Quilting isn’t really a very hard hobby to master, but it can get a little overwhelming sometimes. If you are a beginner to this hobby, even working with a smaller or simpler project can get confusing.
This is because with a quilt – even a small one – you are working with several different pieces of fabric, which can easily get messy.
Practice is the name of the game when it comes to quilting. You might have to work on a couple of projects to ultimately master this hobby, but not after you’ve made quite a lot of mistakes in the process.
Also, there are a few tips and tricks of quilting that no one should ignore, especial.y if you are new to this.
Here are 5 facts that should be remembered by all quilters, whether they are on their first project or completed quite a few of them.
1. Taking on more than you can Handle
Everyone has a limit when it comes to taking on a workload. When you are new at quilting, you shouldn’t try a large project as your first one. Your first projects should always be small and simple, with as little work as possible.
If you plan to do more than you are qualified for in your first project, there is a chance it might all get overwhelming for you.
For example, if you are planning intricate designs or appliqueing in your initial projects, you might be taking on more than you are capable of. In the same way, if you are thinking of making a quilt for a king-sized bed for the first time, you must make sure you have the experience of successfully completing smaller quilts in the past.
Besides, for quilting, you need three things in abundance: patience, time and space. If you don’t have enough time on your hands or enough space in your home, this may not be a project for you to try.
Unlike sewing or knitting, you can’t carry your work around in your bag to work on in your leisure time. Quilting requires a specific corner in your home – a craft room or a home office – where you can store your equipment and materials, and a fixed amount of time for you to allot to it.
Also, this is not a hobby for someone with little or no patience. A single quilt will take weeks to finish, and you need the patience to complete it gradually.
2. Having the Proper Tools and Equipment
Once you have decided to make a quilt, you definitely need the right equipment and tools for it, including a high-quality quilting machine.
Everything that you need for quilting, from a rotary cutting mat to rotary rulers, a seam ripper to a marking pen, from the right fabrics to the right scissors – everything needs to be at hand.
You can probably use regular sewing tools and materials for quilting, but they are not going to give you high-quality work. For example, you can use your hands to make the stitches, but they are going to be uneven and take a lot of time.
A regular sewing machine can also do the work, but only with a quilting machine, you can get the beautiful finish and diverse stitches that is going to make your quilt spectacular.
Cotton is the best fabric to use for quilting, much more than other expensive and gorgeous clothes. If you want to make a quilt, you need appropriate cotton fabric pieces to make it.
Fabric for cotton can be found in bulk in craft shops or online marketplaces, and these are much better for a quilt that silk, polyester or woolen clothes.
3. Using a Design Board
You may not understand the importance of a design board until you’ve made a mistake you can’t recover from, or at least, have a lot of trouble recovering from.
You can easily make a design board on your wall from supplies you already have in your home without spending on it.
A design board is what magazines and tabloids us to design their pages. You can make one from a whiteboard wrapped in a white sheet, where you can stick your printed fabrics to create the design you want.
This is a great way to make sure you have all the pieces ready and at hand when you are sitting down to sew, and that you know where to sew which piece. If you stack your fabric pieces somewhere instead of spreading them over your design board, you might accidentally miss one while sewing or misplace them.
4. Pre-washing your Fabric Pieces
There are mixed opinions among users when it comes to pre-washing your fabric pieces. Some quilters think it is useless to wash your fabric pieces, but there is always a chance of the dye bleeding.
If you are buying your fabrics online or from craft stores, it is always better to wash them with water before you start sewing. If by any chance, the fabric starts to bleed after making the quilt, it will spoil the whole thing.
Sometimes, fabrics have a tendency to shrink after the first wash, which can be a problem as well, if you have already stitched the pieces into a quilt. The shrinkage problem is something you can’t recover from if you have already made the whole quilt.
Therefore, it is much better if you prewash all the pieces you are going to use even when you are absolutely sure they won’t bleed or shrink.
Hand-washing them with water and soft detergent is often enough, and then, these fabrics need to be hung dry under the sun. This is for cotton fabrics; if you are using lawn, voile or polyester, they should be washed, dried and ironed according to specific instructions.
5. Throwing Away Scraps
Making a quilt will leave you with a lot of scrap fabrics that you will want to throw away. However, these scrap pieces can be later used to make beautiful designs on your quilt, which is obviously a much better option than throwing them away.
After you have already assigned your fabric pieces for your quilt, the extra scrap pieces can be used to create additional designs on appliques on your fabric. Appliqueing is a special technique where different scrap pieces of fabric are sewn together to make a design. Done right, appliques can make your quilt quite beautiful.
Besides, if you have accidentally run out of fabric while planning your quilt, you can use the scrap pieces to make a unique fabric square to use in your quilt. Sometimes, long pieces of scrap can be used as binding, to sew along the edges of the quilt so that the sides don’t start to fray.
Quilting is a hobby where you have the complete freedom to show off your creativity! You can make any designs or patterns in your quilt, do anything you want to, to make the quilt of your dreams.
However, there are some tips that you can use, especially if you are new to this. These 5 facts mentioned in this article are something that not everyone knows by default, but learns through experience.
Remember them, and quilting will become a fun hobby – or a profitable business – for you, without the additional headaches and problems.