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

  1. #51
    Senior Member Up4BigChal's Avatar
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    Relax and Have FUN Add Iron to the accuracy

  2. #52
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    Have fun and post pictures.

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by purplefiend
    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.
    I agree with your opinion on the "Quilter's Complete Guide" by Marianne Fons & Liz Porter. The book has all the basics and very practical advice too. Then there are the neat blocks demonstrating different techniques. I am making a sampler (my second quilt) checking out those instructions. (They work.)

  4. #54
    Member rustqlts's Avatar
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    'Pressing is not an option, and "measure twice, cut once'.

  5. #55
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    take a class

  6. #56
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    Take lessons from your LQS. I learned so much from my peicing class and then the machine quilting class. I am teaching my DSI who has been quilting for 15 years stuff she did not know. My LQS has afternoon classes that are free if you use "use-it-up passes" when buying fabric there. I am planning on taking more classes just to learn different and new techniques.

  7. #57

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    This is a lovely design. Good job! Keep working on an accurate cut.

    Carolyn Kay

  8. #58
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    Quote Originally Posted by Holice
    accurate measuring
    accurate cutting
    accurate piecing
    Measure your blocks as you go, square up as needed
    Press after sewing each seam
    Starch your fabrics whenever there is a bias cut/seam
    Yup, yup.....but most of all relax and enjoy the process...after all its only a quilt, if you make a mistake, its ok. You won't die, no one in your family will get get sick from it...it will be just fine:D:

  9. #59
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    Treat yourself to a good quality sewing machine, not the cheapest one on the shelf. Figure on spending at least $300 to get a machine that doesn't sound like a lawnmower on steriods.
    If you can't afford a brand new one, find a machine that's at least 30-35 years old and have fun learning to use it.

  10. #60

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    Don't forget to take pictures of your quilts and document the details such as designer, construction, etc. as you will be giving some of your quilts away. Start an album for yourself and your family now. Put a label on your quilts with your name, date and who you made the quilt for.

  11. #61
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    Don't expect perfection--ever. Quilt for the sheer joy of it.

  12. #62
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    Choose a small simple project like a wall hanging or pillow to do. Use colors that you just LOVE.
    Don't be too much of a perfectionist...it's your first and you want to finish it.
    Take classes if you can. Quilters love to help newbies.

    My first class, was to learn EVERYTHING and make a sampler quilt. No one told me to choose a small project. I choose to make a king sized quilt....never got finished...was overwhelming amount of work. Ended up not liking the color combination. And feel guilty that it is still in a box up in my closet unfinished....The good part of this little tale though is that I had a good teacher who stressed all that has already been mentioned like accuracy of measuring and cutting and I learned the basics of many techniques. Just learn from our mistakes. Start with a SMALL project that you will be able to finish and make yourself proud. Also use good quality fabric because it won't hold up well if you don't and you will be wasting your time, effort and money.

  13. #63
    Junior Member Jory's Avatar
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    I AM a new quilter, and appreciate this thread so much!! Unfortunately, I tackled my first full-size quilt BEFORE I read your good advice! But what you are all saying is so true! I had no idea it could be so hard to measure, cut and piece a block, never mind assembling those blocks!

    I've been plugging along all summer on this quilt and have learned a great deal --but now I'm despairing that it will never be done! (It's appliqué and hand-quilted in a "quilt-as-you-go" project I created for myself). Many of the problems I've experienced are related to the latter decision -- e.g., didn't estimate yardage correctly, decided to piece part of the backing (stupid!), didn't mark before I basted, etc.

    Can someone virtually hold my hand and tell me that it WILL be finished someday? Please?

    Jory

  14. #64
    tall2's Avatar
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    1/4 inch seam allowance, if you have done any type of sewing before this was a hard part for me. I ended up buying a 1/4 foot and practice with it. Dont make it harder than it actually is. Start small then work up to a quilt. Coasters, pot holders, table runners, wall hangings,then move on to quilts. Always finish what you start, no matter how bad it looks, pratice is worth it.

    Barbara

  15. #65
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    Some excellent tips. I've printed these out as I'll be teaching my good friend and my daughter how to quilt later this month! They are from Hawaii so have seen the Hawaiian style of quilting, but not much from here on the mainland...a whole different "ball game"! Ohhhh, we'll have fun!

  16. #66
    Georgy's Avatar
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    Don't stress! That was my problem and take your time. Nothing can't be fixed to quote my quilt teacher. I am a beginner also and I just take my time especially with cutting.Good luck!!!

