When I started quilting a few years ago I did so by purchasing a quilt kit on Craftsy.com and watching a video with it over and over. Stopping and starting, I still use Youtube a great deal when making quilts. If I can learn to quilt, anyone can! The photo above is my first quilt. Some of the seams have come apart and the quilting is just some semi straight lines. But you know what! I am very proud of myself for making it. Since that quilt I have made over 70 quilt items, not including the 17 quilt tops I have ready to be quilted. Most have been given away to family and friends, even a couple made for commission.
I thought I would share a little bit of information about quilts as many do not know how much goes into them. My husband often comments how years ago when we were on vacation we bought a “quilt” and it was no where near the price of what I put into some of mine. It is one of our favorite quilts to use to this day, probably more about the memories from that trip but all quilts have a story I think. Quilting can be an expensive hobby. But there are ways to make it less expensive and still come out with great quilts! Also my philosophy is A QUILT SHOULD BE USED!
A little info about the components of quilts!
Pattern – This is what I like to call the jumping off point. A quilter can create one themselves or follow one. My personality likes to use a pattern more often than not. They are available for free online just by googling or going to Pinterest. Many shops , quilt designers and Etsy shops create patterns to sell. From the pattern it gives a list of how much fabric you need to make the quilt. It also gives you a size of the finished block and quilt. FYI – every sewing machine is different so odds are it won’t be exactly the size it says on the pattern but should be quite close!
Fabric Collection or main show stopper for pattern! This can be created from pre-cuts which I will touch on in a moment or cut from yardage. I tend to like to use fabric collections, it’s just my personality. Some folks make all scrappy quilts from their stash, which I did do this year for a first time. I enjoyed it for a change of pace. I was able to give away some quilts using leftovers from other quilts.
Below are some of my favorite fabric designers but I don’t just make quilts by them. If I find a collection I like I put it on my wish list! My goal for 2021 is to refrain from buying and making the 12 quilts I have most the materials for already. It will be hard for me but I’m gonna try!
Kate & Birdie These are only a few… I promise!
Border – Most quilts I make have at least one if not two. It helps to make the quilt larger and it just frames the pattern out I feel.
Backing – this is a pretty obvious component but one needs 4 extra inches of it to send the quilt top to the long arm quilter, this is so it goes on her frame well. I don’t always use backing that goes with my fabric collection on the front. A couple reasons is the back doesn’t show that often and it can get really pricey. A lap quilt usually needs around 6 yards and fabric collections can run $10 to $12 per yard to buy! How it feels is important I think, so I try to go with fabrics that are soft and durable.
Batting– There are many different types. I usually buy mine on a large roll when it’s on super sale at Joann’s Fabrics. My husband is a wonderful helper when it comes to figuring out how much I need and cutting it and the backing. I’d be lost without him to help me in this area.
Binding is the outer edge of the quilt closing up your quilt top, batting and backing into a sandwich. I normally hand stitch mine on because I am not very good at all using my sewing machine. It also gives me something to do while watching tv or traveling. I sometimes also put a label on my quilts, if not I at least put the year somewhere on the back with black marker small so years to come they know what year it was made.
When I buy a pre-cut in a fabric collection I don’t always know what pattern I will use for it. It goes in my stash and I admire it in it’s pretty little wrapped up state usually. What I have learned though is if you like a collection and it’s by a designer that is well known you really need to buy it sooner than later. And here is why….. they usually do not re-print fabric collections. So when it’s gone, it’s gone. I now buy some border fabric at that time too, even without knowing my pattern in addition to the precut. After four years I’ve learned a few things and can guess pretty well on fabric. Etsy usually has older collections but the prices can be higher than they were originally.
Side-note: Before I was into fabric collections and understood this I fell in love with Farmer’s Daughter by Lella Boutique. It is by far my favorite collection and I was lucky enough to run across it I believe in an Etsy shop. The fabric is soft, I love the pattern I used and it just makes me happy! Since making it I have searched for more to buy only finding a couple small fat quarter bundles and black yardage. I have those in my stash for a pattern she designed. I even quilted this one and usually I don’t care for that. But I just LOVE this one!
I know this has been a long post but hopefully this helps someone that quilting has peaked their interest or you are gifted a homemade quilt. I won’t go into the number of hours it takes to make a quilt today. But know this, quilters make quilts because they love to. They put a great deal of heart into their projects and hope that you will love it too. “Finished is better than perfect” is a motto I have joined in on believing when it comes to quilts. My personality REALLY dislikes having unfinished quilt tops sitting around my room but I haven’t jumped on the free motion quilting wagon as of yet. I love to “piece” the quilts! Every cent that is spent to have a quilt done by a long arm quilter is worth it, they do a fabulous job! I just make too many quilts to take them all! 🙂
If you have questions just feel free to comment. If I don’t know the answer I can find someone to help us! Thanks for stopping by!
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