Endings, Beginnings, and a Fabric Giveaway!

19 Sep 2012

This summer was one of the more eventful ones of my life. I graduated with my master’s degree from Boston University, got married, became an official resident of Massachusetts, started a new job with Interweave, and mourned the loss of my maternal grandmother—a woman who lived with my family as I grew up and who essentially acted as a second mother to me. 

michelle's grandma        michelle's grandma                                                                

My grandma was quite the woman. She grew up during the Depression in a poor family with 13 children. She survived—and got out of—an abusive marital relationship. She got remarried (to my grandfather) and raised six children. She operated her own real estate brokerage for many years. She was a three-term assemblyman for the Nevada State Legislature in the 1970s.

But I never knew my grandma that way. Though she was still a spunky, strong-willed firecracker of a woman—and though she often told amazing stories from her past—I knew her when she was older. I knew her when she was more, well, grandmotherly. She played with me, comforted me, and took care of me.

She also sewed. And while that isn’t an inherently grandmotherly thing to do (as any reader of Quilting Arts could tell you!), I can’t help but associate sewing with my grandma. Like her mother before her, she was an amazing seamstress. She always repaired my clothes when they tore. She even made an Alice in Wonderland costume for me—one of my favorite Halloween costumes to date.

  alice costume     handmade alice costume  

While my mother is an amazing woman herself, she would be the first to tell you that she did not inherit the sewing gene from my grandma. But since I did inherit my grandma’s sewing machine when she passed away, I wonder if I might just have inherited some of her craftiness, too. In an attempt to find out, and to honor her memory, I have decided to try my hand at the craft she loved so much. Only I don’t really want to sew clothing; I want to learn how to make quilts! There’s something so beautiful, comforting, and homey about them, and with winter approaching I could definitely use one or two!

So now I need your help! Give me some suggestions—handy quilting tips, helpful websites, easy beginner’s projects, affordable fabric stores, etc.—and I’ll give away some of this Moda fabric!

moda fabric giveaway

Simply respond in the Comments section for a chance to win! We'll post the winners on Monday, September 24th.

 


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Comments

AlphaBecky wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:11 AM

You have so many resources at your disposal - just take in the basic ideas and jump in!  Try a block or two to get your feet wet and see what speaks to you.  Remember, it is only fabric and thread - experiment and just go for it!  Enjoy!

on 19 Sep 2012 9:13 AM

a great and easy project is to simply find some fabrics that you absolutely love, that is a must. Pretty bright colors will do fine. Cut them into any size squares you like, sew them together, machine stipple, bind it and you're done. Fun for baby quilts or children. If you like you can embroider initials on to make it even more special. Children love bright colors and will love you for it! Have fun and play with the stitches your machine has to offer!

loriwish wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:14 AM

Quilting becomes more than the act of creating a quilt or wall hanging when you have a memories of a loved one enjoying it as well. In my case, it was my wonderful aunt who inspired me.

on 19 Sep 2012 9:14 AM

My favorite online store is Connecting Threads - excellent prices and great selection.  Thanks for the opportunity to enter your wonderful giveaway!

Chanzy01 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:15 AM

My best tip for quilting is when making a new block always make a test block before you cut out the all the pieces.  Sometimes the pattern isn't right or you won't like the colors you picked or you simply won't like the finished block.   Making a test block saves a lot of headaches.

jwalleser wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:15 AM

we all sew at bernina.com is a good source of inspiration for beginners to learn

cwgeewhiz wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:17 AM

I love the story of the intergenerational sewing gene!  ~Cathy G.

ErinF@3 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:19 AM

Creating small ,clutch type ,hold anything typepurses are a wonderful project and a great gift. They don't take much time nor fabric.

Ellis17 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:19 AM

I would start by visiting your local quilt store. They usually have wonderful classes for beginners.

tjmiata wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:20 AM

the fun part of working with fabric is it is limitless so as so many have said just jump in.

If you have anything special of your grandma's such as her house coat keep it and when you feel comfortable cut it up and use it in the middle of some simple squares then create a special lap quilt for your self to wrap yourself in and feel her hugs forever. I did this for my husband and it is his favorite quilt.

sinclair-m wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:21 AM

A simple stack and whack will give you great results and the repetition will give you lots of practice.  Remember to take lots of pictures!  And of course HAVE FUN!

Sophy wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:22 AM

Look into taking a class at your local fabric store.  I always learn lots of tips and tricks when I take a hands-on class.

Leigh306 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:24 AM

as an embroidery artist, I love to stitch onto colorful fabric with black gimp, the fabric design becomes an exciting ground to my bold stitches.

moonfire wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:26 AM

I keep an eye on Jo-Ann's Red tag section for fabric.  I usually can get a fabric for $3 - $4 a yard.

on 19 Sep 2012 9:27 AM

Any quilt that's just squares and rectangles will be the easiest for a first time quilter. Keeping the project on the smaller size is helpful too -- table runner, wall hanging, maybe a throw at the largest. For patterns, you might try a 9-patch alternating with plain squares, a Disappearing 9-patch, or the Children's Delight block would let you fussy cut some of your fabric. Rail Fence is another one that can go together quickly and give you a dynamic look.

And when it comes to selecting fabrics, very often I find that selecting a border print first, and then choosing some coordinating fabrics to go with the border print works best for me. Just remember to get a range of color values ( light to dark) and print sizes for the best results.

But most of all? Embrace any mistakes that you make! They'll be your best teachers, and the decisions that you make when you encounter them will be the things that make your quilt unique and really 'yours'! And mostest of all is to remember to have fun!!!  :D

SLAQS wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:28 AM

I really enjoy Melody Johnson's blog:  fibermania.blogspot.com .  Melody has tutorials and talks about QAYG (quilt as you go).  I also like the Stitchin' Post in Sisters, Oregon:  www.stitchinpost.com/clubs.html .  Good Luck!  Thanks for the opportunity to win something...Saturday is my birthday and what fun it would be to win some fabric.

maltenberg wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:29 AM

Hi Michelle! The best advice I got from one of my early quilt teachers was: "If you can't see it from a galloping horse, don't worry about it!" Working close-up on a quilt project, you see every little imperfection. But everyone else sees something hand made and beautiful. Be kind to yourself, forgive the imperfections, but most of all, have fun!  

pat arndt wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:30 AM

I NEED more fabric! Thanking you in advance, Pat

mlm5 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:38 AM

Hi Michelle,

When I began quilting, I just plunged in. My mother had an old quilting book with an easy sailboat pattern, I picked up some colorful fabric I liked and away I went. The quilt is hanging over me as I type; it's not perfect, but I still love it. Trial and error taught me as much as anything else ever has. And oh yeah, take a look at the Iterweave quiltibg magazines -- they are wonderful inspiration!

katfish1955 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:47 AM

For a first project you might try a pillow sized block of squares.  Pick an outer color, then pick the colors you want to use in your block.  Another item you might try - find a pretty item - bird, flower, etc.  Put a backing on it.  In the back of the block, cut a slit behind and stuff with fiberfill.  Sew another piece of backing and stitch around the item (bird, flower, etc).  This gives it a 3-D effect.  You can incorporate this into a block for a pillow or simply put it into a frame.

on 19 Sep 2012 9:48 AM

I like to wander through the etsy.com sight to get ideas and color combination.  Imagination has NO limits!

lindakk wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:48 AM

I am mostly self taught. I bought books lots of books. Take a beginning quilt class, this will be the best to get you started.

Pba165 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:49 AM

Quilting is such a wonderful process. Then modern style quilting is fun and easy and there is no wrong way about it. Lots of fun patterns to use with the wonderful bright colors of today's modern fabrics. Your quilting journey is  waiting ahead of you. It will take you to the most wonderful places and you will meet so many great new friends. Enjoy!!

Pjwhaletail wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:51 AM

Great fabric! Thanks...

BamaGirlG wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:55 AM

How wonderful that you inherited your Grandmother's sewing machine!!  :-)  One of my favorite quilting websites-- FILLED with tons of helpful tutorials, instructions, tips, and patterns is http://www.quilterscache.com/ .. Thank you for the chance to win !  New fabric is the best prize ever!! :-)

terriestes wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:57 AM

Don't be afraid!  Find a quilt mentor and jump in with both feet.  But be prepared, fabric does speak to you, a stash becomes a necessity and once the quilting bug bites there is no cure!

marysu4 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:57 AM

Don't fear the ripper! It might be your new best friend!

Tish@7 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:58 AM

I think a Modern Crazy Quilt is a good idea. No worrying about matching seams and you get to use a bunch of different fabric. I loved the story.

pstgeorge wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:01 AM

Easy beginner projects are placemats...quick projects to learn piecing skills, and great place to practice machine quilting.

on 19 Sep 2012 10:03 AM

So sorry for your loss. It's never easy to lose someone. Honor your grandmother and combine her memory by making a lap quilt. Take some of her clothing, cut it up into squares and/or rectangles. Start with even, straight sides for your first project. Arrange in a pleasing pattern then stitch them together. Make a wonderful throw quilt that you can cuddle under while you think of her. Roughly 40x60 is good, but any size will do. If you have bits of lace or trims from her dresses, you can apply those after the top is done, then pick out a nice soft fabric(s) for the back and stitch them together. Put a label on the back corner with your name, grannys name, the date and how and why you made it. Now you also have a family heirloom! If the quilt is too daunting, make it smaller and frame it. Good luck and happy memories.

Judy_AZ wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:09 AM

Welcome, to Quilting Arts. I also come from a sewing Mother and Grandmother. Here is an easy to make pouch with good illustrations and directions. oneshabbychick.typepad.com/.../scrappy-pouch-tutorial.html

BJ Elder wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:11 AM

Connecting Threads and fabric.com are my "go to" shops, and then eQuilter.com.  

I would start out with no larger than a lap quilt for a first project. Before buying tons of "tools" borrow and try a variety out to see what ones you really like ... although you will want to have a great cutting board, ruler, and rotary cutter. I think Friendship Star is a great beginner block as you do both squares and triangles, which are used in so many blocks.  Use fabrics you like, that make you smile. The two most important things: have FUN and have a good supply of Chocolate near by. :D

caroleannb wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:12 AM

My favorite fabric store has always been Joann's Fabrics, not only for the selection of fabrics available, but also their prices are reasonable.  Plus you can sign up for their newsletter and get coupons sent to you all the time.  I guess the biggest advatage for me is that my kids always give me Joann's goft cards on my birthday and at Christmas.  They tell me I'm the easiest person on their Christmas list to buy for and I love It!

As for an easy starter project, how about a small lap quilt?  That's how I got started.

njgrl4ever wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:13 AM

My local quilt shop, Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe has beautiful fabric and some really amazing kits. If you live in the area check out their workshops from begginer to advanced, they are fantastic.

songsiren wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:14 AM

I've found that there are many local classes at fabric stores that have helped me to get started with quilting. Youtube is a wonderful resource for step-by-step quilting videos. I use it for many crafts. That Moda fabric will make a gorgeous quilt!

CynthiaT59 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:19 AM

I loved what your mother made.  Thanks for sharing.  I hope you will be able to pass down the art of sewing/crafting.

RobinWmson wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:21 AM

If you don't already have one, BUY A 1/4" FOOT for your grandma's machine! Also, take classes any time you can. You can always learn something in every class.

1950music wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:26 AM

I found lots of free quilting patterns via the internet, saved them on my computer, and in 3-ring binders.  The same with tips and tricks - printed them and put them in a separate 3-ring binder.  Stay organized.  

Besides sorting fabrics by color, I sort by projects, doll quilts, baby quilts, jean and flannel quilts and place a photo of project in the same container.

I used what I have on hand and bought a lot of fabric at estate auctions.

I had a ping-pong table and set it up to lay out quilts and keep my digital camera handy to take photos.  Viewing the project on my computer presents it in a different perspective.

Good Luck with your quilting.

kwilter wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:28 AM

If you're new to quilting, the first thing I'd do is take a class.  You'll learn so much from just one class that it's well worth the time.  Once you have your feet wet and understand the basics (rotary cutting, 1/4" seam), then go to YouTube and watch Jenny Doan's Missouri Star Quilting videos.  They are geared toward beginning quilters and she is just so much fun to watch.  

chrisch2 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:28 AM

Thanks for sharing your memories.  They brought back a lot of mine.  A few suggestions--whether in person or on-line, take classes.  I try to support my "local" quilt stores, but sometimes will purchase from Patternworks and Jinny Beyers' site.  Join a guild if you can.  Quilting is always more fun with friends.  Also, the on-line show "The Quilt Show" is a great learning/inspirational tool.  Good luck and thanks for the giveaway!

Jenelle4 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:29 AM

Well, the place I really love to purchase fabric from is fabricdepot.com in Portland, Oregon. Wonderful fabric and if you watch they have 35% off like 2 days a month. Also for fun blocks there are tons of places on the internet for free patterns. Enjoy. Thanks

pkunze151 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:32 AM

The things you can do in quilting is unlimited!  A simple nine patch is a great place to start. One  or two of the beautiful fabrics may catch your eye and inspire you to move on into another beginner quilt - the log cabin.  Just let your mind go wild. Have fun.

PIPPY3 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:43 AM

I've only been quilting for about 4 years, but have been sewing all my life.  Sewing made my mother nervous, but she was quite good.  Sewing relaxes me, so since I have retired, I try to sew & quilt every chance I get.........

The best quilting advice I can give you is take a "beginner" class from an authoritative quilter. one who will teach you all about fabric grade, threads, and basic quilting skills.  I started with an Attic Windows quilt, which covered many of the different basic skills.  My instructor believed in doing a job correctly, not just hit and miss, and from that class on I have read lots and taken other classes, but nothing has taught me more than that first class.  Happy Quilting!  By the way, I would love to be a fabric winner, as a good quilter NEVER has too much fabric!

contrylady wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:45 AM

Always start a new sewing project with a new needle on your sewing machine. If you hear a strange noise when sewing you know your needle has a possibility of being dull.

contrylady wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:47 AM

Oh, I forgot to add this bit of information.. IF you are quilting on your quilting project always put it in a safe place. My quilt batting begin to look ragged... I later discovered that my cat was eating the cotton batting!

cherryfairy wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:48 AM

My best tip is to get a library card! It is free and your local library has lots of quilting and art books you can borrow. Most libraries are also online and you can order a book online and it can be picked up at your local library - again at no cost. With every thing going up in price, the library is a great resource for the beginner as well as the experienced quilter looking to try new things. If you find a book you love, then you can buy it !

on 19 Sep 2012 10:52 AM

i look everywhere for new ideas

franbreaux wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:59 AM

Using the correct ruler makes a big difference. I'm cutting out a quilt right now which uses over 640 triangles.  Using the Right Angle ruler has made cutting them out so easy.  Learning which rulers to use to make a big job easier has been enlightening.  

spinknit wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:04 AM

Hit up your local quilt shop for ideas, classes and help.  They can become your new best friend.

westwagon wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:08 AM

Look at the quilt magazines and choose one that fits your FaNcY;-))

westwagon wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:08 AM

Look at the quilt magazines and choose one that fits your FaNcY;-))

on 19 Sep 2012 11:12 AM

A simple fence rail pattern is a good bet. All the strips are the same width and length. Stitching is simple and quick. You will get to experience the visual wonder that occurs while turning every other block in your quilt. It is a simple and easy pattern block with visual interest where you just can't go wrong, no matter your sewing skills. Try Craftsy.com for life access courses to learn more on many subjects, including quilting. Kathy

ljhenders wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:19 AM

My grandmother could only sew on a button.  But I still have a hand made button box with drawers made from cigarette tins that my grandfather made for her.  It still holds all my button, and many from her collection.

lrrh wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:20 AM

great fabrics and story hope to be the lucky winner-  Ann

amyurb wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:26 AM

start with a print that just calls to you--the one you just have to have. Pull out colors from that print  & you know it will be gorgeous! Hint--look for the little color dots on the selvage egde of the print. They are there to help match colors.

on 19 Sep 2012 11:27 AM

Take a beginners class! You'll always learn something from a class, and probably also meet some wonderful new friends. And buy the best quality fabric you can afford, you never know when you'll make something you will want to last forever. Use really thin pins, silk-pins. Best quality sewing machine needles, and change them before they break... Get your sewing-machine serviced regularly. And enjoy yourself, fill your house with beautiful fabrics, visit quilt shows and use the net.

Happy quilting from a Norwegian friend.

woody1229 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:30 AM

Since you already have the basics of sewing down (thanks to Grandma, bless her heart!), I think the easiest way to start quilting is to find a simple but appealing pattern to work from. Then get some of those awesome quilting fabrics that you must have amazing access to, and just dive in! You may find, as I did, that after using other people's patterns while getting used to quilting techniques, you are able to create your own designs and explore your creativity. Books and magazines are great resources for ideas and tips. Thanks for considering me for the free fabric, I sure am jealous of your job! My daughter went to BU, graduated as a costume designer in 2011.

michelwat wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:36 AM

I think the best place to start is Alex Anderson's "Start Quilting." She is helpful and and her instructions are quite simple.

bes53913 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:37 AM

My 2 biggest tips are: 1) Always wash & dry fabric before you cut it. ALWAYS! and 2) press as you go along, every seam, every step, press. Your final product will look so much more professional and much less like a craft project!

gillw3 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:40 AM

There's so much help to be found on the internet but you can't beat joining a group of like minded souls and sewing together!

GailPD wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:41 AM

Start small! Even if you start with a place mat or tote bag, you'll be gaining piecing and quilting skills that will lead you to your bigger projects!

ergald67 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:43 AM

Be super precise with cutting and keeping the 1/4 inch seam allowance. A small amount off multiplied by many pieces will NOT result in nicely joined seamlines. That said, if your first atempts are less than perfect, smile and go on, knowing that you will get better and better with practice.

dclazel wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:47 AM

As a teenager, I made my first quilt from an antique pattern book from the library. The book assumed that the reader already knew basic quilting skills, which I did not. I made some whopper mistakes (like a 5/8" seam allowance on all the pieces, and deciding it would be queen-sized!) but it is still one of my favorite quilts.

Give yourself permission to make mistakes and learn as you go. Enjoy the process of creating something beautiful. (You notice that I said "beautiful" , not "perfect".) Good luck!

jph wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:48 AM

Hey Michelle - come and join us learning to quilt - QA is the best web site for lots of how to tips. Craftsy also has some great on line classes as do most quilt shops. I think it is fun to do a hands on in your face class - great friendships are born as you struggle to learn new techniques!! And you find out that everyone else is struggling too - but the breakthru comes, and you are on your way to creative discovery. Be brave and go for it!! Best of luck on your journey.  

So sorry for the loss of your grandma...

