and How to Quilt by Hand or Machine
Introduction on How to Quilt
Learning how to quilt is fun, and you
will have hours of satisfaction making something beautiful that will
last for years. Quilting and Patchwork are often mentioned in the same
breath as you will often find patchwork that has been quilted for added
interest. However, not every patchwork project needs to be quilted and
not every quilt is made up of patchwork pieces.
Traditionally, quilting is done by hand
with fine, even running-stitches. However, nowadays, it is also
acceptable for quilting to be done on the sewing machine.
How to Quilt Instructions
1. QuiltingNeedles for
hand-sewing should be short and fine, known as "betweeners" as these
needles slip into and out of the fabric with ease. If you are a total
beginner you will probably want to start with No.8 needles, as these
are more manageable when first starting out.
However, as you get more
practice and become more proficient, you can then use No. 10 quilting
which will allow you to make even smaller stitches. If you are going to
use your sewing machine for quilting, then the size of the needles you
will use will be determined by the thickness of the material.
2. Quilting Thread
should be quilter's thread which comes in all sorts of different
3. Hoops or quilting
frames should be used to contain your fabric, which then
makes it easier to get those stitches as neat as you would like. Both
of course have their advantages. The hoop is ideal for pieces that are
small and can be transported from place to place. Larger projects such
as quilted bedspreads will need a quilting frame. This then limits
can quilt and is not that easy to take from place to place.
4. QuiltingWadding or Batting
is the center fill that will give your work padding and that quilted
look. Quilting has 3 pieces of material; the top pattern, the middle
filling which is usually polyester, and the bottom backing piece of
material which can either be in a matching plain color, or the same as
the top piece.
This batting, or wadding, comes in
different sizes and thicknesses depending on the project. Make sure
that your wadding comes in one piece and that you pre-wash it before
using it in case it shrinks.
5. Thimbles are
things you either love or hate. Some quilters prefer using the thimble
on the index finger of the hand that works below the quilting material
to prevent the many pricks you will encounter when learning how to
quilt if you are not careful!
All of the above quilting supplies, including some lovely
quilting frames can either be purchased through our Country
Corner Store, or at your local craft store.
How to Quilt and Marking your Fabric
In learning how to quilt, unless you
have pictures on your fabric that you want to quilt around, more often
than not, you will want to either put transfer patterns on your fabric,
or you will want to mark the fabric yourself by hand.
You can do this by placing the quilting
pattern under the quilt top and lightly mark the design before
you tack the 3 pieces of material together. You can mark out your
pattern with a hard lead pencil or, if you are using a dark-colored
fabric, you would use a chalk pencil.
Be sure to test water-soluble pens
before you put it on your fabric to see if it can be easily removed.
You would hate it if you the fabric remained stained after use.
How to Prepare your Quilting Material
Taking the time to prepare your
material properly will pay dividends later on. By doing so, you then
anchor all three pieces of fabric together and there is no chance of
one piece of material slipping out of place.
For hand-sewing you
should always follow the same procedure, not matter how small your
project is. What you need to do is to make sure that each of the 3
pieces of fabric is lying flat when you are pinning them together and
that you have the right sides of the fabric facing outwards.
In order to achieve this, lay your
bottom piece of material on a large, flat area, with the pattern facing
downwards. The wrong side of the material is facing you. Next place the
batting or wadding on top of this material making sure that the bottom
piece has not moved in any way. Now lay the top piece of material on
the top, making sure that the pattern is facing you, and the wrong side
of the material is facing the wadding.
Your next step is to make sure that you
secure all 3 pieces of material together so that they won't move in the
future while you are quilting. First of all you can take dressmaker's
pins, or glass-headed pins and secure middle of the fabric without
moving it too much. Then, working your way outwards pin the rest. When
you are finished, go back and tack the material starting again in the
center, making a small sunburst. Then using each of those lines
radiating out from your sunburst extend each of these lines to the edge
of the material. Always
start from the center and work your way
Finally, tack all around the edge of
your project to make sure that you have all edges secure.
Whether you are going to sew your
project by hand, or by machine, the way in which you prepare your
material is the same.
