how to be a quilter
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How To Be A Quilter

How to be a quilter (Even If you have only sewn garments before)

I am a quilter but I wasn't always.

I grew up with a seamstress mother and grandmother and learned to sew from an early age. I think I was just tall enough to reach the peddle when I learned. I made doll clothes and such as a girl and then clothes for myself as a teen, including my wedding dress. And then when the kids came along I made a lot of their clothes, especially my daughter. She got lots of frilly dresses and bonnets and she later told me how much she hated the dresses cause she wanted to dress like her brothers. 
My exposure to making quilt tops came as a child also but never got interested in it until the kids grew up. 

I am sure many of you also learned to sew clothing before taking up quilting as a hobby.

Let's look at some of the differences



Where to start

If you want to transition from sewing clothing to quilting, you may be confused about how to get started and what you will need.

When I took up quilting as a hobby I found a book for beginner quilters, bought myself a rotary cutter, mat and rulers and started collecting my stash. That is something else that is different, as a seamstress, I seldom collected fabric, only purchasing it with a garment in mind but I found with quilting I would get the fabric on sale and buy a yard or two and shop my stash when I wanted to make something. It was great when I had the room for all of that fabric but I downsized in 2013 and am back to purchase when I need it for a project. I miss having a large selection of fabric but I deal with it. 

Some good books to help you get started

The links below are affiliate links – that means if you click on them and make a purchase I receive a small compensation for it – it costs you nothing extra but helps me keep up the cost of the website. 

In this fourth book of her popular ‘Teach Me’ series, expert teacher and quilt designer Pat Sloan guides you through each and every step as you make your very first quilt. Pat’s easy to follow instructions and more than 140 clear how to photos make it fun to start, stitch and finish nine classic blocks and nine simple quilt projects even if you’re an absolute beginner. Learn the basics, from selecting notions and cutting fabric to machine sewing to quilting and binding, all from a skilled instructor with a warm, patient teaching style. You’ll be proud to finish your first quilt, the first of many.

Quilter Alex Anderson teaches lessons on fabrics, color theory, rotary cutting, piecing, applique, paper foundation piecing, settings, borders, hanging sleeves, labels, and more in her new All Things Quilting book. 

The Simple Simon Guide to Patchwork Quilting book is your sophisticated beginner guide to falling in love with quilting and sewing. Learn from the history of 7 traditional blocks, as you learn to make and use each block in quilts and quilt projects. Popular Simple Simon and Company bloggers give classic patchwork a modern makeover to have a contemporary feel. Choose from 7 gorgeously bold colorful quilts, stunning skirts and accessories and unique home decor like whimsical wall art. From cutting fabric to attaching binding, included are tutorials on everything necessary to complete every project. Whether you are new to quilting or simply looking for inspiration, you are sure to enjoy a new perspective on traditional patchwork.

Supplies to help you get started

You will need a sewing machine, it doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive but it calls for a 1/4” foot or something to gauge a scant 1/4” seam. You need a rotary cutter, mat, and ruler made for rotary cutting. 

The items below are just a suggestion for what you might need. 

Get started with all the sewing basics! This 14 piece sewing kit includes 1 of each: magnetic pincushion with 60ct pins, 100ct glass head pins, a 60″ tape measure, seam ripper, 9-1/2″ titanium black tailor scissors, thread snips, 10ct craft clips, 20ct safety pins, sewing gauge, water erasable pen, iron vanishing pen, 45mm rotary cutter, 12″ x 18″ folding cutting mat, and 12″ x 6″ ruler.
Pale pink with brushed metallic accents, this beautiful machine offers everything a creative sewer could need, at a very attractive price. The Sparrow 30 boasts 310 stitch patterns in total, including 32 utility, 84 decorative, and 2 full alphabets. Decorative stitches can be set up to a width of 7 mm, as desired. The memory function allows individual stitch combinations to be saved. With the push of a button, the Sparrow 30 cuts your thread automatically. In addition to features such as adjustable presser foot pressure, sewing speed control, start/stop function and needle stop up/down, the EverSewn Sparrow 30 also includes seven standard presser feet (All purpose, Zipper, Buttonhole, Overcast, Blind Hem, Satin Stitch, and Button-Sew-On) as well as an extension table.

More ideas to help you learn to quilt

Seldom do I make clothes anymore but I mend them if someone in the family needs it but not for clients. I will mend quilts though.

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