So, You Want to Start Quilting – Quilting for Beginners

I often get this question, “I want to start quilting but I don’t know where to start.  What do I need?” I will try to give you some of the information and experiences I have had over the years to help you decide what to get to start your new project.

I have been quilting for over 30 years, yes, I was in my early twenties.  My grandmother was a hand quilter and I absolutely loved quilts, why I don’t know because none of my friends knew what a quilt was let alone want to make one.  So, I bought a magazine at the local store – we didn’t have internet of course and I proceeded to make my first log cabin quilt.  Of course, I had to make a queen size.  I did finish that quilt even quilted it on my mothers’ green Singer sewing machine.  It was ugly.  I have since made so many beautiful quilts I honestly don’t know how many.   I will now try to make it easier for new quilters by sharing all the information I picked up along the way.

Please share your finished quilts on my web site Apple Hill Quilting and Designs.   If you have any questions feel free to comment on any of the posts.

What Supplies do I need?  – Quilting Supplies:

The following are just suggestions of products that I like and use.

  • Notions: Rulers, Cutters.  I love all Creative Grids Rulers.  I especially love the 31/2” square, the 31/2” x 12 ½” and the 12 ½” square.  All of their rulers are amazing.  Once you decide to purchase a ruler you should try to continue buying the same make of ruler in order to add consistency to your measurements.   Creative Grid Rulers  Most Quilt shops in Eastern Ontario carry these rulers.  Olfa carries the best rotary cutters and even have the ergonomic handles.  Olfa rotary cutter
  • Fabric – 100% cotton fabric is ideal for quilting. Quilting fabric is not cheap unless you can find a sale.  I highly recommend you buy quality fabric.  If it feels stiff and the weave is quite loose you will have issues with the blocks.  A poor-quality fabric will also run when washed.  There are many quilt shops in Eastern Ontario where you can buy great fabric.
  • Batting is what you will find between the backing and the top. Just like fabric you get what you pay for.  The cheaper batting will also beard, meaning it will come through at the back when quilted.  Quilters Dream, Hobbs, Tuscany are at the top of my list when it comes to quilting the quilt.
  • Mat – To start with a 24” x 36” is all you need to start. There are so many different mats out there but my favourites are the Olfa self healing mats
  • Sharp scissors are important especially when you want to do applique. It is also very important to keep your paper scissors separate from your fabric scissors.  Hide them if you have to.
  • Quarter-inch presser foot is a wonderful attachment for your sewing machine that will help guide you to make the perfect quarter-inch seam.
  • Seam ripper, I’d like to say you won’t need one but I’d be lying. I have a few laying around in the house as I always seem to be ripping out seams.  Again, make sure it is sharp.
  • Needles and thread are in a previous post.
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