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Is anyone kind enough to help me through my first quilt?

(23 Posts)
BreeVDKamp Wed 07-Jan-15 11:27:19


I asked for a patchwork quilt kit for Christmas, and I got one! smile I am really excited to make it but really worried I'm going to make a big mistake.

I've included a pic of what it should end up like. You cut lots of circles from different fabrics, sew them onto a white background, then layer it with the wadding and backing and bind and quilt it.

But I have a lot of questions before I have even started! The instructions say the pattern assumes you have a basic understanding of quilt making (I don't!).

So my first questions are:

I need to buy some interfacing to back the coloured circles with. It specifies 'lightweight, non-woven fusible interfacing'. I have some fusible interfacing but not enough, and it is a bit thick. Any recommendations?

I need to buy the 'backing' - I think I've worked out this is the wrong side of the finished quilt. In that case I want something cosy smile Any suggestions? I am wondering how my sewing machine will cope with wadding let alone a thick backing too?? I don't understand. Or are you meant to do it by hand?

What sort of wadding should I buy? I want to be able to wash the quilt when necessary.

I am going to buy a rotary cutter and 'turning tool' (what is that for?) too, also should I get a cutting mat then?

I am having a baby in May, so aiming to finish by then...

I would be so grateful of some hand-holding!! smile

BreeVDKamp Wed 07-Jan-15 17:23:47

Bump? smile

Chottie Wed 07-Jan-15 20:27:26

Hello - for the backing I would buy 100% cotton fabric, dress weight with a pattern on it. This will be very kind and forgiving if your quilt stitches are not as even as you would like.

I would buy a 100% cotton wadding too.

Regarding the pattern, it looks like clamshells to me. You will have to turn the raw edges under (tack first and then use a slip stitch to hold in place on the backing).

Regarding using your sewing machine, does it have a walking foot? Some machines such as phaff have an integral walking foot. If it doesn't you can buy them separately but they are expensive. I would look at your sewing machine handbook and see if there is any advice regarding quilting.

A good tip is always to measure twice and cut once. I would layout all the materials, read through the instructions and then make a sample piece out of some scrap material to make sure I was clear about the technique, before starting to make the actual quilt.

If you buy a rotary cutter, you will also need a cutting board and a ruler. Hope this helps.

BreeVDKamp Thu 08-Jan-15 16:04:36

Thanks for the advice Chottie! I think my machine has a walking foot but I'll dig out the manual for sure.

Thank you, time to buy supplies! smile

lljkk Thu 08-Jan-15 16:19:05

Clamshells isn't the easy pattern to start with...
Squares or triangles would be better.
Cutting board is essential, you'll come to love your rotary cutter.

I am in love with 50-50 bamboo-cotton as wadding, very lightweight & easy.
A good fabric shop can advise about good backing (but don't listen to me, I always buy the most expensive fabric in shop).
I break needles with walking foots, darning foot is fab to have though.

I attended a series of patchwork+quilting courses for 6-8 weeks; strongly recommend these if you can.

florentina1 Thu 08-Jan-15 16:25:03

That looks like a beautiful pattern. My advice would be to make something very simple to begin with. Like a play mat just with squares. This will help you get used to your machine and the tools, before you start on this more diffIcult project. Good luck

LatteLady Thu 08-Jan-15 22:56:16

As others have said, this might be a little challenging for your first go but it does look lovely.

Can I suggest you go to YouTube and look up Jennie Doan from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. Set aside a couple of hours and look at her basic tutorials and finally look at her small apple core quilt which is similar and will use techniques you will need to know. Otherwise Create & Craft TV quilting classroom with Jennie Rayment, mad as a box of frogs but really knows her stuff.

Finally never, ever cut towards yourself with a rotary cutter, it cuts through bone, always put the cover back on when you put it down and measure twice to cut once.

lurkerspeaks Fri 09-Jan-15 01:04:33

That doesn't look very easy to me. I'm a newbie too - I'm starting my 5th quilt.

Ruler/rotary cutter/ mat are essential. Spray basting is really good for assembly.

Missouri star and precuts is a good intro IMO. I made a stacked coin quilt with a jelly roll and some plain fabric which looked amazing for very little work... Loads of tutorials on the web for similar...

Mine was king size so has gone off to be professionally quilted.

Alternatively this star quilt was a moda pattern (Google moda bakeshop storybook star). It was quick to make until I over complicated the quilting...