1sewmaster wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:52 AM

Sometimes getting children interested in sewing can be hard, so start with the sewing machine.  Children love machinery and how things work whether they are a boy or girl.

Let them know the parts of the machine where to keep their hands…let them watch the needle go up and down very slowly.  

You can start this when they are about 2-3 years old, sit them on your lap and have them make a bobbin... in the beginning they think they are the ones creating the bobbin but you are doing all the work.  

When they get good at knowing where the bobbin goes and how to place the thread around the bobbin you are ready for the next lesson.  Place the foot pedal on the table and let them really create that bobbin.  Remember they are still sitting on your lap so you still have the control with the machine.

This is a wonderful way to share your love of sewing with a child.

on 19 Sep 2012 11:55 AM

Quilting and sewing have been a joy for me for so many years.  In another week I am starting a sewing class at my daughters school to help the students understand the "mysteries" of sewing...there is none, just start and you will be hooked for a lifetime!  Once you master a few basics, there are so many options to do..a little patience and voila!  you have created a one of a kind project!  I am happy that I will be able to show the kids a fun new skill!

MindyW wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 12:01 PM

In today's world with so many people having nooks, ipads, etc...making a padded cover for such an item would be fun, educational and a useful item for oneself or as a give.  It would also give any new crafter/sewer an opportunity to use many different techniques.

MindyW wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 12:01 PM

In today's world with so many people having nooks, ipads, etc...making a padded cover for such an item would be fun, educational and a useful item for oneself or as a give.  It would also give any new crafter/sewer an opportunity to use many different techniques.

MindyW wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 12:03 PM

In today's world with all the electronic devices available, making a padded, quilted cover for a nook, ipad, etc is an educational fun project. The new crafter/sewer gets to use all types of techniques on creating this type of gift.

taylorgal wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 12:05 PM

What has made the most difference in my quilting was to learn about Piecelique.  It made my beginner quilts take the next step into something more advanced, without much more difficulty.  

dfmrobinson wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 12:30 PM

You look like a younger version of my aunt who passed away after living to 102 years old! She was so sweet and wonderful.....Who was a fantastic seamtress and used to make suits for Frank Sinatra....she always told me to recycle fabrics and go to second hand stores (now Salvation Army and Consignment Stores) and get great fabrics for quilt making there. I have succeeded to make 2 fantastic wool quilts from buying second hand clothing at the end of the season. All I needed was to provide backing which I had in my stash. So my great quits cost me 20% of what new fabric would have cost! And I never miss a Zinmans Sale!

on 19 Sep 2012 12:45 PM

interweave.com has many books videos and supplies for quilting

curly57 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 12:49 PM

Spend the money for quality quilting cottons, you'll know it when you feel it.  You can never have too many rulers, buy them in different sizes and shapes. Support your local quilt shops as much as your online stores...they are becoming an endangered species!   Try the Vintage Vogue website for some interesting items.  Lastly, think outside the box and have fun!

pbalsinger wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 12:53 PM

Start out small with a baby quilt or simple table runner. I took a beginner's quilting class and learned so much. Tools are key, self healing mat, rotery cutters and 6"x24" ruler have helped me keep on the straight and narrow so to speak. The internet is great for finding information. I found good videos on "how to apply binding" by just Google searching that phrase. I am now much better and more proud. Happy quilting.

cicicarman wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 1:07 PM

Taking a class is fun....but you can go online and find SO much information to get you started.  Google can be your best friend, LOL!  I would recommend starting with a nine-patch square and then making a pillow or tote from it.  And go from there.  My first quilt square was a Churn Dash (to be added to many others in a community quilt that was the grand prize in a Bingo game that benefited the community building).  My first REAL quilt project was a baby quilt in Log Cabin pattern in pastels.  That was fun and has spurred me on to do so much more, especially now that I'm retired and have more time to play!  : )  There are LOTS of good suggestions on here already.  Thanks for the chance at the giveaway.

Grammy of 4 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 1:31 PM

I love to teach beginners!  Get someone to teach you how to cut properly using the ruler, not the cutting mat.  Use a quarter inch foot and press properly.  If you cuts are exact, your seams are exact and your pressing is good, your quilt will go together so easily with matching seams and perfect points and great enjoyment in creating.  One thing I find is that when you start out everyone seems to have a long ruler.  I have one but seldom use it because because it is hard to control without it moving.  Get yourself an 8 1/2 x 12 Omigrip ruler and you will be able to hold it firmly with your left hand while cutting with your right hand, or vice versa.  If you're right handed keep the excess fabric to your right.  Good luck, you are lucky to have the resources at hand.  Carol

quiltnutt wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 1:44 PM

TIP....When pressing your binding,use starch to add some extra weight toit, it makes it easier when you put in on the quilt.

TIP...Always buy an extra 1/4 to 1/2 yd of  every fabric when you buy from a pattern. The pattern can have an error in it,you do a miss cut or if you prewash shrinkage will occur. Murphy's Law will kick in,you need more and you can't get any more.

Check out the new website for taming bobbin threads..www.BobbinKnobbins.com

quiltzyx wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 2:24 PM

One of the first quilts I made was from Eleanor Burns Quilt-in-a-Day Log Cabin book.  She's a great teacher of the basics!

Thanks for the chance at that yummy fabric!!

Hammiecarter wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 2:35 PM

When I first started quilting, I found a magazine with patterns  and instructions, my first baby quilt was born.  It was small, and I did basic quilting on it, like stich in the ditch.   It also had baby lamb cutouts on each block.

shelbyron wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 2:38 PM

You can just take scraps from your and others sewing, cut rectangles and sew them toether. I used scraps & demo squares from classes and sewed a quilt top with no pattern, just fabric I liked. When it is on the bed I don't notice the lines aren't straight but upon waking it puts a smile on my face.

Seabead wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 2:41 PM

I am so sorry for your loss of your Grandmother.  Quilting is such a wonderful way to carry on her love.  I suggest, as a fellow beginner, starting with a rag quilt. It is very forgiving and very homey.

Mary D.M. wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 2:44 PM

Oh your story reminded me of my grandmother, who died when I was only 7 years old.  I used to love to sit beside her when she was at her sewing machine.  Why not make a memory project, if you have any pieces of clothing that were hers, or maybe you still have that Hallowe'en costume, incorporate them into a small wallhanging quilt.  I have my mother's wedding dress which she made, (she died a year and half ago, and I thought I would use it in a memory project for my daughters.  Thanks for the inspiration you have given me.  

karen@326 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 2:56 PM

My mom was a wonderful seamstress, but she never quilted that I know of.  I got the sewing gene, but neither of my daughters did.  HOWEVER both of my grandkids love to stitch and make pillowcases for everyone they know.

karen@326 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 2:56 PM

My mom was a wonderful seamstress, but she never quilted that I know of.  I got the sewing gene, but neither of my daughters did.  HOWEVER both of my grandkids love to stitch and make pillowcases for everyone they know.

karen@326 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 2:56 PM

My mom was a wonderful seamstress, but she never quilted that I know of.  I got the sewing gene, but neither of my daughters did.  HOWEVER both of my grandkids love to stitch and make pillowcases for everyone they know.

SaraQ2 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:01 PM

Once i have some new fabric, I'll be able to work a project accoringly. ( :

So many ideas on pinterest and the internet. It is so fun to cruise then sew. Have fun!

sgbusymom wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:05 PM

Dear Michelle, I can relate to your story about your grandmother.  My grandmother and I share a love for sewing and I always admired her for it, and miss her dearly.  I am fortunate enough to have her sewing machine which I treasure. I think the best way is for you to find a local quilting store or place that offers beginning quilting classes.  Find a simple pattern to start with and they can guide you from start to finish.

I wish you great success with your first quilt and many more after that!

Shelley

sgbusymom@yahoo.com

PatC@33 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:09 PM

Well, that's easy - take some classes at Craftsy! Also you might look for classes at local quilt shops or join a local quilt guild. I would suggest that you start small - maybe a simple table runner. Good luck!

mjkasz wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:23 PM

Michelle I love your story of grandmother,  mine was just as special to me and is the reason I have been sewing all my life and teaching others to sew.  I would tell a new sewer to go cautiously into buying fabric for projects.  As a confirmed fabricholic I find fabric I love in every shop but buying this way often leads to more than you can use & or store.  A quilting friend of mine taught quilting to another woman and she says to only buy the fabric you need for the project you are going to make, then choose another project and buy fabric again.  Good luck with your learning!

mjkasz wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:24 PM

Michelle I love your story of grandmother,  mine was just as special to me and is the reason I have been sewing all my life and teaching others to sew.  I would tell a new sewer to go cautiously into buying fabric for projects.  As a confirmed fabricholic I find fabric I love in every shop but buying this way often leads to more than you can use & or store.  A quilting friend of mine taught quilting to another woman and she says to only buy the fabric you need for the project you are going to make, then choose another project and buy fabric again.  Good luck with your learning!

loracsiam wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:45 PM

Find a local quilt shop.  They have great classes for beginners so you can get off to good start learning techniques you will need.  Start with something small like a quilt block pillow, placemat, table runner, or wall hanging.  Beginning with small projects  allow you to finish them quickly giving you immediate gratification.  It's always nice to be able to show friends and family something you have completed.

VickieC@3 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:47 PM

Go for it!  

It took me a long time to get into quilting (I failed sewing in 8th grade in 1963 and I didn't have the nerve to start quilting until 8 years ago!) My mother was an excellent seamstress but didn't quilt.  When I saw my first grandmothers Flower Garden quilt, I was enchanted!

If you can, take a class from a local shop.  

I also suggest the FabShopHop.com website, which has over 130 quilting shops associated with it.

VickieC@3 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:47 PM

Go for it!  

It took me a long time to get into quilting (I failed sewing in 8th grade in 1963 and I didn't have the nerve to start quilting until 8 years ago!) My mother was an excellent seamstress but didn't quilt.  When I saw my first grandmothers Flower Garden quilt, I was enchanted!

If you can, take a class from a local shop.  

I also suggest the FabShopHop.com website, which has over 130 quilting shops associated with it.

Kimmie Su Su wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 3:54 PM

Believe it or not I have found great fabrics at thrift stores like Goodwill and Value Village. Sometimes I even run across partially finished projects that still have all the fabric necessary to finish.

LL Howard wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 4:09 PM

Probably the easiest and the most stressless quilting project I've done, is sew doll quilts for my daughter (when she and I were MUCH younger). Ther are no expectations and no jury, so there's alot of time to practice techniques, a small amount of time and money spent, and instant gratification.

on 19 Sep 2012 4:13 PM

A beginning quilt class is a great way to start.  Or a terrific group of ladies in a guild or sewing group who are excited about teaching others to quilt--come down and join us in MS.  We love newbies!  Love to watch the offerings from Missouri Star Quilt Co, too.  They have lots of beginner ideas.  If you have Moda fabrics, you're well on your way!  Have FUN!

Linda B@9 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 4:16 PM

My best advice to a new quilter is don't buy fabric that you think you should use for a project.  Instead buy ONLY fabric that you truly love, and then save some money to buy a million storage bins because you're gonna need 'em!  ; )

caroleannb wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 4:25 PM

I started years ago with just a basic lap quilt.  You can make one with several large squares of fabric sewn together, add a layer of quilt batting, and then a one piece backing fabric.  You can purchase pre-made binding for the edges, and you're done.  Good luck to you!

phersl wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 4:35 PM

I rthink the best advice I could give you would be to learn the classic books, so many of which have gone out of print. For example "Quilts, Quilts, Quilts" by McClun and Nowles ahould be in everyone's library. These classics show up at yard sales and quilt guild sale tables. Beginners need to know them and grab them up.

cshaughency wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 4:50 PM

My best advice to beginning quilters...enjoy the process.  While many steps can appear overwhelming, relax and just enjoy.  There is no hurry.  After I finished my last quilt I decided to count how many pieces were in it.  I was glad I didn't count beforehand because I would have said 'no way'.  Sewing is my meditation and a calming process.  

coffeebreak wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 5:49 PM

forum.missouriquiltco.com

That is my favorite source of help and ideas. A great forum, great ladies, and a great Daily Deal from the great store! I just picked up quilting again last year after nothing for about 20! I have learned so much in this past year..and I'd have to say..the HST, Half Square Triangle and the Flying Geese technique..learn to make those two things and to infinity and beyond are the possibilities! I swear...depending on the colors and the arrangement...I am shocked every day at how much I can do with those two simple squares...and both are so easy to make! Then just make a block the size you like (10", 12" etc) and put a 2" sashing between them or just sew them all together, then add a border and binding and you are done. HOnestly, to me, it takes longer to decide on the fabric and style, than it does to actually make the quilt! Good luck and let us know what you decide and post a pic when it is finished!

flynqltr wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:14 PM

Support your local quilt shop.  They usually have beginner classes and the staff can be most helpful where ever you are in your quilting journey.  Enjoy the process as much as the finished project and you will love quilting.

cathypepper wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:16 PM

I started with pot holders and dolly blankets. The hot pot and the baby dolly will not care about the mistakes and the owners will appreciate you kind little gift.

Cathy

Delvena wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:18 PM

My greatest inspirations comes from love. My oldest granddaughter wanted a quilt so I am making her one, and I cannot leave the younger one out, hers will be next. I can picture the lovely fabric in a quilt for her.

frdallen wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:21 PM

Just have fun sewing & don't be overly critical of yourself.  We've all made many mistakes but that's how you learn (what not to do)!  A strip block is very easy & can be any size.  Enjoy yourself & welcome to the world of quilting!!

kite050 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:29 PM

You have the start of your art quilt already. Do one about your grandmother, think how you shared your memories, impressions of what she was and did. Use colors she liked, or add a trinket she owned. Most of all do it for only yourself.  The hardest part is deciding what to do on your first quilt.

kite050 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:29 PM

You have the start of your art quilt already. Do one about your grandmother, think how you shared your memories, impressions of what she was and did. Use colors she liked, or add a trinket she owned. Most of all do it for only yourself.  The hardest part is deciding what to do on your first quilt.

Cathy MMMM wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:35 PM

Buy quality fabric.  Cheap fabric is expensive after you work so hard to quilt it and when you wash it it fades, bleeds and gets pilly :(.  Buy good tools.  Go to the quilt shop and take the classes.  It is worth it.

Cathy MMMM wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:35 PM

Buy quality fabric.  Cheap fabric is expensive after you work so hard to quilt it and when you wash it it fades, bleeds and gets pilly :(.  Buy good tools.  Go to the quilt shop and take the classes.  It is worth it.

justitchin wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:39 PM

I enjoy sewing and quilting---it seems so calming and I can get up at 2 am and sew for an hour or so and go back to bed.  I have been sewing/quilting about 16 years now after taking about 20 years off to raise my kids.  Since both our quilt stores have closed in our town I have shopped at Thousand Bolts and one Nut, online---prices seem to be very good and quallity fabrics.  In the woman's group I belong to we have made quilts for adoptived families, each year a different family---each member of the family gets a quilt, toys, clothes and decorated cake, even the mom gets a quilt and item for Her.  Start simple and you will just bloom!

SBWS wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:41 PM

handy tip #1 - start with something manageable you can actually finish in a reasonable amount of time! you'll never stop learning (that's one of the fun parts) and quilters, like gardeners, love to share!

m.keller wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:48 PM

do what I did .watch a quilting show on pbs or anywhere and say "I can do that".

janiejanjan wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 6:55 PM

Always work with a pattern and colors that you fall in love with.

thanks for the giveaway.

Allbackwards wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 7:41 PM

There are so many free patterns online, unlike when I started. The most important thing is to start with fabric you love. If you hate the fabric, you will never finish the quilt or will drag it out forever.  

KElittle wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 7:45 PM

I started with "strip quilting" many years ago.  My first quilt was called "Lover's Knot" and was so easy.  I was part of a group of "never quilted before" sewers who completed the entire top of this quilt in a Friday night/Saturday workshop.  It was such a fun time and I learned so much!  I think strip quilting is a great way to start because you can make very eye appealing quilts without having to do anything more difficult then straight stitching using 1/4 in. seam allowance.  I'm always surprised at the beauty of a quilt when I look back at the somewhat "boring" fabrics I have chosen -- when it is all put together there is a magic about the whole creative endeavour!

jrose2 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 8:07 PM

I  like to add different sites to facebook such as Marcia's quilting. then I am reminded daily.

jrose2 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 8:07 PM

I  like to add different sites to facebook such as Marcia's quilting. then I am reminded daily.

MugglePuggle wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 8:08 PM

I always just turn to Pinterest for inspiration. There are so many different tutorials that are on there, and you find so many different quilting/sewing blogs by starting out on Pinterest. I am somewhat new to quilting as well, I have just made 3 quilts. But I made cut, pieced, sewed, quilted, and bound all in a relatively short amount of time because of the detailed information I was able to find online. Red Pepper Quilts has a great site with many beautiful projects :) I hope you are able to find lots of information!

smaugmama wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 8:30 PM

There are so many resources in and around Boston, but if you'd like a nice trip with beautiful fall colors, I would recommend going to Keepsake Quilting in Center Harbor, NH (www.keepsakequilting.com/default.aspx). I also would start with your favorite color or fabric and then match the other fabrics to that. As for patterns, etc, I would think you just have to walk into the office.  :-)  Experiment, experiment, experiment!

ellen cooke wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 8:52 PM

Best thing to do.... find a quilting group in your neck of the woods, a quilter's guild.  They love to help, love to teach  (many in our group are former teachers, to begin with).    They will start you out right and be by your side to answer questions in person.

ellen cooke wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 8:53 PM

I would suggest that you find a quilter's group , or guild.  They love new people, love to teach (many are usually former teachers) and can guide you step=by=step.

on 19 Sep 2012 9:00 PM

Bless your heart for sharing your wonderful memories of your grandmother!  I'm a grandma to a 5-year old grandson, and his almost 4-year old sister . . . To them I'm Grandma who is building an outside, 4-car train (5'x4'x8),  that can repair a torn, zipper-less pink poodle purse, who remembers to send the mini-box sets of the "junky" cereal their mom won't . . . I'm called The A Grandma . . . wonderful to be thought of like this by those little darlings!  Anyway, you are learning to quilt?  I am a newer quilter myself, and I have done several quilts by using precuts.  It's easier on me for cutting (already done!) and the cuts are precise.  I have trouble using the rotary cutter/rulers/angle templates, so I also added an Accuquilt Go! Cutting System to aid me with precise cuts.  I find that if the fabric is done this way I can concentrate on the quilt design without stressing on whether or not I will be able to cut the fabric up without hurting my hands or taking any of the fun away.  I hope this helps, and thanks for the opportunity to win some fine fabric!

