The best quilting tutorials for beginners can help newcomers overcome their fear of quilting and finish a project successfully. If you’re a quilting beginner, don’t worry! I have your back.
Today, I will help you master basic quilting techniques and share proven tips that can help you maximize your quilting potential. Without further ado, let’s dive into the world of quilting.
Table of Contents
Quilting Basics and Useful Advice for Beginners
What you need to understand at the beginning of your quilting journey is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on startup materials like an insanely expensive specialty quilting machine.
Your sewing machine for home use will do the trick. Therefore, unless you don’t plan to cover a building with your first massive and intricate quilt, you don’t need a specialty quilting machine.
You can perform quilting utilizing a domestic sewing machine. However, when quilting on a regular unit, it’s recommended to utilize a walking foot. If you don’t have a sewing machine at home, you can always buy a budget-friendly sewing machine with a free arm. Consider trusted brands like Bernina.
Or Janome. Or Singer. They produce some of the best sewing machine for quilting on the market. Also, when using your sewing machine for home use for quilting, keep both sides of the quilt rolled up and clipped to save space. The basic quilt is constructed in 3 layers and doesn’t take much time or effort to create.
It consists of a quilt top, backing and batting. What fabrics you use depends on your preferences. Often, beginners start with all-cotton. If you’re a beginner, I would suggest sticking to cotton materials.
This includes thread also because you will find the layers don’t slide and slip so much, making them a lot easier to work with. Polyesters and silks will slide and possibly destroy your passion for quilting.
Look at quilting as a hobby that helps you express creatively. You don’t have to do everything according to the book at the start and practice patience. Give yourself time to master the practice!
How Do You Make a Simple Quilt for Beginners?
As I already stated, you don’t have to take big steps at the start of your journey. You don’t have to go big with your first project. Instead of focusing on a large quilt, start with something smaller.
This way, you can enjoy the details, instead of getting annoyed or overwhelmed with work. Also, opt for simpler shapes such as rectangles or squares until you’re quite comfortable. Instead of choosing difficult and time-consuming shapes and patterns, opt for something straightforward and easy to make.
Functional Art Is More Fun:
If you’re a beginner, focus on projects you can utilize such as table runners, place settings, and sofa arm covers. This will fuel your passion for quilting and boost your creativity.
Once you’ve satisfied your appetite, you can begin creating gifts for your loved ones and prove that you can create anything you put your mind to! Also, you will probably get attached to your first projects, so make sure that you don’t produce gifts for your loved ones right away.
Important Quilting Tools You Will be Needing:
A set of quilting rulers, rotary cutters, and self-healing mats fall under the category of “must-have” tools. They will help you plan your design and save you a lot of time and wastage.
You will also need a clean wall so that you can plan your projects and keep track of your progress. Use a table or horizontal surface. I use a vertical surface because it makes things a lot easier.
And saves space! You will also need a pressing station or a good steam iron for quilting. Don’t forget the pins and fabric markers for quilting. Or a seam ripper, quilting thread, and quilting clips.
The clips will keep the edges of your quilt intact whilst you work. Start by planning your design. Then, do the piecing of the quilt top. Later, sandwich all your layers together. Finally, bind them.
The last tip I have for you is to stay patient. Remember that what you’re doing is about relaxation, love, and self-expression. Research the internet on different quilting patterns or pick some of the best quilting patterns for beginners below and get your creative juices flowing! They’re easy and nice.
Also, check out the next free quilting patterns. They’re completely free and will provide a good overview of what you’re getting into. They’re cost-effective and excellent for beginners.
10 Common Quilting Mistakes You Need to Watch Out For
Everyone makes mistakes, especially quilters! When a quilter tells you that they’ve never made a stupid beginner mistake, know that they’re lying. Let’s talk about common quilting mistakes.
Always Pre-Wash Your Fabric
Unless care instructions state otherwise, always pre-wash your fabric. It’s a common mistake to use your fabric before preparing it. If you’re utilizing a machine-washable fabric, pre-wash it.
Washing removes some of the chemicals that have been utilized in the process of making. Also, for some colors like blue, red, or black, washing removes some of the colors that can “bleed” on the design. It also prevents further shrinking. However, some fabrics like silk shouldn’t be pre-washed.
Opt for a Simple and Easy Pattern
Otherwise, your quilt won’t look right at the start. I know that you’re probably tempted to give intricate quilts a chance. However, opt for something simpler. Quilting isn’t as easy as it seems!
More Is Better Than Less
It’s recommended to buy enough or more fabric for your projects. It’s not enough to pick out the perfect one and pre-wash it. Make sure that you have enough fabric to cut before it’s sold out.
