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Thread: What's your best advice for a new Quilter?

  1. #26
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    Speaking as a brand new quilter, these are all great tips. I'd also add find a few reference books that you are comfortable with - you may be able to check them out from your library to find out which ones you like. I particularly like Harriet Hargrave's Quilters Academy series.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions.

    Cheers, K

  2. #27
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    It's okay to not know something.

    It's also okay to get confused and frustrated when one asks a question that seems like it "should/would" have only right answer and one gets several options.

  3. #28
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
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    If you have a question, come to the quilting board!
    You'll get lots of expert advice from those who are a step or two (or 200) ahead of you. Then sift through it and pick what 'feels' right to you. After all, it's your project, you can do it however you want to, but heeding experienced advice can save you from lots of silly mistakes that could have been easily avoided (like my trying to do a log cabin out of varing wale widths of corduroy as my second or third quilt and attempting a scant 1/4" seam to do it!) My seam ripper is my friend on this UFO for sure!

  4. #29
    Super Member Twisted Quilter's Avatar
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    You must master accurate cutting and 1/4" seams! Ask me how I know. :shock:

  5. #30
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    Same here.
    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    accurate measuring
    accurate cutting
    accurate piecing

  6. #31
    Senior Member redvette54's Avatar
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    Take your time, don't be in a hurry and don't quilt when you are tired.

  7. #32
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    My first thoughts were accuracy. Then I saw all the other posts and I realized that everyone else said practically the same thing.

  8. #33
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Quilter's Complete Guide by Fons & Porter is the quilter's bible IMHO. I used to teach quilt classes and recommended that all my beginner quilters get themselves a copy.
    Relax and have fun! Remember that it takes time to learn the new skills you need to become a quilter, lots of lingo to learn too. Don't be so hard on yourself. This is supposed to be fun.
    Always,always remember to close your rotary cutter when you're done with a cut, its very sharp.

  9. #34

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    Sometimes I pull out my first quilt (baby) and laugh! I can't belive how far I have gotten in 20 years.So just enjoy it, and happy quilting

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilt addict
    I would learn there are no rules. It is your creation and can be anything you want.
    Could you please explain what you mean by the "no rules" recommendation? I totally agree with you if you mean that we don't need to follow a pattern to a T or use the same fabrics that the sample is made from. I also agree that there are MANY ways to do a lot of patterns/techniques. However, I think we have rules in consistent seam allowance, working accurately, points matching, etc. (That is IF we want to do good work.)

  11. #36
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    Good advice from everyone.

  12. #37
    Banned
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    Use fabrics you love.
    Follow directions til you've enuf experience to know when not to bother.

  13. #38

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    Buy good quality fabric, and use good quilters rulers to cut accurately, check your machine so you know you have 1/4
    inch accurate seams. Press not iron your quilt pieces/blocks.
    And square all your pieces as you piece a block.
    Read and research the quilting process so you know the
    correct way to construct a great finished quilt.
    Every quilt you make you will learn something new.
    Quilting is not something you can learn overnight.
    Enjoy! :thumbup:

  14. #39
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    There are levels of "beginner" -

    If someone has never been exposed to textiles or sewing in any form, basic "vocabulary" would be helpful -

    Names of different types of fabrics, weaves, knits, different types of pins, needles, what are selvages and grain lines, what are seam allowances, the difference between pressing and ironing, etc.

  15. #40
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Don't kick yourself when you make a mistake (we all have been there, and some of us are still there) ;) PLUS if you can't see it on a gallop horse then there is not mistake. ;)

    We all would like to have our quilts done yesterday, but with patience it will get done.

  16. #41
    Senior Member Andii's Avatar
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    I'm fairly new to quilting-haven't completed a quilt yet-and I have learned so much...the first thing that comes to mind is always pre-wash your fabric. I know there are different views on this but I have been handwashing fabric before use and I cannot believe all of the die that comes out! I thought reds were the worst but I am finding blues and greens keep bleeding.

    Don't be afraid of the fabric. When I first started I didn't want to cut into new fabric and ruin it but the more I work with it the easier it becomes.

    Although I'm listing it last it really is the most important thing to measure and cut accurately.

    Good luck and enjoy it. :thumbup:

  17. #42
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    Take a class that interests you at your nearest LQS or sewing center. Find a quilter to talk to. Get on this quilting forum! Start with a smaller project and work your way up to bigger ones.

  18. #43
    Super Member bjnicholson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    There are levels of "beginner" -

    If someone has never been exposed to textiles or sewing in any form, basic "vocabulary" would be helpful -

    Names of different types of fabrics, weaves, knits, different types of pins, needles, what are selvages and grain lines, what are seam allowances, the difference between pressing and ironing, etc.
    Yes, and don't forget "quiltspeak"! HST, BOW, BOM, STD, WOF, yadda, yadda, yadda... :hunf:

  19. #44
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    There are NO quilt police. If you are happy with it, then that is all that matters.

  20. #45
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Never take a credit card with you when fabric shopping!

  21. #46

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    Having fun with your own progress,practice.Perhaps watching UTube under Quilting Videos teaches you.
    jetta

  22. #47
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deb watkins
    Take your time. Measure twice or three times, cut once. Press, not iron your fabric. Make friends with your seam ripper. Ask questions, be excited about what you are working on and most of all....HAVE FUN!
    My seam ripper is Roger the Ripper and we are having a mad passionate affair! I am sure it is a permanent thing! One thing about Roger the Ripper is that I can take him anywhere! I took him on an airplane trip once (since 9-11) and used him as a scissors. Hey, it works!!!!! Can't hurt anyone with a seam ripper!!!!! I am known as the only person in the world with a Fons and Porter ergonomically designed DULL seam ripper. Need I say more? Keep a record of everything that you make, a notebook, a "nothing" book, a photo album, anything that someday someone will look back and remember. Also, I make a book with each quilt that I give away. It has recipes, stories, jokes, sayings and adages, just a sort of fun remembrance to the person you gave the quilt to what was going on when the quilt was being made. Also, and most important, it give the quilt provenance - dates, people, locales, etc. And enjoy, have fun, make everything you do a pleasure, because it is. Edie

  23. #48
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Start with something small. Like a potholder or table runner.

  24. #49
    Super Member Fabaddict's Avatar
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    Enjoy what you are doing and all of the above

  25. #50
    Super Member quilt3311's Avatar
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    Read all you can and go to places where quilts are shown and examine them carefully. If possible find a group you can join. Quilters are sharing people. At least I find them to be that. Read books (library's usually carry a selection of quilt books-or inter-library loan, can get almost any quilt book you want to see.
    Then practice, start out with some fairly easy blocks and work your way up. Take classes if there are some in your area. Or purchase some of the video tapes that are out there now. Then be kind to yourself. Don't expect perfection in the first quilt you make, goodness I've quilted for over 40 years and still mess up. Make a wrong cut, or sew a seam that isn't accurate.
    Get the best machine you can afford and keep it oiled and cleaned. Then just enjoy the process.

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