It’s Never Too Late to Learn to Quilt

The art of quilting has been around for a long time and the techniques involved in producing quilting masterpieces have evolved. There has long been a notion that quilting is only for mothers, or even grandmothers. But it is about time for this to change because anyone can learn how to quilt, and the art of quilting knows no bounds. Hence, it is never too late, or too early, to learn how to quilt.

Whether you are 10 or 70, you can begin quilting by familiarizing yourself with some of the quilting basics listed below.

Quilting Terms

Some of the basic terms used in quilting are: backing, batting, binding, bias-tape, square, block, and quilt sandwich. The backing is the bottom part of the quilt, which is typically one piece of fabric. Batting is the middle part of the quilt that is made from cotton of wool. Binding is the process of encasing the raw edges of the quilt with a bias-tape. A square is a piece of fabric that can be sewn together by piecing to produce a block. The top, batting, and backing form a quilt sandwich.

Quilting Tools

The most basic tool needed in making a quilt is of course a pair of efficient and sharp scissors, as well as a handy sewing machine. For some, rotary cutters do the trick. According to the experts at Quilter’s Review, clear rulers and a bias tape are also necessary in making a quilt. Of course, the fabric pieces and threads should not be forgotten. Expert quilters even are ironing boards and seam rippers. Set up a workstation, which is spacious enough for all your tools, and you are on the right path to begin quilting.

Quilt Trial and Practice

Before attempting to take on exquisite designs, practice making a 9-square quilt. It is basically 9 little squares, 4×4 inches in measurement, sewn together to form a larger 3×3 square matrix. The squares have a contrasting color combination which can be solid or patterned. Look for the most common combinations and you may find two contrasting solids, solid and patterned, or two complementing patterns. There are several online sites that feature different designs and combinations. The squares to be used in your pattern can be cut through scissors or through a rotary cutter. Furthermore, quilts are usually made of cotton fabric, but nowadays, any type of cloth can be quilted.

The batting, on the other hand is typically cotton or wool. The look and feel of your quilt may vary depending on your choice of batting. A cotton batting produces generally flat quilts while a wool batting absorbs moisture and feel generally warmer.

Basic Techniques in Quilting

Finger Pressing – This is a technique that results to neatly looking blocks, without having to grab the iron each time. It speeds up the quilting process because finger pressing flattens the seams enough for a neat sewing.

Layout – If you already have a number of blocks, you need to lay them out before the final sewing, just to have an idea of the overall look of the quilt. In this case, you already need to grab the iron to get all the blocks extra flat. Once you are decided with the final layout, stack the blocks that go in one column in their proper order and pin them together with a label.

Roll it up – Sewing a lengthy block can be tricky, which is why rolling up the sewn part is a good practice. This will prevent the fabric from literally taking over your workstation. It might be tedious, but ironing as you sew can also do the trick.

Pinning – This is an essential process in making a quilt sandwich. The more pins used, the smoother the quilt sandwich will stay as you are sewing it together. But keep in mind to keep the pins in the middle of the squares because it is on the square edges where you are going to do the sewing. A finished quilt will look like a stuffed grid.

Your first quilt may not be perfect, with some of the backing fabric even shifting. There are instances wherein some tiny creases of fabric may even be visible. But all these do not really matter. What matters is finishing your first quilt, with these imperfections giving more character to your masterpiece, motivating you to do more.

Quilting is an art that can be mastered by anyone, young or old. Making quilts serves different purposes. It can relieve a person from office stress, it can be a form of an engaging habit, and it can be an activity where anyone can spend quality time together with their loved ones. Needless to say, the art of quilting is timeless.

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