Many quilting books offer tips on determining how much fabric you’re going to need for certain quilting projects. Proper planning will help ensure that you don’t run out. Always add a half yard plus. It will cost a little more. However, it’s worth the cost. And you have something extra for future tasks.
Always Press Your Fabrics
Otherwise, your cut fabric pieces won’t look right. Press your fabrics carefully. I’ve learned the hard way not to underestimate the importance of pressing. If you press too hard, your fabric will stretch.
And wrap. Therefore, make sure that you’re not pressing too hard. These mistakes will probably cause a lot of issues down the road. Wrinkled materials will stretch out when stitching pieces together.
This will give your block a wrong size. Stretched materials, on the other hand, will shrink again and look awful. Thus, press gently. If you have a stubborn wrinkle, utilize a little steam to help remove it.
Find a Suitable Type of Fabric
Once you find a type of fabric that works for you, stick to it. Newbies usually opt for 100% cotton. Some individuals select special fabrics like a favorite sweater or a part of a mother’s wedding gown.
Unfortunately, they’re tough fabrics to work with. And projects including these fabrics shouldn’t be your first choice as a beginner. It’s best to find a suitable type of fabric and don’t mix different fabrics.
Otherwise, your fabrics won’t behave! Yes, you can find a lot of beautiful quilts created with all types of fabrics. However, they probably require different preparation, stitching, and care techniques.
Always Utilize a Consistent Seam Allowance
Otherwise, your end blocks won’t be the same size. Imaging sewing pieces of fabric and preparing a few blocks that you’re ready to sew together when suddenly, you realize they’re differently-sized.
It’s a nightmare you don’t what to experience. However, it’s something every quilter has experienced in their beginning days. Always utilize a 1/4-inch seam allowance when stitching pieces together.
Opt for a Small Beginning Project
Otherwise, you will feel like your first quilt will never get completed. Start with a small and easy project. This way, you will save time. However, most importantly, you will save your passion for quilting.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Another common quilting mistake is differently-sized fabric pieces. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to measure a few times before you cut. Otherwise, you will waste a lot of time and money.
For instance, when you cut 50 squares instead of 4 inches into 3 1/2 inches by mistake, you waste fabric. The fabric costs money. I have 3 drawers full of fabric scraps. They’re the result of wrong cutting.
If you remember to backstitch, you will prevent your stitches from unraveling which is another common quilting mistake. Whether you’re sewing blocks together or quilting your piece, always backstitch.
It’s never a fun thing to go back and try to repair stitching once a quilt is completed. On the contrary, it’s time-consuming and necessary. Almost every good quilting book includes a chapter on this subject.
Choose Colors Wisely
If you don’t choose fabric colors wisely, you won’t be able to view your patterns. They’re divided into 3 different categories including darks, mediums, and lights.
If you opt for the same hues in various colors, the design will look bad. Opt for different hues, especially if your pattern is more detailed. Show off all your hard work!
Quilting Tutorials for Beginners
If you’re searching for easy quilt patterns for beginners, explore this basket of easy projects that make a perfect choice for beginners. The goal is to simplify your work and help you enjoy quilting.
The following patterns include detailed instructions that take you through the making process in a step-by-step way. That said, let’s take a look at some of the best quilting designs for beginners.
Nine Patcho Bento Box Quilt
The Bento box quilt is a form of popular pattern. It has a 9-patch block in the middle. It’s the ideal option for beginners. However, it’s also suitable for anyone who loves quilting.
The instructions will help you get the right size for every piece before you take the next step. I love the 9 patcho bento box quilt because it’s easy to make and has a striking look.
Dancing Nine Patch Quilt
It’s difficult not to fall in love with the slightly curved look of this quilt. The illusion appears when the 9 patch quilt blocks are surrounded by a scrappy assortment of squares on 2 sides.
Then, they’re flip-flopped to make the layout. The dancing 9 patch quilt is a perfect choice for scrap quilt lovers. It can be made utilizing a themed approach as well. It’s one of my favorites!
Easy Hunter’s Star Quilt
The hunter’s star quilt design looks complicated at first sight. However, in reality, it’s simple and easy to make, even for beginners. As with any project, it’s important to learn a few basic tricks.
And practice new skills if required. The design includes tips you can use before you start and complete it successfully. It’s one of the most popular quilting designs for both beginners and experts.
Another quilt that looks more complex than it is, is the kaleidoscope quilt. The quilt blocks are patched on-spot, a method that beginners try to avoid. However, it’s nothing too difficult.
