn't nailed down and I think that's true-just about any kind of fabric. :thumbup:

  6. #31
    community benefactor Parrothead's Avatar
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    To get started a pair of scissors, needle, thread and thimble. That is what our Grandmothers used. After you get started you can gradually add the cutting board, rotary cutter, etc. I have used the purchased quilt binding by Wrights. It is not shiny, that is blanket binding. It is wide and double. I did not have any of the original fabric and the backing was white so I bound in white quilt binding. I did not have any trouble attaching and sewing it.
    Do you have a friend or relative that sews? They could give you left over fabric and you could make a scrappy quilt.

  7. #32
    Super Member dyer804's Avatar
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    Watch the classified ads in you local paper. That is how I started my stash. I checked for months and finally saw one from a quilter who was "retiring". I try to use fabric from my stash purchasing only small pieces to supplement. Save all of your scraps as scrappy quilts are fun to make as well as thrifty. Good luck!

  8. #33
    Super Member Cottontop's Avatar
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    Do you have a Joann's Fabric store close by? They have coupon circulars (mailed to existing customers, or sitting in a basket at the front of the store. Sometimes 40%, 50% off regular priced items...should cut down the cost of a cutting mat for one example. The coupons work for fabric, too.

    Welcome to quilting. Sally

  9. #34
    Junior Member krisgray's Avatar
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    The best book I've seen, and continue to use, is _Better Homes & Garden's Complete Guide to Quilting_. It's a great reference, covers hand and machine techniques - great resource. Check it out at Amazon, Joann's, Borders, Barnes & Noble - or see if your local library has a copy so you can preview it and see if it works for you.

  10. #35
    Junior Member Bobbin along's Avatar
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    Random thoughts for a "Newbie"--join a group ( a bee) if you can find one-there will be plenty of hands-on helpers there. Also, on cutting mats--I'd avoid the white, hard-surfaced ones--they dull your rotary cutting blades much faster. Strive for very accurate cutting and sewing. Remember to breathe! and always have fun! :lol: :lol:

  11. #36
    Senior Member dorrell ann's Avatar
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    I would start with a 45mm rotary cutter

  12. #37

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    My favorite rulers are quilters rule

  13. #38
    Super Member Rann's Avatar
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    One more thought. I have found many books with patterns and template drawings at the local used bookstore. This really cut down on the price of patterns.

  14. #39
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    To cut cost I would reccommend not buying patterns or books. That is unless it is a pattern or book that you absolutely love. There are quilting books available at most libraries and an abundance of patterns online. www.QuiltersCache.com is a great site for free patterns. There is an abundance of info on this Quilting Board, just do a search. There are alot of websites that have how-to information for beginning quilters. If you are a visual person and need to see a demonstration there are plenty of videos on YouTube. A 45mm or 60mm rotary cutting blade is versatile, you wont outgrow them. Use a coupon to get a good sized cutting mat, if you buy one that is too small cutting yardage will be more difficult. If your mat is too big you may not have a place to put it. Good luck on your quilting journey.

  15. #40
    Super Member Pickles's Avatar
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    If you get a big cutting Mat and don't have a place to put it you could do as I do, I bought a big sheet of Plywood and had the lumberyard cut it in half and thats what I lay my cutting mat on
    and lay them on my bed to cut on. When not in use you could slide them under your bed , just don't let any pet lay on them
    if you have any.. :-D

  16. #41

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    The internet is your best friend when it comes to questions like these. Do a Google search of each question. There are forums and tutorials everywhere. Good Luck!

  17. #42
    Senior Member sew wishful's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasmith2
    You can use clothing fabric?? Thats awesome because my 4 kids are always outgrowing something! :thumbup:

    Thanks everyone for answering my questions :-) I really appreciate it!
    This would be my favorite quilt...I remember as a child looking at the blocks in a quilt my mom had made and telling someone (anyone who would listen) I remember wearing this dress!! I loved that shirt!, etc! Great memories for the kids and for you while sewing pieces of their shirts/blouses/dresses into a quilt!Good luck with your new hobby! (I also have a huge stockpile of scrapbook paper!!)

  18. #43
    dls
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    MY TIP: Find where your scant quarter inch stitch is and mark it.

  19. #44
    Super Member Ripped on Scotch's Avatar
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    1. Why do you make your own binding? Is it just more customized? Cant you just buy the stuff that I see in the store?
    I like to make mine because I have the hardest time matching quilts that I have made with the pre-made stuff plus I don't want it to be shiny when the rest of the quilt isn't. I do have a roll from Joann's that is purple with a pattern on it that isn't shiny polyester stuff that I like but I normally make it for each quilt. it's really easy

    2. What are blender fabrics?
    material that isn't just a straight solid colour.

    3. What ruler/cutting mat size do you all recommend(real limited budget,so I know the big sizes are out of the question ).
    I mostly use the 24 x6 ruler and the 32 x 26 cutting mat. I also have a little one that I use to travel with it's 12 X 24. My best suggestion for you.... go to some where that sells scrapbooking supplies, they are the exact same mats, rulers and cutters but are some times alot cheaper. we have a surplus store here that had the big mats for 14.99... I now have 2 of them!

    4. Does it matter what size your rotary cutter is? I have one, but have no idea what size it is- i forgot LOL
    I have a 45mm and that is really all I use. Eventually you may need a little one for curved templates but that is really about it I find.

