Learn what you'll need to start quilting and why many quilters begin with patchwork before they start quilting.
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How to Start Quilting
But before we go any further, it will be very helpful to take a quick overview of the craft of patchwork. Of course, it isn’t necessary to do patchwork to get into quilting. As you can see, demonstrated here, however patchwork and quilting really do go hand-in-hand. Many quilting pattern books will mention both crafts but remember that the only limitation once you’ve acquired the basic skills will be your imagination. So don’t feel hemmed in, to call upon, by any of the traditional styles.
Quilters will often start of making patchwork so that they can then turn it into a quilt. As you can see from these examples, the patchwork is made from shapes that tessellate to produce a complete design. It’s always best to design your pattern on some squared paper first so that you can be sure your finished creation will fit together, and of course, you can also pick colors that will work well together. Good patchwork is just as much about to color coordination as it is about perfectly fitting shapes.
After you’ve planned your design, it’s just a case of cutting out your fabric shapes and sewing them precisely together to make the finished article. These hexagon pieces of patchwork have been made on accurate clean cut papers which have then big over stitched together and a lot of people start patchwork with hexagons as they fit together perfectly. And you can make as many seven hexagon flowers as you like but just one at a time, which will make even a large piece of patchwork, very easy to handle.
This pattern is called log cabin and it’s made for a series of measured rectangles, and you can then progress onto more complicated styles like cathedral window. But you don’t have to do any of these traditional patterns. This is called crazy patchwork and it’s self- explanatory, created at random for cushion cover that is now ready to be quilted. There is a program in the series called an “Introduction to Patchwork” which will give you a lot more information about getting started. And once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll be designing pieces for quilting in no time at all.
Patchwork is far from being the only option because there are some wonderful fabrics available with designs that are suitable for quilting. Also, many stitches like to use appliqué as well, which basically means cutting out a complete design and stitching it onto a backing fabric.
This quilt uses a lot of appliqué and you can see that it’s a very quick way to cover large areas with very attractive designs.
This will give you lots of food for thought when it comes to selecting the top layer of your piece of quilting. And don’t forget, you can always use a plain fabric if you want the quilting to be the main feature. While you’re selecting the fabric for the top of the quilt, it’s best to choose the backing at the same time. Even though some people do like to put to patchwork back to their quilts, it’s generally accepted that one large piece of complementing fabric is perfect. After all, if you’ve gone through all the trouble of making two large pieces of patchwork, the least you want is two quilts that showyou’re your efforts at all times.
Also, do remember that you might want to have this layer next to your scheme, and therefore it’s better to have something soft and smooth rather than patchwork, which can be a bit scratchy in texture. The process of quilting, very simply input, is the craft of sewing these two layers together with a further layer of padding in between them, and again, it’s a good idea to buy at the same time as you’re sorting at your fabrics.
Different people use a variety of words to describe this layer of the quilt usually batting, padding, or wadding. There are arranged of weights of wadding that you can buy from local craft shop and the prices will reflect to the quality. For the best quality, there’s a hundred percent cotton wadding. However as you would expect, this is also the most expensive.
More and more people are turning to synthetic quilting and the manmade fibers can be just as good especially when you’re starting out. In fact, synthetic fibers are much harder wearing compared to cotton, and then also less prone to shrinking in the wash. The decision is, of course, entirely up to you and to help you make your mind up. Have a browse around your local craft shop and feel the different weights on offer.
Mix fibers are proven very popular today too, consisting of a mixture of manmade natural fibers, offering the enthusiastic quilter, the best of both worlds. Fiber mixtures are also in the middle price range which would be helpful if want to make a larger size quilt. With the three different segments of the quilt now covered, it’s time to take a look at the rest of the materials and equipment you’re going to need to get started. Ironically, the requirements are minimal which can come as a surprise when you see the intricacy of the finished work.