If you’re a beginner, embrace this method. Once you’ve patched a few on-spot quilts, you will feel a lot more comfortable with this way of work. This design is a great option for people who want to learn new skills. Intricate designs shouldn’t scare you but encourage you to learn new things.
Star Crossing Quilt With Piano Key Borders
Star crossing is another design that may look complex but it’s not. It has a learning curve and takes time to assemble. However, the pattern is simple to put together and doesn’t take much time.
It’s one of those patterns that will help you learn and practice new skills. You can also use this pattern to learn a new way to stitch the popular piano key borders. They look great with any design.
Baby Quilt Tutorials for Beginners
If you want to begin your quilting journey with something small but modern and practical, opt for a baby quilt. It’s the ideal choice for beginners. The blocks for this task don’t take much time to make.
They’re super easy, so beginners can stitch this project in record time. You can play with different colors. It’s also a great way to test your skills and make something practical. It makes a great gift too!
Double Four Patch Scrap Quilt
The simple quilt blocks in this design end at 8 inches square. You can patch the quilt utilizing a theme or go super scrappy and utilize up the excess fabric. It’s perfect for quilters of all levels.
You can change the patch to give it an additional dimension by applying sashing inside each patch. It’s a great design to experiment with. You can utilize the design to sew different quilts.
Bricks and Cobblestones Quilt
If you’re looking for a lively quilt block design, look no further than this one! Scrap quilt lovers will adore how much of your stash this design eats up. The more vibrant the fabrics, the better.
You will create these quilt blocks from tone-to-tone and brightly colored materials printed with stripes, dots, geometrics, and other small motifs. One block is rectangular, the other is square. Create them both and assemble the quilt in a mix-and-match way. It’s another favorite pattern of mine.
Puff Quilt Tutorial for Beginners
Also known as biscuit quilts, puff quilts are super comfy and ultra-plush. The trick is to stitch each square with some leeway. This way you can stuff each pocket with a fiberfill.
Although this may appear like a scary task, a few tricks will make the whole procedure a lot easier. Also, the final result is worth the time and effort. It’s also a great baby gift.
Rag Quilt Tutorials for Beginners
Rag quilts are cuddly and soft. Therefore, they’re amazing lap quilts for a cold day. A cuddly rag quilt is a great gift for both adults and children. However, make one for yourself, too!
These quilts go together fast! They’re easy to make because you don’t have to stress about stitching the perfect seams. If you’re a beginner, you can finish this pattern in a few days.
Simple Rail Fence Baby Quilt
You can patch this rail fence baby quilt in just a couple of colors or apply different fabrics. Either way, it goes together fast. You can also personalize the border as you wish. This design includes a narrow inner border that stops the busier design. I like this border because it’s a lovely touch.
Easy Rail Fence Quilt
When you explore the quilting world, you will find a lot of variations of this pattern. This one is just one of the examples. It differs a lot from the baby quilt. It has a stair-step design of rails that provide tons of movement. The best part? It’s easy to make and doesn’t take much time or effort.
Floral Snowballs Quilt
Snowball quilt blocks don’t take much time and effort to make. You can assemble a lot of them in record time. These blocks end at 6 inches square but you can make a quilt in any size you prefer.
Simple Jigsaw Puzzle Quilt
Regular H quilt blocks are utilized to create a version of the famous jigsaw puzzle quilt. The blocks don’t take much time and effort to assemble.
What you need to pay attention to is the fabric placement so the pieces come properly. The pattern can be made with 6-inch, 9-inch, and 12-inch blocks.
Endless Stairs Quilt
If you’re looking for a quilt pattern with a lot of creative value, look no further than this one. It’s easy to make and doesn’t take much time or effort.
it allows you to concentrate more on color than technique. As you start to play with the end blocks, you will discover a lot of layouts you can piece differently.
Small Spools Quilt
The small spools quilt has a unique shape which makes it a perfect wall hanging. It makes a great gift for any passionate crafter. The best part? It’s super fun to make.
Use this easy quilt pattern to create a 36-inch square wall hanging from a 6-inch block. You can make a mini quilt (18 inches) from 3-inch blocks. Or go even bigger.
Scrappy Hearts Wall Hanging
Every crafter needs a traditional heart-shaped design that’s suitable for beginners. You can utilize 6-inch heart blocks. They’re adorable and easy to make. Whether it’s a full-sized quilt or a quick weekend task, it’s a simple and fun design once you get going!
10 Quilting Methods Every Quilter Should Master
The quilting world is full of quilting techniques that can help you with your work and make things easier. As a beginner, all you need are the following 10 “must-know” quilting techniques.