Nancyquilts wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 9:32 PM

I will suggest taking a look at Anita Grossman-Solomon's blog with many great ways to easily cut and sew blocks to make quilts that look spectacular!  How wonderful that you inherited your grandmother's sewing machine.  I was the sewer in our large extended family and inherited my grandmother's treadle machine, which I am still refurbishing.   Have fun quilting!

on 19 Sep 2012 9:56 PM

If your grandmother left any clothes or table linens that speak to you a quilt using that material would make a grand statement. The baby quilt I made for my first  great-grandchild had pieces of the mothers dresses in it . Really nice.

on 19 Sep 2012 9:57 PM

If your grandmother left any clothes or table linens that speak to you a quilt using that material would make a grand statement. The baby quilt I made for my first  great-grandchild had pieces of the mothers dresses in it . Really nice.

linda durkee wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:16 PM

Don't make your first project a queen sized quilt.  You will end up with a UFO, unfinished foreign object.  Try a baby quilt with a simple repeated pattern.  Or Maybe one of those new wall hangings, which is even smaller.  A completed quilt means you survived your first and will be more willing to keep quilting.

linda durkee wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:16 PM

Don't make your first project a queen sized quilt.  You will end up with a UFO, unfinished foreign object.  Try a baby quilt with a simple repeated pattern.  Or Maybe one of those new wall hangings, which is even smaller.  A completed quilt means you survived your first and will be more willing to keep quilting.

PaulaM@26 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:43 PM

A friend of mine took a beginners class at their local fabric shop making a memory blanket. She used squares made from her dads flannel shirts to make asmall lao blanket. Maybe you could find a class like that and use cloth from you grandmoms stash or even some of her clothing.

PaulaM@26 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 10:43 PM

A friend of mine took a beginners class at their local fabric shop making a memory blanket. She used squares made from her dads flannel shirts to make asmall lao blanket. Maybe you could find a class like that and use cloth from you grandmoms stash or even some of her clothing.

ritainalaska wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:06 PM

google should be your new friend; you can find any aspect of quilting there!   try about.com ... it's loaded with info, tutes and patterns from beginner on.   enjoy the learning process!

ritainalaska wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:06 PM

google should be your new friend; you can find any aspect of quilting there!   try about.com ... it's loaded with info, tutes and patterns from beginner on.   enjoy the learning process!

SusanH4700 wrote
on 19 Sep 2012 11:22 PM

When I was a beginner, I made a sampler quilt from blocks in The New Sampler Quilt by Diana Leone.  The great thing about a sampler quilt is that you don't get sick of making one block and you can learn many techniques.  Have fun!

morebears wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 12:17 AM

I'm a new quilter and Missouri Star Quilt Company is wonderful . Jenny has the best tutorials I have ever seen, (I have watched a lot of them on youtube), and her tutorials are for all levels of quilters.

I make practice blocks and then turn them into pillows for gifts family and friends.

Judy Murdoch wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 12:29 AM

It's lovely to hold memories of grand parents, my Grandmother was sometimes my carer in my early life and taught me to sew, and I have fond memories of our times together.  Beautiful Moda Fabrics, I will dream about what i would make if I won them.  Judy Murdoch.

Missy cooper wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 12:30 AM

I watched my mother and grandmother handsew quilts and other things when I was growing up.  As an adult, my mother gave me her sewing machine, and I received all of my deceased mother in laws fabric and tools, and took a class at a local fabric store and got hooked!  I absolutely love it now, however still consider myself a beginner.  I have found that the local people/quilters are so helpful and encouraging that it inspires me to continue to sew and take more classes.  Just have fun and enjoy!!!

MadDeva wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 4:02 AM

These days, because of the internet, it is so much easier to find tutorials, supplies and ideas.  Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can lead to a wealth of helpful information. Pinterest is pretty brilliant too and is an amazing portal for inspiration. And remember Google, Amazon and Ebay can relinquish gems just by giving a little time to seaching. As an avid recycler/upcycler  (and often limited budget) I frequent thrift and second hand stores to find dresses and other items of clothing that I can take apart and reuse. I've captured many memories patchworking and quilting with bits made from my childrens clothing.

joyfroggie wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 4:47 AM

My best tip is to store projects in zip lock bags or by clipping groups of blocks together and hanging these from hooks that hang over the door.  They are reminders of what needs finishing, how much you have accomplished, and how you have grown as an artist. I use office clips attached to old fashioned shower hooks  and hung on the outside of my playroom door.

joyfroggie wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 4:47 AM

My best tip is to store projects in zip lock bags or by clipping groups of blocks together and hanging these from hooks that hang over the door.  They are reminders of what needs finishing, how much you have accomplished, and how you have grown as an artist. I use office clips attached to old fashioned shower hooks  and hung on the outside of my playroom door.

brigidv wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 7:17 AM

Hi Michelle,

I am also new to quilting and have found lots of inspiration for different designs at allpeoplequilt.com as well as having taken some classes from craftsy.  They have both paid and free resources.  I have taken in a couple of shop hops in my area and it gives you a sense of which shops you prefer .... If there are no organized ones coming up, you can make up your own with addresses and a map!  

Good luck,  Brigid

Dolores35 wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 8:31 AM

Try a disappearing 9 patch.  Sew easy, Sew versatile.   Good luck!

reindeer wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 8:33 AM

for a complicated looking but very easy quilt to learn on, I'd pick something like a disappearing 9 patch.  You can start with large squares, so it goes together quite quickly, and is perfect for a beginner.

on 20 Sep 2012 9:37 AM

Welcome to your new job, new state and new everything it sounds like!  It may seem daunting, but quilters are among the most sharing people I've ever known.  Relax and ease yourself into the zone!

on 20 Sep 2012 9:40 AM

www.daystyledesigns.com    Leah Day has many, many great videos for quilting and free motion quilting.  She also has a packet on-line than contains some really great "must haves" for quilting. The Supreme slider, bobbin washers, etc. all ready to make machine quilting easier and smoother!   Holly Sietsema

patspatch wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 1:46 PM

Start with a throw.  A bed size can be too much to handle and take too long.  Once you make that throw and you are using it every evening, you will want to make a bed size.  Have fun and just start.  One of my first was a rail fence.  Easy

susan19 wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 4:55 PM

I want to learn to make quilts also.  I have read and read about how to do it, now to

get the courage to cut the fabric.

Love the fabric you are giving away, so out of my comfort zone, just what I need to spur me on.

karenadd wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 6:46 PM

I like the videos by the Missouri Star Quilt Company that are on you-tube.  They are very beginner friendly.

karenadd wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 6:46 PM

I like the videos by the Missouri Star Quilt Company that are on you-tube.  They are very beginner friendly.

kilu wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 6:57 PM

Go to my favorite website Craftsy.com they will show you how to make creative quilts and do it at your own pace!

Artwebworks wrote
on 20 Sep 2012 9:22 PM

I teach sewing to middle schoolers.  I am always looking for fast, fun, quick modern projects.  I love all the projects and ideas I find at Quilting Daily.

kats3meow wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 1:39 AM

I too am fixing to try my hand at sewing. I failed a sewing class in high school, but approximately 30 yrs ago I tried sewing again...I made some beautiful halloween costumes for my mom, myself and my oldest son, who was just a toddler then....they got so many compliments and were made from patterns. Back then I also attempted to make appliqué quilts for my oldest son and middle son...these never got finished, as life got in the way of things. I haven't really used a sewing machine since then...but have been out of work for some time now due to the economy, so I bought a sewing machine.....I have had it for about 3 weeks now and have made a pillow for my sister and an applique framed print out of a t-shirt. I don't have money to buy material so I use all clothes that none of the family wears anymore, bed sheets, old curtains and such as material. I have 4 projects in the works already....I am starting with a project that I found online that was originally done with paper, but I am going to use fabric and may appliqué around the edges of the pieces...mine will be fused on a piece of background fabric then mounted on a stretched canvas frame. The original project was done by spraying a canvas black then glueing scrapbook paper leaves onto the canvas.  Here is the link to the project that I chose to start with: itsdoable.squarespace.com/.../its-doablethe-flower-wall-art.html

Just copy and paste it into your browser. I think it will look very nice when it is completed. I just wanted to start small. I have already been cutting out my leave pieces and putting the iron on fusing on them. Haven't yet decided on the perfect background fabric yet but may go with a golden color instead of black, as I don't seem to have any large pieces of black. My other 3 projects will be more complicated than this. One will be a wall hanging for my sewing room and the other 2 will be quilts.....one will be a denim scrap quilt made from old jeans...and the other will be a scrap quilt from bed sheets! My suggestion is to look online and find a small project that appeals to you...It doesn't even have to involve alot of sewing initially...just enough to become familiar with the sewing machine....then as you get comfortable with the machine and stitches, try something alittle bigger.  I am sure that whatever you choose to start with will be great and alot of fun for you....so have fun and let your creativity shine!

sandraev wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:12 AM

My sympathies about your dear grandma.  I really like the book Me and My Sewing Machine... It goes through the bare basics of sewing but also takes you through a simple first quilt. Also craftsy.com has a free sewing class that goes over a quilt block a month. Its already started but you can go at your own pace!

on 22 Sep 2012 3:25 AM

Go to your local quilt shop and let inspiration come to you I am sure they'll be more than happy to guide you - right now I am fascinated by the modern quilting some many beautiful fabrics

Djones6340 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:39 AM

Many years ago I bough my first sewing machine at  motel as a salesman traveled through a near by town and set up his sales for the day. It was advertised in the paper. I went and bought the machine and my landlady said,  "Do you even know how to sew or read a pattern." The answer was no but that didn't stop me. I have gone on to make clothes, outdoor gear and QUILTS. Just go for it!

Carle wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:42 AM

I recommend taking a beginner class when just starting to familiarize yourself with basic techniques.  If you are a self starter, I like the basic 4 patch block.  Cut 4 squares the same size and sew them together.  You can create a quilt by alternating these with another block cut the same size as the finished 4 patch (i.e., sew four  4-patches together to make a 16 patch and match with 4 of the same size block sewn together).  There are a lot of variations for this.  Also, Quilting Arts TV online has free ebooks for quilting and quilting motifs.  Finally, I usually check the Old Country Store online for fabric.  They have great fabric from major manufacturers at about $8.70 a yard in most cases.  Good luck and have fun.  This is a wonderful hobby.

sewpro13 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:02 AM

Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry for your lose!  You've been very blessed to have a grandmother like yours in your life!  She was very special!  She will LOVE that you want to learn to quilt!!!

My favorite site for fabric is fabric.com.  I've never been dissatified with the quality of their cotton fabric!  (And I order from them a LOT, as I only have a small Joann's and small Hancocks fabric stores in town.)  My second favorite site is connectingthreads.com.  They have good prices on their fabric and have nice fabric lines.  Not always what I'm looking for, but I usually check.  I like their book sales, like right now all books are 40% off!

For a beginning project I would suggest a crib quilt or lap quilt. Select a fabric line you like or just 5 or more fabics you like together. I would cut 5" squares and sew them together in a line to create the width of quilt you want.  The next line you would sew the squares together in the same order, except first you would take the first square and now make it the last one in the row.  Now, sew these 2 rows together matching the seams.  This way you have created a design with simple blocks.  Keep going until you have the size you want.  This is a fun beginning quilt because you get to see the design come to life as you sew each row together, then sew the row to the quilt.  Fun, Fun, Fun!!!  

Relax!  Enjoy! Put some energenic music on and go!  Make grandma proud!  You CAN do this!!

sewpro13 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:02 AM

Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry for your lose!  You've been very blessed to have a grandmother like yours in your life!  She was very special!  She will LOVE that you want to learn to quilt!!!

My favorite site for fabric is fabric.com.  I've never been dissatified with the quality of their cotton fabric!  (And I order from them a LOT, as I only have a small Joann's and small Hancocks fabric stores in town.)  My second favorite site is connectingthreads.com.  They have good prices on their fabric and have nice fabric lines.  Not always what I'm looking for, but I usually check.  I like their book sales, like right now all books are 40% off!

For a beginning project I would suggest a crib quilt or lap quilt. Select a fabric line you like or just 5 or more fabics you like together. I would cut 5" squares and sew them together in a line to create the width of quilt you want.  The next line you would sew the squares together in the same order, except first you would take the first square and now make it the last one in the row.  Now, sew these 2 rows together matching the seams.  This way you have created a design with simple blocks.  Keep going until you have the size you want.  This is a fun beginning quilt because you get to see the design come to life as you sew each row together, then sew the row to the quilt.  Fun, Fun, Fun!!!  

Relax!  Enjoy! Put some energenic music on and go!  Make grandma proud!  You CAN do this!!

mackram64 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:21 AM

It's very hard to lose someone so treasured, but wonderful to have such great memories.

My favorite online source is the Missouri Star Quilt Company.  You can sign up for email about their deal of the day, great prices, and they have lots of free tutorials.

Most everyone has their favorite way to organize projects and fabric.  I like to have a clear plastic container for each project which contains the fabric, pattern (if needed), any embellishments, etc. That allows me to easily take what I need to a class or my quilt guild get-togethers.   I also use the shoebox size containers to organize my fat quarters by color families.  When the box gets too stuffed with that color, I know it's time to plan a project using some of it or stop buying fabric (that is unlikely to happen!)   :)))

My local quilt guild is a great resource--lots of excellent quilters always ready to share ideas or even teach a class on a new (or old) technique.  We have a monthly "retreat" where whomever wants to come, brings current projects or UFOs and we have a fun time of sewing and of course, snacking!  Check out a guild in your area--you'll find help and people who understand "she who dies with the most fabric, wins"!!!

fiesta2 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:34 AM

I google a lot of tutoriAls. There are a lot of free ones out there. Also read blogs and interest is a must for ideas. Thank you for the chance.

dw1of4 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:00 AM

While making simple blocks seems logical for a beginner, my first quilt was a Bear paw quilt, because that is what I saw and liked.  My suggestion is to work on something you like.  To get used to the quarter inch seam, cut three strips of fabric, each one and a half inches wide. Sw them together, and measure the center strip.  It should measure exactly one inch.  If it doesn't, adjust your machine settings until it does.  If you want to make traditional blocks, I suggest looking at Jinny Beyer's site and/or books that explain the structure of blocks.  If you want to make art quilts...well, you are in the middle of a world of resources.

Play with what you like, and you will find a style that suits you.

dw1of4 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:00 AM

While making simple blocks seems logical for a beginner, my first quilt was a Bear paw quilt, because that is what I saw and liked.  My suggestion is to work on something you like.  To get used to the quarter inch seam, cut three strips of fabric, each one and a half inches wide. Sw them together, and measure the center strip.  It should measure exactly one inch.  If it doesn't, adjust your machine settings until it does.  If you want to make traditional blocks, I suggest looking at Jinny Beyer's site and/or books that explain the structure of blocks.  If you want to make art quilts...well, you are in the middle of a world of resources.

Play with what you like, and you will find a style that suits you.

scrapperdeb wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:38 AM

There are so many inspiring quilting blogs out there. I've been encouraged to try more quilting by joining in some quilt-alongs. Moda Bake Shop has lots of tutorials and step-by-step projects for all levels of quilters.  Beautiful fabric!

NANNATERRY wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:42 AM

IF YOU ARE MAKING A QUILT FOR A GRANDCHILD, HOW ABOUT CUTTING YOUR BLOCKS OUT OF SOME OF THEIR FAVORITE OUTFITS, AS THEY WERE GROWING UP (YOU KINDA NEED TO THINK THIS OUT AHEAD OF TIME, SO YOU CAN PUT BACK THOSE CUTE LITTLE THINGS THEY WEAR!) YOU CAN ALSO ADD A LITTLE EMBROIDERY, LIKE WHERE THEY WORE IT TO, OR WHAT AGE THEY WERE. JUST KEEP IT LIGHT AND SIMPLE!!

Sew4Now wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:42 AM

I am  fairly new to the quilting genre myself. I am a lifelong sewist, but quilting was always something I'd get to "one of these days". My most helpful tip is this: Find a quilting enthusiast to partner up with. Be sure it is someone who has a similar aesthetic, ie: if you want to go traditional, find a traditionalist. If you prefer art quilts and experimentation with mixed media and odd fibers, find someone who is on that journey to guide you. Nothing is better in my opinion than a good mentor. I thank my sister-in-law for her role as my mentor and friend.

Zimbogirl wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:57 AM

When one has such great fabric as this Moda Ticklish...... my advice..... choose a simple block and "let the fabric do the talking".......

carol255 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:59 AM

I loved your story.  I hope quilting becomes a wonderful creative outlet for you.  My favorite online source is Connecting Threads; their fabric is gorgeous, great quality, and reasonably priced.

Lavendrfem wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:11 AM

I'm fairly new to quilting too... and the tip that made me smile and have an 'ah-ha' moment... were the shortcuts to piecing triangles. My first project was  a lap quilt that had light and dark squares. Take a light square and a dark square and put right sides together.

Sew two seams down the middle corner to corner. The corner actually ends up being in between the two seams, because you're sewing a line down each side of it.

Then cut between the two seams and you have a light/dark square. Much easier than what I was doing - cutting one at a time.

Have fun - fall and winter is the perfect time of year for quilting!

DebDG wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:16 AM

Find your local quilt guild and join. You'll find a pool of talented people who want to share the craft that they love.

EllenB12 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:18 AM

The internet and my quilting friends are a big help to me when I'm stuck.

I practice making a new to me block with muslin and fabric scraps.

Nachoqtpie wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:19 AM

I joined a free online class at craftsy.com that teache 2 new quily blocks and techniques every month. I love it! :-)

eliz244 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:24 AM

    My suggestion is to join a  quilt guild.  I have found participating in Quilt Guild is a great way to make friends who love what you love,  show & tell by members and trunk shows by guests are inspiring and a wonderful source for ideas and learning different techniques.    

beths0802 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:33 AM

Baby quilts are fun, easy and fast.  A good way to finish a project quickly.  With the internet there are so many sites that have Free patterns it great.  Have a wonderful day.  Would love to win !

on 22 Sep 2012 6:35 AM

Handy tips?  For me its the love of fabric and color that keeps me going, has kept me going.  So my tip is to be sure you respond to your fabric choices, that you love the fabric/s and can't wait to see how your design turns out.  Its a continuing experiment, learning process, which makes it stimulating and fun.  The beginning steps of a semi-long learning process.  Exciting!

NancyV@13 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:35 AM

Follow your own head and heart.  There is no one right way to do quilting (or anything else, for that matter.)

doerrtl wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:42 AM

Try sewing a crazy quilt block. No patterns needed and you can sew any size fabrics together to make the block. Then you can try out some of your sewing machines decorative stitches on the seams. It's such fun!