  17. #67
    Georgy's Avatar
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    Feel me holding your hand and saying it will get done. If you need a break on it start something else thats nice and simple.Good luck.

  18. #68
    Aunt Retta's Avatar
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    I think squaring up would be a good thing to learn on first project. I also think a good explanation as to the reasons you want to wash. press, and starch your fabric before you start cutting. Then to get some extra fabric if they haven't used a rotary cutter before. Also some good clear directions on how to best use the cutter., along with storage hints for the self-mending matt.

  19. #69
    Senior Member MomtoBostonTerriers's Avatar
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    When getting started quilting, get a pattern and follow it. Don't free lance on your first project. As you work on that first project, you will mentally make notes of how you would do it different/better/quicker/more to your liking. So, after getting a bit of experience, then you can THEN do a similar project implementing your own variation.

    Following a pattern to get started is like following a recipe in cooking; the recipe is the best way for MOST people to get a certain result. After you understand the basics of the recipe, then you can put your own twist on it because you are not MOST people.

  20. #70
    community benefactor Conniequilts's Avatar
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    keeping an open mind. If you close it, you miss alot of wonderful things :)

  21. #71
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    Don't be too critical of your own work, it doesn't have to be perfect. You are always learning with each quilt and every one is more precious than the first one.

  22. #72
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    FUN!!!

    Don't worry too much about the accuracy. It develops with practice.

    Don't worry too much about what's an "appropriate beginner" project. All the skills needed for any project can be learnt step by step by diving in and doing them. Making a small practice square of less precious fabrics can help you free up and give yourself permission to explore. Fabulous tutorials are available online (quiltingboard, youtube...) and in books. Quiltingboard is a superb support network for practical questions.

    Remember how kids play? Having fun and learning at the same time. Allow yourself to play with some fabrics (not the ones you find too beautiful to cut right now). Make a small practice square or two or three, it will teach you loads and tell you what you most love doing at this point. Then from your own experience decide what challenge you want - a bigger or smaller project, simple or intricate... Some people like following patterns. Others prefer to make up their own thing (I'm one of those, I actually find it easier). Either is fine. Go with what you love and it'll be worth doing.

    (Can you tell I'm self-taught and not afraid of trying whatever I fancy? If I can do it, anyone can.)

    Did I mention FUN!!!

  23. #73
    Super Member purplefiend's Avatar
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    my first quilt was a twin sized red white and blue 9 patch made from kettle cloth and a red remnant that was just enough, it was all polyester and will never die! lol
    I used a cardboard template made from a cereal box and it got smaller as I drew around it for each square and all cut with scissors(took forever). I still don't know how I managed to get that quilt top sewn together. It took me 3 years to hand quilt it. DS got it when he was 10, he helped with the quilting too. DH was horrified that I was turning our son into a sissy.(very big sigh)

  24. #74
    Senior Member GrammaO's Avatar
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    Start with a pattern that doesn't require the points/corners to match up. Use fabric you like but didn't cost a fortune. Find a really cute panel and practice your binding, quilting or tying on it. Someone said 'get to know your sewing machine' and I couldn't agree more. I had a walking foot that came with my machine and had no idea what it was or what to do with it! I learned to use my owner's manual! So much great advice on this thread. Wish I had all this knowledge two years ago when I started!

  25. #75
    Super Member Edie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mama's place
    Choose a small simple project like a wall hanging or pillow to do. Use colors that you just LOVE.
    Don't be too much of a perfectionist...it's your first and you want to finish it.
    Take classes if you can. Quilters love to help newbies.

    My first class, was to learn EVERYTHING and make a sampler quilt. No one told me to choose a small project. I choose to make a king sized quilt....never got finished...was overwhelming amount of work. Ended up not liking the color combination. And feel guilty that it is still in a box up in my closet unfinished....The good part of this little tale though is that I had a good teacher who stressed all that has already been mentioned like accuracy of measuring and cutting and I learned the basics of many techniques. Just learn from our mistakes. Start with a SMALL project that you will be able to finish and make yourself proud. Also use good quality fabric because it won't hold up well if you don't and you will be wasting your time, effort and money.
    Please go back and finish it. I love making sampler quilts and I would so much like for you to feel the enjoyment out of it. The bigger the better - just keep saying that. I am going to be starting one I am thinking around 108x136 - 48 - 12" blocks...6 across - 8 down. I wish you so much luck and fun and so much satisfaction when you have it all sewn to the sashing and the dog is laying on top of it - THEN you know it is a job well done!!!!! KEEP US POSTED if you are going to continue! Edie

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