Question for any quilters

I have been wanting to make a quilt ever since I was a kid and watched my mom make one. She has long since been out of the crafts phase, and can’t really offer any advice. I really really want to make a quilt. I have a sewing machine, and I got some quilting magazines, and there are a few quilts I am considering making that don’t seem too hard. I understand a little bit, like fat quarters, but there are some other terms I have come across in the magazine that they do not give a definition for. Is there a good quilt book or website that breaks it down for beginners? I think I should start with the very basics. I really want to be sure I know what I am doing before I spend a lot of money on fabrics only to screw it up.

Is there a good quilt book or website that breaks it down for beginners?

I’ve only been quilting for six years, but the book I keep referring to is “Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!” by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes. I have a bunch of other quilting books, but I rarely open them.

Someone else will be able to better recommend a good quilting website. So far, I haven’t found one that’s been truly helpful with my quilting. I visit a quilting forum, but that’s more for chat/venting than actual quilting help.

When I learned to quilt in 2001, I took a beginner class at my local quilt shop. Since then, I’ve taken several quilting classes at different shops. I have mixed feelings about taking classes. You really need to be a “people person” to endure them. Only you know that about yourself, so I can’t really help you there. :wink:

Good luck on your new endeavor! Quilting can be fun sometimes, other times it can be a real PITA but at least you get a quilt out of it. :lol:

Thanks! That looks like a great book, got a lot of good reviews on amazon, too. I’ll have to head out to the book store! :cheering:

I’m actually working on my first quilt as we speak :D. The book I bought is here:

I actually bought it at JoAnn’s though.

It’s fantastic. There are clear close-up photos of everything, many design examples with directions, and even very basic information like what fabric to use, what thread, etc.

I’ve already made about 1/3 of my blocks since yesterday. (Simple 9 patch blocks but still lol).


How wonderful to have another Quilter among us. :happydance:There are MANY wonderful books out for beginners. Alex Anderson’s books are great too.

If you’d like a great quilt message board…I suggest you go to the quilt message board over at HGTV. The one there on quilting is full of friendly and helpful people.

A simple nine patch block quilt would be a great place to being. You can find wonderful block patterns for FREE at

Many of us do swaps etc. and use their blocks. Good luck:cheering:

Great link, Quiltlady!! I am in complete awe at all the different block patterns there!! Wow! I can tell quilting will be my new obsession – so many possibilities. Thanks to all for your help!:hug:

I learned to quilt before there were such things as fat quarters and rotary cutters. I was taught by by aunt how to do applique, by hand. The only actual sewing machine work I was allowed was sewing the blocks together. I have since then made a couple 9 patches and a few “grab bag” quilts. I like making summer quilts more because batting and I just don’t get along…

I don’t know of any sites or books, but thought I’d add my name to the quilting pot!

I’m a relatively new quilter too. I’ve found that the best resource is your LQS (Local Quilt Shop). Don’t be shy, ask questions if you have any. In my experience, quilt shop people are way, way sweeter than yarn shop people! :slight_smile:

Here’s a few of my favorite quilting links
Block Central
Complete Idiot’s Guide to Quilting e-book
Simply Quilts Videos
Fons & Porter’s
Shabby Fabrics (caution… way beautiful fabrics afoot!)
Connecting Threads (as Knit Picks is to knitters, Connecting Threads is to Quilters)

Thanks for posting those Silver, I know what I’ll be doing this morning :D.

While we’re talking quilts, I have a question. How crucial is a darning foot to quilting? I don’t have one yet but I am almost done with my quilt top and I wonder if when I finish pinning everything I should wait until I can pick one up to finish it?

The only feet I already have are a regular one, a zipper foot, and a teflon foot.

I am willing to wait of course, just curious.

In my experience, quilt shop people are way, way sweeter than yarn shop people! :grin:

:lol: Oh, how true!!

How crucial is a darning foot to quilting?

I’m interested to read what other quilters say about this. I’ve only used mine for a machine-quilting class, since I only quilt in straight lines or subtle curves. A darning foot would be used for free-motion quilting, or curvy shapes.