Judy H in NC wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:43 AM

spend a little time with a cup of coffee or tea and something like Stumbleupon or Pinterest and just surf quickly through various quilting sites.  bookmark the ones that catch your eye and narrow it down from there.

patsypat wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:44 AM

Never made a quilt, but if i did, I would use my hands to make stitches instead of a sewing machine!!! Patsy

carolhgore wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:45 AM

Quilty Magazine and Craftsy classes on the internet have been a big help to me because the nearest quilt shop is over an hour away.

janmccoy wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:46 AM

One of the many things I have learned about sewing a 1/4 inch seam allowance accurately is to get a foot for your machine that is clear and is exactly 1/4 inch to the right edge of the foot. I have one called a "little foot" for my low-shank machine. Not expensive, but very worthy of my quilt cause.

nanaxanadu wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:48 AM

Start with fabrics you LOVE, then watch Jenny Doan's tutorials (Missouri Star Quilt Company)...your on your way!

on 22 Sep 2012 6:49 AM

I too grew up sewing garments, and started quilting 12 yrs ago. My learning tools were and are  utube magazines and quilt shops. I buy a lot of  designer fabric at Mardens in New  England. They buy over stock and end of bolts. I stock up when I visit Maine in the summer.

Enjoy quilting and building your stash. You can NEVER have too much stash!

kimsjoy wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:56 AM

Michelle,

I keep a photo of my great grandfather David Ramsay Sellars, a watercolorist from Scotland in my studio (his paintings are in my kitchen/dining room), along with my great-great grandmother Margaret Peebles' quilted pillow cover framed. I have a cabinet that hung in my Dad's workshop hanging in my studio with my three children's school artwork in it and other wood pieces he made. I love to have all the pieces of my past with me while I work. It is like theur are watching me and supporting me.

Thank you for sharing your family with us. Love the chance to win Moda fabric.

Kim

Elisa Galery wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:07 AM

If I wore you, I would go to youtube and watch the many lessons there on quilting.

It's a start. Just so you can see the many tecniques. There are also many blogs on the subject!

Kscott5 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:10 AM

Some of my favorite sites are a thousand bolts and only one nut. I also like connecting threads for there thread and there fabric. Nancy notions is great for notions and patterns. Also check out quilt women.com. This site is great because they publish patterns from quilt like us. My only other advice is find a guild and join it a wealth of knowledge will open up to you. The last thing if there is a quilt shop near you support it. They are a great resource to. Enjoy and have fun.

zanysisters2 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:13 AM

I feel for you not inheriting the sewing gene!  Just ask my sister!  She is like my mother, who could not sew on a button!   But I am jealous that you have such wonderful memories of your grandmother.   All four of my grandparents were gone by the time I was 2.  Honor her by trying!  Don't worry about how perfect your project is---you are trying!  While you now work someplace with a wealth of resources at your command, I would suggest taking a class.  Nothing replaces hands on teaching in my book.  And good luck.

ddmanowske wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:16 AM

Check out some of Jenny Doan's (Missouri Star Quilt Company) wonderful tutorials on YouTube, find a fabric that inspires you, relax and enjoy!!

Sarahsos wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:18 AM

Save your scraps for future projects so you will have a handy stash to make projects with lots of variety: cut 2 1/2" strips, 5" squares, save snippets of the rest of the fabric which might be used in 1" squares or tiny pieces for fun projects.  Saving these from the beginning of your quilting life will help you recall projects you have made for years to come when you look back at the smaller pieces you have used to create larger projects and make your fabric purchases really go a long way. Ziplock baggies will help you keep colors together and not take up much room.

lisah@23 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:19 AM

I would add my voice to the advice to take a few beginning quilting classes.  You will learn so much and get inspired to create!

on 22 Sep 2012 7:21 AM

My grandmother also quilted during the depression era.  I remember as a child

having one of her quilts on my bed.   When I retired I finally had enough time to learn

how to quilt.  I love it.  Start easy.  The quarter inch seam is so important.

on 22 Sep 2012 7:35 AM

My advice would be to not be too hard on yourself when quilting.  You may see a small imperfection but others will not.  Also take breaks often when quilting.

Thank you for the opportunity to win the fabric.

WDCCKN wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:37 AM

The Quilting Board is a great sight for all kinds of help and advice.  I get the Quilting Board Daily Digest every day.  Some days it takes 20 minutes to go through it, some days an hour or hour and a half.

shirley-a wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:38 AM

Hi  welcome to our world.  Quilting is great for relieving stress, making useful items for gifts and satisfying your inner artist.  I love the crzy quilt type of work. My Cape Briton Canada grandmother showed me how to do carzy patch on a fondation back in the 50's.  We too are people who remember the depression.

I still enjoy crazy patch today and sometimes I include a piece of a much loved garment in my work.  Most recently I have made table mats using scraps of fabric left over from other projects.  Love the way they look on the table . Give crazt patch work a try, you might get hooked like I did.  stitchgeek

doloresmay wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:38 AM

Michelle, I'm a grandmother who hopes that one day my granddaughter will be telling fond memories of me.  I love that she thinks I can do ANYTHING with fabric.

My suggestion to you is that you buy some pre-cut "charms" (5" squares) and that you make a simple patch-work quilt.  I would off-set the columns so that you don't have to frustrated about matching seams on your first creation.  The most important thing for you to learn in this initial project is to do consistent 1/4 inch seams, learn to use your iron properly, and create something you can finish.  I would suggest that you make this a "tie" quilt....(it will make it so YOU can finish the complete project on your own.)  You'll be so proud....and you'll be "hooked".

on 22 Sep 2012 7:40 AM

It is time to jump into making a quilt.  Most of the end results of a sewing project will be useful at the time and then eventually disappear but a quilt becomes part of your history and will live for a long time!

cjgowan wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:40 AM

Try a pillow first.  A simple pattern that allows for creative expression, and even a photo, is a crazy quilt block.  Cut a muslin or light weight cotton block

the size you wish the pillow to be.  Choose 1/8 yard of 7 or more fabrics that please you,  Draft a center pentogran (5 sided figure) approximately 4" at it's widest dimension and cut this shape from one of the fabrics.  Cut wedge shaped pieces 2-4" at the widest point, and 6-8" long, of the remaining fabrics. Place the pentogon, right side up,  near the center of the muslin block, and attach it with a  row of stitching 1/4" from the edge.  Choose a wedge; center it RIGHT SIDES together over the center, with the sides even,and attach it with 1/4" seam allowance.  Press the 2nd piece flat (right side up) and trim by placing a ruler on the side next to the one you stitched on, and drawing a line across the strip you just added.  Do the same for the edge on the other side of the strip, and then trim with a scissors, on the drawn lines.  Proceed clockwise around the pentagon, attaching each new strip with the LEFT and TOP edges even with  previous strip and pentagon side.  As each strip is added, press it flat, and trim as with the previous strip.  Keep attaching strips until the whole muslin square is covered.  Press it flat and flip it,wrong side up and sew a basting stitch 1/4" inch from the edge, then trim the edges even with the muslin square.  Use embroidery, trim, lace, beads to embellish, and finish with your favorite pillow pattern.

Halo14 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:41 AM

Hi Michelle,

I just began quilting this year, and I started by looking on Youtube, they have tons of wonderful videos that are easy to follow, especially the one by Missouri Star Quilt Company.  The first one I made was a rag quilt, using old jeans and fabric I already had.

I have made 7 quilts already and have about 5 more projects started.  Just enjoy the joy of it.

Good luck with your projects!

ajv wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:44 AM

My grandmother was also an inspiration to me!   She lived with us and loved to sew and that gene indeed skipped a generation and flew my way.   Pick some fabric you love and just dive in!

suslyn wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:48 AM

Meredith has good advice. Start small. Of course, if you do and love it I'd further recommend that your next project not be too much bigger. As a novice crosstitcher, I went from tiny to gargantuan LOL. I quilted with a friend who was an experienced quilter so that helped keep me in line, gave me someone to chat with and taught me a lot.

Frisbey wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:50 AM

I buy a lot if my fabrics at Joann's Fabrics and crafts.  Also some Wal-marts have fabric departments.  I have found alot of my frog fabrics there.

Jomodad wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:50 AM

M&L Fabrics in Anaheim California. They have what they call "Flat Fold" Fabrics. Stacks and Stacks, Rows and Rows all $2.49 a yd. Plan on being there hours looking thru all of it. Some Great and some maybe no so good. They have sales once and a while and the price drops. I found this software called Wild Things at Wild Ginger and it's FREE! You can type in measurements for different things and it will adjust the pattern for you. Patterns for Hats, Pockets, Bags, Wraps. You some of the bags or   can do applique work on them I think an apron would look great using quilting techniques and when the fabric is only $2.49 all day any day. I say G.F.I! (Go For It!). I make some of the hats and I make the sun hat with no bill for a Kepah, or add the Newsboy caps bill to it. Wild Things is fun because it will let you change the sizes and then print out the custom pattern FREE!

Casey75 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:52 AM

Hi Michelle! Thank you for sharing this story. Because your grandmother grew up during the Depression, perhaps you could use 1930s Reproduction fabric. I have a few 1930s quilt tops and quilts in my collection that are simply squares of feedsack fabric sewn together. You could use this idea and use charm squares to just make a quilt of squares.  Charm squares are precut squares of fabric. Using precut fabric would make the process go faster.

Shelley Kay wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:53 AM

I've been quilting for about a year new, and I just love it.....I started with runners and table toppers....they are quick, and so pretty when finished....Just remember to have fun with your quilting.....

I've given all but a couple away, and see the joy someone gets when they open up my gift, makes me feel good inside....

Just remember have fun!!!

NeonKitty wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:59 AM

Your grandmother sounds like one amazing lady!

As some other folks have advised here, the Internet has so many teaching sites.  When I began, I downloaded instructions for a simple block from McCalls quilting magazine website...walked into my local quilt shop and asked for advice re what to buy first (rotary cutter, 6" x 24" ruler, the large size cutting mat, good -quality thread, some fat quarters, pins and needless)...and I was hooked!  Your local quilt shop will always be your best source of advice on fabric choices and selection of the best fabric for quilters...avoid the cheaper stuff at JoAnns, it is a completely different grade of cotton (you get what you pay for).

And...before you do anything...buy Meg Cox's The Quilters Catalog on Amazon or BN..  It is the most amazingly thorough survey of everything to do with quilting, from history to technique to sewing machines to profiles of star quilters and-- very simple projects to get you going.  It is my favorite book in my studio...I wish it had been around when I began!

pamdombek wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:03 AM

Hi Michelle,

The most important advice is to learn to sew a perfect 1/4" seam. Then you'll be on your way to many beautiful quilts. It will also help to have a spare closet or two, because when the fabric bug bites you'll need lots of storage space!

Nancy.S.Beck wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:04 AM

I've just recently begun quilting myself. Take a class if you can -- one that helps you learn about using your machine. Makes creating quilts much easier.  My sympathies for your recent loss--it's so hard to lose those you love.

Mary Burn wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:04 AM

Join a guild or a small quilting group.  There is always lots of fabric to pass around.  My favorite quilt store is Mary Jo's in Gastonia, NC.  She has fabulous fabric!  Thanks for including me in your giveaway and good luck on your quilting adventure.

mburn@comporium.net

Elaine Lloyd wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:07 AM

You have so many great suggestions! Although the loss of your grandmother has been a sad moment for you, it sounds as if there have been so many positive things that happened...things for which your grandmother would hug you, flash that beautiful smile at you and say, "That's my girl!" Is there something that reminds you of her more than another? If so, go in that direction. Home? Try a log cabin quilt. Gardening? A floral appliqué quilt. The possibilities are endless!

jackdi52 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:08 AM

Most quilt shops offer beginner quilting classes and this might be a great place to get started.  You'll meet others who are just getting started and the class will give you the basics.  Also, they will start with a simple project and give pointers on fabric selection, etc.  Hope you find quilting to be fun!

on 22 Sep 2012 8:14 AM

Find a local fabric store that teaches classes and take a beginning quilt class. Find some fabrics that appeal to you. Enjoy the experience and don't fret over mistakes. We all learn from our mistakes plus you need a mistake in a quilt to remind us all that we are not perfect. Quilting can be a great stress reliever by getting your mind off your problems. Have fun!

mas7716 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:16 AM

Similar thing happened to me when my mother died. The best thing I did was find my local quilting store and took a beginners quilting class. It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself and me it made me feel like I had a real connection to my mother that just has gotten stronger and stronger.

Kathy Adams wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:17 AM

Join a quilting group.  I would suggest one that does charity sewing.  Their quilt projects are probably simple in design & the members would gladly teach you the basics of quilting.  As your skills progress, you may want to join a quilt guild.  Their skills and quilts are more advanced.  Enjoy the learning process and fellowship.  There are also great patterns and tutorials to be found online.  Happy quilting!

joiesouly wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:19 AM

My son had an "economics day" at elementary school, where the kids were learning about making and spending money and budgeting.  They were all asked to bring something to put in the store, used toys, etc, and each child was given a certain amount of money to spend.

I made potpourri bags for him out of leftover fabric.  Just made a tiny pillow, poured in some potpourri and closed it up, tied it with a ribbon and it was done.

My son came home and told me he sold out before anyone else!  We were both really excited!

sallyg@13 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:28 AM

A great beginner's project is a log cabin quilt. You can practice cutting straight strips and sewing them; you get to use lots of fabrics, so you can create a contemporary or more traditional quilt and all you have to think about with the fabrics is lights and darks and two color families (or not).  You practice sewing straight , 1/4" inch seams and you have many choices for how to put the blocks together. When you quilt it you can just stitch in the ditch or quilt a lovely design and both ways look great. Can you tell I love this pattern?

judieharron wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:31 AM

You are blessed to have inherited your Grandmother's sewing machine... a real treasure.  You can Google to find most anything... quilt shops, sites for specific information, patterns, etc.  My suggestion would be to find a quilt shop near you where other quilters frequent.  Find out if there is a quilt guild in your vicinity.  Attend a few meetings and meet the women who quilt in your area.  Make a retreat with them or attend a few workshops to get started.  Quilters are the most generous women and men who would love to get another started in this art.  Be patient with yourself in the beginning and enjoy the art that so many of us love.  Good luck to you and thanks to QA for the chance to win fabric.  Judie

judieharron@yahoo.com

mjgoehl wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:31 AM

One of my favorite things to do is get quilting books from the library for inspiration.  You can spend a fortune on books, magazines, and fabric, but the library has books, and sometimes magazines, for all levels of skill.  Then find some fabric you LOVE.  Precuts make life so simple and the fabric selection is done for you - everything matches and blends with no stress on your part.  Probably the simplist quilt I've made is a set of precut 5 inch squares sewn together into a large square, add a border or two, pick a complimentary backing and binding and stitch in the ditches to quilt.  And shop at your local quilt shop!  Quality fabric, loads of inspiration, and I've always found them eager to help with suggestions, solutions, and encouragement.  Enjoy your quilting and your memories of your Grandmother!

Yudy wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:36 AM

The first quilt I ever made was a "One Block Wonder". I checked the book out of my local public library and made what everyone thought was a masterpiece and so hard! They are truly easy and fun. There are also directions on line. Basically, if you have ever matched plaids, you can be very successful with this .. And it is fast!

on 22 Sep 2012 8:39 AM

I have found a store and website called Clotilde that has a lot of hard-to-find items and pretty good prices. I really like it.

refalk wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:40 AM

What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother.  Whatever you do, inspired by her, will be awesome.

callifur wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:41 AM

Tackling a full-size quilt can seem like an enormous project for a quilting beginner, so here's a pattern for a lap quilt (60"x76") that's quick and easy, made of just 2.5" strips, and the finished quilt is guaranteed to give you a great feeling of accomplishment. Thanks to Bonnie K Hunter & Quiltville.com for this great article. Here's the link.

www.quiltville.com/striptwist.shtml

teeejay wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:44 AM

I just got started sewing myself. I took a local quilting class and I was hooked! Then I looked online for tutorials and I made a tote bag. There are so many helpful people out there willing to share their knowledge! Just search the quilting blogs or take a class at your local fabric store. You'll be quilting in no time!

on 22 Sep 2012 8:47 AM

I haven't tried it myself yet; but, I just learned of a basting spray that holds the quilt top to the batting.  Maybe you could let me know if you would recommend this or not.  But; my best tip is don't leave any pins in your quilt.  I have done this twice now and one person noticed it before getting poked and the other person, unfortunately, got poked.  Good luck!

sdeltongirl wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:48 AM

I am not new at sewing, but I still like to keep things simple.  Using precuts takes a lot of stress out of cutting.  If I can start a quilt by sewing strips together I will. The other thing I do to keep it easy when making quilts is I use the backing for the binding.  Wrapping the back around is so easy, and saves a few trips around the edge.

andrea_r wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:49 AM

My grandmother taught me how to sew. I wish she was here to see what I'm doing now. :)

on 22 Sep 2012 8:49 AM

So sorry to hear of your loss.

The best advice I can give you is to practice, practice, practice! and BE PATIENT. It takes time to build up your skill set and some things may never become easy for you. A great starter project would be a disappearing 9 patch quilt. It is quick, you learn piecing techniques and you learn cutting techniques.

Can't wait to see what you create!

Jane Helms wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:51 AM

If you are a beginning quilter, there is simply no better place for you to "cut your quilting teeth" than joining your local quilt guild. There you will find instruction, inspiration and friends.

For example, the Asheville North Carolina  Quilt Guild not only has local and national quilting  speakers and workshops, they have a huge community quilt program.  This program affords members the opportunity to be altruistic as well as to practice their  quilting skills by making charity quilts and projects for local hospitals, senior centers, orphanages, the Linus program and our  most recent project -- honoring our fallen soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq by giving their families memory quilts.

The Asheville Quilt Guild meets at the nationally known Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway and you can find out more about our activities by googling the Asheville Quilt Guild website where you will find photos, newsletters and information about all of our activities including our annual Quilt Show which takes place on September 28, 29, 30 at the Western Agricultural Center right across the street from the Asheville Airport.  Jane Helms, Publicity and Member of the Asheville Quilt Guild - janehelms@morrisbb.net. ..    

scaouette wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:52 AM

My mother taught me to sew when I was 10. I love making clothes, but recently, I have been quilting and what a joy it has been. I have not made one quilt for myself, but have made about 7 baby quilts for my nieces and nephews, 2 for my new grandson, 2 for my oldest daughter, and recently a memory quilt for my youngest daughter who is finishing up her marching band at the Univ. of Md this fall. I have made a lot of small quilt items too which have brought as much joy as a quilt. I have spread the joy of quilting, and I didn't have to worry if I made something that fits! It is also a great way to maintain the genealogy of the family, if you label your quilts. Happy Quilting.

