What kind of tools do you recommend for a first time quilter?
Books, tools, whatever, all I have is a sewing machine and have always wanted to try quilting. Any suggestions/tips?
Find the groups in your area that are already doing this. There are plenty of them out there. Personally, I'm pretty old fashioned (this is well-documented), and like to do things the same way my mother, grandmothers, aunts, and so forth, all did. Nowadays you can buy squares pre-cut, in nice neat little packages. All the quilts I own have material in them that I recognize, from my old Granny's flour sack dresses (she was very thrifty, and in those days, flour came in nice cotton that you could then use to make clothing out of). They have squares from clothes I wore when I was little (and that my mother used), or from things that my daughter wore. I like this kind of quilt best.
[I can tell this is going to be a multipart comment.]
I have used the old quilting frames, and I miss those days. When your raw quilt was ready to be quilted, a group of women would all get together and quilt until it was finished. (Cf quilting bee)read more collapse
I have an older sister (different branch of the family, actually a half sister) who does it the more modern way, and even teaches classes on quilting (among other things). If you have the right kind of machine, it does all the work for you that used to take that group of women.
I'd take classes if I were you, or at least find others who are doing it. I think that it won't matter so much whether you are doing it my way, or my sister's, as that you have others to lean on, at least in the beginning, so that you can get a solid start, and not become discouraged.
Supplies will include good cotton batting (for the guts of the quilt), plenty of squares, a pre-planned design (that one is IMPORTANT), and plenty of white thread. I hope others will also chime in here.
Oh, you didn't say what kind of machine. Does it already quilt?read more collapse
Start small. You don't want to get overwhelmed and not finish your first project. My first quilts were crib-sized wall-hangings or baby quilts. With that size, I can either hand-quilt or use my regular sewing machine. Anything larger and I pay someone else to do the quilting. I also machine-piece everything.
As for supplies: a self-healing mat, a good rotary cutter, quilting pins, and some quilting rulers are a must. (Okay the cutting mat doesn't HAVE to be self-healing, but it will last a lot longer.) Most of my supplies came from Walmart and work well enough for what I need.
I made my first quilts using designs from the book "More Fat Quarter Quilts" by M'Liss Rae Hawley. http://www.bookfinder4u.com/IsbnSearch.aspx?isbn=1564773914&mode=direct It gives general directions and also contains instructions for 8 different projects. I've done 3 of the designs in it: Island Star, Strait of Georgia (but cut the size in half for baby quilts), and Triple Rail on Point.read more collapse
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