Wednesday, January 6, 2016

quilting basics, vol. 1

I have so many sweet friends who comment often that they'd love to learn how to quilt, but how hard it must be. Ya'll, it could not be simpler. The most basic forms of quilting involve sewing a whole bunch of straight lines! Of course, it can be much more complex, but it doesn't have to be. I thought I would start a small series that highlights the simplicity of it and where to start, if you're interested! I want this to span across social media, so it'll involve both my blog, instagram (where there's more quilting inspiration and support than I know what to do with!), and - hopefully - periscope.


People ask where to start. The most basic supplies for quilting involve a sewing machine, scissors, a ruler, an iron, and fabric.

sewing machine: I started using a Singer Promise sewing machine from Target for about $100. It got the job done long enough for me to realize that I had really found my true interest and could invest in a better machine. I don't necessary recommend Singer sewing machines, because it's poor quality for the long run, but good enough to start with in case sewing isn't something you do often. I now use a Janome Memory Craft 6600P which is about $2,500, but my husband found it on craigstlist from a professional quilter who used it for a weekend (aka: new quality) and was selling it for much less. It was a sweet birthday gift to me from my in-laws, and I use it almost daily. I highly recommend it if you were to invest in a nice machine.

scissors & ruler: Scissors and a ruler are so basic, I just recommend new ones so that your scissors are sharp and your ruler can be marked on. Never ever ever use your fabric scissors on paper! It dulls them out incredibly fast. I like to mark on my rulers, putting permanent marker dots on the spots that I use most often (2 1/2") so that it's easy to find when it's late at night. ;)

iron: I used a cheap black & decker iron that cost probably about $10. It definitely did the job, but as I've been involved in some block swaps I've realized that my cheapo iron wasn't getting my seams flat enough. Thanks to a double sale + gift card for Christmas, I've upgraded to an oliso iron from JoAnn. My opinion is to start with what you've got, any old iron will get the basic job done for you!

fabric: I primarily use quilting fabric these days because the quality is so good, but my first quilt was all fabric from Hobby Lobby. I saved my 40% off coupons and bought all of my supplies with them so that if I didn't finish, at least I hadn't spent an arm and a leg! I also love JoAnn fabric's 60% off coupons that come out frequently. Keep in mind that at both places, one cut of fabric counts as one item.

Quilting can be as complex and expensive as you want it, or as simple and cheap as you can make it. I recommend starting simple. If you love it, you can invest more in it, but if you don't, then at least you haven't spent an arm and a leg.

I can't wait to share next about simple beginners patterns that I love, as well as fabric color choices that will keep you in love with your project and motivated to finish.

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