PS my youngest daughter just started her first quilt by hand.

JFMurray wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:53 AM

Hi, sewing to honor your grandmother is heart warming and quilting, well it's the best way.  You don't have to make things fit a body only a bed!  I think the best thing a new quilter can do would be to take a class - check out some quilting shops to see what appeals.  One of my favourite beginner classes was a sampler quilt class.  You learn lots of techniques, get help with fabric choices and how to do it from start to finish.   It's so satisfying to see your finished project.  My next piece of advice is to finish what you start before taking on another project as the UFO's add up quickly.  Good luck and have fun.

on 22 Sep 2012 8:55 AM

Hi, I found two quilting websites that will blow you away. The quilts are not traditional , they are art quilts. One of the websites is called: Jean Wells Quilts.com and www.Studio78.net. Her name is Rayna Gilman. I purchased both of their books from Amazon. They are so unique and creative it blows my mind. I like to try to different things and these books are great.

bozocat wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:57 AM

Find some local ladies or men who might have a weekly quilting group to join.  There's nothing like the old pros helping and guiding the newbie!

janetpierce4 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:01 AM

I think a bargello quilt would be gorgeous with these fabrics.  I love fabric.com, Hawthorne's, and jo-ann's as affordable fabric shops.  Thanks for the giveaway.

txkwilter wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:03 AM

Find some fabric you like, cut out your squares, and start sewing them together.  My two favorite online shops are Fat Quarter Shop and Connecting Threads.  Connecting Threads has tutorials that will guide you.  YouTube also has some excellent videos.

Mizrae13 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:08 AM

Work small to start, a placemat, pot holder or throw pillow.  As you gain confidence, try a baby quilt, and then a big quilt.  My mom always puts a cloth label on the back of each quilt with the date and name of the person she made the quilt for.  It makes them all very special.

babscorbitt wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:08 AM

I am so sorry for your loss. My daughter died in my arms from a blood clot to her lung. I will keep you in my prayers. Online stores that have really great fabric is connecting threads and fat quarter shop. I qould re ommend a simple nine patch or blocks pieced in random order. I would start with bigger blocks 4 or 5 inch. Nothing with points or curves. Just about every quilt blog has wonderful tutorials. I cant recommend hand or machine piecing or quilting because i have always done both by hand. I dont even own a machine. Quilters are a great group of people and always more than willing to help. Good luck and please let me know how it goes for you babscorbitt@gmail.com

wyomgirl wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:09 AM

I have found that many beginners do well to choose a pattern, then the fabric.  After you get some experience you can find fabric on sale, in re-sale shops at estate or yard sales in addition to the fabric stores or online letting the fabric decide what it should be.  Don't worry about any rules do what appeals to you.  Measure twice and cut once.  The importance of accurate cutting and seams make or break the project.  I think the genisus of most UFO's is inaccurate cutting and seams.  After you get the basics under your belt you can cut loose and do anything that pleases you.  Have fun.

Dianert wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:19 AM

I always prefer to work with my favorite colors. Collect a few things that look nice together, maybe three selections that blend and then one for contrast. Don't purchase huge amounts to start off with. I find 5/8 of a yard is a great size and gives you plenty to play with for a first small project.

Dianert wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:19 AM

I always prefer to work with my favorite colors. Collect a few things that look nice together, maybe three selections that blend and then one for contrast. Don't purchase huge amounts to start off with. I find 5/8 of a yard is a great size and gives you plenty to play with for a first small project.

maydunne wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:23 AM

Start small, make wall hangings and baby quilts. Add hand embroidery if the quilt is to be purely decorative.

quilterjg wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:30 AM

To decide where to put your fabrics in a block, scan the fabrics you chose, then cut out your pattern pieces from the print, minus the seam allowance.   Then play with which fabric pleases your eye and you'll be able to cut out the block pieces and sew together to get just what you want.   Great way to see what the values do of fabrics in a block!

JoanneS@43 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:34 AM

A lap quilt would  be a nice  size to start.  After selecting a simple pattern, I would suggest you take a few minutes to think about color, the combination of light, medium and dark.  The one thing that will make your feel your quilt is "OK" or "love" it is color.

Quilt maze wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:34 AM

You already have your inspiration, your memories of that wonderful woman, you called grandma.  All you need now is some good equipment, a few fabrics with a color scheme and a pattern.  Go slowly, this craft can be very addictive!

on 22 Sep 2012 9:35 AM

I love quilting, but I don't have a lot of time for it so I don't make anything larger than 60x90 and all my quilts are made completely on machine.  I use stitch in the ditch and stippling for the quilting.  I just discovered stippling in the spring, and I love it!  I like to choose what I call a theme fabric and build the quilt around that.  Last Christmas I made my husband a couch quilt in which I used a mallard duck print as the theme fabric.  I chose coordinating fabrics - one brown and one green for borders.  Using only 3 fabrics and a simple design allowed me to finish the quilt quickly and easily.  The design you choose will depend on the theme fabric.  For a project this size, I like to use large strips and/or large blocks.  I will be making my daughter a couch quilt for Christmas this year; the theme of her quilt is coffee because she loves coffee.  For a beginning quilter I also recommend small projects such as pot holders, placemats, table runners, table toppers, etc.  My favorite fabric websites are fabric.com and connectingthreads.com.  There are a lot of YouTube videos demonstrating quilting techniques.  Thanks for the opportunity, and Happy Quilting!!

Ilana J wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:35 AM

Don't get bogged down by the "quilt rules".  That can be paralyzing.  Just enjoy the process and remember, in the end, it really doesn't matter if every point is sharp and every seam matches up.  Simply sewing strips together is a great beginner project.  They can be different widths or the all the same, whatever appeals to you.  Use width of fabric strips and then add borders to make the size you want.

CJLewallen wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:38 AM

If you want to quilt the first quilted item you make yourself on your grandmothers machine, I would suggest that your first project be a table runner or small wall hanging. This will give you the oppurtunity to practice without being overwhelmed by the size of the project. Good Luck! Whatever you choose, enjoy!

on 22 Sep 2012 9:39 AM

Cutting fabric into various size squares and joining in rows makes a good project to practice your machine quilting on.

heathen wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:41 AM

My mom didn't get the sewing gene either, but she got a gardening gene that abandoned me early on. :)

I took a beginning quilting class to make a small quilt. The reason the class was great was the teacher was really detailed-oriented. She taught us good rotary cutting techniques and how to square up fabric. These basic skills proved very helpful as I moved forward.

ncdanish wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:43 AM

I save all my scraps in color ways and size so when I need  one its at my finger tips.

ncdanish wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:43 AM

I save all my scraps in color ways and size so when I need  one its at my finger tips.

grammyloves wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:47 AM

I learn a lot by watching Fons and Porter's love of quilting show on tv on sundays.  I learn lots of tricks, new ideas, get inspired, and they have a tips segment at the end of the show.  I record them all and watch them over and over!  It has helped me!

on 22 Sep 2012 9:50 AM

If I am out of inspiration, I take a scrap and sew two squares together on three sides, fill with plain rice, close it, make a soft flannel pillowcase for it, and give it to someone with sore muscles. A little time in the microwave and it is a great soother, or a warming bag for a cold bed at night!

prlyon wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:52 AM

We have a fabric store in the Denver area that buys cotton fabric from estates and just people who are cleaning out their stash.  They pay by the pound and resell at half the new retail price. The perfect place to find colors and fabric that have past their popularity.

on 22 Sep 2012 9:52 AM

There are so many great beginner quilts you can make! In memory of your Fran's childhood in the  30's, you could do a string quilt. Or start with a sampler quilt from Craftsy's free class, The Craftsy Block of the Month. You can watch the videos as often as you want or need to! As an experienced quilter, I'm enjoying the classes myself, finding the blocks interesting and modern. Taking up quilting will open up so many vistas to explore! And have fun with it!

on 22 Sep 2012 9:52 AM

There are so many great beginner quilts you can make! In memory of your Fran's childhood in the  30's, you could do a string quilt. Or start with a sampler quilt from Craftsy's free class, The Craftsy Block of the Month. You can watch the videos as often as you want or need to! As an experienced quilter, I'm enjoying the classes myself, finding the blocks interesting and modern. Taking up quilting will open up so many vistas to explore! And have fun with it!

abatw wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:00 AM

I am new to quilting myself, and I have found a lovely store over in Cambridge, MA (perhaps in your area).  It's called Gather Here - the people who work there are kind, helpful, and love to hear about what you're making.  I highly recommend going over and meeting Virginia (you can also see a video of her on their website), as she is sure to chat with you about all things sewing & inspire you in the process.  When I stopped by their recent sidewalk-sale, I told Virginia that I was interested in their quilting group, and she said she'd bring it back starting in October - maybe you could stop by!

I also love to grab fabrics @ Joann's - it's corporate, yes, but their fabrics are getting better all the time, and w/all of their coupons, it's wallet-friendly.

There are so many wonderful patterns to try, and inspiring blogs/books to read about quilting.  I am almost done w/my first quilt (made as a wedding gift for my brother), inspired by the "picnic quilt" in Malka Dubrawsky's 'Fresh Quilting' - mine has a blue color-scheme.  

I would also recommend joining an online quilt-along (the Farmer's Wife one on yahoo is fun), or stopping over to www.freshlemonsquilts.com to look @her "summer sampler" and "solstice stars" series - both are fun & colorful quilts.  If you wanted, I think you could even just work on one or two blocks for practice.

No matter what you decide on, have fun!  It's not about perfection (despite all those amazing photos you see online), so just go w/the flow and embrace any imperfections/accidents.

JeanK wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:09 AM

Website craftsy.com offers a free online quilting class.

Becki@12 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:14 AM

My first quilt was a modified version of the "Quilt in a Day" log cabin pattern. (I just made all the strips twice as wide so there wouldn't be as much to cut and sew). It was easy and turned out beautifully, and most importantly it was non-intimidating, which is really what you need for your first quilt. Good luck!

elnorac wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:15 AM

What a wonderful story about your grandma! Those of us who had close relationships with grandparents are very lucky, aren't we?

I'm pretty new to quilting, but the thing that has inspired me most and also taught me a ton is getting to know people in the sewing community on Flickr. It has been a huge source of support, too, as people make such nice, helpful comments when I post a pic of my sewing. Many of the Flickr gals have blogs, too, which offer tutorials, etc. I encourage you to check it out. You can go to the search box, type in "quilt" or some such term, then choose "More Search Options" and go to Groups. You'll find groups for every imaginable sewing interest!

Good luck with your sewing!

cwaglass wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:15 AM

Choose a favorite simple painting as the basis for a quilt.  Start small and have fun!  A local quilters group or class is a fun way to start!

amitysprings wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:16 AM

If you have access to any of the fabrics from clothes your grandmother made for you ot pieces of her clothes, combine those with a photo printed onto fabric and make a memorial quilt.  Lovely way to remember her and she would love the idea.  

amitysprings wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:16 AM

If you have access to any of the fabrics from clothes your grandmother made for you ot pieces of her clothes, combine those with a photo printed onto fabric and make a memorial quilt.  Lovely way to remember her and she would love the idea.  

on 22 Sep 2012 10:16 AM

Consider making quilts for toddlers or infants and give them away with a label stating "Given to you with comfort and love" .  These quilts can be given to the local police department, fire department, town welfare, etc. to be given to chldren in a time of stress.

Kind of a hug that your grandmother so often gave to you and others over the years.

windycindy wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:19 AM

What wonderful role models you have had in your life!

Many thanks for the lovely fabric giveaway...

Cindi

jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

ayjay wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:20 AM

I have always said, "Quilting softens the edges of my world." I recommend that you take classes at your local quilt store. Also, explore the online classes and workshops available now. There is an amazing free one called Block of the Month at Craftsy.com.

on 22 Sep 2012 10:20 AM

One of my favorite sites is "Quilting Board". You can have the daily digest delivered to your email. There's a wealth of knowledge from the world of quilters there.

jhodgman wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:22 AM

I love hearing personal stories about how we come to our creativity. Thanks for sharing this--I love the Alice in Wonderland costume and pose!

Petunia17 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:24 AM

I loved your story!  I have tried several beginners projects and find that Craftsy has a lot of ideas.  

Anna Tracy wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:25 AM

I am new to quilting myself but love all the ideas I receive through friends and Pinterest!

fblondon wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:31 AM

Start simple. Find a multi colored fabric that you absolutely love, pick 3 or 4 more fabrics that coordinate and make simple four patch blocks. You'll get to know the basics of your machine, figured out the all important accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance and wind up with a quilt you made yourself.

on 22 Sep 2012 10:31 AM

I'm just beginning to sew myself.  I don't have a machine so do all by hand.  I've started off by making Yoyos and am making grocery bag holders out of clothing.  I have gone to consignment stores to buy clothes and then come home, tear it apart and use it.  With many fabrics, it is cheaper than going to a fabric store.

on 22 Sep 2012 10:33 AM

The world of quilting is just that - the entire world.  Thanks to the internet ideas spread without barriers - borders or language.  You can always view the photos even if you can't read the script.

Start with the fabric that jumps out and says "pick me".  Many quilt patterns today make use of the fabric design rather than intricate piecing.  Make a quilt you can use to wrap up in and you'll enjoy it for years.

NancyS@120 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:38 AM

Start with colors you like; it is hard to work with colors you don't like. Find a pattern that doesn't have you match corners and start small--table runner or place mats. There are so many websites and magazines, I don't know where to start.

Mainly, HAVE FUN.

Nancy in IN

sewseitz@sbcglobal.net

on 22 Sep 2012 10:39 AM

God bless your precious grandmother's soul...you have obviously been blessed by knowing her! There probably are no "wrong" choices in making your first quilt...my best advice is to get with a group of quilters near you. Not only can they guide you "hands-on" in the technical aspects, but as you know, we are most enriched in our relationships with others. Happy Quilting!!!

labedaelaine wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:41 AM

Learning to quilt depends on your style of learning. I am a visual learner so I turned to You Tube for videos. I must warn you that you will be watching videos on How-To for hours and not ever realize it...lol The next bit of advice is to make a mini quilt. You can really learn all of the practical applications of quilting without a huge commitment. It will be finished faster and that gives you some gratification ...instead of becoming frustrated and giving up. (You don't want your quilt project to take 3 years)

Basically, You Tube and a mini quilt. That should kick things off in the right direction. Good Luck and happy stitching  :)

(please drop my name in the hat for the drawing...Thanks)

KathyGates wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:44 AM

I want to learn to quilt too!!  I would love to win the material.  I have been going to my local favorite quilt shop and getting excellent advice there.  That would be my suggestion.  I believe that alot of quilt shops have times when people can just pop in and get advice.  Quilters seem to love sharing what they know with other quilters.  I have been noting alot of the other suggestions in the comments here in hopes that I too one day will be able to create beautiful quilts to pass on to my children and grandchildren.  :)  Have fun!! I sure am!  

aslanlover wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:46 AM

Jenny Doan at Missouri Star Quilt Co has some wonderful tutorials for different quilting skill.  She also has good prices on her website, including a Daily Deal.

Craftsy  is another site that has good deals on precuts.

Carol2528 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:49 AM

When picking fabric make sure you have some dark, medium, and light!

smethod wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:50 AM

I would definitely suggest a mini quilt as a good way to start. One of my favorite sites for reference are the mini quilts featured at purlbee.com: www.purlbee.com/.../Search

Best of luck!

hollie111174 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 10:51 AM

We have a couple of great quilting stores here where I live, but my fabric addiction is an expensive habit. I usually go to Joanne's. They have some really great sales.

I started with really simple flannel rag-edge baby blankets and moved on from there. Crafty.com hasa great free Block-of-the-Month class that I have been taking. It is a sampler quilt, and she shows you new techniques for simplifying different blocks. We have done appliqué and curves (which I was terrified of, but no more), traditional blocks, and some more modern blocks that used tO be traditional, but have had a twist put on them. It has been helpful, and helped to push beyond my comfort level. And, it introduced me to hexis. I love them, and sit in front of the tv at night with the family paper piecing my newest quilt.

Just have fun, and when matching seems, remember to pin, pin, pin.

donutski wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:06 AM

I just knew someone out there had a great summer-it would balance the nightmare "summer of 2012" (our family's name for it) i've had; i'm so glad it was a quilter!

My best tip for any quilter is to not be afraid.  If you see a quilt that you would love to make, or one like it, go for it!  You will be amazed at what you can acomplish!  I speak from experience.

JoannaSTB wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:10 AM

I second the suggestion of using the library!  :)  I also use Google a lot: just google "quilting basics" or any particular technique you are interested in.  I'm so glad to read about someone else learning to quilt.  It's a fascinating subject, always so individual!  Thanks for the chance to win this fabric.

MamaSO77 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:20 AM

Good luck to you as you jump in to sewing.  I buy a lot of my fabric from JoAnn Fabrics, they always have coupons and sales.  I like the tutorials on youtube from the MissouriQuiltCo.   My favorite video of theirs is jellyroll race using a jellyroll.  Make a quilt pretty fast.

ruffus63 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:22 AM

Try a crazy quilt.  Cut the fabrics in random size squares and sew them together in no particular pattern.  You can then emblish it with embroidery stitches.  A great to use up random scraps.

PatinWA wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:35 AM

MaCall's  Quick Quilts (magazine) are usually not too difficult.  You can find tutorials for just about any technique in blogland.  And allpeoplequilt.com has lots of free, simple patterns on their website.  There arealso many great quilting books with patterns suitable for beginners.  

Check out flickr for some inspiration in photos.  Many people blog about the quilts they post or have their website listed in their profiles.  You are embarking on a very fun and rewarding hobby!

PaigeBacon wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:36 AM

I like the idea of making placemats for your table. Find a great fabric and make a simple block placemat for your holiday celebrations. Good website is  www.modabakeshop.com.

on 22 Sep 2012 11:49 AM

Visit your local quilt shop! The ladies are always extremely happy to help a new quilter get started.

omisews wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:50 AM

Like you I also graduated college late in life, moved across the country after 50 years in one place and got married all in the same year.  I am also a 'newbie' to quilting - 2 years strong now.  After a friend sold me her very lightly used sewing machine I headed to my local quilt shop and signed up to make a baby quilt to learn the basics.  Once the foundation (pardon the pun) was established I've been on a whirlwind learning curve.  The Internet has been a god send but I have to admit that my local quilt guild has been so rewarding.  So many choices are offered today - don't limit yourself and let the creativity flow.

on 22 Sep 2012 11:59 AM

www.fabric.com - they have lots of sales, great prices and a huge selection, and their customer service is wonderful.

When I first started quilting (as an excuse to use a cool, old sewing machine I bought at a thrift shop), I was hesitant to commit to a whole quilt before I figured out what I was doing. I made several pillows instead. I would find a block pattern I liked - I was into traditional blocks at the time - and make one in a 10" or 12" size. Then I could throw on a back and stuff a pillow form into it and voila! I had a completed quilt project. I'm into immediate gratification. Once I felt ready to start a project, I made a sample wall hanging quilt. It was a train wreck, but I learned a lot about scale, value, etc.

Good luck! There are so many resources available on the internet now. All you need is time and some great fabric!

emmybean wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:00 PM

Watch some Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorials. They are my go-to's when I need an idea for something new and fun. Jenny makes it all simple and you CAN do it! Then select fabric you love and get to work!

Moiria wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:06 PM

You are doubly blessed with a sewing machine to boot !.  Enroll in classes, meet others with the same dream and learn together .  That is what "Quilting" is all about Michelle.  You will learn, grow, and enjoy the creativity that this craft brings to us all     HAPPY STITCHES TO YOU !!!!!!!!  Great Grandma Mary Surtel

grammalizzie wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:11 PM

You just have to check out the Moda Bake shop.  There are so many creative people posting projects on there and very cute easy quilt ideas....all for free!

DianeHW wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:13 PM

Michelle, I enjoyed your post very much. You seem like a wonderful young woman with a lovely heritage.  I want to share my best help in the art of quilting.  This book - Around the Block with Judy Hopkins - has and is the best help to me. I own many books but I go back to this one over and over.  It was published in 1994 and is expensive to get now but one can always scour the used books stores which I do all the time (garage sales too) for books that are not being saved for a number of reasons.  I am not a world class quilter but I do it out of love and to show love.  You have a world of discovery ahead of you and many hours of fulfillment and frustration. Go get 'em!

DotGirl wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:15 PM

My daughter made the Rail Fence Quilt as her first quilt at age 7. It was from from the book "Quilts for Baby Easy as A B C" by Ursula Reikes. The baby quilt size was easy to manage and she had fun arranging the blocks in different ways. It got her hooked on quilting and she went on to make the Four Patch and One Patch, from the same book.  Have fun!

lonemama1 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:18 PM

When I was in high school I had the opportunity to visit with an old woman who knew about quilts and hand quilting and piecing.  She showed us how to select fabric scraps for patchwork.  She chose one fabric and took a prominent color in that piece and found another fabric with that same color in it.  etc. etc. etc.  It is a technique I've always remembered.  My other best advise is to just START!  Take 2 small pieces of fabric and sew them together with a 1/4 inch seam.  Then add piece of fabric, and another and another....Have fun!

dianectaylor wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:20 PM

I've gotten fabric from equilter.com (Luana Rubin, a fabric designer).

Thanks to help from my quilting cousin, I've made three nine-patch baby quilts. That pattern seemed to me to be the easiest for a beginner. If I hadn't had her as a resource, I would have gone to a quilt store or one of the various church quilting groups.

rtgray wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:26 PM

I have been wanting to learn to quilt for awhile and just this summer FINALLY visited my local quilting store and signed up for a class.  It's been wonderful!  I would suggest that if you have a local store in your area, to stop in and see if they have a beginners class for you.  It was so helpful and much more fun than learning on my own via the internet, books and youtube :-)  I'm also addicted to fabric and shop at many online shops, but I love Pink Chalk Fabrics and Fabric.com.  Good luck!!

DeniseBL wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:33 PM

I first learned to quilt several years ago from my grandmother, by making a nine-patch quilt. It is one of the easier blocks to sew, a rail fence block is a good place to start, as well. Enjoy the process of choosing your fabrics, and don't worry about being perfect right away, your skills will improve each time you make a new quilt. My grandmother also tied her quilts, rather than quilting them, so that can be a quick way to finish a first quilt.

Have fun! Denise L.

mikebeard52 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:41 PM

My mother taught me to sew when I was 7 years old.  She was 88 when she passed away in March.  Reading about your grandmother brings back many memories of my mom.

As for quilting, it is my passion.  Remember to take your time.  A quilt doesn't have to be finished in a day, a week, or even a month.  When things go wrong, walk away from it.  Quilting should be relaxing, not stressful.  Someone else here wrote to use colors you love.  That is SO important; otherwise you won't want to work on it.  I love scrappy quilts, and quiltville.com is a wonderful site for free patterns.  It doesn't matter if you choose to do a quilt, a table runner, or a pot holder.  Just choose what makes you happy!  Good luck, and let us see the results!

maggie3408 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:55 PM

thanks for all the interesting patterns and tips!  

crawdaddy wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 12:57 PM

Great costume.  I really like FabricWorm, The Intrepid Thread and the Fat Quarter Shop.

Skell wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 1:02 PM

As strange as it sounds, my suggestion is to learn about your right brain creativity! I recently went to a lecture called "Right Brain Aerobics" with no clue as to what I might hear and it turned on my creative juices instantly! I've been stuck in a "how do others do it to get it right" mind-set. Learning more about how the right (read:creative) brain instinctively knows whats right has given me a freedom to experiment without restraints. Quilting is an art....and art knows no boundaries.  Excuse me, I gotta go down to what I jokingly refer to as "my Studio" and get creating!!

lindaquilt1 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 1:13 PM

One website I use for fabric is Fashion Fabrics.  Fast service and good sales.

MMMM4 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 1:28 PM

Thank you for sharing your story about your grandmother, I lost my grandmother in May.  Like you, she was a big part of my life when I was young.  Those memories are precious.

The best quilting tip I can give is to try.  Don't be afraid to try something new or something you think might be difficult.  If you try it and you don't like it, nothing has really been lost.  But I would bet something has been learned.   Sites I enjoy are Moda's Bake Shop, Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project, Craftsy (I really love their quilting classes) and sewing and quilting blogs.  

sssbrwn wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 1:36 PM

Simply start with 5" squares - light, dark, light, etc.  Next row, reverse the order.   Before you know it, you'll have created your first quilt top!  You'll be hooked in no time.  Good luck!

cnutting wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 1:42 PM

Regarding great prices on fabric:  check out www.patsythompsondesigns.com.  She has a HUGE selection of beautiful fabrics and if you like batiks, you will drool when you look at her shop selection -  all of great quality.  The shipping costs are very reasonable and she has great tools and notions for quilting as well....AND...a phenomenal blog.  Another great source for "quilting outside the box" is Kathy Schmidt's site:  www.quirksltd.wordpress.com.  She has great ideas for quilting without a pattern.  Hope this info helps.  Good luck!  

artlover31 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 1:50 PM

I was very touched by your story of your grandmother.  My grandmother taught me to make quilts on a Singer treadle machine.  We began when I was four years old and I still have the quilts that I made with her.  She and my great aunts quilted on a quilt frame in her dining room and I used to play underneath the quilts while they were quilting and sharing stories and recipes.  I think of my grandmother almost daily and so appreciate all that she taught me.  If I were you, I would start with a simple 4patch or other easy patchwork design and start small.  You can begin with a potholder or make placemats to get the hang of the piecing process before moving on to larger projects.  I know you have the gene to create wonderful quilts and your memories of your grandmother will guide you.

on 22 Sep 2012 2:09 PM

When I started quilting the internet was not around so I took a beginner class at a fabric store.  There are many resources today for those just starting - even a book from the library can help.  Start out small to see if quilting is for you - it might not be!  On the other hand, it could turn into an addiction.  Have fun.

cwiltex wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:09 PM

I found myself turning to quilting blogs to get started and to fine tune what I knew.  I really adore the blog Stitched in Color and she has a wonderful quilt along that you can follow at your own pace for her Colorbrick pattern.  The link is here: www.stitchedincolor.com/.../colorbrick-beginners-quilt-along.html  Welcome to the wonderful experience of quilting!!   Don't hesitate with any questions!!   (describehappy at gmail dot com)

gailllc wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:19 PM

So much of what attracts us to quilts is the color combinations. I suggest looking at everything Joen Wolfrom has to offer. She has her main blog  joenwolfrom.com, and  then you MUST link through to her color blog. You'll soon find added confidence and inspiration for selecting color combinations for yourself!

Also -- beginners need *good* tools, they just don't need *all* the tools :)

Happy Stitching!

jllovdal wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:21 PM

You are your Grandma's legacy!

There are so many resources out there start with a small beginner's project, work with something that interests and ispires your own personal style!

Have fun and be creative...

Jody

Both of my Grandmother's were very creative and have passed on, as was my sweet mother in law...

grammiekids wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:28 PM

I recommend induction by fire!  Do like I did 40 years ago.  Went to a "homemakers club" meeting where the ladies showed their sewing projects,  saw a beautiful quilt in the making that looked pretty simple, bought some material, went home & made a pattern out of the back of a cereal box  that I thought looked about the right size,  and proceeded to sew my first "grandmothers flower garden" quilt top!    Fastforward 20 years.  My lovely mother-in-law (fabulous quilter) took pity and I dug out the "top".   "What pretty fabric" was her comment.  Without removing a stitch we recut each piece of the wavy top to  appropriately smaller sizes (I really thought 6 inch "flowers" were great!) and under kind directions proceeded to really fall in love with quilting!   Go for what you love!  Find a mentor!  Listen and learn all their tricks and tips (experienced sewers know so much you'll never find in a book or lessons!)  then just GO & make quilting the really fun and creative art it is!    

grammiekids wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:28 PM

I recommend induction by fire!  Do like I did 40 years ago.  Went to a "homemakers club" meeting where the ladies showed their sewing projects,  saw a beautiful quilt in the making that looked pretty simple, bought some material, went home & made a pattern out of the back of a cereal box  that I thought looked about the right size,  and proceeded to sew my first "grandmothers flower garden" quilt top!    Fastforward 20 years.  My lovely mother-in-law (fabulous quilter) took pity and I dug out the "top".   "What pretty fabric" was her comment.  Without removing a stitch we recut each piece of the wavy top to  appropriately smaller sizes (I really thought 6 inch "flowers" were great!) and under kind directions proceeded to really fall in love with quilting!   Go for what you love!  Find a mentor!  Listen and learn all their tricks and tips (experienced sewers know so much you'll never find in a book or lessons!)  then just GO & make quilting the really fun and creative art it is!    

Remission wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:37 PM

Michelle,

Fabric Depot, which is in Portland, Oregon, has many bargains that I appreciate.  The store's url is http://www.fabricdepot.com/.   Also, everybody has been so helpful.  When something I ordered was no longer available in the desired color, Louise let me know personally in a phone call.  Not many places have that kind of public, let alone personal, service!  Give them a try, and I'm sure you'll come away a happy customer.

Kind Regards,

Remission (Kathy)

dbrown7476 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:46 PM

What a special relationship.  May you be her legacy.

Deb

jmazey wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:48 PM

I am a strong  believer in having the right tools to help you do the best job. I have in the past made a list and when I find a good sale on the items I'm wanting then I buy. I always buy the best I can afford, like good scissors, the right pins, a sturdy ruler with clear measurements. Having the best quality tools to work with on any project makes the process more joyful.

dbrown7476 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 2:49 PM

Oops, forgot the tip.  Mary Jo's in Charlotte, NC is an amazing store and they also sell online.  They are extremely helpful and will go the extra mile to look for something for you that may be in the store but not online.  Their website is maryjos.com

Deb

on 22 Sep 2012 3:00 PM

I love reading all the hints and suggestions.  I look forward to every email.

Hohjocello wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:00 PM

I like to buy remnants or fat quarters  of novelty fabrics.  I collect enough to have corresponding themes.  For example cows & pigs are both farm animals, or snowflakes and colored eggs are both holiday symbols.  I cut 5 or 6 inch squares from the novelty fabrics and 2 1/2 or 3 inch squares from solid or small print fabrics.  I then assemble a quilt of snowball or half-snowball blocks and make sure that each novelty fabric has at least one other corresponding match.  I call them my "talk-talk" quilts.  I give them to new parents or to preschool special education teachers. They can use the quilts to talk about the pictures and this helps the children develop language skills.  Fun to all!

AnnC@24 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:21 PM

How about starting with the free ebook:

"How to Quilt: 4 Free Projects to Learn How to Make a Quilt"!!

christaj3 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:24 PM

Your grandma sounds wonderful! I always wished I had been given the privilege of having a "sewer" in my life while growing up! But I am the first person in my family to enjoy seeing and am completely self-taught. I still have so much more to learn, and still find often find myself wishing that I had been able to be taught by someone as I was growing up. What a great memory (and inspiration!) that must be!

on 22 Sep 2012 3:24 PM

Michelle, Just let yourself go...find some fabric you love, buy a jelly roll and/or layer cake and just PLAY! The best part about quilting is that you are always learning. You'll find yourself inventing ways to make patterns, cut cloth, combine colors and work with texture. And with each quilt you'll gain confidence in your ability, your "Grandmother" gene is in you. All you have to do is be curious enough to explore it. In doing so you are both honoring her and learning a new skill yourself.

One of the best websites for quilters' techniques and "how to's" is:

quiltingtutorials.com

They have great videos that work on both PCs and ipads. They will show you the basics and beyond. They have complete projects both large and small - all on streaming video. AND it's FREE. Blessings!

bec02 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:28 PM

I've learned a lot from the Missouri Star Quilt Company (MSQC) tutorials that can be found on youtube.   Also, I generally search the internet a lot for "how to" videos and for free patterns.  Another suggestion...Precuts can be the way to go for a beginner.  Some pretty quilts can be made without a lot of cutting if you use jellyrolls or charm packs.  I'm sure MSQC has a lot of tutorials using them.  Good luck!

nanu77 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:42 PM

Thanks, Michelle, for the opportunity for all of us to share our love of quilting with you, and the chance to win some great fabric. The best thing that I discovered was that quilting is soooo much easier when you have a dedicated space to work. Some place where you can just leave your sewing maching open, your blocks stacked, your tools, bobbins, and thread laying out where everything you need is in easy reach. I've even left quilt blocks in my machine with the needle in them, ready to sew when I have a few minutes. You will find that even if you have a very busy schedule, you can find small increments of time to sew without having to unpack everything.

You will sew more often and enjoy it more. Happy Quilting!

on 22 Sep 2012 3:54 PM

Don't be afraid to just sit down and start stitching. Everyone's quarter inch is a little bit different.  As long as you are consistent, everything will turn out fine. I try to buy  many of my supplies from my local quilt store, but if I fail to find what I need, eQuilter.com is my best friend.  They can find most anything you want.

I learned my love for all things craft and fabric from my maternal grandmother.  Now I am sharing that with my 7 year old granddaughter.  The gene skipped both generations in between.

Quilting is meant to be fun.  So go forth, have fun, and know that there are as many ways to do things as there are people.

Good Luck, Kathryn Oftedal, Camas WA

gramdawg wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 3:54 PM

I think taking a class featuring a small quilted project, would give you a  good start.  That way would would get a picture of what you need to do to complete a project.

piececorps wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:05 PM

Love your "grandmother" stories... Tips? 1. find a quilt shop near you with friendly supportive staff and where they have classes. 2. work with good fabric in colors you LOVE 3. don't strive for perfection-strive for completion! 4. surround yourself with other stitchers, it's more fun that way...and most of all enjoy the lifelong adventure of Quilting!

piececorps wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:05 PM

Love your "grandmother" stories... Tips? 1. find a quilt shop near you with friendly supportive staff and where they have classes. 2. work with good fabric in colors you LOVE 3. don't strive for perfection-strive for completion! 4. surround yourself with other stitchers, it's more fun that way...and most of all enjoy the lifelong adventure of Quilting!

jgangestad wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:24 PM

Finding a few friends to start quilting with is so fun.  Each month one of you can teach a new block to sew.

jgangestad wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:24 PM

Finding a few friends to start quilting with is so fun.  Each month one of you can teach a new block to sew.

jgangestad wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:24 PM

Finding a few friends to start quilting with is so fun.  Each month one of you can teach a new block to sew.

mrmrsf wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:26 PM

I like MIssouri Star Quilting website.  Jenny has such great tutorials.  Have made several quilts from her lessons.

on 22 Sep 2012 4:29 PM

Wow!! I hope you can read all the above comments and not feel overwhelmed! Moda does make very nice fabric.

Cindy@180 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:45 PM

I found a great resource book at our local library and liked it so much that I bought a copy. It's titled, The Quilter's Catalog  A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Have Fun!

willardsb wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:51 PM

I use very small remnants to sew a tiny 'pillowcase' (to use as a cover for a notebook or tablet computer, or very small pieces to make an eyeglass case, for example... ) ...  lined with a different fabric , or even sew together 4 pieces of different patterns so that the cover is different on both sides inside and out, with a little extra room to turn over a cuff to show off all four colors.  The last time I went through airport security, the TSA checker complimented me on the unusual slipcase for my netbook, and couldn't believe I made it myself.   Whether you quilt or embellish it, or not, it's a great way to be creative with starter projects and thrifty by using what you have... not to mention easily identifying your own special covers on the security line.

jenris wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 4:58 PM

Michelle, I'm a new quilter also (one year now) but I have finished 8 quilts.  You are young and so my best advice is for you to really focus on the modern quilting bent.  The following are some tips specific to new/younger quilters:

1.  Joing the free class on Craftsy Block of the Month.  The instructor is a young woman also and you can learn all the basics plus modern spin on traditional blocks.  Very fun!

2.  Check out Leah Day's Youtube videos to learn to free motion quilt.  She is young and fabulous.  I learned so much from her.

3.  Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett design gorgeous, vibrant, colorful fabrics.

4.  Cheap fabric stores I use are online--Connecting Threads and The Old Country Store Fabrics.

Have fun...Enjoy!  Robin

gurnhillc wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:36 PM

My best suggestion is to join a patchwork group-the camaraderie, fun, positive help I have had from my group has made a wonderful difference to my quilting and patchwork endeavours. Beginners and experienced patchworkers soon become close friends, and supporters.  Cheryl

gurnhillc wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:36 PM

My best suggestion is to join a patchwork group-the camaraderie, fun, positive help I have had from my group has made a wonderful difference to my quilting and patchwork endeavours. Beginners and experienced patchworkers soon become close friends, and supporters.  Cheryl

on 22 Sep 2012 5:50 PM

Our little town has its own nice little quilt and yarn shop called Stitch n Time.

We are also about 80 miles from a larger town with a Fabricland which has great deals on fabric and notions.

With the cost of gas these days ($40.00 for us to drive there and back) it is really no savings to go to the bigger town unless one has other business.

We want to keep out small local stores. I would hate to wake up one morning and have to drive 80 miles for a spool of thread or a sewing machine needle.

