How to Do Quilting and Patchwork Step by Step for Beginners

How to Do Quilting and Patchwork Step by Step for Beginners

Shubham Anil Jain
Sr. Consultant
Cent Edge Solutions LLP, Bangalore, India
Email: shubhamajain125@gmail.com

 

Basic Concept of Quilting and Patchwork:
At some given point of time, every sewer and fashion lover will try doing some patchwork on their project. This is kind of one step away from creating your own quilt, which is one of the most satisfying crafts there is. Patchwork quilts are a great craft work art, although you’re a sewing or quilting beginner you’ll still be able to try this technique to make a small, simple design quilt before directly going to a bedspread. Their awesome, colorful designs date back thousands of years, with patchwork quilt designs as well as techniques which were found in many cultures around the world, including Ancient Egypt and China. It is developed for both practical and decorative reasons; patchwork quilts have also been made to celebrate a special time and events such as a birthday or wedding to capture historical functions, and simply for their artistic merit.

quilting and patchwork
Fig: Quilting and patchwork

How to Do Quilting and Patchwork: Step by Step Guide:
So, let us start with the tools which are for quilting which are as follow:

  1. Sewing Machine
  2. Self-Healing Cutting Mat (with a grid overlay)
  3. Rotary Cutter
  4. Pins
  5. Quilt Ruler
  6. Scissors
  7. Thread; many of the quilters choose to use cotton thread.

Steps of Quilting and Patchwork are discussed below.

1. Step One: Choose a Pattern
Here, the first thing you need to do is finalized what you want to make. It is easily found that there are thousands of quilt patterns and tutorials are available over the Google to choose from, so narrowing it down might be a little bit difficult. To start with one of the easiest quilts to make for a beginner is a simple patchwork quilt. So, the specialty of this quilts are that they stitched together using all of the same size squares. One of the fastest techniques to create a simple patchwork quilt is to buy a pre-cut stack of squares. It is so simple that you have to take them out of the package and stitch them all together. Patchwork quilts are so beautiful as well as simple to make, especially when you using the pre-cut fabrics, which are fabrics that are already cut into squares. Basically, larger squares are known as Layer Cakes (or 10″ stackers), and smaller squares are known as Charm Packs (or 5″ pre-cut stacks).

Choose a Quilt Pattern
Fig: Choose a quilt pattern

It is also found that one can also create a quilt by sewing strips of fabric together.

Simple Strips Quilt:
This is one of the quick as well as and most beginner-friendly ideas to create a quilt.

Simple Strips Quilt
Fig: Simple strips quilt

2. Step Two: Select your Fabric Correctly
Here, you have to go selecting the correct fabric. When you are developing a quilt, you try to use quilting cotton. It’s a kind of good woven fabric that grasps up good to being cut into small pieces and will wear well over a particular period. As per the quilting I’m concerned they most suitable fabric to use is 100% cotton fabric. Even you can try for polyester blend fabrics, but with this you won’t be able get that wonderful “crinkly” texture when you’re done with your quilt. Try to use high-quality quilting cotton which are manufactured by a manufacturer specializing in quilt fabrics, for example Riley Blake Designs, Moda, or Windham Fabrics.

Select your Fabric for quilting
Fig: Select your fabric for quilting

Even you can purchase fabric that is cheaper than the ones produced by the manufacturer mentioned above; however, you will observe that those fabrics do not have as high of a thread count and will not hold up as well over time. So, overall look in your current fabric collection for color scheme ideas and texture. Try to purchase good quality quilting cotton. Try to delete a neutral background fabric.

3. Step Three: Cut Your Fabric
Here, simply you have to follow the directions on your quilt pattern or select correct tutorial to find out in what sizes to cut your fabrics. It is even that many quilts are sewn with simple rectangles and squares shapes. Because of this, it’s simpler to cut out quilt fabric with the help of rotary cutter and ruler.

Cut Your Fabric for quilt
Fig: Cut your fabric for quilt

To cut the fabric for a quilt, you will require a quilt ruler, rotary cutter, and mat. It is very crucial to cut your pieces accurately and precisely. If you’re off by even 1/16 of an inch, it will spoil out your construction.

A necessary care you have to take is that a rotary cutter is very sharp, and you should be careful while using it.

4. Step Four: Piece the Quilt and Develop the Quilt Blocks
Now, the quilt pieces are sewn with correct sides facing with a ¼ inch seam allowance. You should figure out on your machine where the ¼″ mark is and start accordingly. Once you’ve found it, try to stitch a trail seam, and then measure it.

Piece the Quilt and Develop the Quilt Blocks
Fig: Piece the quilt and develop the quilt blocks

It is quite helpful to mark that point on the sewing machine with a strip tape. Always ensure to keep to the same ¼″ mark all-over. Quilts are developed so that the “math” of it all sum up, taking into account ¼″ seam allowances. For example, if your seam allowance is ⅜″, then the quilt pieces won’t fit together. Before starting it think of it like pieces in a puzzle. They have to be exact to fit together, think of it then proceed.

