Learn to Quilt.

Jacqueline has many admirers of her quilts. Over the years, she’s received many questions about different techniques or tips that might help a new quilter get started. After a request from her friend Elizabeth to teach her how to quilt, we’ve decided to post Jacqueline’s mini-lessons on our blog so everyone can learn.

Dear Elizabeth,

It was such a pleasure to see you in New York last week. I love our meet-ups, however brief and infrequent. 

I love that you want to learn to quilt so you can make them for your two beautiful boys. New quilt projects are always easier with a goal in sight. I believe the key to quilting is choosing patterns, fabrics and colors that inspire you, as well as your boys. While the quilt will soon become a cherished part of each boy’s life, it first has to motivate you to explore color, sew for hours and want to stay on track from start to finish.

The quilt has a few basic parts:

The top – generally patterned, made of small pieces sewn together, and the side that most people see and admire for years to come.

The bottom – often made of one piece of fabric, but in my world, it’s an opportunity to explore free forms without rules. I enjoy reversible quits, too, but that is another story.

The Batting – on the inside, sewn together either by hand or machine, or by long-arm quilting, again, that’s for another day.

No matter the project, the first steps are choosing your pattern and fabrics, not necessarily in that order. Come to think of it, there’s actually one step before that: finding your inspiration and quilting style.

Look through blogs, flickr, and magazines for patterns, color combinations and, of course, textiles to inspire tones, moods and shapes. Peruse through photos until you find a palette or pattern that stops you in your tracks. Use a fresh notebook to jot down thoughts and images as they surface.

This my unorganized batch of quilts on our flickr page. It’ll give you a quick indication as to whether or not I’m the right person to introduce you to the world of quilting. Make sure you visit the Fresh Modern Quilts group on flickr as well. This group always inspires me, and as you work through the images, you’ll meet new designers, bloggers and discover new patterns. I’ve been doing this for a while and realized I’m coming upon the same designers again and again, as my own personal style forms.  

DQS Received!!

There are a few blogs I enjoy visiting. I find them inspiring and visually appealing, not only for quilting, but for other sewing and crafty stuff too.

Make Something is my friend Karyn’s blog. She owns the local shop, The Workroom, in Toronto. Her blog mixes quilts with sewing, crafts and generally inspiring stuff. It also links to the classes she has at the shop. I am usually travelling or too busy for classes, but I make it a point not to miss her Quilt Sunday or Stitch ‘n’ Bitch events. I’ve made new friends at these events and they are a world of inspiration too.Karyn's Quilt Sampler

Purl in Soho is another great sewing and quilting resource that I highly recommend you visit next time you are downtown. They have a great blog with tutorials, projects and generally crafty stuff. My zigzag quilt in progress is influenced from that blog.

I wish I had the time to stay for a week and take you from start to finish. Instead, I thought we could have a weekly check-in. I’ll try to keep you on track from your first thoughts right through to completed quilts. This week is about getting familiar with the visual language of quilting. Next week I’ll show you my first quilt, and how it came to be my first real quilting project. 

Can’t wait to talk quilts with you again next week.  Now go find your inspiration!


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