I have completed 9 quilts, but I don’t feel like an expert yet. I still have to refer to many resources as I quilt.I taught myself to quilt using Youtube videos and blog tutorials. I’m far from perfect. So when people ask me to help them learn to quilt, I don’t feel qualified.
But here’s my solution- a quilt along! I’m going to document my steps as I create this next quilt and link to ALL my resources so you can create your own quilt.
Seriously, all you need is a sewing machine to do a quilt from start to finish.
So today is the first step: the pattern and fabric.
We will also talk about cutting your pattern (and resizing it), piecing the topper, basting the quilt, quilting the quilt, and binding the quilt.
There are SO many quilt patterns out there. I like using patterns that come with tutorials (at first at least) so I can see what’s being done. I have some go-to places for quilt patterns.
You want to consider a few things when looking for a pattern. Some of them will be made with precuts – which are precut pieces of fabric that you can rearrange to make different patterns. These are the easiest since you won’t be cutting from big pieces of fabric. Words to look for if you want precuts are charm packs (5″ squares), layer cakes (10″ squares), jelly rolls (2.5″ strips), fat quarters (18″ x 22″), honeybuns (1.5″ strips), and turnovers (6″ triangles).
You also want to consider the size of your quilt. The pattern can be adapted, but some designs won’t work if you make a smaller quilt.
Lastly, consider the colors or patterns you want to use. Some patterns look great in solids, others will work with busy patterns.
For my next quilt, I’m doing this chevron quilt from Moda. I’m making it with solids in teal and grey. My quilt is made from two jelly rolls and 1 charm pack along with the backing fabric and binding fabric.
As you consider fabric, I love these episodes from Quilty (a great quilting magazine!) to help you choose.
You can buy fabric locally from a sewing shop or online. My favorite fabric shop is Missouri Star Quilt Company. Buying precuts is easy because the prints and fabrics all go together. Or go rogue and buy fabric by the yard and cut your own. I’ve done nothing- and it’s easier to get started with precuts, but if you have your eye on yardage, it can be done.
There is a HUGE difference between cheap fabric I’ve found at Walmart (or even the cheap stuff at Hobby Lobby or JoAnns) and higher quality fabric from a sewing store. The fabric makes the quilt, so don’t skimp! On average, it can cost $100-200 for fabric for a quilt with good fabric. These are heirlooms so make them to hold up my first quilt was a baby quilt for a friend and her little boy still carries that blanket 4 years later!
For my quilt, I chose Bella Solids silver and egg blue for my fabric. I got is at Missouri Star online. It’s a good weight, gorgeous colors, and I like that it comes in the precuts I need as well as yardage for my backing and binding.
Here are my jelly rolls and charm pack ready to cut!
I’ve also made a T-shirt quilt before. It’s a little more involved. To make your “fabric” out of your T-shirts, you need to apply interfacing to make them stable. The T-shirt quilt was a bit harder to piece together, but it’s doable. Check out this tutorial for more info on T-shirt quilts.
So that’s all the info I have on choosing a pattern and fabric. That’s your first step. 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions!