Today I’m going to give you my 5 Quilting Tips for Beginners. I started my first quilt last October to give as a gift to my mom. This project was so fun, but also so much harder than I anticipated, and I wish someone would have given me these beginning quilting tips before I started.
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Quilting Tip for Beginners # 1
My first quilting project was actually not this quilt, but a quilted pillow case. This smaller quilting project helped me learn some of the basic stitches and patterns before the bigger quilt. But even then, going from a pillow to a Twin Sized Throw Quilt was a big leap! If I had more time, I would have done a small lap blanket or baby quilt first. Which brings me to the second tip for beginning quilters…
Beginner Quilting Tip # 2
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Like I said, I started this quilt for my mom in October, intending it as a Christmas gift. Three months is totally enough time, right? Maybe. If I had no kids, if it wasn’t the holiday season and there were activities to do every weekend, if it wasn’t also the second busiest time of year for my job, if I didn’t procrastinate every time I got overwhelmed… Then, yeah, totally would have been enough time. But I do have kids, one at the time, who needed attention. Plus it was Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas and I’ve got to take her to do all the things!
So basically what I’m saying for this quilting tip is, think about how long you assume it will take you to do it…and then double it.
Beginner Quilting Tip # 3
Use a Pattern
As a beginner quilter, I didn’t realize how much MATH was involved. I knew I wanted my quilt to be a certain size (39 inches by 75 inches to be exact to cover a twin size bed). So I had to math to decide how many squares of what size would equal that size. THEN I had to use triangles to make squares, and squares to make bigger squares… It was a huge headache. I would have been much better off if I had just used a premade pattern.
Quilting Tip for Beginners # 4
Measure Twice, Cut Once
It’s an age old saying with carpenters and it goes for all DIY type things. But really. Measure twice, cut once. And when I say measure, make sure the measurement includes seam allowance. Even before you get home and start cutting your squares and triangles, double check your measurements for the entire blanket. Then get a little extra…
I use this type of measuring tape.
Beginner Quilting Tip # 5
Use Quilting Templates
I was gifted some Quilting Square Templates like these by my mom when I mentioned wanting to try quilting. They were SO worth it! They helped tremendously with keeping my squares uniform sized. Especially as a beginning quilter, I don’t think I could have kept my quilt as neat as I did without them. (And that’s saying a lot, because it was NOT very neat.)
I used a rotary cutting tool like this one for cutting out the templates.
I’m sure there are lots of other tips for beginning quilters out there that I didn’t include. I haven’t even gotten to the actual sewing and quilting part! But, honestly, this prep work was what stressed me out most as a beginner quilter. If you get all that right, the rest should be pretty smooth sailing.
Bonus Products That Helped Me With My First Quilt
I hope these beginner quilting tips help you with your first quilt. Be sure to tag me in your quilting beginner pictures! I’d love to see them!