Dale M wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 5:53 PM

My best suggestion for learning beginner quilting is the Craftsy Block of the Month.  Here's the website address, www.craftsy.com/.../The-Craftsy-Block-of-the-Month, and best of all it's free.  I am in no way affiliated with this site except to take some of their classes.  I love them.

on 22 Sep 2012 6:13 PM

I would find a beginner class first. Will teach you lots of things as you do the project for the class, plus there is someone right there to ask question of.  Good luck, quilting is great and there are a lot of shortcuts that weren't around when I started!

on 22 Sep 2012 6:14 PM

I would find a beginner class first. Will teach you lots of things as you do the project for the class, plus there is someone right there to ask question of.  Good luck, quilting is great and there are a lot of shortcuts that weren't around when I started!

Mickey Ellis wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:24 PM

My tip for a beginner -- not every quilt has to be used on your bed.  It is so much more fun to learn basic techniques on smaller projects and not on a queen/king sized quilt.  Baby quilts are fun, quick, and make you happy just thinking of the baby who will be bundled up in the quilt.

majicfingers wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:34 PM

Why dont you make a quilt of fabrics from your grandmothers wardrobe. A crazy quilt requres minimal sewing skills and you could add embroidered comments and bits of trim and buttons from the clothes as accents.

KayS@5 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:48 PM

I'll bet your grandmother's machine is like my mother's Pfaff (which I use) - sturdy, built to last, and dependable, with a personality!

I 'm also going to steer you toward Craftsy. The free Block of the Month class has developed an unbelievably huge following and the blocks are fresh takes on traditional ones that will develop your skills and teach you new things as you go.  Then take a look at Thread Art and use one of those splendid pictures of your grandmother to make a painterly portrait of her so she can watch you work on future pieces. I'm working on baby picture quilts for my grandchildren, but I think I'll dig out some of those old photos of my own next.

Good luck!

majicfingers wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:48 PM

abracadebra1@aol.com Why don't you make a memory quilt using fabrics from your grandmothers wardrobe. A crazy quilt requires little skill and you could embroider dates, names, memories and add buttons or bits of trim. You can strart small with a wall hanging or pillow. Warning; sewing is addictive. No fabric can go unsewn. Good luck, Debra

momxfive wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 6:54 PM

love your story about your grandma

Memi618 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:15 PM

I am new to quilting myself. I simply adore the Craftsy Block of The Month and the tutorials on Missouri Star Quilt Company. With the BOM you are learning different techniques each month and the instructions are pretty straight forward. On MSQC Jenny Doan, along with her daughter Natalie show you different ways to quilt your projects. Jenny also takes you through several different beginner quilting projects. I hope you enjoy quilting as much as I do. Happy Adventuring!

Riverlovr wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:16 PM

Don't wait for your sewing machine needle to break.  Change it after (AT LEAST) every 8 hrs of sewing.  (I remember being amazed when I learned that at my first quilting class!)

Best of luck to you.

SandraB. wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:18 PM

The story of your grandmother was excellent; so many women of that generation have remarkable stories and lives.

sjwyant wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:26 PM

love the fabrics

sjwyant wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:30 PM

find a really good friend with lots of experienc....priceless

RandiJ wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:41 PM

I always bring the weekly 50% off-one-item coupon with me when I visit the craft store.  I stock up little by little on what I know I will use.

on 22 Sep 2012 7:45 PM

I think you should make a memory quilt to commemorate of all the joy and sadness of this year. Get some pretreated fabric for printing photos on fabric (you can get it almost anywhere, such as Michaels or Jo Anns). Surround your printed photos with simple squares and snuggle up!  Check out all the books in the library about picture quilts.

on 22 Sep 2012 7:49 PM

I would suggest that you start with something like a rail fence to learn an accurate 1/4" seam and making simple blocks.

I would think that making a bunch of 1/2 square triangles with squares might be fun to allow you to put them together in almost an infinite choice of patterns. This would allow creativity and studies in color and value.

There are many excellent articles on the web on any topic you would choose. Just do a search and find one you like.

Mostly have fun!

Carol

porkqueen68 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 7:55 PM

Find quilts you like in magazines and books and then JUST DO IT  your way!

on 22 Sep 2012 8:04 PM

I'm a pretty new quilter too. I was started with a log cabin (how wrong can you go with little rectangles??). Take your time picking your fabrics...what you start with stays with you! Take your time cutting....accurate cuts give you a much nicer finished quilt :) Have fun! I lost my grandmother almost 2 years ago. I feel closest to her when I'm in the kitchen. I'm sure you will find great comfort and feel close to her when your machine is chugging along!

risingsag wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:11 PM

Always  have fun and I love to mix the new with the old tried and true.

I love the old quilts that were just squares basted together with some shabby chic pieces here and there and lots of creative and colourful stiching.

pjrquilter wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:22 PM

You can find so many ideas on line from companies like Interweave to the fabric companies that so graciously post free patterns and hints.  I think a seasonal quilt if a fun way to start--Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day--there lots of great panels and theme fabrics that help you pull it all together. Have fun!

carrie48 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:29 PM

I only have two comments: 1/4 seams and wash before you cut. Best of luck and lot of fun.

on 22 Sep 2012 8:32 PM

Thanks, Michelle, for sharing the story of your loving grandnmother with us.

I, too, an trying to get the courage to begin my first quilt, but don't quite know where to start. I know the material will cost a lot of money, so I have to be judicious, as I have two children in college still.

A site I like for fabric is fabric.com. They have a "style board" that you can copy fabric to and see how it looks. I find this very helpful for looking at how different colors and patterns look together. I feel I will make fewer mistakes using their style board to select complementary colors and patterns. They also carry famous quilters' and designers' materials, like Amy Butler (one of my favorites) and Michael Miller (another of my favorites).

Have a go at it! I'm sure your first quilt will come out beautifully and you're right -- winter is coming and those north winds will start to howl soon. I want my own quilt to cozy up in!

Good luck! I think you'll do just fine.

Sincerely,

Evelyn

on 22 Sep 2012 8:32 PM

Thanks, Michelle, for sharing the story of your loving grandnmother with us.

I, too, an trying to get the courage to begin my first quilt, but don't quite know where to start. I know the material will cost a lot of money, so I have to be judicious, as I have two children in college still.

A site I like for fabric is fabric.com. They have a "style board" that you can copy fabric to and see how it looks. I find this very helpful for looking at how different colors and patterns look together. I feel I will make fewer mistakes using their style board to select complementary colors and patterns. They also carry famous quilters' and designers' materials, like Amy Butler (one of my favorites) and Michael Miller (another of my favorites).

Have a go at it! I'm sure your first quilt will come out beautifully and you're right -- winter is coming and those north winds will start to howl soon. I want my own quilt to cozy up in!

Good luck! I think you'll do just fine.

Sincerely,

Evelyn

Que chula wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:34 PM

I'm a beginner quilter and going to join a quilting guild in my community.  I believe that gleaning

and learning from other ladies will help to make me a better quilter.  There are lots of links to

to quilting which are informative like Ludlow Quilts-/Rose Smith & Victorian Quilt Designs.

I love Moda fabrics....thanks for the giveaway.

Sherry May wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:35 PM

Once you start to quilt you will love it !!  Enjoy !!  I like connecting threads  as well and  the website allpeoplequilt.com  is a good place to get some easy patterns..  I look forward to reading about your quilting adventures.  

linlal wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:43 PM

Thanks for asking that question - I've read through some of the comments and picked up some good tips. I'm definitely going to go through them all later.

My suggestion is start with something really small so you get a finished product quickly. I started with log cabin potholders and then went on to placemats and table runners. If I made a mistake, it was easily fixed and I didn't get discouraged looking at a huge pile of cloth waiting to be quilted.

I would also sign up for some classes at a local store. You could probably learn everything you need to know via the internet but there's just something about quilting with other people!  It's nice to have quilting buddies you can call both when you get stuck and when you produce something amazing.

My last suggestion is that you give away every other piece that you make. This can be to a charity, a hospital, a children's home or another organization that will pass it on to someone in need. You'll find that these projects are your best work in many ways.

Willowsong wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 8:53 PM

First of all, I'm so sorry for your loss. Second, Welcome to Massachusetts!! I'm not a quilter.... Yet! I'm a multi media artist and have been collecting fabric for years. I love color and I love textiles. I'm presently taking a fabric dyeing course on Craftsy... It's awesome and Craftsy would be my best suggestion. I also subscribe to quilting arts which keeps my imagination soaring. Good luck with your new craft!

arlene57 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:14 PM

cant believe all you have been through and you are still able to find consolation in your quilting.  YOU ROCK

arlene57 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:14 PM

cant believe all you have been through and you are still able to find consolation in your quilting.  YOU ROCK

Becky1393 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 9:50 PM

I would start small.  Making a place mat is a great small, beginner project.  You can tweak them as you go along until you find the theme or colors you like.  Having a first project close at hand will show you how far you have come (or will come).  It is a easy way to feel accomplished without getting frustrated with a large project.  Hope this helps!  

on 22 Sep 2012 10:00 PM

Master that 1/4 inch seam.  

Ms. Froggy wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:01 PM

Many wonderful suggestions have been made.  I'd start with a class at a local quilt shop or through a community education listing.  That first project with someone who knows what they are doing and all the hints given out be the participants are so valuable.  Plus you make friends with other quilters!  Then try to find a local quilt guild to attend.  This continues the hints, helps and provides loads of encouragement.  Both groups will suggest the "must have" tools and accessories to make your quilting easier, faster, and more professional looking.  I love the comradarie.

LUREIGN wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:32 PM

There are many wonderful tutorials on the internet, made by enthusiastic and generous quilters.  Sites such as Quilting Daily give us new ideas on a daily basis.  Another one of our favorites is Jenny at the Missouri Star Quilt Co.   She gives many helpful hints and shortcuts, breaking a complex-looking project into easy-to-do steps. Thanks for the opportunity to dream about a package of Moda arriving in the mailbox!  Moda = Mmmmm!  

maeve4 wrote
on 22 Sep 2012 11:50 PM

Start with some classes at a local quilt shop.  Join a quilt guild for lots of fun and good classes.  Check out the classes at Craftsy online.  Buy a few good basic quilting books.  Collect fat quarters and charm squares to make simple quilts.  Use a decent sewing machine and a new needle everytime you begin a new project.  Use good quality thread.  Buy a cutting board, scissors, rotary cutter, and a large enough basic quilting ruler.  Most of all, enjoy the process.  Start simple and you will enjoy it.  Good luck!  (This is my second post - the first one disappeared into a black hole somewhere online!)

on 23 Sep 2012 12:09 AM

Hi Michelle, I have never had quilting lessons, but decided to sew a floor quilt for my new grandson.  I divided the size I wanted into manageable sized squares, and for each of these squares I drew (could be traced) a design, in this case it was an underwater theme.  Then onto the background of each square fused the pieces to make the picture, then quilted around the edges of the pieces, sewed the squares together, and finished off like a quilt.  I also made separate sea-stars which were velcroed in place.  You could transfer photos of your grandmother onto fabric, along with family members, trips away, etc, and make a memory quilt.  Have fun.

Maggie

ron-maggie@acecommunications.com.au

lashtx wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 1:57 AM

Hi Michelle,

I need access to your resources and tips and expert advisors to learn myself.  I would love to be in your spot to get started.  

I have been collecting tips and free ebooks from Quilting Daily for when I find the undivided time to get going myself.  I will watch you closely to see how you do.

Regards,

Leah

Cathy Milne wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 2:51 AM

When I went from making comforters to pieced quilts I was at home after an auto accident and bored silly. My Gramma Dottie, I was recuperating at her house, suggested I look into a sewing class at the Adult Education Office in southern CA. I got a booklet and asked if she would be willing to drive me to class twice a week for 12 weeks. So I began to quilt in earnest - I learned how to use a rotary cutter! How very Exciting! I did not use a sewing machine but stitched by hand. The quilting class used "Quilt in a Day" patterns and I selected log cabin. I made the top for a twin bed with light blues and light pinks in three months.

This is my recommendation: first learn how to use the tools. Then learn how to trust yourself to choose a pattern and find colors  that look fantastic together. Lastly you are surrounded by people who work in this field--use them!! But the biggest tip I have is HAVE FUN!!!!!

Cathy Milne wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 2:51 AM

When I went from making comforters to pieced quilts I was at home after an auto accident and bored silly. My Gramma Dottie, I was recuperating at her house, suggested I look into a sewing class at the Adult Education Office in southern CA. I got a booklet and asked if she would be willing to drive me to class twice a week for 12 weeks. So I began to quilt in earnest - I learned how to use a rotary cutter! How very Exciting! I did not use a sewing machine but stitched by hand. The quilting class used "Quilt in a Day" patterns and I selected log cabin. I made the top for a twin bed with light blues and light pinks in three months.

This is my recommendation: first learn how to use the tools. Then learn how to trust yourself to choose a pattern and find colors  that look fantastic together. Lastly you are surrounded by people who work in this field--use them!! But the biggest tip I have is HAVE FUN!!!!!

KatieJane50 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 4:46 AM

There are lots of useful pieces of advice already posted, and loads available on line too. My advice is less practical and more emotional. Use colours and fabrics that sing to you and put them together in a way that works for you, so that you love the completed item - whatever style or item that is...

Cee Dee wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 5:38 AM

I love quilt that are fill with strong oor They  creat a mood and can feed your spirit.  They are Cool,Warm.Bright and HOT.....Don't be afraid of COLOR. :)

MneMe4 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 5:40 AM

I highly recommend taking a class--this is esp. fun with a friend.  This will help you with all the basics such as choosing fabrics, rotary cutting, layering your quilt top, batting and backing, squaring it up, quilting and binding.  From there the sky is the limit.  Welcome to the fold!

on 23 Sep 2012 5:44 AM

There is no better site for anyone who is new to quilting than www.quiltville.com and the wonderful blog that it links to - there is also a Yahoo group.  Bonnie Hunter is incredibly generous with her time and her ideas, and they are abundant!  Some of her quilts are really good beginner projects, being technically simple whilst still exciting enough to motivate you, and even the more challenging ones are broken down to simple steps.  She has her methods and her colour choices, but always suggests you should do things your own way - probably the least bossy instructor ever!  She has published several very good books, but this is not really a commercial site, it's mostly about having a good time quilting.

adivad wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 6:00 AM

I think you should start with a memory lap quilt, learn about transferring photos to fabric, (Craftsy site will help), make some blocks with your wonderful photos and add sashing using vibrant strong colours to reflect her "firecracker, strong willed" character. Hope this helps, know I've made several quilts like this and love them for the comfort they bring. If you have any of her linen or clothing use some of that too - I made a quilt out of my husbands shirts and it's a true joy to snuggle under. Happy stitching

Dodi M. wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 6:26 AM

If your grandma's machine has one, invest in a 1/4 inch foot. If not, place a piece of electrician's tape at 1/4 inch from the needle. This will help you keep that all-important quarter-inch seam! I swear by my 1/4 inch foot!

Thanks for the giveaway, and what a lovely story about your grandma!

on 23 Sep 2012 6:42 AM

Might I suggest the Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorials.  Jenny Doan has many tutorials to follow.  She is a pleasure to watch.  She makes it so fun to sew.  Good luck in your new sewing venture.  You will create wonderful things with your grandma's sewing machine.

on 23 Sep 2012 6:54 AM

Join a local quilt guild where you will meet many people of all levels of quilting ability. Through them, there will be classses, hints, show and tell and lots of ideas. I would start with a small lap quilt, nothing too daunting.

drora kemp wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 8:08 AM

If you live in a multi-level house (one with two levels or one which necessitates a car elevator) try to have your sewing room at the level where you spend most of your day.  Like a gym, a sewing room should be nearby where you are.  And I speak from experience in both.

drora.

fraserco@2 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 8:27 AM

First sorry for your loss, but congratulations for moving to a great state (I may be a little biased as I was born in Boston).  My suggesttions would be to first attempt to locate some cloth that is directly associated wth your grandmother - such as from a fabric stash she may have had, or from an article of clothing that she may have worn.  I would start with a small project and grow from there.  You can incorporate different technques into the wallhanging such as applique, paper-piecing, etc.  Others have given great advice on where to purchase fabric, I find that on occassion I've hit the jackpot at Thrift stores, such as Goodwill, and found yardages of good quality fabric at fantastic prices.  Additionally, if you choice a wallhanging for your first project you won't require lots of fabric in large quantities, in this case fat quarters would come in handy giving you the opportunity to experiment with mixing and matching textures, tones, contrasts, etc.  Best of luck to you on your quilting journey.

wac wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 8:44 AM

My Grandma is my hero.  She too was from a family with 13 brothers and sisters, survived the depression, war, and a tracheotomy at age 100. She never once complained and was always very positive.  She sewed, knitted, crocheted and baked throughout her 101 years.

If I could ask her about the fabric, she would suggest that you sew something that makes you happy.

Thanks for sharing.

iluvmybugs wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 8:58 AM

Some easy beginner projects are potholders, placemats or table runners using the quilt-as-you-go method. Thanks for the great giveaway!

JeniBoo wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:07 AM

Can't give any tips as I have never quilted anything, would love to give it a go though, those fabrics look scrumptious.

Jeni

love2dye wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:17 AM

I love to dye my own fabric. Asimple way to get a quilt going is cutting double. I like to do wonky 9 patches. I learned this from Quilting Outside the Block. Enjoy!

love2dye wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:22 AM

I love to dye my own fabric. Asimple way to get a quilt going is cutting double. I like to do wonky 9 patches. I learned this from Quilting Outside the Block. Enjoy!

love2dye wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:22 AM

I love to dye my own fabric. Asimple way to get a quilt going is cutting double. I like to do wonky 9 patches. I learned this from Quilting Outside the Block. Enjoy!

leeannwahh wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:33 AM

The way I started was not the easiest I did a depression quilt. I learned a lot about quilting though.  I would suggest a 9 patch theme with 6 or 8 inch squares and bright fun fabric like what is in the picture. The squares will make the blanket go quickly and the colors will make it fun to work on.

leeannwahh wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:33 AM

The way I started was not the easiest I did a depression quilt. I learned a lot about quilting though.  I would suggest a 9 patch theme with 6 or 8 inch squares and bright fun fabric like what is in the picture. The squares will make the blanket go quickly and the colors will make it fun to work on.

aveH wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:52 AM

Pretty much all has been said and I’d like to add something I myself invented while designing patterns (without a special software). In case of more demanding patterns I usually make a chart or table in Excel, with formulas that calculate the need for the number of squares, half-squares etc of different fabrics, the square measure and thus summarize the total need of each fabric. By changing  one or two variables in the chart I can easily adjust it for a new project.

