sewing machine and sewing notions name of blog

Common Questions & Answers For The Beginner Quilter

Common questions and answers for the beginner quilter will be my focus during the second week of each of the next few months. Leave questions for me in the comments! Some questions I have been asked don’t always have a definitive answer and you will see why. Check out my blog, Questions People Have About Quilting, that I wrote about earlier on this topic.

What are the bare minimum items I need to purchase to get started machine quilting?

Sewing Machine: Make sure you have a sewing machine in good working order. Nothing is more frustrating when learning to sew on a machine that constantly gives you trouble.

Walking Foot: If you plan on doing your own quilting then a walking foot is a must. Without one the fabric won’t move through the machine together and you will get lops. These feet are usually an extra purchase because many machines don’t come with one.

Thread & Pins: A neutral thread of white, cream, and light gray are my favorite choices when piecing blocks. Because you will be sewing two pieces of fabric together, pins may be needed to hold them in place. Sometimes I like to use the little “clips” instead of pins.

quilting notions and fabric squares

Scissors &/ Rotary Cutter with Mat: Scissors will work with a pattern that has very little cutting. This would be fine to start with. Make sure you buy a nice pair of “sharp” scissors and only use them for fabric. A rotary cutter and mat aren’t super expensive, but I would want to make sure I enjoyed the piecing and quilting process. In piecing a quilt top it is very important to be accurate both when sewing and cutting. The rotary cutter with a ruler gives the best accuracy. Nothing will frustrate you more than your blocks not going together correctly.

Ruler: There are so many quilting rulers to choose from and eventually you will want to collect a few different sizes. I would recommend an 8″x14″ size to start with. Everyone will have their own opinions, but I use this one the most when cutting fabric.

Iron & Ironing Board: Next to cutting correctly and sewing a 1/4″ seam, pressing (in my opinion) is the next most important part of piecing a quilt top. Learning not to stretch the fabric when pressing, but getting the seams pressed down correctly is important.

girl with question marks

Now that I have the items I need to quilt, where do I start?

This is a great question. Starting is always the scariest part! My first suggestion is not to start alone if you don’t have to. Taking a beginner class from the local quilt shop would be my first suggestion if you don’t know someone personally that can teach you. There you will meet other beginners and people who can answer your questions.

Second, learning from a relative or friend is a fun and sometimes bonding process. My grandmother started me on my quilting journey and my mom took classes and eventually taught me many different techniques. It’s fun to get together and visit while you learn!

two ladies sitting at a table sewing

My third thought is to start small and learn from online courses and classes. I will have a free, email video course coming soon for a “quilted bookmark”. You can’t get much smaller than that!! Starting small gives you a quick win.

Final Thoughts

I truly hope you are thinking about starting the hobby of quilting. It can be very rewarding and enjoyable. This list is just my opinion and sometimes the best thing to do is ask those you know who quilt. It is a starting point and gives one something to start thinking about. Stay tuned for more question and answer blogs the second week of the next few months.

Always Find Time to Sew,