Top 5 Quilting Tips for Beginners

quilting tips
Image by Lori H. Designs via Flickr

Getting started with quilting can be daunting — where do you even begin? What do you need? Do you even have the space?

Don’t be nervous; CraftyPod blogger, author, and quilting expert Diane Gilleland wants you to know that this is supposed to be fun. But it’s a lot more fun when you know what you’re in for, so we asked Diane to put together some beginner tips that will help get you ready to start on your first quilt.

1. Stay basic. It’s possible to spend hundreds of dollars on nifty quilting stuff, but I’ve made a whole lot of quilts using just the basics: A 3 x 18 ruler, one rotary cutter, and one 18 x 24 quilting mat.

2. Figure out your work space. You don’t need a lot of space to make a quilt; All you really need is a tabletop that fits your cutting mat, a floor space to lay your quilt out, and a place for your sewing machine. A folding table for cutting and the floor can really do the job.

3. Start small. It’s tempting to want to make a giant quilt for your bed, but that’s probably not the best choice for your first time. A quilt in the neighborhood of 40″ x 60″ will help you learn the basics.

4. Keep it simple. There are so many beautiful quilt patterns in the world, but for your first quilt, look for one that’s simple. That means straight seams, and a forgiving pattern that doesn’t rely on perfection. Check out Diane’s roundup of the best books for beginners right here.

5. Give yourself time! The longer you make quilts, the faster you’ll be, but when you’re starting out, it can be time-consuming (in a good way) — so don’t put yourself under any time pressure! Take your time, and really enjoy the process.

Ready to get started? Join Diane for her CreativeLive class, T-Shirt Quilting: Warm Up with Your Life Story

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Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.