IMO, it’s more important to have a walking foot, which prevents the “sandwich” of top, batting and backing from slipping and causing puckers when it’s quilted. A walking foot is for stitch-in-the-ditch quilting (stitching in a seam), or straight line quilting. I’d recommend you get this before a darning foot, which is for more advanced quilting techniques. :slight_smile:

I think that’s what I meant lol - a walking foot - I was planning to use straight lines. I just wasn’t sure what the effect was :D.

I’ve been quilting for about 20 years now. The first book I bought was Eleanor Burns’ Log Cabin Quilt. I made a ton of those!! So fast and very forgiving (not a lot of seams to match).
Try to find a small quilting group through your local guild. I belong to one and it is the most wonderful group of ladies. You get great ideas and all the help you need. It’s also nice to be able to help the new quilters.

I’ve quilted for a long time. Don’t have any books to recommend but there were always good ones. Even just pick up a “Quilt” magazine at the store, it should have the beginner’s info to get you started.

The #1 thing to remember is ALWAYS pre-wash your fabrics, then iron before cutting!

If you don’t already have a cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter, get one - you can find them even at Walmart!

If it’s an easy straight seamed thing (like putting squares or triangles together), learn the fast way to do it by chain sewing. Sew 2 pieces together, then as soon as they are off from under your presser foot, start on another 2, etc…so you have about 1/4 of thread between pairs. (Instead of lifting the foot, clippling thread and doing the next pair, etc.) This also keeps them all together so your dog doesn’t take off with them…but I digress…

When pressing your pieces together (say you sew 2 squares together), always press to the darker side fabric if you can. Sometimes it’s unavoidable.

To make your edge seams perfectly match up, make sure one seam goes to one side and the other to the opposite side. I hope that makes sense.

Get some of those long quilting pins too. They are soooooo great! You won’t ever want to go back to regular pins again!

Good luck! I wish I could recommend a good quilting forum, but I’m not really doing that now, totally addicted to knitting.

Debbie Mumm has really good quilt books as well. She’ll take you step by step through the quilt. What I like about her methods is that if you need a bunch of squares sewn together, she’ll have you cut long strips of fabric, sew those together, and then cut them apart along the length so that you end up with a bunch of squares sewn together but you’ve only sewn one seam. Am I making any sense?


That’s a great idea.

The best advise I can give to a beginner quilter is to take a Mary Ellen Hopkins quilting course. There a lots of people that teach her ‘quick piecing’ method. She also has a dozen or more books on the strip piecing technique, any one of which would be good. There is also a sewing machine foot you can buy that gives you a perfect 1/4" seam allowance, ask for it at your local quilt shop.

With 40+ years of quilting experience, let me say, the cutting mat and rotary cutter along with a 6" x 24" clear ruler are indispensable but you really need some instruction with the use of them. your local quilt shop will show you the care and use of each item. please pay attention to their instructions.

quilting classes are the most fun you can have with a metre of fabric, bar none. i just can’t say enough about the satisfaction I have had with the quilting process and the gifting of my ‘Art’ to friends and family. of course there are some of my ‘Babies’ I just won’t part with, whine all you like.

DEFINITELY get that walking foot!

Welcome to the world of quilting. I have been quilting for 7 years, and it was my passion. Until I realized, what do I do with all these quilts? And I have a lot.:rofling:

BlockCentral forum is a great place for advice, but they are getting alittle more political these days, and that takes the fun out of the site. But they did have great tips for beginners.

A walking foot is a must. And just always make sure I have an exact 1/4 seam and your pieces are cut correctly, and you will have a beautiful quilt. (personnally, I do not pre wash fabric because I like the aged look when it shrinks after it is washed, I use a color setter so I don’t worry about fabric bleeding)

But now, my passion is knitting, I love it. I never knew you could have a yarn stash! :happydance: I knit all the time now, because it is a portable hobby. But I still do some quilting, I love that still too.

So, add me to the quilters that now knit.


MY first quilt was a kit for a baby quilt. I was expecting our first child. We lived in Texas at the time far from “home”. So I’m self taught.

There are MANY wonderful quilt magazines out on the market too. Here are three of my favorites…

Another great one is…

Love this one too
There are even more if you do a search for quilt magazines.:cheering:

Quiltlady, that is funny. I started to quilt because we built a house and had this huge bare wall that needed something. Si, I thought I would make a large quilt to hang there.

Unlike you, I have made many quilts, but after 7 years none for that wall yet!



PS Maybe I will knit something for that spot.