BreeVDKamp Fri 09-Jan-15 08:55:45

Ooh more replies! LOVE the stripey quilt lurker.

Yes I've wanted to do jelly roll quilts in the past, some v cool chevron patterns etc I've seen. I never even considered doing an easier quilt before jumping into this new one, what an idiot! Baby brain!

The pattern is just circles though... Cut full circles, interface them, turn them right side out (cut slit in back of interfacing and push through to right side out), then arrange into rows tucking behind the row below to form the clamshell shape. Half and quarter circles for the edges and corners.

But yes! Maybe I'll find another quilt to do for starters. Owh that's a shame sad

BreeVDKamp Fri 09-Jan-15 08:56:52

Oh that was very negative!! I just mean I really want to make the quilt in original post grin.

Thanks for all the links, will check out moda and the other suggestions smile

lurkerspeaks Fri 09-Jan-15 10:22:47

Actually if you are making the circles by sewing right sides together and them turning them right side out through a slit it might not be too bad.

Might be worth doing an easy one first though, storybook star only took me a day to assemble. The quilting took longer because I did lots of it. I also used polyester backing and it is terrible - really rigid. The previous baby quilt I made with cotton is much drapier.

The other thing no one has mentioned is a quarter inch foot that helps you make sure all your seams are exactly a quarter inch wide. If you buy a generic one they aren't expensive and my generic walking foot was quite cheap too..

lurkerspeaks Fri 09-Jan-15 10:25:29

florentina1 Fri 09-Jan-15 10:26:22

Not negative just sensible. I have only made 6 things but the difference between the quality of the first and the most recent is enormous.

A practice quilt will only take a few hours. I too am a fan of you tube tutorial. Gourmet quilter and Missourri quilt co. Also check out the 3 dudes quilt method. I have had a great fun with this.

UnrelatedToElephants Fri 09-Jan-15 10:30:59

I'm in a similar position (but no kit!) I'm making a 9 block square quilt to start with. I've made 5 blocks so far, and am going to use an old cotton bedsheet as the backing. Hoping to learn as I go.

I have a super basic old singer sewing machine (one stitch - forwards - and a hand crank!) so whatever I can't do on that might have to be done by hand.

BreeVDKamp Fri 09-Jan-15 14:12:47

lurker do you have the name of the company who quilted your quilt for you? I've googled but can't find anything :-/ thank you

lurkerspeaks Fri 09-Jan-15 16:09:56

I've commissioned this lady...

skylark2 Sat 10-Jan-15 11:12:34

I think those curved edges might be relatively complicated compared to squares or triangles (or even hexagons).

I'm no expert (and have never made a whole quilt) but I have made several quilted items from a book called "The impatient patchworker" by Jayne Emerson. It has things like bags and mats and cushion covers and has a whole section on basic techniques - I found it very clear and easy to follow as a total novice. I'd recommend you get hold of a copy and make a couple of the little projects before starting on your special kit. It doesn't have any curved shapes but I'd think making things from it would qualify as "a basic understanding".

lljkk Sat 10-Jan-15 12:03:02

You will make the quilt in original post, OP, just might want to do some practice patchwork and quilting first so that you can make that one in your first message as perfect as you'd like it to be.

BreeVDKamp Sun 11-Jan-15 18:54:39

Ok great thanks for all the advice smile

BreeVDKamp Mon 12-Jan-15 18:33:01

Think I'm going to try this - DNiece is due 2 days before my DC1 and this pattern makes 2 quilts from one jelly roll! So they can have 1 each and that will be cute.

Have found the Missouri Star Quilt Co vids so helpful, and remember the Jelly Roll Race and the 3 Dudes from years ago (I have wanted to try quilting for years ha).


BreeVDKamp Mon 02-Feb-15 17:24:16

Here are my 2 quilt tops, made them a couple of weeks ago, took way less time than I thought!! Can't wait to quilt them, but I do have to wait until the quilting foot I've ordered arrives hmm

Pink one for SIL's baby, blue one for mine - major mistake on my one but never mind, that's why it's a practice!

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Tue 03-Feb-15 19:23:42

They look lovely! Well done you.

poppyinstitches Wed 04-Feb-15 18:52:59

clamshells not difficult, great handstitching project. The light weight interfacing is important as you dont want to add in too much bulk. I'd hand quilt a clamshell with perle cotton thread and use a cotton batting. Have fun!
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