Quilting for Beginners: Don’t Go it Alone!

How did you learn to quilt? In my family, the women passed down needlecraft techniques like sewing, embroidery, knitting, and quilting.

how to make a simple quilt binding
Terry Grant  shows how to bind a quilt
when it’s small (and get a neat result)
on “QATV” Series 600.

Many of my fellow quilters learned how to quilt after taking sewing classes in high school or during the great fiber art revival of the 1970s. But schools cut home ec programs and women entered the workforce, and for several years, few people learned how to sew, let alone learn how to quilt.

Fortunately, the wheel has turned, and people are interested in learning how to quilt again. But where to begin? I suggest you small and don’t go it alone.

Advice on Quilting for Beginners

1. Join a guild. Guild members are a great source of information, encouragement, and friendship.

2. Take as many classes you can. Every teacher offers something different, and you can learn so much from their expertise.

3. Use the right tools and materials. Buy good quality thread, sturdy cutting tools, and a reliable sewing machine. You will be thankful you did!


learn to quilt landscapes from Judith Trager
Learn to quilt a landscape following Judith Trager’s step-by-step directions
in her Designing Landscape Quilts video.

4. Start with small, easy quilts.

Whether it’s a small art quilt or an easy quilt pattern like a nine-patch, learning how to make a simple quilt will teach you the basics you’ll need for bigger projects.

5. Relax, enjoy, experiment, but most of all, have fun!

One of the best ways to learn about more about quilting techniqueswhether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced quilteris to learn from experts in your own home via video. The advantage is that you don’t have to travel, and you can watch the “class” over and over again.

The Quilting Daily Shop has scores of downloads, from Quilting Arts WorkshopTM videos to individual segments and full seasons of “Quilting Arts TV.”

Download these video lessons for a quick, easy, and economical way to learn tips, tricks, and techniques that can make you a better quilter. Buy them for yourself or your favorite beginning quilter!

P.S. How did you learn to quilt? What, or who, helped you the most getting started? Leave your answer below.

Other topics you may enjoy:


How to Quilt, Quilting Daily Blog, Quilting for Beginners

9 thoughts on “Quilting for Beginners: Don’t Go it Alone!

  1. I learnt to quilt at school with 1.5″ hand stitched hexagonals. They were glued onto a tin with a lid, round the edges with a bought fancy tape. I was 11 yrs old in UK in the 50’s

  2. My Mother taught us girls to sew, knit, crochet, and quilt.
    I do all of them and teach my girls and granddaughters to
    do the same. So thankful to have a Mother that did that.

  3. My Mother taught us girls to sew, knit, crochet, and quilt.
    I do all of them and teach my girls and granddaughters to
    do the same. So thankful to have a Mother that did that.

  4. I took a sewing class at night to brush up on my sewing knowledge that I haven’t used since my son was about 3. He’s now 33 🙂 The ladies in the class were working on wall hanging quilts and that’s what got me interested in quilting. So I started watching videos on Quilt as You Go. They make it look so easy. But I got the hang of it. I am now working on a 5th quilt for a Christmas gift. I love quilting! Now I’m working on building MY stash. Eventually I will go on to bigger projects. Thanks to Quilting Daily for the tips & ideas! Keep them coming!

  5. My mother taught me to make my own clothes, so I came from a dressmaking background. There was a baby coming for someone, and I went off to the store and loaded up on lots of poly-cotton kids fabric and tackled a twisted star. Somehow, twelve points just wouldn’t come together in one place. About that time, I noticed a flyer at one of the fabric stores advertising an Amish quilting class through the local community college (in San Diego). Cost: $3! I decided to sign up and see if someone could help me solve my problem. Wooo-eee! What an education! Our classes were a couple of hours per week, for 12-16 weeks, all for $3 (for instruction). Materials and supplies were not included, but I found a passion in life. That was 1988, and I’m still stitching, collecting, quilting, and giving. Thank you Georgia Bonesteel and Judy Fontanella.

  6. Away back, when… school sewing was a waste of time, with a group of us sneaking off to watch the builders next door (an all-girls’ school). At Teachers’ College when I couldn’t afford to buy clothes, I borrowed my sister-in-law’s sewing machine, till she demanded it back. Later I had kids and enjoyed making their clothes and patching and mending my husband’s farm clothes (another story). Then, when we spent several months in hospital with my youngest child, there was a wall hanging in the treatment room which caught my eye and created a sane focus in an otherwise very scarey world. I wanted to know how to do that. Some time on, on the verge of retirement, I made a serious effort to explore the world of quilting and although still not retired, I have never looked back. My lovely cousin, who enjoys some of the fruits of my labour, calls it my obsession.

  7. I got my first sewing machine when I was 13 in the early 60’s and knew how to sew but didn’t make a quilt until I was 28 and in need of some baby gifts. I followed directions in a magazine. Took my first class 10 years later living in Pennsylvania – used cereal box templates and did it all by hand. Have taken many classes since then, espec thru my local quilt guild, and am always learning new techniques.

  8. I’m 70 and have been sewing since age 12 when my grandmother taught me on a treadle sewing machine. By the time I was in high school I made all my own clothes including the formal for my senior prom. She also taught me how to embroidery. However, she didn’t quilt. I saw the beautiful quilts her mother did with very tiny stitches (which I didn’t realize at the time she had done by lantern as she never had electricity!) I found a wonderful book (back in the days before the internet) for beginners on Victorian crazy quilts and I loved it! It’s all hand work with lovely embroidery stitches. I’m also now doing landscape quilts by hand. All that my grandmother taught me I use on my quilts today. Each Christmas a different family member receives a quilt. I sit in my great-grandmother’s rocking chair and sew quilts – just as she did – it’s the most relaxing thing I’ve every found to do.