Before you learn how to make a quilt, keep one important thing in mind: there are few absolute rules that must be followed. Instead, many quiltmaking instructions are simply guidelines that help get beginning quilters off to a good start.
Quilters are constantly developing new and time-saving ways to make quilts.
- It wasn't too many years ago that quilters marked fabric using templates and cut out every piece with a pair of scissors. Some quilters still do that, but more and more people love the ease and speed of rotary cutting.
- Machine quilting is another technique that's become more popular over the past decade.
Use our instructions to learn how to make a quilt, but always remember that you will possibly discover time-saving (or better) quilting methods of your very own.
Become familiar with quiltmaking by following a few basic steps:
Read Quilting Patterns
- Quilt patterns help you learn how to dsew a quilt by making you more familiar with techniques and terms used in the world of quilting. Quilting lingo always makes more sense after studying a selection of quilting patterns.
- Begin with quilt block patterns, then move on to patterns for complete quilts.
Get the Facts About Quilting Fabrics
Cotton fabrics are the number one choice for quilts, and it's important to learn fabric characteristics before washing or cutting that first piece.
- Discover how quilting fabric grain can help enhance or destroy accuracy.
- Learn the pros and cons of prewashing quilting fabrics.
- Learn how to do a bleed test and try an easy way to keep fabric edges from fraying in the wash.
- Find out how a burn test can help identify fabrics when you're not sure of their content.
- Want to test your knowledge of fabric? Take my Fabric Quiz.
Get Comfortable with Color
Quilters are bombarded with color from the moment we walk into a fabric store. I can guarantee that, unless you're already involved in similar crafts, you'll be confused at first about fabric selection.
- There are no color rules, but a basic understanding of a simple color wheel makes it easier to choose colors and fabrics.
- Color value is possibly more important than color itself. Value refers to a color's contrast in relation to other colors. Color value differences and similarities work together to define the designs in our quilts.
Quilt Block Construction
- It's helpful to have an understanding patchwork quilt block bone structure, which illustrates how blocks fit together (or not) -- a big help when it's time to design and sew a quilt.
- Accurate pressing goes hand in hand with quilt block construction. If the block isn't pressed carefully, it probably won't be accurate.
- Quilters who are accustomed to garment construction might not realize that most quilts are assembled using a narrower seam allowance. Set up the sewing machine to sew a quarter inch seam.
Explore Quilt Layouts
You'll find lots of quilt layout inspiration in our quilt photo galleries.
- Get the facts about mattress sizes before you make a quilt.
- Should quilt blocks be set on point or straight?. Patterns tell you which way to assemble blocks, but it won't be long until you design your own.
Consider Quilt Sashing and Borders
Should you add sashing to the quilt? Do you prefer the look of straight sewn borders or mitered borders? You might opt to go with pieced borders or use a border print to make the quilt border truly unique.
Learn How to Make the Quilt Sandwich
You'll have a several decisions to make when you assemble the quilt sandwich.
- What kind of quilt batting is best for the project?
- Will you piece the quilt backing or use one of the wide fabrics made especially for that? Quilt Backing Instructions
When It's Time to Quilt the Quilt
Learn Quilt Binding Basics
- It's easy to make quilt binding strips from any fabric and then sew the binding to the quilt. One popular method is binding sewn with mitered corners. Mitered binding is easy, so be sure to give it a try.
- A quilt hanging sleeve makes it easy to hang a quilt on the wall or in a show. A temporary sleeve can be added anytime, but a permanent sleeve is often sewn on at the same time you add the binding.
Follow the links in this article to learn how to make a quilt, but remember, skills grow with every new project... don't become discouraged.