Before You Take Your First Stitch: First Steps For The Beginning Quilter

Posted on: 17 February 2016

Quilting is a great hobby. It's relatively easy to learn the basics, and the gratification that comes from turning beautiful fabrics into a work of art is nearly instant.

If you are interested in learning to quilt, you probably can't wait to get started on your first project. However, there are a few things you should do before you purchase your fabric and sewing supplies.

Visit your local fabric store

Set aside a few hours to visit your local fabric store. Introduce yourself to the store staff and let them know you are a novice. The staff will likely be happy to assist you and answer any questions you have. Your fabric store staff can be a valuable resource as you begin your new hobby and in the future.

Take some time browsing through the store and looking at the fabrics and quilting supplies. Many stores have ready-made quilts on display. Do any of them catch your eye? What colors stand out to you? Looking at ready-made quilts is a great way to inspire your own creativity and can help you decide what type of quilt you want to make for your first project.

Ask if the fabric store offers classes for beginners. If you are unable to take a class, ask the staff to recommend a good quilting book for beginners.

Join a quilt guild or group

Search online for quilt guilds or quilt groups in your area. Meeting on a regular basis with others who quilt is a good way for beginning quilters to learn the craft from professionals. Being part of a group will help you to stay on top of the latest quilting innovations and techniques.

Meetings generally occur on a monthly basis. Guilds and groups often invite special speakers to share the latest quilting tips and new products. They also plan trips to quilting shows. Some guilds and groups have quilting weekends away a few times a year. These events are a great way to make new quilting friends. Weekend quilting retreats also give you time away from distractions to work on your latest project.

Get intimate with your sewing machine

If you recently purchased a new sewing machine to use for your quilting hobby, get to know your machine before you start quilting. Not being familiar with your sewing machine can slow down your progress and lead to frustration.

Practice threading the needle and bobbin until you can do it easily. Practice changing the presser foot and learn how to raise and drop the feed dog on the machine until you are comfortable doing so. Practice making a one-quarter inch seam by using the seam guide or one-quarter foot if it is included with your machine.

Learn about the required maintenance recommended by your machine manufacturer. A properly maintained machine can increase the overall performance of the machine and prolong its life.

Visiting your local fabric store, joining a guild or group, and getting intimate with your sewing machine will help you get off on the right foot with your new quilting hobby. In no time at all, you will be confident enough to take your very first stitch and begin your lovely work of art.