The Japanese people say that whenever you touch something with your hands, you transfer to that object part of your energy, you give it a little bit of you. People who enjoy craftwork know this all too well, as they pour all they heart and energy into the pieces they create. Quilting is a type of craft that requires you to bind together, usually by sewing, pieces of material to make a home use or décor item, such as a blanket, a pillow case or a table apron. Some people frame their quilting and turn them into a sort of painting.
Tools of the trade
If you decide to start quilting, you could benefit from a few tools and tips to make your life easier, at least until you get some experience. Although you could use plain scissors to cut fabric, it is advisable to get a rotary cutter (much like a pizza cutter, for fabric). Another good item if you are serious about this hobby, is a long arm quilting machine, which replaces a traditional sewing machine. An expert explains that this is a good investment but it takes time to get used to it:
“For people who want to start a quilt finishing business, I would advise them to start out slowly. It will take you awhile to get to know the machine and it will take some time for your body to build up the stamina it takes to quilt on a long-arm all day long. Don’t plan to go from never having spent a whole day quilting on a long-arm to using it eight hours a day.
Lastly, I’d advise you to ask for references from the dealer and talk to others who have bought long-arms from that dealer.”
Other tools include a pressing station or at least a good heavy iron and a long table. You can also press your finished product on the floor, as long as you are careful not to damage it.
Fabrics and threads
Beginner quilters are advised to go 100% cotton, both regarding fabrics and the threads, since cotton tends to be easier to maneuver. As you get better you can use a blend of cotton and polyester, or go full synthetic, but only after you have a good grasp of what you can do with the sewing machine.
Some good advice related to the types of threads you will need:
“[…] always use 100% cotton thread. You will find that polyester or mixed threads that work beautifully when sewing other projects, can damage the cottons you use for your quilts.
Also, do not try to collect every color of thread in the rainbow, just because you are making multicolored quilts. White, gray and beige, with an occasional dark color if you use dark fabrics should be all you need.
You may have come across quilting thread, which works well for hand quilting. Do NOT use it in your sewing machine, however, where plain cotton thread is best.”
If you are just starting this hobby, think geometrically and use squares, rectangles and triangles in the beginning. Lay out your own design on a big table or on the floor to get a feeling of the finished product. You can download patterns from the Internet, get inspired by Pinterest or some item you want to re-create.
How to Find the Best Quilting Reviews and Info
The easiest quilts are the Amish inspired quilts. Quilter’s Review, an authority site explains:
“Amish quilts were originally created as a frugal way to use up fabric scraps, Amish quilting has transformed into an art form. This style of quilting uses simple but striking designs with solid colors, like blue, black, purple and red.”
The same source suggests that you could do patchwork quilts, appliqué quilts or even cathedral window quilts.
Whatever type of quilting appeals to you, remember to start small and grow with your craft. Don’t invest a lot before you master the techniques.