Quilting Tips for Beginners

Quilting is a timeless hobby, and while it can take a little practice, it is something anyone can learn. Here we will cover how to choose a good pattern to start with, saving time on cutting pieces, and other helpful information.

Try Patterns That Use Large Pieces

Starting with the basics allows you to get a feel for the hobby and avoid frustration. Patterns with large pieces are a great option for the beginning quilter. In addition to not having as many seams to worry about as a more intricate pattern, these projects go together more quickly, allowing you to master the basics and get a finished product you can enjoy.

Start with Simple Patterns

Quilting patterns that use large pieces are often great simple projects to start with, but there are other types of simple patterns that are fun and easy to learn. If you are set on using small pieces, consider making a smaller finished project, such as a baby blanket or table runner, instead of a full-sized quilt. You should also look for projects that are made primarily out of square or rectangular pieces. These are by far the easiest shape to work with.

Try Pre-Cut Quilt Kits

Quilt stores in Cedar Rapids, Indiana, sometimes sell quilting patterns with pre-cut kits. All this means is that the fabric pieces are provided with your purchase and have been precut according to the pattern instructions. This can save you a lot of time and let you get right into the fun part of the project. Pre-cut quilting kits also make it, so you don't have to worry about figuring out how much fabric to purchase.

Make Sure You Have Enough Fabric

No matter what kind of quilting patterns you have selected, you should double-check that you have more than enough fabric to complete the project before getting started. Running out of fabric is frustrating, especially if it is difficult to find more of the exact fabric you need.

Prewash Fabric or Not?

Not a debate on ethics or good manners, but instead the question of pre-washing fabric has more to do with how you choose your fabrics. If you are working with fabrics of mystery origin that you inherited or bought at a huge discount, you might not be getting fabrics that are colorfast or handled as we are seeing most quality quilting cottons these days. Pre-washing will help to sort out how the fabric performs in washing. If something releases color or curls up more than normal, washing will help you determine if you should keep that fabric out of your finished product.

If you are buying quality quilting cotton from current independent stores, the more current, reputable vendors have minimized shrinkage and colors are much more stable than what some cottons were 20 years ago.

Still nervous about color-migration? Put a corner of the fabric in hot water and rub against a white cloth. Make sure you are looking for rub off of the dye and not just thread scraps.

Huge advantage to NOT pre-washing current quality fabrics is that you typically have a nice finish that does help with pressing and that helps a lot with piecing.

Make Friends at a Local Quilt Shop

Many independent quilt shops teach Start Quilting classes, providing the best practices to move forward well. Indeed, there are online videos but you can never beat the face-to-face coaching experience with a good teacher. Most independent retailers are very passionate about the success of their visitors. Good teachers in independent quilt shops are part enthusiastic and participating artist and a great cheerleader for you and friends. Supporting a local shop and their mission to inspired and educate also passes the craft and artistry to sewing enthusiasts in your community. A great place to be with like-minded artists and a place to send your interested friends helps to build a kind and creative community in your own area.

Find a Good Book Reference

Finding a good quilting reference book is a must for anyone serious about the hobby. For a beginning quilter, books can be a bit intimidating. They are long, with many small, detailed steps that are important not to overlook. It can help to find quilting for beginners classes in Cedar Rapids as a supplement to using a quilting book. Not only do classes cover the basics you will need to know to complete your project, but they can also help you become better at reading and understanding quilting books for future projects.

Give Yourself Time

Remember that the ultimate goal of a quilting project is for it to be enjoyable. Give yourself ample time to learn and be patient with yourself. This is especially important for your first few projects, which will be more challenging as you work to get in the swing of things.


If you've been hesitant to try quilting, consider some of these beginner-friendly steps to get started. Contact us for quilting supplies and classes in Cedar Rapids, IA. We are an active community that is excited to inspire you.

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