Learn to Quilt- Lesson #1 -Preparations and Supplies

I have had several of my readers mention that they wish they could quilt, but didn’t know how to begin.  So I am happy to start this 7 part series in beginning quilting.

I will be posting a new lesson each Monday and Thursday  for the next 3 weeks.  We will be learning how to make a beginning quilt that I designed just for this series. It will introduce easy, beginning techniques that will ensure success. We will Quilt Along or QAL together:).

So, if you are ready, let’s get started!

Since it is summer here in the States, I thought it would be fun to make a Stars and Stripes type of quilt.  I have named it Pins and Stripes because of the obvious pinwheels and stripes:). It finishes to 66″ x 78″.

Mine is red, white, and blue, but you can make yours in spring colors, fall colors, Christmas, scrappy happy, or even black and white.  It will look great in any color scheme you choose.

Step 1-  Choose a Pattern —   Pins and Stripes

Step 2-  Gather Your Supplies —

  • A Good Cutting Mat –   Invest in the nicest mat you can afford.  It will give you years of service.  I have several boards in different sizes.  Look at your space and buy the largest one that will fit in the area you have.  Always store it flat.  If a mat is stored upright, on an uneven surface, or in the heat, it will warp.
  • A Rotary Cutter – It has been many years since quilters have had to draw shapes on fabric and cut them out with scissors. Rotary cutters make life so easy.  There are different sizes from large to small.  A nice medium 45mm one will work fine.
  •  A Clear Quilting Ruler If you can only get one ruler, make sure it is 6.5″x 18.5. That size will work for most projects.  I like to have a 6.5″ square and a smaller ruler as well.  As you get going, you will learn that there is a special ruler available for almost EVERY type of block:). It is easy to spend a lot of money on rulers!
  • Thread-  Choose an all cotton thread that matches your fabric.  I like to stock up on creams and grays because they tend to match almost everything.
  • A Seam Ripper– “un” sewing is a necessary part of any sewing project.  It is never the favorite part, but plan on it and don’t get too worried about it if you become good friends with your seam ripper like I have with mine:)
  • Pins–  You may find that pinning your seams together helps match those points.  As you get better, you will be able to feel the matching seams and finger pin them as you sew.
  • A Quarter Inch Sewing Foot–  This is really a must.  A lot of machines come with this foot as a standard accessory.  If yours didn’t, you can find one online or at your local sewing shop.
  • Painter’s Tape— We will be using this to mark our machines to help with a few stitches.
  • Fabric-  There are so many beautiful precut  fabric lines out there.  It is easiest to get a perfectly matching quilt by using one of them.  I use them all of the time.  If you have a large fat quarter stack, go ahead and use it.  But I know that many of you want to start quilting because you have a bunch of old shirts or dresses from grandma or fabric that your mother gave you that you want to use.  So for this project I will not be using pre-cuts.This is my fabric.  I had some of it in my  stash and I bought a few of them at my local store.

Here are the amounts you will need to make our quilt:

  • 3 yards of assorted reds- color #1
  • 2.5 yards of assorted blues- color #2
  • 1 yard of cream- color #3
  • 5 yards of coordinating fabric for backing
  • A twin size batt (the soft warm stuff in the middle)

This is all that is needed for our quilt.   You now will have a few days to gather all of your supplies before we get started on the cutting of our fabric.   I can’t wait to see what scraps and colors you all choose!

If you are just starting, here are links to all of the lessons:

Post your the pictures of your fabric and progress on Instagram #pinsandstripesqal.   I will be giving away a jelly roll to someone who posts a picture from all seven lessons and a picture of themselves with their new quilt by the end of July 2017!!

We are going to have so much fun!!!    See you on  Monday!