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Tag Archives: sewing tutorials

Today I am officially a Course Instructor for Riley Blake Designs!

27 May

Cutting Corners with Riley Blake Designs

Today is a day that I have been anticipating for months!  My first tutorial is being published on Riley Blake Design’s Cutting Corner’s College.  I am now officially a Course Instructor, to say that I am excited is an understatement!

And just what did I prepare for Cutting Corner’s College, well you will have to visit them to find out.

If you have made your way  over to Sweet Benanna & Sam from my tutorial, hello and welcome!  If you enjoyed my post on Cutting Corner’s College, you may like a few of these ones as well:

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titleimageThose are a few of my sewing tutorials, you can also visit my Sewing Tutorials page for more.

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Resources for First Time Quilters ~ And An Easy Beginner Project!

16 Apr

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Do you want to learn how to quilt but have no idea where to start? I was in the same boat as you not so long ago. I am going to share with you how I began to quilt, and also an easy beginner project, a large list of resources that I have compiled, AND my favorite 10 Simple Quilting Projects for Beginners

titlequilting collage (scroll to the bottom of this post for the links to these projects)

About six months ago I looked into taking a quilting class. It was always something that I wanted to learn how to do. Piecing together beautiful fragments of fabric to create a lovely article, I think, would be therapeutic and very enjoyable. The class I found was going to cost $90, it may not seem like a lot of money. If you are a mom with three children you can probably relate; spending $90 on yourself hardly seems justifiable. Plus that was just the course – there are some expensive supplies associated with quilting too.

My husband piped up, “Well you have taught yourself to sew, can’t you just teach yourself to quilt too?” In my mind this seemed really complicated. There are probably a lot of great resources online, but to me, quilting looks like an exact science that cannot be messed with! If I wanted to learn how to quilt it did not look like I had much of a choice. I began to do some research.

I think everyone learns best via different methods. I find that I learn best when I have a lot of visual aids. My first stop was at the library where I checked out several books on the subject of quilting. After reading a few, I found one that really made sense to me. This book: The Singer New Machine Quilting Essentials was excellent! Tons of pictures, easy to read step by step instructions. Plus it was laid out very well. Once I had read the book it was easy to flip to whichever section I was looking for to get the information I needed. I have checked this book out a few times now and I would highly recommend it to any beginner.

Quilting Supplies

There are some essential supplies that you will need to get to begin quilting. They are:

  • Rotary Cutter
  • Rotary Cutting (Self Healing) Mat
  • A Ruler for rotary cutting
  • Sewing Machine (unless you plan on hand stitching your quilt)
  • Pins
  • An iron and ironing board
  • Quilting Fabric & Thread
  • Good scissors
  • And of course, sigh, a stitch ripper
  • Spray Adhesive – this is not essential but is something that has helped me immensely, I will mention it some more in a moment.

I went to my local quilting shop and had a look at the essential quilting supplies that I would need to buy. The rotary tools and rulers were very expensive! I then headed over to Michael’s Craft Store and noticed that they also carried the Olfa line of rotary cutters, rulers, and cutting mats. I whipped out one of their 40% off coupons on my I-Phone and bought my rotary cutter. The next day I printed out two more coupons and dragged my husband along. He bought the cutting mat and I grabbed a nice square ruler. There, I guess it doesn’t have to hurt the pocket book! If you are in Canada and a sewing club member at Fabricland, the Olfa products do go on sale, usually 50% off every few months.

Easy Beginner Baby Blanket

CelebrateSeussStripebyDr.SeussEnterprisesforRobertKaufmanADE10788203One of my first projects was a soft cuddle baby blanket. It wasn’t quite a traditional quilting project but it allowed me to practice some easy techniques. I had a yard of Celebrate Seuss Stripe fabric by Robert Kauffman and I loved the wavy red lines in the print. Here are the supplies that I used:

~1 yard of Celebrate Seuss Stripe Quilting Cotton: You can buy it for a GREAT price here: Fashionable Fabrics

~1 yard of Cuddle Minky

~ Red cotton thread

~Cotton batting: I got mine from Wal-Mart and it was labelled as “Cotton Batting Baby Blanket Size” and it turned out to be just a tiny bit more than I needed, which was actually perfect.

~Basic Sewing Supplies

First I cut the selvages off of the quilting cotton and made sure that the yard of cotton was just a bit smaller than the minky (about 1 1/2″ around) This is because I cheated and finished the blanket with a rolled hem. If you are going to attempt to bind your quilt the proper way you can leave the quilting cotton and the minky the same size. For this quilt I basted the fabric to the cotton batting using safety pins~ Now might be a great time to mention that while this blanket turned out just fine, I have since discovered that using a spray adhesive for basting my quilts is much easier than pinning it. (For more information on using a spray adhesive, click here: Spray Adhesive for Quilt Basting: How To) ~ Next I used my walking foot* and quilted along the top and bottom of each red wavy line with some red thread. Since this blanket was going to be a baby gift I backed it with a nice white stripe minky that I also had in my stash. I was not ready to try my hand at quilt binding just yet (yes I was very afraid of it!), so instead I used a rolled hem to finish this blanket. If you are not sure what this is, here is a TERRIFIC tutorial from the Crafting Chicks: Minky Baby Blanket Simplified

*Not sure which one is your walking foot? Have a look at this Sewing Machine Foot Introduction

Here is my finished project:

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Quilt Binding Resources

Speaking of binding a quilt: even though I had read the quilt binding section from the Singer New Machine Quilting Essentials book top to bottom, something still wasn’t clicking. I found a bunch of tutorials online, and now that I know what I am doing I can tell you that these tutorials are very well explained:

Old Red Barn Co: How to Bind a Quilt

Diary of A Quilter: Fast Machine Quilt Binding 101

Bee In My Bonnet: How to Bind a Quilt and Other Quilty Projects

Anyways, there was still a disconnect in my brain, until I found this: Quilt Binding- How to Make and Attach It, yes, I am a visual learner! Once I watched this entire video the steps were very clear. I guess I just needed to watch someone do each step.

