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Complete sewing novice wants to make a patchwork quilt; am I mad?

(21 Posts)
Slipslidingaway Sun 02-Dec-12 21:07:28

Will it be too hard? I haven't even got a sewing machine (though I could borrow from sis to try). I really need to do something creative and the end product is something I'd feel was worth the effort. But i don't want to do something so difficult that I get disheartened and give up. Opinions welcome.

PPPop Sun 02-Dec-12 21:09:31

I made a simple one, on a machine mind you. If you can sew in a straight line I reckon you should be able to do it. There are loads of simple tutorials online.

openerofjars Sun 02-Dec-12 21:09:37

I'm going to lurk shamelessly on your thread <evil cackle> because I could have asked the same question. I'm not a total novice but I want to know if it's stupid trying to do it by hand or if a machine would be better.

I've been saving fabric for ages...

PPPop Sun 02-Dec-12 21:11:09

I started with a patchwork cushion but have done two blankets since then, my second is a massive improvement but they still both make me smile. They are smallish blankets, for my ds's.

AliceWChild Sun 02-Dec-12 21:11:28

I've wanted to do this before. My mum is an expert. I get the impression it can be hard due to the need to line everything up correctly. Everything needs to be cut accurately so it fits together. You can imagine if something is out of alignment it will just get worse and worse until things don't fit together. Not suited to my slapdash relaxed approach. I think that's for the more traditional style. I think you can do ones that are more hotchpotch

Slipslidingaway Sun 02-Dec-12 21:14:09

You're welcome to lurk opener smile; I could do with the company. I'm not too slapdash Alice, but I am a bit mummy tired.

PPPop Sun 02-Dec-12 21:14:10

I used a rotary cutter to make my squares. Larger squares the second time around made accurate piecing it together far easier and the result is much neater. But they are both quite charming, even the wonky one. My son loves it and they are very satisfying to do and finish smile

Slipslidingaway Sun 02-Dec-12 21:15:34

Thanks PPPop, did you use a pattern? Do you think a sewing machine is essential?

elfycat Sun 02-Dec-12 21:15:39

I just started patchworking after spending a lot of time watching online YouTube tutorials (I learned to crochet off YouTube).

Just about to start on handsewing hexagons and am having a try at applique after a morning teaching session at a craft shop.

For machine sewing:

Got quite a few hints of the Missouri Star People. I've completed the patchwork, now to learn to quilt.

Slipslidingaway Sun 02-Dec-12 21:16:27

Also, best site? I looked at Cherry Menlove and seemed quite easy (deceptively?)

PPPop Sun 02-Dec-12 21:16:27

I made my own pattern up. A machine is essential if you are lacking in patience, like me.

PPPop Sun 02-Dec-12 21:17:41

It is very easy, honest smile

Slipslidingaway Sun 02-Dec-12 21:17:56

Thanks elfy - I will check out. Am assuming that is the best site you found?

Slipslidingaway Sun 02-Dec-12 21:19:07

Yes, will try a machine PPP - am not patient at all

OnTheBottomWithAStringOfTinsel Sun 02-Dec-12 21:21:09

My first patchwork project was a quilt for the sofa - and I'm sitting on it now!

A machine is defo best (if you're impatient like me..).

I've bought a cutting mat and rotary cutter since (they are brilliant btw) but if you don't choose a pattern that needs too much accuracy you should be ok.

Log cabin is one that can work even if the cutting is a bit off.

I did one for my new cousin & it's on my profile if u want a look. I'll try & put a pic of my first one up (but am on my phone so might not work)

openerofjars Sun 02-Dec-12 21:31:16

<scribbles furtively in notebook at back of room>

elfycat Sun 02-Dec-12 21:44:52

That was the best single site I found for YouTube tutorials, they're reasonably long tutorials. I was living in fear about the bias binding at the end of quilting until I looked at the vid. I'm not at that stage yet but at least the fear has subsided.

I'm having some trouble with the 1/4" seams at the moment and seem to be doing a fair bit of unpicking on the machined lines. DD1 (4yo) seems to be quite good with the unpicking tool

I went to a patchworking club run by a shop (alternate Tues) for a few weeks before realising that it was trying to squeeze too much in. A lot of the experienced quilters seemed to do the quilting by hand using large embroidery hoops for the tension so I might do that. I have all the stuff ready to go but I guess the fear is still there!

Moomoomie Mon 03-Dec-12 10:08:33

If you don't have a machine and enjoy hand sewing, you could make a quilt using hexagon paper templates. I have made a fair few of these over the years.
They do not take as long to make as one would think. It is very easy to pick up and put down.
I bought the paper templates of EBay. They are then perfect sizes.

Slipslidingaway Mon 03-Dec-12 19:43:51

Thanks all. I'm going to give it a go, with your encouragement. I'll let you know how I get on. Btw onthebottom there's no link to your profile so I can't see your quilt (which I'd like to)

flubba Wed 05-Dec-12 20:38:27

I did it also at novice sewing stage (but did use a machine). Was also inspired by CherryMenlove site - I did 8" squares and made a double spread which looks gorgeous on our bed. It was surprisingly easy ~ I did a step-by-step tutorial here

I loved doing it so much (and the end result of course!) I've made a couple of baby-clothes patchwork quilts since smile

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 05-Dec-12 20:52:23

First quilt I ever did was a Christmas sampler quilt with 9 squares of different techniques and that was almost entirely hand sewn. The only bit I machined were the borders as they are so long and straight and it was quicker and probably more professional looking to do it on a machine.

I reckon hand sewing is more forgiving, easier to unpick and because it is a bit slower, it is more accurate. I personally find it easier and learning to do it on a machine has been a challenge.

You could keep it simple and just sew squares together (allow 1/4" seam allowances) and use colour to make a pattern.

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