Try to develop the quilt according to the directions in the pattern. It is observed that every designer has a different unique way of constructing their quilts and blocks.

Quilting Suggestion: Press the Right Way!
Don’t try to iron when you’re quilting; you press. Follow the movement of up and down with your iron, but not back and forth. It is found that the steam in the iron will loosen the fibers of the fabric and if you try to move the iron back and forth you’ll end up with the change the shape of your fabric. Instead, of that simply, move up and down and press the seams. Also, it is found that the seams in quilting for the most part are pressed to one side.

5. Step Five: Develop the Quilt Top
If you haven’t, then here you required to stitch the quilt blocks from your quilt into a quilt top. Before you start sewing step, make sure that you lay out all of your blocks to make sure you’ve got a layout that you’re happy with. For this, you’ll need a blank wall of some sort.

Develop the Quilt Top
Fig: Develop the quilt top

6. Step Six: Quilt
Now, once your quilt top is ready, you need to turn it into an actual quilt. So, try to make a quilt sandwich. So, simply the quilt sandwich consists of three layers. A quilt top, the batting, and the quilt backing. Begin by spreading out your quilt backing on the floor, with the wrong side up. Then you have to layer all the parts of your quilt together and roll it up to quilt it on your machine. Simply you need to beat your quilt top, batting (or wadding) and backing fabric to each other. For basting, it is suggested to use spray basting. Once you are ready with your quilt sandwich, you are ready to create the quilting lines with the help of sewing machine.

Quilt sewing
Fig: Quilt sewing

For most of the quilt tops, it is preferred to go with straight-line quilting. Try to quilt straight lines usually 1″ apart. Another popular machine quilting option is to go with “stitch in the ditch”. This simply means that stitching your quilting lines right on top of the seams between the pieces of the quilt top. The advantage of this is that the threads tend to “hide” in the seams. Even you can also use free-motion quilt in your home sewing machine, by just lowering the feed dogs on your machine.

7. Step Seven: Finally Trim & Bind
Once you’ve done quilted your quilt, simply square it up and trim all the layers properly.

Now you’re ready for the next process which is binding. Quilt binding is the process of finishing off the raw edge of your quilt. It is being performed by sewing an extra piece of fabric outside the quilt. When you bind, generally normally start with a piece of fabric which is folded in half. Then, stitch that folded fabric on the quilt top, then bring the binding to the another side of the quilt and hand stitch it down.

Finally Trim & Bind of quilt
Fig: Finally trim & bind of quilt

Conclusion:
So, to summaries with patchwork quilting is a kind an art form that overstep mere fabric and stitches, a well known history of tradition, craftsmanship, and individual identity is being highlighted through this. So learning quilting and patchwork techniques are so interesting as enjoyable. So, go and experience this technique and create your own designs.

References:

  1. JULY 24, 2017, How to Make a Quilt: Project for Beginners https://weallsew.com/how-to-make-a-quilt/
  2. Melissa Mortenson, Nov 16, 2023, How to Make a Quilt from Start to Finish https://www.polkadotchair.com/how-to-make-a-quilt-from-start-to-finish/
  3. By Joanna Whitehead and Momtaz Begum-Hossain, 20 APRIL 2023, How to make a patchwork quilt https://www.prima.co.uk/craft/sewing/news/a21897/beginners-guide-patchwork-quilting/
  4. Emma Jeffery, How to Make a Quilt https://www.fiskars.com/en-us/crafting-and-sewing/ideas-and-how-tos/quilting/how-to-quilt

Image courtesy: christaquilts.com, bryanhousequilts.com, stitchedincolor.com, prettysimplesara.com, strawberrycreekquilts.com, and cindygrisdela.com

FAQs:

Q1. Is quilting easy to learn?
Ans: Yes, learning how to create a simple quilt by hand is very easy artwork than you may think. And once you are ready with the basic quilting instructions down, it’s just a matter of repeating the procedure.

Q2. What is the difference between patchwork and quilting?
Ans: Basically, quilting is the process of sewing layers of a quilt, i.e the top, batting, and backing together. In this process, the quilt top is generally sewn together from different types of fabrics, and that part of the process is known as patchwork or piecing.

Q3. What is Batting for Quilts?
Ans: It is the kind of cottony, thick textile material that goes in the center of the quilt. Because of it only quilt gets a “poofiness” once you stitch your pattern.

Q4. What is a Quilter’s Knot?
Ans: It is simply a very small knot that can go through one layer of fabric so it is possible to hide the tail in between the fabric.

Q5. What is the difference between Quilting and Sewing?
Ans: Simply, quilting is a type of sewing. It’s the general process of stitching together two or more layers of fabric.

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  3. Different Types of Stitches and Their Uses in Garments
  4. Different Types of Embroidery: Features and Uses

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