    5. Any helpful beginner tips or timesavers? Anything you found out the hard way?
    Get yourself a good 1/4 inch foot. I have one that is called a "little foot" it has 1/4 marked before and after the needle which is fantastic when you are doing bindings.

    6.With all the fabrics,batting,threads, tools etc... seems like its not a inexpensive hobby to start. Any tips to share on how you keep the cost down to a reasonable amount? (if I start shopping for fabric like I do scrapbook paper~I KNOW i'm in trouble
    Look at places that you wouldn't think has material.... chances are that they may have scrapbooking items and they are the same.
    If you like something and its on sale go for it but remember that most patterns call for atleast a yard of fabric...there is nothing worse then starting a project and finding out you don't have enough and the material is next to impossible to find.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by dasmith2
    Hope you all dont mind- I just had a few questions. Im sure you all remember how overwhelming it can be when you first start out and dont know a thing :-)


    1. Why do you make your own binding? Is it just more customized? Cant you just buy the stuff that I see in the store?

    Binding you make yourself will match your quilt because you can use the fabrics you made the quilt from, AND it'll be better quality.

    2. What are blender fabrics?

    Not positive, but I think they're the fabrics that bring the patterned fabrics together, like solids or tone-on-tones. I make a lot of whimsical quilts, but if you get too much color or pattern, you lose the effect. I'm not sure about this one, so ask somebody else.

    3. What ruler/cutting mat size do you all recommend(real limited budget,so I know the big sizes are out of the question ).

    mine is 24 x 36, and if you can afford it and you have space for it on your work surface, I think it's the best size. Just my opinion. You can use a JoAnn's coupon and get it cheaper. In any event, one size should be at least 24 inches so that you can lay out a whole width of fabric (folded as it comes off the bolt).

    4. Does it matter what size your rotary cutter is? I have one, but have no idea what size it is- i forgot LOL

    My rotary cutter is an Olfa 45 mm, and that's my favorite size. I like the one with the spring handle so that the blade retracts when you set it down. It also has a button so that you can lock the blade in the retracted position. The others have the ability to retract the blade manually, but I never remember to do it. One day, I turned around as my adult son was "inspecting" the cutter and nearly cut his fingers on it if I hadn't seen him.

    5. Any helpful beginner tips or timesavers? Anything you found out the hard way?

    First--don't be too hard on yourself. Perfection comes with practice. You won't accomplish it at first, and if you are too hard on yourself, you won't enjoy quilting. Second, there are a lot of useless and duplicative notions on the market. Don't fill up your drawers with tools that don't work well or that you don't need. Beware of gadgets.

    6.With all the fabrics,batting,threads, tools etc... seems like its not a inexpensive hobby to start. Any tips to share on how you keep the cost down to a reasonable amount? (if I start shopping for fabric like I do scrapbook paper~I KNOW i'm in trouble :mrgreen:

    See above.



    Thanks everyone for your help!

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by krisgray
    The best book I've seen, and continue to use, is _Better Homes & Garden's Complete Guide to Quilting_. It's a great reference, covers hand and machine techniques - great resource. Check it out at Amazon, Joann's, Borders, Barnes & Noble - or see if your local library has a copy so you can preview it and see if it works for you.
    I agree.

  22. #47
    Senior Member jdeery's Avatar
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    First, congratulations! This is a hobby you will love. If you have a Joanne Fabrics near you, sign up for their flyer, and you get coupons - 40% off, it is great to be able to get your stuff then.
    I like the 24" Rotary Board, and the 45mm cutter, and you need a ruler that is about 23 or smaller. Get a good pair of scissors, and good small ones for cutting threads. Take a basic class at a local shop to show you how to use the tools, then you won't get frustrated. A really neat pattern easy for beginner is a disappearing nine patch, look it up on line and it shows you how to do it. Go for it! You will never be the same.

  23. #48
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    You said you HAVE a rotary cutter, but you don't remember what size it is. Take it with you to the fabric store and compare it to the ones they have to figure out the size.

  24. #49
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krisgray
    The best book I've seen, and continue to use, is _Better Homes & Garden's Complete Guide to Quilting_. It's a great reference, covers hand and machine techniques - great resource. Check it out at Amazon, Joann's, Borders, Barnes & Noble - or see if your local library has a copy so you can preview it and see if it works for you.
    This is for everyone who hasn't found it yet. If you want quilting books, ad you found a title you want, go to www.alibris.com . The books on their site are 1.99 and up. I have ordered books from them and never a hassle, never a wrong book.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Yes, stretchy or thin fabrics can be used, just find iron on stabilizer to put on the backs of them. What fun memory quilts they make :D:D:D

    Jeans, cotton shirts, etc... all work well too. Thriftstores and garage sales are a great source of fabric :wink: My family/friends are saving their jeans for me :D:D:D
    If you are going to make a quilt with denim, please be aware that the stretchy denim presents a problem when mixed with non stretch denim. Ask me how I know. I made my son a denim quilt using the pineapple pattern a few years ago and tried mixing the denim, only to find out that my blocks with the stretch denim were larger than the others and I had to rip all of those pieces out and stick with non stretchy denim, because most of my blocks were made with non stretch denim. Lee's and Wranglers brands worked best for me. I love the pockets on the Levis, but sometimes that denim was too stiff to work well the the others. Just a hint, that might help when you're doing your thing with denim..

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