There’s one very important thing new quilters forget about, and that is how to make a project fun and pain-free. If you get too caught up in wanting to master the most intricate patterns way too soon, there’s no way you’ll enjoy this new hobby.
If you really want to make quilting a part of your life, you want to minimize the growing pains. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 5 easy tips you should follow to make sure you don’t overwhelm yourself and learn how to quilt while having fun with new projects:
Get Use to the Quilting Language
Become familiar with the terminology. Most quilting tutorials will use a lot of quilting abbreviations, so you really want to get to know all the words. The best thing you can do is finding a quilting dictionary that you like and keep it on your desk or bookmark it so that you can always come back to it while reading.
Stick to Easy to Understand Quilting Patterns
Don’t overwhelm yourself by getting into the more complicated stuff before you’ve even learnt the fundamentals. If you’re still learning how to properly cut and sew, stick to patterns with larger pieces since they are easier to handle than those with smaller more intricate pieces. While it might not excite you as much as an elaborate pattern, it will allow you to practice your accuracy while minimizing errors.
You can also make things easier for yourself by sticking with pre-cut fabrics. Specialized stores sell packaged fabrics that are pre-cut into various sizes and shapes. For a beginner quilter, these are amazingly useful. They allow you to focus on your sewing and practice making more difficult patterns.
And if you’re going to do your own shapes, don’t make things unnecessarily difficult by working with circles or organic shapes. They can be hard to make even for the more experienced quilters. So, for a beginner, it will definitely make things a lot harder and you might end up feeling overwhelmed. The easiest shapes are rectangles and squares, while they might not seem that exciting, try to stick to them for your first projects.
Get Back to Basics
Remember in school when you learnt about colour theory? Well, it’s time to dust off your old books and reacquaintance yourself with the colour wheel. Knowing how to mix and match colours is just as important as knowing how to properly cut your fabric. Since as a beginner you won’t be able to get into the more intricate patterns, make things fun by making bold colour matches.
You’ll also want to consider getting back into a classroom. Yes, almost anything you’ll need to know about quilting you can find online, but it doesn’t quite beat having an experienced teacher watching over your technique in real time. You don’t have to take an extensive class, but a beginner’s course can help you master the basics in no time. Plus, you’ll get to know others interested in quilting.
Whatever you try to do, go easy on yourself if you make a mistake. Don’t obsess over it. Everyone’s been there at one point or another. Making a mistake, whether while sewing, cutting, or matching, is no big deal. Just be proud of what you’ve done right, learn from what you didn’t and move on.