Other Quilting Resources

I want to share some more online resources that were very helpful to me as a beginner. Take a look at some of these wonderful posts:

~Pressing Basics: This is a video tutorial that will teach you the basic methods of pressing, which is an important step while quilting

~Quilting Instructions: Quilting Tidbits – this post has tons of information about squaring up fabric, preparing fabric for quilting, how to sharpen your rotary blade and much more.

~Beginning Quilting Series from Diary of A Quilter – This series from Diary of A Quilter is amazing! There are lots of wonderful and helpful posts in this series

~What the Heck is a Jelly Roll? from Simplify – this is a really cute post that will explain terms like jelly roll, layer cake, charm packs, etc…

~Cutting Tutorial from Chasing Cottons – VERY useful information on how to cut your fabric properly, using your rotary cutter, ruler, and mat.

~The Secrets of Quilt Batting – Here is a nice post about quilt batting, what type to use for which project and more.

Quilty Pinners to Follow:

At this point I also started following some GREAT quilters on Pinterest. I discovered that their blogs contained beautiful quilt patterns and tutorials. Here are a bunch of my favorite pinners and a link to follow their boards: Riley Blake, The Cottage Mama, Shari Butler, Lori Holt, Tasha Noel Horsley, Happy Zombie, Michael Miller Fabrics, Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

Another thing that I am loving – Riley Blake has a fantastic quilting initiative going on right now. They started in January and each month they post a “Block of The Month“. You can click on each block to get the pattern, or they also have included some fantastic video tutorials for each block. Or maybe you want to go hang out with the experts themselves and take some classes – which you can do at the First Annual Riley Blake Fabric Fest this September in Las Vegas.

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10 Simple Quilting Projects For Beginners

Now I want to share some AWESOME beginner quilting projects with you! Some I have tried and loved, some I am yet to try but they are on my list! Please pin each one from the original source. Did I mention that these are all FREE tutorials and patterns??

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SONY DSC1. Superhero Quilt By Robert Kaufman Fabrics – Isn’t this a fabulous boy quilt? And easy too! Just click on the link and you will be able to download the free pattern. Needing some fabric for this project? Here are some great prices on the Superhero line of fabric: Superhero Fabric by Robert Kaufman

DSC062272. You Can Make a Quilt…I have proof by The Fickle Pickle – I love this tutorial because it follows a first time quilter as she makes a beautiful project step by step. It turned out beautifully, and it is proof that you can do it too!

8258348122_b5a1e9e50a3. The One With The Easiest Baby Quilt Ever by PS I Quilt – I followed this tutorial to create my second quilting project and she is right, it is very easy. In this tutorial she uses ten bold prints to create a sweet baby quilt. When I made it I had a very hard time deciding on coordinating fabrics so I only used five prints and repeated each one twice. It also turned out lovely!

100edit24. That Red Quilted Pillow from Little Miss Shabby – This beginner tutorial will have you creating a gorgeous decorative quilted pillow. It is very easy to follow and there are lots of great pictures. Plus you will also get to practice some hand stitching.

blogger-image-4685353105. Candy Hearts Table Runner Tutorial from A Farm Wife’s Journal – This adorable table runner would look sweet on any table! It has been on my must-try list forever, yes I need to get working on it! I also love the fabric she has used, Lori Holt’s Sew Cherry has also been on my fabric love list for a long time!

season4_episode7_96. Make Bright & Merry Home Decor from the Diy Dish – I know this is a Christmas tutorial and it’s only April, but you are going to want to pin this one for later. This video tutorial teaches you how to make a beautiful ornament block that can be used for a pillow, quilt, or a table runner. I bet you could make a beautiful tree skirt with it too.

IMG_7509_thumb17. Baby Bliss Quilt by Cluck Cluck Sew – This beautiful quilt was made using two charm packs. She basically just cut each square in half and sewed them together. Okay maybe there is a little more involved than that, but it would be a good beginner project nonetheless.

title photo8. Clermont Farms Quilted Tote Bake from Moda Bake Shop – I LOVE sewing cute little tote bags. Combining quilting with tote bags makes it extra fun! This project is definitely suitable for beginners and will teach you some great techniques that you can use when you are ready to tackle a much larger project.

8179134888_7d6312e942_c9. The Falling Flakes Stocking Tutorial by Imagine Gnats – Another Christmas project, I know, but hey- why not get started now and be extra prepared for the holiday :-). I think this sweet little stocking tutorial is a perfect beginner quilting project. It features a free printable PDF pattern, great pictures, and easy to read instructions. Plus if you can find some Christmas fabric to buy right now, I bet you will get a great deal on it. Or maybe you did buy some right after Christmas because it was on sale and you would like to use it up (this is my inner fabric hoarder speaking)

img_strips-sashing-kidslg_110. Strips and Sashing Kids Quilt by All People Quilt – A simple quilt that looks great when finished. You can download this project for free, but they do ask you to register for their website when doing so. That being said, the registration is also free and then you have access to tons of wonderful quilting projects and patterns.

Well that’s it! I hope you have enjoyed all of these resources, projects, and free tutorials! Thank you for stopping by today.

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