How to Quilt by Hand
aim of hand quilting is to sew
small, even stitches that give the impression that it was
made by a
machine. Now, this is not easy, especially when you are first starting
out. My advice is to take a small sample of the same materials that you
are using in your project and practice on that first. It will then give
you some idea of how the material feels when you sew, particularly when
working with the batting or wadding, as it is very 'airy', and even
more difficult when it is very thick. Once you have mastered lovely
stitches, then you will have the confidence to tackle your actual
When you begin your work make sure that
you have a double knot
in your thread to prevent your work from
unraveling in time to come. When you end your work, again make sure
that you have finished with a double knot. However, these knots must be
hidden in the middle of the batting.
As a hand quilter, you should choose a
as this will make your life a lot easier when you
are trying to quilt your patterns and will allow you to get those
small, even stitches that you are after. A thin batting also gives a
more authentic look to traditional quilt designs.
How to Quilt using a Sewing Machine
quilting has the advantage of
neat, even stitches. However, when it comes to large projects such as
quilting a bedspread, you will need a large workable area, and you will
also have to keep your material rolled up to prevent it from getting
caught in the foot and being accidentally sewn through.
If you are a considering to be a
serious quilter then you may want to think about investing in an
attachment for your sewing machine which will make your life a lot
easier. Prices for these can also be seen through our Quilts
and Quilting section.
How to Finish Off your Quilt
After you have finished
will still be left with the ugly raw edges of your project. These will
need to be covered with binding.
You can either buy binging that is
already pre-cut and sewn, or you can make your own from your own
material that you have used for your project.
Cut the material lengthwise, crosswise,
or on the bias of the fabric. These strips should be about 1 1/2 inches
in width and sewn together end to end with a 1/4 inch seam. Press the
seam allowances open before you use them.
Trim your quilt batting and
layer so that they are equal to the size of the quilt top. Leaving
about 2 inches extra at each end, place a binding strip on the edge of
the quilt top, right sides together. Sew through all 3 layers with a
1/4 inch seam, beginning and ending at the seam line. Repeat for all
Now fold the binding to the back, tuck
under 1/4 inch, and blind-stitch it down along the seam line. When you
get to the corners you will need to trim the excess, and tuck in the
edges. Now stitch. Rinse out any markings that still remain from your
graphite pencil or marker.
A nice touch to any finished quilt,
considering how many long hours will have gone into finishing this
project, is to embroider your name and date on the back of the quilt.
How to Build a Quilting Frame
of the fun of quilting is the social aspect. When you are quilting a
large project, you will often find several women will come together to
quilt on the same project and enjoy each other's company while they are
doing so. However, in oder to be able to do this you need a quilting
You need a frame so that it stretches all 3 layers of the
quilt to make quilting easier, as well as getting the quilt off the
First of all you need to get 4 flat wooden boards, about
1 inch deep and 3 inches wide and slightly longer than you want your
quilt to be. Now get 4 C-clamps from your hardware store clamp them
into position to make either a square or rectangle according to the
shape of your quilting project.
Place some batting onto each of
the 4 boards and some cotton sheeting on top of that and wrap it around
once and then staple this to the boards. You need this so that you can
pin your quilt to the frame.
FREE CRAFT FORUM
Looking for a free
craft forum? Visit our new craft forum and
make a contribution today! We look forward to meeting you.
QUILTING INSTRUCTIONS AND
HOW TO QUILT: CARING FOR YOUR
if you have followed our
quilting instructions, and after you have learned how to quilt
successfully, your quilt will remain in the family for generations to
come. So while you want to enjoy and use your quilt, it is also best
that you do so in a way that will minimize wear and tear.
has probably been made to be decorative, rather than for warmth, so
therefore of an evening time, when you go to bed, rather remove the
quilt completely or turn it down to avoid getting it dirty.
When washing a
quilt, do so by hand and dry
it out of the sun, as the sun will only leach the colors out of it and
weaken the fabric. This should also be taken note of if your bed is in
full sunlight during the day. If it is, draw the curtains to keep the
sun off the fabric.
When washing your quilt
use warm water, never hot,
and squeeze excess water out gently, never wring your quilt. If your
quilt needs to be ironed, do so, but iron it on the wrong side.
you need to store your quilt make
sure that you wrap it in non-acidic paper. This and other quilting
supplies can all be bought through our online store.