Learn Quilting Terminology
It’s wise to learn quilting terminology such as skills you will need and abbreviations utilized with designs when learning how to make a quilt.
It can also be helpful to keep a small quilting book when you’re creating a quilt. Also, read a lot of posts on quilting such as this one before you start.
This way, when you encounter a word you don’t understand, you can look it up and memorize it. This can help you follow instructions.
Practice Rotary Cutting Skills
Rotary cutting is a method that every beginner should master. It enables individuals to bypass the time-consuming and intense technique of making templates to mark and cut separate pieces.
You will love the freedom that this technique provides. Additionally, speedy cutting is a great motivation for beginners. You can find rotary tools at Amazon. They’re affordable and budget-friendly.
Learn Quick Piecing Methods
Quick piecing methods such as strip piecing allow quilters to patch large chunks of fabric together, then cut off parts to make pre-sewn units. It’s easy and enables you to play with different sizes.
Measure and Sew Borders Properly
Applying one or more borders to the corners of a quilt does a lot more than just giving a lovely frame for your work. It provides a great opportunity to square up slightly skewed corners.
It’s common for newbies to determine the length of borders by measuring along the exterior borders of a quilt. If the quilt is skewed, that method ensures it will stay skewed. Learning how to measure and sew borders properly will improve the structure of your quilts and simplify your work.
Learn About the Qualities of Fabric
Fabrics represent the backbone of your quilts. However, you will be surprised at how many people start to assemble their first projects without putting fabric characteristics to work for them.
It’s a lot easier to create a quilt once you understand why quilting patches are sliced utilizing guidelines and how to care for your fabrics. Invest in quality fabrics that will hold up during use.
Learn to Sew a Quarter Inch Seam Allowance
Newbies, especially people who’re accustomed to patching things with 5/8-inch seam allowances have a difficult time visualizing and patching the 1/4-inch seam allowance utilized to create quilts.
You can use different tricks to help you get the seam just right. However, it’s recommended to do a few tests before you start stitching patches for a quilt just to ensure that your seams are precise.
Press Your Quilt Blocks Properly
Once you learn how to make a block quilt, master pressing. Putting seams before ironing allowances to one side is a great way to enhance your patchwork.
Extra pressing won’t slow you down. On the contrary, it will save you a lot of time if you press the blocks the right way. Opt for a quality steam iron for quilting.
Change Your Needle
I recommend you buy needles in sizes 10-12. They need to be sharp. Therefore, purchase a few to have on hand. Change your needles often, especially after each quilting project.
If you believe your needle is getting dull, change it. Don’t think you can complete your project with a dull needle. It can ruin your entire project. Thus, keep your needles super sharp.
Get Professional Help
It’s fine to take a sewing or quilting class to learn more. Perhaps you learn faster by practicing. If so, opt for this learning method. You can improve your skills faster by practicing daily.
Also, if you know someone passionate about quilting and has many years of experience, reach out, and ask for help. Offer to pay them for their time and effort and learn from a professional.
Getting professional help can speed up your learning process. YouTube can be helpful for beginners too! It includes step-by-step guides, quilting patterns for beginners, and expert advice.
Pre-Wash Your Fabrics
The very first quilt I ever created was lovely. My grandma helped me to learn how to complete that first project. It’s one of my best memories. I made the last stitch and washed it.
When I took the piece out of the machine, I was devastated. The colors have bleed across the stitching. I made a classic beginner mistake. I hadn’t pre-washed my fabric. Learn from my mistakes.
You must pre-wash your fabric unless care instructions say otherwise. Otherwise, colors like red or black might “bleed” after washing. Follow the care instructions for the fabric.
Choose a Simple Design
If you’re a beginner, opt for an easy design. I understand that you want to prove to yourself that you can complete something complex. However, you might end up disappointed with the results.
You will regret trying to finish a lot of things at once. Quilting takes a lot of time, practice, and patience. If you try to master every skill at once, you will end up confused with a messy, complex project.
Straightforward designs don’t take much time and effort but make you feel successful and proud of your beginner skills. Therefore, take it easy and opt for something easy, simple, and beautiful.
Hopefully, this article can help you with your quilting journey somehow and teach you a few lessons that you can use in the future. It includes some of the best quilting tutorials for beginners.
Remember, always pre-wash your fabrics unless care instructions say otherwise, opt for simple designs, and learn a few pressing tricks. Last but not least, equip yourself with quilting tools and books.
Feel free to share your thoughts, tips, and tricks for other beginners in the comments below. I would love to hear your first quilting experiences and advice on how to become a professional quilter.