Advice for Beginning Quilters Part 2

If you are a new quilter who wants to increase his or her skill level, I have four suggestions:

1.  Make quilts
2.  Read books/tutorials
3.  Take classes
4.  See quilts

Make quilts – While this seems obvious to many people, if you are new to quilting, it can seem overwhelming to make a whole quilt.  So, start small.  Make a table runner or some placemats or a little wall hanging.  It really isn’t so important what you make, just start.

Read books/tutorials – There are so many ways to do anything in quilting, you’ll want to expose yourself to different methods.  I learned SO much as a new quilter by watching Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson.  That wonderful show exposed me to all kinds of quilting and quilting methods.  I didn’t try most of them, but it added to my knowledge base to be aware of what options were out there.  Unfortunately, this show isn’t being made any more, but there are lots of blogs and tutorials out there performing a similar function.

Take classes – If you have the opportunity, hands on classes with an experienced teacher are well worth the price.  Books and blogs will take you a certain distance, but there is no substitute for a teacher watching you and giving that small suggestion that makes all the difference.

See quilts – This is much easier with Flickr and the internet today.  However, if you can, see quilts in person too.  Try to get to local and regional quilt shows if you can.  Some of the quilts will blow you away!  Examine the ones you like and the ones you don’t.  What is the difference?  Is it the colors, the shapes, the pattern on the fabric, the lack of pattern on the fabric, the level of contrast – thinking about what you like and what you don’t will make it easier when you are ready to decide what quilt to make next.

The three quilts pictured here are ones I made and gave as gifts the first Christmas I was a quilter in 2002.  The star runner was a pattern in a magazine.  The appliqued trees were a class I took at my local quilt shop and the log cabin wreath was another class at the same quilt shop.  That one really taught me about quarter inch seams!  I undid quite a few of them 🙂

While my style has changed quite a lot since these early quilts, the enjoyment and satisfaction I get from quilting has only grown.  I am wishing you all wonderful quilting journeys in 2011!

1 Comment
  • kwiltmakr
    Posted at 05:53h, 29 December Reply

    I went to the library and checked out lots of books because at that time I didn't have the internet. Now everything you need on the internet. I agree with you on taking a class, I wish I would have it would have made it a bit easier at times.

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