I use the same trick with receipts, when I need more or less (1,5; 2; 0,5 times) than the original receipt prescribes.

PS I’d like to be like your grandmother one day for my granddaughter.

haddie wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:57 AM

There is so much insperation right here on the internet via blogs  pinterest  etc.  One of the best if your local quilt store for some great one on one advice with everything from classes  color and fabric choices.  I took a big breath not knowing a soul and joined a guild  So many helpfull ladies there.  Your ideas will come to life and the fun is endless...     Thanks for the chance to win

JerseyJane wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:59 AM

I'm a beginner too. Spending tons of time learning, shopping around, trying things out. My advice - give yourself plenty of space and time to let your excitement surface - your heart, and go with it. Don't let too much brain bog you down.

playdoll wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 10:02 AM

Congratulations on wanting to learn to quilt, it is the best way to spend your free time that I can think of, and you get something tangible out of the process! Do you 'Pinterest'?  If not, it is loaded with quilting tutorials, photos of quilts etc. A great quilt to cut your teeth on is a string quilt! Quiltmaker magazine has a board devoted to string quilts, it's a great place to start.

lynslade wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 10:06 AM

Always keep a quarter inch seam. and have FUN!  

MaineDruid wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 11:30 AM

If you're within hailing distance of Natick, Massachusetts, you mustn't miss the experience of shopping at Fabric Place Basement, the new incarnation of the much-mourned Fabric Place, which closed several years ago.  The new store is bright and open-feeling--and is overflowing with quality fabrics of all types, all at bargain-basement prices.  The quilting fabric section alone can occupy you for hours.  They also have an enticing yarn section.

momster399 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 11:44 AM

Aside from a search of all the great sites on the internet, a good way to get started is with the free Craftsy block of the month quilt project.   I am also new and doing things one step at a time.  Have fun.

Aspenpines wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 12:55 PM

I too am a beginner.   I have found  the Craftsy online courses superb.   Quality teaching that I can take In the comfort of my home and jammies whenever I want.   Great time saver from commuting .  I also troll the Internet for  online tutorials.  Missouri Star Quilt Company has a great range of tutorials and tons of fabric to begin your virtual and then real stash.   Know that there is more than one way to make a block and enjoy the process of learning and creating.

cristianos wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 1:07 PM

A sawtooth star was my first quilt block.  It was easy, forgiving and simple to quilt afterwards as I just machine quilted 1/4 inch inside the star.  I did 16 blocks with assorted fabric.  The fun part was I found an inspirational fabric and then begane the search for coordinating fabrics to go with it.  If you can find 16 that would be great!  or try to find at least 8 so you can mix and match when you finally sew your blocks together.  Just remember 1/4 inch when your sewing at all times.  

Raganne wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 1:31 PM

One important thing to remember about making quilts is there are no rules.  My grandmother always said it is not a quilt unless it has 3 layers. Then she made what she called a summer quilt with no batting. Just try to focus on having fun and expressing your own creativity.

on 23 Sep 2012 3:13 PM

Try an easy quilting pattern like rail fence.  Decide how big you want to make it and do a search on-line to find pattern(s).  Check out one of your local fabric stores and maybe take a class.  That's one way to find other quilters at all stages of expertise and you'll find a host of good ideas willingly shared with you.  Have fun!

irene@61 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 3:46 PM

i began quilting not too long ago myself.  i started out with a baby quilt that i pieced sectons a fabric into large blocks that i was able to put together easier than trying to piece smaller blocks all together into strips.  it came out pretty good even if i do say  so myself.  i also made table runners in the same way.  you may find this easier  to do at the beginning.  try a four square block  6" block to start. i know that no matter how you start, you'll have a lot of fun and your project will be great!  remember that you get better as you go along. don't give up!!!!!!!!!!

sincerely,

irene

irene@61 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 3:47 PM

i began quilting not too long ago myself.  i started out with a baby quilt that i pieced sectons a fabric into large blocks that i was able to put together easier than trying to piece smaller blocks all together into strips.  it came out pretty good even if i do say  so myself.  i also made table runners in the same way.  you may find this easier  to do at the beginning.  try a four square block  6" block to start. i know that no matter how you start, you'll have a lot of fun and your project will be great!  remember that you get better as you go along. don't give up!!!!!!!!!!

sincerely,

irene

irene@61 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 3:47 PM

i began quilting not too long ago myself.  i started out with a baby quilt that i pieced sectons a fabric into large blocks that i was able to put together easier than trying to piece smaller blocks all together into strips.  it came out pretty good even if i do say  so myself.  i also made table runners in the same way.  you may find this easier  to do at the beginning.  try a four square block  6" block to start. i know that no matter how you start, you'll have a lot of fun and your project will be great!  remember that you get better as you go along. don't give up!!!!!!!!!!

sincerely,

irene

sweetie41 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 4:21 PM

For me, starting small is important.  I have to do a quick project so I don't get overwhelmed with a new skill.  Potholders are great.  And nine-patch blocks can be attached to make a table runner.

lclark3 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 4:54 PM

Hi Michelle,

You've discovered Quilting Daily so you're well on the fast speed learning curve.  There's a ton of great information on this site.  If convenient to you, I would join a local quilting group or take a beginners class.  Quilters share so much information and having a go to person(s) is always useful.  I hope you have a great quilt shop near you with a good staff.  At some point you'll discover what you would like to make and hopefully have the resources located to help you in your endeavors.  Good luck!

Nia Nelson wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 5:07 PM

Go to your local library, find a quilting book that you fall in love with and check it out ! A book in the hand can be so inspirational and informative.

Wen5 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 5:10 PM

Hi Michelle,

Not sure if you'd include this as an "affordable fabric store", but I often shop for 100% cotton mens shirts -- looking for good quality ones -- that can be cut up for quilts!

Wendy

on 23 Sep 2012 6:41 PM

Practice over and over sewing a scant quarter inch seam. You can start with larger blocks and a small lap quilt so is easier for you. Without an accurate seam, piecing with matching seams can be difficult. This blog has some beginner's tutorials (as well as an advanced QAL Totally Groovy) that might help you. http://pileofabric.com/

If you are able to purchase a quarter inch foot for your grandmother's sewing machine, that can really help too. Less expensive fabric? shop online sales - usually listed at fabricshopper and trueup.net

OR get something inexpensive 100% cotton at Jo-Anns or Wal-Mart ... or try some of the MODA. That way, if you mess up like I did on my first quilt, it isn't on expensive $10.50 a yard fabric.

on 23 Sep 2012 6:44 PM

Go to any quilt shop and get a jelly roll (2-1/2" strips of 40 different fabrics) and make a "1600 inch quilt."  There are websites showing how to make it.  If you're on a budget, you might look for a jelly roll at Jo-Ann's Fabrics or Hobby Lobby.  Some people have made the 1600 inch quilt top in 1 hour's time,  Then buy some batting and backing and you're ready to quilt it (stitch in the ditch is quick and easy; but, you will need a walking foot for your machine).

Happy Quilting,

Peggy Pyle

Tina DeWitt wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 8:43 PM

Hi Michelle,

As a Quilter (about three years now) , the advice I would give, is to start simple.  Yes, it would be great to make a queen size quilt blanket, but a wonderful quilted pillow or a nice set of four quilted placemats would be a better start.  A fall or Halloween theme would be fun to design your first project.  If you start small with successfully completing a project, this will give you more confidence to make bigger projects.  An excellent website for products and more importantly pattern design is http://www.anniescatalog.com.  

Good Luck!!

Sonya D.

DonnaW61 wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:01 PM

My advice to you is to start simple. Cut a bunch of squares (5 to12 inch--whatever size seems right.) of different colors and fabrics. Then sew these together with a 1/4 inch seam until they are the width you want (45 by 45 for a baby quilt for example.)and the length you want. Be sure to press each seam to "set the stitch", then press the seams toward the right for even rows  and toward the left for odd rows. when you sew the rows together they will "interlock" and help you to have perfect seams.This gives you practice with sewing, color placement and sizing. Pick out a pretty piece for your backing and use a batting that is at least a couple of inches wider and longer than your quilt, cut the backing larger as well. Sandwich your quilt top right side up with batting underneath and backing with right side down. You can then tie with yarn or stitch in the ditch (where your seam lines are.) when tied or quilted trim the excess fabric off and use a ruler to square up your quilt. Use one of the fabrics for your binding (Cut 1 3/8 inch wide) or choose ready made quilt binding to make it simpler. Sew the binding onto the right side of the quilt through all the layers.(Start about 1/4 down the edge on one side turning the top edge wrong side to wrong side.) When you get to the corner stop 1/4 inch from the edge, fold your binding to match the top edge and other side then sew down the other side to the next corner.(You will get perfect mitered corners this way) You can overlap where you began sewing, sewing several inches past the beginning. Turn the binding to the back of the quilt and hand stitch in place turning under and even amount. Hope this is helpful.

MoeWest wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 9:48 PM

There are no quilters in my family, so I taught myself to quilt. The internet is an amazing resource. There are many great quilting blogs with tutorials, book reviews and inspiration. I borrowed some books from the library and bought some too. One of my favourite online sources for fabric is Over the Rainbow (http://www.overrainbow.com/ ). Tip: wash your fabric when you buy it, then it is ready to use.

carol_s wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 10:27 PM

There are so many wonderful comments already posted here.  I grew up with my grandmother hand sewing, machine sewing, crocheting and tatting.  I am grateful that I have many lace and lace trimmed things that she made.  My suggestion is to make a project using fabric that reminds you of your grandmother (ie., reusing something she wore, using something she had "stashed" or using colors that remind you of her.    I like to sew slowly and carefully.  It is an amazing experience to say a word to oneself like "love" or "blessings" each time the needle lowers into the fabric.  The quilt becomes infused with lovely energy.  I hope you try it!

LaughingC wrote
on 23 Sep 2012 10:42 PM

When I first started quilting, I roved through websites and blogs looking for the perfect project. I was convinced that a one-patch would be best; just take squares of fabric the same size and sew together, how quick and easy could that be? As it turns out, not quite as quick or easy as I initially thought. Halfway through that quilt, I suddenly needed a baby quilt ASAP and I discovered this pattern: quiltville.com/streakofsunshine.shtml. This is a wonderfully simple pattern, well explained, that allows you to sew a streak of lightning baby quilt top (or a full sized trip around the world quilt with a few adjustments) using very simple techniques. Because of the way the fabric is arranged and sewn, I was able to piece, quilt, and bind all in one day. I would definitely recommend this pattern for a first quilt, and a greater exploration of the website for a lot of great techniques.

Another website that helped me immensely (and continues to help) with tips, tricks, and plenty of inspiration is www.crafter.org. It's a crafting forum, with an entire discussion board dedicated to quilting. You can browse completed projects and tutorials, ask questions and participate in discussions about different aspects of quilting, and read pinned topics specifically for beginners with information and links.

I hope that this helps you on your journey to quilting!

Teacake wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 12:08 AM

When I began learning to quilt eight years ago, I would buy one quilting magazine a month for patterns and instruction.  I began with small seasonal projects like wallhangings to decorate my home.  At then end of the month when I had finished a project, I'd treat myself to a new magazine and a new seaonal project.  I now have a nice collection of magazines for inspiration and improved skill to tacle those advanced patterns.  

Quilting Arts magazine and television programs is a new favorite resource for learning new techniques in quilting.

kitties wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 12:39 AM

handmade coasters; simple enough for the young, and a great gift.  I use a 4.5" for the small square and a 6" square for the backing, to be brought to the front and stitched.  They can even be embellished.....make great gifts for shut-ins also.  I love them.

on 24 Sep 2012 5:52 AM

I started with the Bear Claw pattern and found it quite simple.  Use a metal ruler and fabric pencil to make sure the squares are perfectly square and it makes it easy.

Chuck2011 wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 6:43 AM

The most useful thing I have found is the Internet.  Type in what you are looking for, or think you are looking for, and then you can explore all the possibilities.

Chuck2011 wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 6:43 AM

The most useful thing I have found is the Internet.  Type in what you are looking for, or think you are looking for, and then you can explore all the possibilities.

J.W.Hasher wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 7:33 AM

When I started, I took a class at a small quilt shop in my home town. I enjoyed it, and I remember so many things from that first class! I also have a stash of quilting books that I refer back to from time to time -- The Quilter's Complete Guide is my go-to for technical advice. Good luck!

stampmeup wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 9:14 AM

Sewingmachinesplus.com is usually the cheapest source I've found for many of the sewing/quilting notions and of course quilt machines and frames, etc.

I hope you will enjoy the quilting. Thanks for a chance to win some great fabrics.

brendaw@9 wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 9:23 AM

My first project was a baby quilt before my daughter was born 36 years ago. While it may not have been perfectly constructed, it was stitched with love and with a lot of prayer for the child that it would enfold. I used fabrics from family clothing to create appliqued squares featuring a simple duck  I drew out. The appliques were fastened with buttonhole stitch, which I was already familiar with, and then I outline quilted everything. It is one of her most treasured possessions. Her boys (6 of them) are learning about their ancestors from the fabrics in their mother's baby quilt.

PocahontasNH wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 10:59 AM

My best piece of advice would be: just do it and don't worry about hiccups, mishaps, etc. as they all can become creative moments.  I wish I would follow this piece of advice much more often for my own sake!!

mini_mum wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 11:13 AM

have fun with your quilting adventures - and don't forget to label the quilts so future generations know who made it, when and why!

on 24 Sep 2012 12:13 PM

Just got home from the Needle Chasers Quilt show in Iuka, MS.  Lots of talented ladies in that area.  I had a great time and got lots of inspiration and ideas. Can't wait to start my next project.

on 24 Sep 2012 12:13 PM

Just got home from the Needle Chasers Quilt show in Iuka, MS.  Lots of talented ladies in that area.  I had a great time and got lots of inspiration and ideas. Can't wait to start my next project.

Elaine L wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 1:04 PM

I would suggest the simple 9-patch.    Just make sure your seam allowances are consistant.    This is such a versatile block and can be set in so many different ways.

on 24 Sep 2012 1:40 PM

I use clear menu books , I put a picture of the quilt project in the front, directions next, and if you purchase the menu with extra pages you can also slip your pieces in to the extra seleeves, you take it with you to the fabric store, to match  colors, keeps everything visable, I also use them for Quilt Guide meeting, for block of the month, Demo instruction, they are cheap and you can use them for your favorite recipes that use over and over. They also stand up for hands free quilting.

adawngus wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 3:40 PM

My first quilt was in High School before I really even knew what I was doing.

wurdbyrd wrote
on 24 Sep 2012 3:54 PM

I like Fat Cat Patterns website.  They have an array of patterns...easy & fun ones too!  You can make them by the 'block' and before you knowit...you've got a quilt top made!  There's a host of websites for every aspect of quilting and putting the final touch of 'binding' on.  Seems each website 'links' to another one full of information.  Have fun...a 'block' at a time! :)

on 24 Sep 2012 5:13 PM

If you can find a copy of "Around the Block" by Judy Hopkins get it. Such a great book and the patterns are very precise meaning they will turn out just right size.  And take the time to learn to cut your fabric pieces with a rotary cutter and ruler. I have been quilting for about 13 years now and just love it. I was'nt fortunate enough to have my grandmother (either of them) living when I was old enough to learn to sew. But my mother taught me how to use her Singer treadle sewing machine by doing what is now called Flip N Sew.  We used sheets from a magazine for the stablizer. Such fun using that old machine and I think that is why I love sewing so much now.

And by the way, thanks for the contest.  I would love to win some fabric !

on 24 Sep 2012 10:06 PM

For a beginner, I would recommend a Turning Twenty pattern; it's easy and fun. Buy the best fabric you can afford and go for it !!

on 25 Sep 2012 10:13 AM

What a whirlwind of a summer for you!  Quilting would be a beautiful way to honor your Grandmother.  My advice, go to shows.  See the many styles of quilting that is out there so you know what you like.  A great website with free patterns is the Quilter's Cache.  I want to support local quilt shops first of course to keep them in business.  But if there is not that option, Fabric.com and Thousands of Bolts are inexpensive webstores for fabric.  DaisyJanie.com has fantastic organic fabric which is such high quality!  Hawthornethreads.com has some beautiful lines.  Don't be afraid to just do it.  You won't be perfect, but with every quilt you make you will see progress.  We are ALWAYS learning and hopefully always improving.  My first quilt was a Log Cabin.  It's not too hard and there are so many great ways to arrange the blocks and make all these terrific secondary patterns.  I am happy for you that you are going to enter the wonderful world of quilting!  And it truly is.

on 25 Sep 2012 10:16 AM

By the way, welcome to Massachusetts!  I live in the Western part but you have some good stores out your way (I assume you are in the Eastern part.) and you COULD try one of the Shop Hops.  There is one in Westrn Massachusetts next month.

wtaylor01 wrote
on 25 Sep 2012 2:01 PM

Since I am new to quilting, I don't have much on skill or project how-tos but I do have ideas for things to make. (Plus I really want that fabric!). When I thing about things I would use, I come up with items such as tote bags, IPad or tablet/notebook covers, small appliance covers, house warming gifts like blankets, pillows. How about vests to go with those fall and winter turtleneck sweaters? W. Taylor, Louisville, KY

Jafee wrote
on 26 Sep 2012 8:36 PM

I am also a knew quilter.  I actually started out with a small baby rag quilt a few years ago, which turned out well.  You might start with something like that as the rag quilts are easy.  You might also enroll in classes at Craftsy.  I have enrolled in about 6 (some are free).  Pick up quilting books at the fabric stores which have a plethora of designs and quilting methods.  You will be amazed at what you can do watching videos on YouTube, reading the quilting books, and working with the classes.  Good Luck!

GloriaSnyder wrote
on 29 Sep 2012 3:55 AM

My Mother taught me to sew at age 5 and by age 10 I was making my 8 brothers and sisters school cloths.  From there I continued to sew thru age 41 for my children and grandchildren.  At age 42 I began quilting.  My favoriate is to use my embroidery machine to create the center block and then using the log cabin design I enlarge my center embroidered blocks with wonderful colors creating a beauticul quilt, table runner, placemats, aprons, little girls pinafors, jumpers, bibbed overhauls, jackets, vests, and more.  By incorporating my embroidered center squares with my jelly roll fabrics I create a one of a kind finished item.  Sewing and Quilting are my first love.  My sewing and embroidery machines are an extension of myself.  Without them I would be lost.  My mother was a great teacher and I am proud to carry on her teachings thru my quilting and sewing.  Now 68 I find quilting a never ending   adventure with all the new techniques avaliable.  Picture Quilts are my newest endevor.